RMT boss Mick Lynch defended his deputy Eddie Dempsey after it arose he lived in a council flat despite receiving a six-figure sum in salary and contributions.
Eddie Dempsey is paid £78,282 annually as well as Employers’ NI contributions of £9,978 and pension contributions of £20,289, but despite this, he lives in subsidised social housing in London, with some neighbours suggesting he should move to let more impoverished people have his property.
Mr Lynch defended him and said he’d taken the property when he was a lower-wage railway worker.
Mr Lynch and Mr Dempsey have been manning a 24-hour strike at Euston Station as he struck back at critics.
Mr Lynch told LBC that he wasn’t in receipt of a six-figure salary but that he got paid well for his job, and he said that he got his council flat when he was on the register when he was a railway worker and that he and his partner live there with his children and they have a tenancy like all council tenants do, and that when he’s ready to move then he assumed he would move, and that it wasn’t a question of when you make a few more bob you get expelled from your council flat.
He said that he’d been in the job he’s now got since October last year when he got elected to office, before that he was a railway worker, and obtained his council flat by waiting on the list like all council tenants, and what did people want him to do, be evicted because he’s got a new job?
He said it’s his tenancy and he pays rent, and that he wasn’t aware he was on any subsidiary from anyone, and that we need more council houses and that he didn’t think he should be expelled because he’s got a new job.
Islington Council in London has England’s 13th longest social housing waiting list, with 14,000 households in need of housing.
Critics, including Mr Dempsey’s own neighbours, branded him a hypocrite for blocking more disadvantaged people from having a home of their own.
David Wheeler, 85, who also lives in the trendy new build block of flats in central London, said that it was enormous hypocrisy and that if he was making money like him, he would want his own home.
While I don’t believe that he should be booted out of his council house now he’s making more money, what I do believe is that he should be paying full market rent which in London would be an awful lot more than he’s presently paying now on his council property.
He’s been fortunate enough to be given a council house and then he became wealthy and prosperous, so why is he remaining in his council house, presumably so that he can purchase it cheap and sell it at a higher price, because it’s all about greed, regardless of the consequences, and council housing isn’t means tested so legally he isn’t doing anything wrong.
So, if council housing isn’t means tested then what are the criteria for eligibility?
Well, now, you have to be more or less homeless to get housing or arrive in the United Kingdom in a dinghy.
The problem here is that he was on a low income when he first obtained the house. Now he’s developed a higher revenue whilst living there, but he’s not the only person in council properties who’ve done the same thing.