Inside Housing, a popular social housing website, has this week launched its “What’s the Benefit?” campaign against the Conservative-Liberals headline-chasing proposals to cut the housing benefit bill. This comes as several charities estimate that the government’s proposals will likely lead to millions facing “an even bigger challenge in keeping a roof over their heads.”
The government plans to impose an arbitrary cap on the amount paid to housing benefit claimants right across the board. The result, say opposition MPs, will be “social cleansing” of poorer tenants from richer areas.
Others measures include slashing unemployed people’s housing benefit by ten per cent after twelve months, a move supposedly designed to “make work pay”. According to the National Housing Federation this will lead to a cut in real terms of up to 50 per cent in disposable income for a “significant proportion” of England’s 4.7 million housing benefit claimants.”
An unemployed person challenged LibDem minister Michael Moore on last Thursday’s BBC Question Time over the likely effects of these planned spending cuts, saying that they would lead to her being made homeless. He responded that “everyone will have to make some contribution to getting the country right.”
Nobody Likes a Tory gives its full backing to the “What’s the Benefit?” campaign. As Ken Livingstone says: “We must stand together to prevent deepening divisions between the rich and poor. Government policy should encourage the development of mixed communities, not create the ghettos which scar many other cities around the world.”
You can find out more about the campaign here.