Last week the government finally laid the new regulations to impose the 23% reduction in the Benefit Cap levels and confirmed it is to start on 7 November 2016. So in 7 short weeks time the numbers of homeless children will increase from the current outrage of 100,000 to at least 500,000 and probably closer to 700,000.
Also last week the same DWP issued the LHA maxima cap statement that will ensure that homeless provision will not be fully funded through Housing Benefit.
Tory Housing Benefit policy is thus to create a huge increase in homelessness with the Benefit Cap and to cut the funding for homeless provision with the LHA maxima cap at one and the same time.
No job no home … and nowhere to live when you’re evicted too!…
… outside of the dingiest wholly unsuitable overcrowded private sector B&B for which the local taxpayer will be paying a fortune to the modern-day Peter Rachman type landlords.
Work will always pay more says Damian Green the new minister at the DWP reciting that mantra on this morning’s Marr show and conveniently forgetting to tell us that almost 60% of those hit by the current Benefit Cap are lone parents who pre-school age children and not expected to work; and also that the current benefit-capped households contain more in receipt of ESA which replaced the more aptly named Incapacity Benefit than those in receipt of JSA (ie dole) and so they are mostly unable to work…
… and working is the only way to escape the Benefit Cap impact or huge immediate arrears to inevitable eviction to homelessness to the dingy private sector B&B.
It should come as no surprise that reducing the Benefit Cap level was also in the Labour Party’s 2015 general election manifesto (page 47) as their history of challenge to any ‘welfare’ issue from 2010 onwards was a catalogue of no opposition at all.
The Labour Party from 2010 to the resignation of Miliband were shit-scared to oppose any Tory ‘welfare’ policy in case they were seen as the party OF welfare.
The Benefit Cap reduction policy shows this and especially as they wholly abandoned anyone not in employment and that of course includes those unable to work due to a disability and those not expected to work such as those with pre-school age children.
Those unable to work and those not expected to work comprise the rump of what the Tories and disgracefully Labour also call simply and offensively as the workless
Every time I see this picture which aptly sums up the Labour Party from 2010 onwards and the Labour Party that the PLP and the NEC want to go back to I despair. It is pure unadulterated Thatcherite I’m Alright Jack, Fuck You policy and reveals just how far to the right the Labour Party lurched under Blair.
I don’t vote Labour or at all as I despair at the wholly undemocratic party system we have in the UK and recent events have seen today’s Labour Party banning free speech and having a much worse than McCarthyite witch hunt against anyone who even uses the word Blairite! I despair not for the sake of the Labour Party but for the sake of democracy and for the sake of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition.
A Labour Party member is denied free speech by the NEC yet the same NEC allows abuse towards its own democratically elected leader but not former ones! The NEC may as well have their offices in Pyongyang.
The abject lack of any challenge to any ‘welfare’ policy by Her Majesty’s Official Opposition has ALLOWED these policies to be implemented. Even worse is that if you have a shred of humanity and are opposed to half a million children being evicted and made homeless you are a Trotskyite or a Corbynista or some other such bollocks of a meaningless label.
Disagree with the PLP and the NEC policy of let those on ‘welfare’ wither and die and you are a dangerous leftist subversive or a Dystopian scaremonger. The Labour Party of today says you must be a member of a cult if you think you should oppose half a million children being made homeless!
Any so-called democracy which has no difference of policy between its opposition party and a radically ideological government is not democratic. Yet that is what we have had from Labour since they became the official opposition in 2010, a policy of not challenging ‘welfare’ (and even allowing that crass Americanism to become acceptable language is bad enough!)
The Labour Party of the NEC and PLP is a tyrannical ancien regime desperate to hold on to its Blairite past and the delusion that returning to Blairism equates to winning power. Does anyone seriously think that if the NEC imposed Blair as it leader (or even contrived a vote that he won) that Labour would be electable?
Yet that absurd delusion is the line of the NEC and PLP ancien regime as it is the only one they have to escape the huge criticism of what the Labour Party and Her Majesty’s Official Opposition has become – a totally unelectable non-entity that no voter has a clue what they stand for. They have no identity or brand (and are bemused why many of their ‘core’ voters ticked the UKIP box!)
This is the same NEC and PLP that said Miliband lost because Labour moved left! If they did move left it was an inch left and after Blair took the party 8 miles to the right.
The Labour Party of today is we built 3 more social housing properties than the Tories (when both built 100,000 too few every year) and we agreed one less PFI hospital than the Tories when both have allowed and advocated greater privatisation of the NHS and believed that austerity was a necessity and not a choice. There is a cigarette paper difference between Labour and Tory policy and all the nuanced differences could be written on a single cigarette paper!
These political non differences really become an issue when policies such as the Benefit Cap that will make a minimum 400,000 more children homeless are not opposed and in fact is supported still by the Labour Party.
Corbyn (or Smith) has not come out against the Benefit Cap policy and so much for him being a left-wing unelectable bogey man! In fact as I reported when Corbyn came out with his 10 pledges a month or so ago not one of them was to do with ‘welfare’ at all and he is also avoiding this area like the plague as the party has done since being in opposition!
The Rachel Reeves policy of let all those not in work fend for themselves is still very much the policy of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition. The policy of policy by opinion poll as the Benefit Cap still apparently enjoys a 72% approval rating as the public do not know it will make half a million children homeless because no politician has had the balls to tell them!
Yet when I try to do this as I have been doing for the last 4 years with the Benefit Cap the Tories and the shit-scared ancien regime simply label me as Dystopian or as a scaremonger. Despite all the evidence that proves this will happen and inevitably so perhaps Michael Gove was right as those pesky little things called facts and numbers and reasoned analysis nobody believes or wants any more, its only what the electorate wants to believe. How Blairite is that!
UPDATE – To those who say Corbyn is against the Benefit Cap