An MHK says rents should be frozen in public sector housing until means testing is introduced to make the system fairer.

Onchan member Rob Callister doesn’t believe ‘tenants should be punished’ by annual rises whilst major policies are still being developed by the government.

The Cabinet Office is still grappling with the principles of a means testing system – an update is expected before the end of the year.

Mr Callister wants to see any changes based on a ‘solid foundation of financial information’.

Many local authorities share the Onchan MHK’s sentiments over a desire for means testing. Four authorities voted for rents to be frozen, citing concerns over the fairness of the system, and of slow wage growth against inflation.

Others chose to recommend increases of up to 4.7 per cent, the August inflation measure of the Retail Prices Index (RPI), over fears tenants would face an even bigger rise in 2020.

The Department of Infrastructure is expected to announce its final decision on rents in December.

Mr Callister told Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne he shares the view of Onchan Commissioners that rents should not increase.

Source (and audio file): Energy FM