Monday, 25 June 2012

Is It Just Me: Who Thinks Cutting Rent Support is Not The Answer?

I am literally rubbing my eyes in disbelief at this one readers.

The latest Cameron wonder plan for saving the UK from it's massive debt is to cut Housing Benefit.

This is nothing new, and Cameron has announced plans before to cut rates, especially for those in London, I believe (and correct me if this is wrong) so the limit for benefit will be £500 per week. I'm not totally against this in principal, I do agree that some rents are extortionate and that inevitably some con the system (we've all heard stories of certain people claiming for houses worth £1.2 million), but that said, I do believe more effort should be made to fund affordable, old style "Council" Housing where the rents are far more controlled.

The next part of the cuts, announced at the weekend, are to scrap Housing Benefit for under 25s.

Erm, no, that's not fair at all!

At this point, bear in mind that not everyone who receives Housing Benefit is the government styled "layabout scrounger", the cap wearing, beer drinking Jeremy Kyle show loser that they'd like us to have in the forefront of our minds whenever the subject of benefits come up.

Anyone on low income can apply for Housing Benefit, some use it to top up their modest wage when they are privately renting and cannot afford to buy their own home and/or don't get very far on the Council waiting lists.

To penalise this bracket, already struggling to find work and affordable housing in the UK, who for the most part are not the cause of the banking crisis as they've never had a mortgage or credit card is unjustified.

Of course, Mr Cameron feels its completely acceptable as it will save the "public purse" £2 billion a year. But the Public Purse isn't that public, we rarely get a say in what this money is spent on, and the majority of us probably agree it's not spent wisely and hasn't been for some time.

When I was 17, for my own reasons, I left home. If this rule was in force at that time, I would have been homeless. Some young people cannot go home, either due to arguments or worse, abuse, so to voice the reasoning that the under 25s should shut up and stay living with their parents is ridiculous and in some cases unmanageable.

The first home I lived in was assisted living, for teens who had only just left home, and I had a small room with shared bath, kitchen and living facilities. I lived with a whole range of fellow teens, all with their own issues, but one sticks in my head more than most.

The oldest resident, and perhaps the most vocal on issues was K. She was lovely, pretty, and ballsy. However, after an atrociously bad upbringing by a junkie sex worker Mother and her line up of "step dads", K had felt that if she didn't run away, she would die. Her Mother got her hooked on Heroin at 13, she never went to school, and was abused by at least two of her Mum's pimps. 

If there was no help for K and many like her, what would they do? What would become of them? State Care Homes or Children's Homes don't house those the same age as K or the others housed where I was. They can't go home to their parents, so what's next? A cardboard box on the street?

I really hope this silly and ill thought out idea comes to nothing more than headlines, and that the Conservatives are out voted on it.

Else wise I can see many more sorry shop doorway dwellers in a matter of months.


  1. Very sobering. I can (somewhere, very deeply buried....) see the principal, but as you say, there are so many variables that it beggars belief. If you can weed out the genuine scroungers, fine, penalise them somehow. But for the thousands of people who claim for very good reasons, and if they could would probably rather not, it could be disasterous. I think Cameron and co sometimes (frequently) forget what a vast part of the population live like: nothing like their own upbringings. And what about the parents who will expected to house this group?
    It worries me that far more dismantling a culture of entitlement, it is creating a culture of dependence with little incentive to achieve. It seems sometimes that the wrong age groups are being made to grown up too fast and those that should know better are being given a safety net.

  2. Hi, this is the first time I've been here. I generally agree with you. However, I would go further and say it is incredibly worrying that this government likes to assume and tell everyone that those claiming benefits are lazy scroungers. There are many people including sick and disabled people who are experiencing huge cuts to benefits and services under this government, with very little assessment of the impact on the economy of these cuts. There is a huge amount of rhetoric in the media about benefit scroungers, which is very damaging to the vast majority who claim benefits legally and because they have no other option. Surely if they want to challenge a culture of entitlement they need to look into ways of providing opportunities for jobs and, as you say, for cheaper and more affordable social housing. In times of economic hardship it just doesn't seem to make sense to cut support and tell people to find jobs when there are very few around. OK - rant over. lets hope this government wakes up and smells the coffee sometime soon!

  3. I came across this post and I most definitely agree with you. The other day I logged into my facebook and 1 of my friends was ranting about 'lazy buggers' on benefits. I had to say something to her as I am tiered of being labeled as being lazy because I find myself in an unfortunate situation. People need to stop reading the tabloids! Come and check out my blog if you have the time :) xx

  4. My first time here too! I have to say I totally agree with you. I think the government should spend less on warfare and bailing out the banks and give benefits to those who need them. If we scrap benefits people would become homeless and die and I would rather live in a society where that doesn't happen. Personally I think people need to stop believing what they are told in tabloids and think about it themselves. Anyway that's just my opinion :) Feel free to check out my blog too if you have time x


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