Labour has demanded immediate Right to Buy (RTB) reforms after figures obtained by The MJ revealed the amount councils lose to Whitehall under the regime.
Data obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act revealed that from £4.2bn of RTB receipts raised between 2012 and 2017 Whitehall deductions amounted to £875m – almost one-fifth of all monies.
While £90m was redistributed back into housing by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the FOI responses indicate a substantial share of council RTB receipts was used to tackle public debt while councils struggled with declining housing stocks and soaring demand.
Councils that do not invest RTB receipts within a specified period are forced to hand unused cash back to the MHCLG for redistribution within local government. Between 2012 and 2017, local authorities returned almost £90m to the department under this requirement.