Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tory government practises ‘economic cleansing’ on inner London

Housing benefit cuts: Tory flagship prepares to give 5,000 households their marching orders

"Over 5,000 Westminster households will be affected by the changes [in Housing Benefit] and for the majority their current rents will be unaffordable. Many of these households will need to leave Westminster when the caps affect current claimants during 2012." - This is outrageous! Won't somebody think of the children? There could be as many as 4,000 children affected, including 50 on the Child Protection Register! Children can't adapt to new situations, they must always stay in the same place. There are exactly 313 elderly people (aged 60+) affected by this, and 61 disabled people too. I can't believe a Tory(LibDem) government would be so cruel to the elderly. What kind of monstrous society are we creating for ourselves? You should all hang your heads in shame.

Posted by drewster @ 11:56 AM (3488 views)
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30 thoughts on “Tory government practises ‘economic cleansing’ on inner London

  • Liamspalmer says:

    Children can’t adapt? Ever had any? Children adapt fine, so long as they are loved and cared for.

    And why, exactly, should council tenants live in Westminster when those of us who work and pay our own rent can’t afford to and have to commute over 90 minutes to get to work?

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  • My heart bleeds.

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  • Think of the poor pensioners whose incomes will be affected if they have to drop the rents they charge. They have grandchildren who might starve to death too!

    Oh the humanity etc.

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  • Might it be an idea to cap the benefit level AND give existing tenants some protection of tenure?

    Perhaps tell the landlords they have find appropriate new accomodation within a certain radius and pay the moving costs, if they don’t like the rent caps.

    Otherwise, the media will start featuring hardship cases..

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  • This is outrageous! Won’t somebody think of the children? There could be as many as 4,000 children affected, including 50 on the Child Protection Register! Children can’t adapt to new situations, they must always stay in the same place. There are exactly 313 elderly people (aged 60+) affected by this, and 61 disabled people too. I can’t believe a Tory(LibDem) government would be so cruel to the elderly. What kind of monstrous society are we creating for ourselves? You should all hang your heads in shame.

    touch sh1t.

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  • hp,
    My tongue was firmly in cheek. Children are perhaps the most adaptable in these situations. More like “won’t somebody think of the social workers!”

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  • The economic cleansing has already taken place. The only people who can afford to live in Westminster are the rich and those having their housing benefit paid by the taxpayer. 99% of the taxpayers paying their benefit can never hope to live in Westminster themselves.

    The vast majority of Guardian comments are from left-wingers who have never given any thought as to where the money comes from. Their thought process is simply that Call Me Dave is being beastly to housing benefit claimants, therefore support benefit claimants. End of thought process.

    The Left like to see themselves as the guardians of fairness, but as with teachers’ pensions this limited mode of thought ends up with them defending a status quo that is palpably unfair.

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  • Monty032 – Agree entirely – the key issue for our Dave is to correct the unfairnesses in a manner that is seen to be fair by the public.

    He handled the recent strike day quite well by not rising to the bait. One day on and what had the strikers achieved? Nothing. A day out and one day docked from their wages – that’s all.

    With HB he needs to be very careful not to create martyrs – no tearful old ladies being evicted from their flats while the news crews stand by..

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  • Well you lot with cold hearts look at it this way, they’ll be moving into your areas, now have you lot changed your mind?

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  • letthemfall says:

    monty:”The vast majority of Guardian comments are from left-wingers who have never given any thought as to where the money comes from. Their thought process is simply that Call Me Dave is being beastly to housing benefit claimants, therefore support benefit claimants. End of thought process.

    The Left like to see themselves as the guardians of fairness, but as with teachers’ pensions this limited mode of thought ends up with them defending a status quo that is palpably unfair.”

    If you read the comments below Guardian articles, you will see quite a few people who sound off like you about the “left” and “fairness” – for which read prejudice against everyone else who doesn’t “think” like they do.

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  • all i want is for people to live within their means.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    There’s plenty of this sort of bleating, but it’s water off a duck’s back.

    When you mention LVT you get “Oh but what about Poor Widows In Mansions?”

    When you suggest that Housing Benefit is a colossal waste of money you get “Oh but what about the disadvantaged children?”.

    They’ll just have to downsize a bit. I never said that ‘the state’ i.e. all of us shouldn’t look after them, I just said we shouldn’t pay for them to live in nicer places than the bulk of the working population.

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  • But Mark, it’s social and economic cleansing! Every village, town, or local area needs a good mix of people. What is the correct mix? Well the status quo is exactly right – anything which changes that must be bad.

    The government are creating ghettos of poverty. They’re creating a society in which rich people have no contact with the poor and don’t understand their needs. It’s bad enough already – I live in a nice neighbourhood, but the only time I ever interact with a poor person is when I’m travelling by public transport, at work, buying groceries, or doing any of my normal everyday activities. When I’m at home (and not sleeping) there just aren’t enough chavs around. Frankly I resent the fact that my tax money isn’t being used to help promote a fairer and more egalitarian society, one in which cleaners can live in million-pound houses subsidised by the taxpayer.

    It’s simply unjust to cleanse society, to force poor people to live in ghettos of poverty. That’s as bad as what the Nazis did!

    I invoke Godwin’s law.

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  • @Drewster “a society in which rich people have no contact with the poor and don’t understand their needs.”

    Like the left wing heartlands of Hampstead?

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    D: “the only time I ever interact with a poor person is when I’m travelling by public transport, at work, buying groceries, or doing any of my normal everyday activities.”

    Brilliant.

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  • Look at this quote:
    “Around 313 adults aged over 60 are in receipt of housing benefit at levels above the rent caps. Of these, 42 are aged over 80, and 95 are identified as physically frail or suffering from dementia. Some 61 disabled people are affected, including six with a learning disability and 30 with serious and enduring mental health problems.”

    There is a serious point to this. HB was introduced, and the local rental market adapted – mostly to the benefit of the landlords unfortunately – and all was well. Now the Govt has decided it is all too expensive, and inevitably there are people who will suffer very badly, but the thinking (or ignoring) is that they are too few to trouble about.

    The economically strong in this country are really beginning to turn the screw on the rest. The poor are being shoved about more and more, education is likely to become available to fewer (when it is so badly needed), pensions falling in publci cost are being attacked – all in the name of deep cuts to the deficit which was in large part due to a minority that are actually increasing their wealth.

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  • Monty032

    Your comments are rather silly.Westminster is a wealthy area, but there are plenty of young professionals living in rented accommodation.

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  • which ghettos???? they will be moved where people with normal jobs live and you call them ghettos? insane!!

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  • The biggest scandal is that the annual housing benefit bill, currently a massive £21bn, is being paid mainly to BTL landlords. Housing benefit should be scrapped.

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  • letthemfall says:

    I think we need more subtle policies. Scrapping HB removes in theory some income from the landlords, though at present this looks unlikely to happen, whereas vulnerable tenants are crushed. What is the biggest scandal: well off people paying too much tax, or the struggling being placed in an even worse position?

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  • I would suggest half the money saved from scrapping housing benefit – phased in – would be better spent on subsidising housing associations and local councils to build and/or buy more homes to rent, reversing the big Thatcherite sell-off of public housing stock which began in the 1980s. Housing benefit, in my opinion, is akin to the bank bail-outs, effectively it’s a scheme whereby loses are socialised and profits privatised.
    Rather than lining the pockets of the BTL brigade with our taxes, a lot of the money spent on a building programme would help support jobs in the struggling construction industry and beyond as occupiers furnish their new homes.

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  • However you look at this the policy fails on its own terms. Pickles’ report states:

    â–  An estimated £270m saving from the benefits cap will be wiped out by the need to divert resources to help the newly homeless and is likely to “generate a net cost”.

    â–  Half of the 56,000 affordable homes the government expects to be constructed by 2015 will not be built because developers will realise they will not be able to recoup even 80% of market rates from tenants.

    Irrespective of any suggestions made here the government currently seems to have no answer to either problem.

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  • Funny thing is, while the ConDems in national government are targeting the poorer sections of society, in the South Hams, alone, they are – much to the disgust of local Tories and Lib-Dems, allowing second home owners to claim discounts on their council tax worth £700,000….
    http://www.kingsbridge-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=23379&headline=Wealthy second home owners’ council tax discount now tops £700,00″

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  • letthemfall says:

    SK
    The trouble is the changes govt makes are not reversible, in the sense that sequences of events do not play out in reverse exactly as during the introduction. So ham-fisted govts see “a problem”, express it with utmost simplicity, the dumber newspapers leap on it, half the population believes – no progress, a bigger mess than ever.

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  • Bassman7755 says:

    “But Mark, it’s social and economic cleansing! Every village, town, or local area needs a good mix of people”

    Right so we get poor people in poor areas to pay taxes to subsidise other poor people to live in rich areas so that rich people have a token amount of contact with poor people.

    Tell me with a straight face that you really believe that to be a fair system.

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  • LTF… knee-jerk, ill-thought out policy seems to the hallmark of this coalition government – thankfully, some of their daftest ideas have been ditched in the series of U-turns.

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  • How about rent caps? Oh, silly me, I forgot that doesn’t work (bullsh1t) and greedy landlords are actually entrepreneurs(bullsh1t on fire). Like bank robbers, muggers and bankers. This whole country is basically a cheap whore who’ll dance for the highest bidder.

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  • This is a problem created by runaway house prices, which are currently being propped up by record low interest rates and the transfer of billions of pounds each year to buy-to-let landlords via housing benefit – a subsidy from the tax payers that goes straight into their pockets.

    Housing benefit should be phased out, perhaps only allowable for six months for those who have recently lost a job, and interest rates – which are only being kept low to prevent further problems in the banking system – should come back to a realistic level. Only then we’ll see house prices and rents come back to levels that median (not average because that’s distorted by high earners) wage earners can realistically afford.

    Low house prices and rents – while they might cause a problem for some of the banks who have lent stupid money on assets they thought would only rise – would benefit the economy enormously, as it would free up cash to spent on goods and services rather than servicing debts, your own or your landlord’s.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    SK @ 17, wrong, only about a third of the £21 bn is paid to “private” landlords (many of whom own ex-council houses, to add insult to injury).

    The other £14 bn is merely a bookkeeping entry, i.e. the DWP counts it as expense and local councils (or housing associations) count it as income. It is merely a transfer between two branches of government and of no direct concern to the taxpayer.

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  • Don’t remember those Champagne socialists complaining when people in Devon and Cornwall were having their communities destroyed by second home owners from the City .

    Suppose only people in cities count for them .

    The Guardianista’s solution is to make benefits more generous in order to keep people totally dependent upon the state when what is actually needed is more and better paid jobs to give people independence and self respect – two things Guardianista’s despise the poor having .

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