Glasgow housing transfer may be breaking EU laws

controversial proposal to transfer Glasgow City Council’s housing stock to the
Glasgow Housing Agency (GHA) may be ruled as illegal and in breach of European
competition laws.

European parliament in Brussels has been petitioned by Mike Daily, principal
solicitor with Govan Law Centre, and Colin Deans, a council house tenant.  The petition claims that in proposing
transfer to the GHA only the Scottish executive did not offer choice or
introduce competition to the £4 billion move. 
Further, offers by the Treasury to wipe out the city’s housing debt and
an interest free loan of £300 million from the executive to address GHA’s cash
flow problems, both conditional on the tenants voting in favour of the
transfer, are described as “preferential” and in breach of the laws.

describes the petition as “a deal breaker for the whole project” if the
European parliament agrees possibly resulting in direct intervention by the
European Commission and bring the proposal to a halt.  Deans said:  “Without the
massive taxpayer subsidy the GHA will have to shut up shop.”

Clerkin, chair of the Glasgow Campaign Against Stock Transfer, said:  “We believe the executive is flouting EU
competition law by throwing public money at a private company which is
essentially a monopoly.  It is at least
questionable and quite possibly illegal.”

petition is submitted to Brussels as Glasgow City Council housing tenants end
the first week of voting on the proposed transfer.  Official estimates indicate that around half of the 80,000
tenants have already returned their votes. 
The result of the ballot is still expected to be announced on 5 April
since action by the European parliament will take months before a decision is

spokesperson for the Scottish executive refused to comment till the executive’s
lawyers had examined the petition.


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