We all know that Labour is addicted to stealing British National Party policies: Gordon Brown pilfered our British Jobs for British Workers slogan; David Blunkett admitted that multi-culturalism has failed; Jack Straw suddenly 'discovered' that paedostanis had been preying on white girls in his Blackburn constituency for 30 years, and Ed Miliband has now recognised that immigration has hit the working class harder than anyone.
So it's no surprise to see Labour now stealing British National Party housing policies. During the May election, we published an in-depth housing policy document. Developed by Nick Griffin in partnership with housing industry experts, it knocked the efforts of the other parties into a cocked hat, so it was always likely that, after waiting a few months to avoid it being too blatant, they'd pinch some of our best ideas.
Of course, if you're out to steal something, the best person to send to do the job is an experienced thief.
So Labour gave the task to former Burnley MP Kitty Ussher, a well-known expenses cheat.
Ms Ussher was caught with her greedy fist stuck in the taxpayers' cookie jar. She was slammed with a Daily Telegraph headline on 9th May 2009:
MPs' expenses: minister Kitty Ussher used allowances for £20,000 house make-over
The records reveal that Miss Ussher, the MP for Burnley, contacted the Commons fees office within 12 months of being elected, with a detailed programme of work for the property she had already lived in for five years.
She even charged the taxpayer for removing an Artex ceiling that she thought was "in bad taste."
An even nastier flavour emerged a month later, when fresh revelations that Ussher was guilty of a £17,000 tax fiddle led to her resignation from the Labour government and announcement that she would not be standing again in the 2010 general election.
But in a party of thieves and cheats, Kitty Ussher´s tax rip-offs don’t seem to have bothered anybody.
She is now working in Labour policy making (or rather, stealing) circles.
Her first major proposal is that Housing Associations should be allowed to do deals with private landlords with empty properties, providing the money to upgrade them and taking it back out of the rent over a long period.
Quote from press
Remember that the 'Ussher' proposal was first unveiled in the industry magazine Inside Housing on 31st July 2012.
So now look again at section 5 of the British National Party housing policy document, ´Hope and Commonsense on Housing´ published three months earlier on 27th April 2012:
5) Tax breaks to get empty properties back into use
We need to stimulate all aspects of housing in particular using the expertise of Housing Associations.
We propose that Housing Associations become management agents for empty houses on long term leases for 15 years.
Owners who participate in such a scheme would be exempted from capital gains tax on the property and from tax on rental income
At the same time, in order to ensure that homes meet fitness standards, such improvements would be funded in the first instance by the Housing Associations concerned, by drawing on their reserve funds.
The Housing Association would then be repaid by the landlord out of the rental income produced by the property in installments over the 15 year period.
Everyone would gain under this scheme: Landlords would get increased rent from improved premises which would also be worth more. Extra work for smaller scale building firms would provide both jobs and local economic stimulus.
Housing Associations would be able to provide more homes and would be able to use the regular repair repayment income to borrow additional funds.
Tenants would have better quality homes. People on housing waiting lists would get decent homes quicker.
Such a regeneration scheme would help to undo the damage begun by the cuts made by the Tories in 1989. The current backlog of undone repairs would be dealt with for good.
Hey Ed, your Kitty stole our cream!
Our full Housing Policy document can be seen HERE