I have been saying the overall benefit cap is the worst of the welfare reforms and few have listened. A quick search on this site reveals over 60 posts about this heinous policy since 2011 with most of them full of data and informative yet some where I rant and spew forth bile.
I get irate not just angry about the overall (housing) benefit cap because it severely impairs the life chances of children and in the first full year of the reduced cap it will see – note not if but WILL see – hundreds of thousands of children being evicted and made homeless.
This is inevitable.
Children will be evicted by private landlords and by social landlords – the same social landlords who told me three years ago when I presented the impact of the cap to them that they will always house the most vulnerable. They won’t and can’t
I predicted here a few weeks ago after some very complex and involved number crunching that a minimum of 164,000 families and a maximum of 246,000 – 20% either side of 205,000 households will be evicted and made homeless in the first year of the cap reducing to £440 per week and these households will include between 600,000 and 900,000 children.
Late last week the Family Resources Survey for 2013/14 was released and suggests that this 164,000 households containing 600,000 is an underestimate and the FRS for example tells us welfare benefit receipt by tenure, so how many social tenants for example receive DLA and are exempt but also how many do not receive it and the cap will apply.
This is CHILDREN being evicted and made homeless, CHILDREN.
Today sees the Daily Mirror with an article by John Healey saying this will cost £1.5 billion more than it saves and my last figures also included a £2.68 billion transfer of cost from central to local government.
Yet that is just money in comparison to the life chances of CHILDREN being ruined by homelessness.
Today sees an Inside Housing article that the housing regulator will conduct an investigation into how the reduced cap affects landlords.
Yet that is just money to one player in this offensive game in comparison to the life chances of CHILDREN being ruined by homelessness
Today sees a House of Commons Briefing Report on the benefit cap reduction dated 29 June 2015 with source upon source of frankly inconsequential and incompetent statements of politicians and the odd reference to a housing association.
Yet that is just background waffle and it makes no projection or comment as to how many household adults will be evicted never mind CHILDREN whose lives will be ruined by homelessness.
With the exception of any discussion or report from local government lobbies who never comment on such matters all the political and housing and electoral aspects of this heinous policy are finally getting discussed – all except the ruination of the life chances of at least 600,000 CHILDREN in the first full year.
To put that into context Christmas 2014 saw Shelter run a major awareness campaign which said it was outrageous that 93,000 children were homeless at Christmas 2014. The first full year of the overall (housing) benefit cap reduction will sextuple that number, increase it six fold.
This is CHILDREN we are discussing as ‘collateral damage’
This is CHILDREN who are being punished for the alleged ‘sins’ of their parent(s)
Why does nobody see the abject horrors this policy holds and inevitably gives? Why are we, the general public, not up in arms over this? Where the hell is the political opposition to this?
The House of Commons Research Report above cites Lord Freud telling the House of Lords on the 23rd January 2012 (note the date) that:
…a YouGov survey that found that 76 per cent of the public are in favour of the benefits cap. The overwhelming majority of people think there should be a limit to the amount of benefit those out of work can receive.
The public have been hoodwinked and deliberately so by the Conservatives over the benefit cap and have been told that a cap will cut the cost of welfare benefits which seems and obvious impact of a cap. Yet as I reported back in February 2015 the cap actually costs more, some £440 million more in my figures and the IFS think tank say it is over £1 billion per year more (see end)
Yet back in 2011 the DWP Ministers including Freud and IDS and also Cameron himself were told by Pickles that the benefit cap would cost more in what has become known as the Pickles letter which was leaked to the Guardian. Here is a small extract of that letter from Pickles private secretary to Cameron’s private secretary:
Firstly we are concerned that the savings from this measure, currently estimated ay £270m savings p.a from 2014-2015 does not take account of the additional costs to local authorities (through homelessness and temporary accommodation). In fact we think it is likely that the policy as it stands will generate a net cost.
So no wriggle room there for misinterpretation. At some time before July 2011 the Conservatives knew at the highest levels that the benefit cap was going to cost more which was borne out in the official figures and it does cost more.
The reduction in the cap limit will cost even more and the eviction of 600,000 CHILDREN, making on average 50,000 CHILDREN per month homeless is merely about the Conservatives saving face and not being able to admit they were wrong.
Let’s make 50,000 CHILDREN homeless a month even though we know it doesn’t save a penny and costs more! This is IDS all over.
He is a blag merchant and incompetent chancer who has developed politically engineered policy with no evidence base on the bag of a fag packet. Now that his own departments figures prove he was wrong and his civil servants and I and the rest were right IDS does the usual trick of the incompetent blag merchant when discovered – he expands the programme to hide the true horrors by attempting to bury them.
That does not excuse the Labour Party who are Her Majesty’s Official Opposition and who also support the benefit cap and its reduction and even put this in their manifesto. They are just as incompetent as the Conservatives on this and just as complicit.
They Labour Party know all about the Pickles Letter from 2011 and will have seen the IFS figures which said it cost £1 billion more yet they still support the benefit cap and its reduction and have not sought to make any political capital out of this at all.
The Labour Party supports 600,000 CHILDREN being made homeless
If the Daily Mail want to use the above as a banner headline please go ahead. If the similarly right wing BBC want to use it as a headline, then please go ahead – both have run far more tenuous headlines
Even my reference above to John Healey Labour MP and former Housing Minister in today’s Daily Mirror was not about CHILDREN being made homeless but about the additional cost of housing benefit at £1.5 billion per year
In fact the Daily Mirror can also freely use the headline too
The Labour Party supports 600,000 CHILDREN being made homeless
One of the problems with the media is its overt right wing bias and so the headline that LABOUR supports children being made homeless has a far greater chance of greater awareness than saying the Conservatives support it. It is Conservative policy yet Labour are still spineless and scared of being labelled the party OF welfare today as they were before the general election.
I frankly don’t give a shit about any political party as they are all the same – an informed view from my first degree which is in Politics – and there is but a cigarette papers width between Labour and the Conservatives on social policy.
CHILDREN should be seen and not heard and deserve to be made homeless sees the social policy of ‘austerity’ – the British political mainstream of both major parties – go way beyond Thatcher’s Victorian Values
I do however give a shit about a minimum 600,000 CHILDREN having their life chances ruined by an incompetent government and a spineless opposition and all in the first year alone of the overall (housing) benefit cap reduction.
Shhhhh don’t tell anyone…