Leaked Letter Reveals Tory Welfare Reform Madness: 40,000 More Homeless Families, and An Increase in Cost

Britain’s incompetent coalition government has just hit a new low. In a leaked letter to David Cameron from the office of Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the ruinous impact of the government’s decision to cap benefits at £500 a week per family (essentially capping housing benefit at £400 a week) is exposed. Pickles, via his private secretary Nico Heslop, told the Prime Minister in no uncertain terms that 40,000 families will be made homeless by the government’s savage welfare reforms, and that the 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,'” as the Guardian explained.

The limit on housing benefit was a key plank of Cameron’s manipulation of the electorate last year, with the unemployed portrayed as workshy scroungers, and housing benefit portrayed as something that is a result of their greed, rather than of  landlords setting rents that are either unnecessarily high or an unfortunate response to an overheated property market. The proposals alarmed those involved in housing and welfare, although in polls the public decided to support Cameron and his vile politics of envy, in which he pushed the notion that it was unacceptable for the unemployed to live in houses that those in work were unable to afford.

I lamented all of these developments in my articles last year, Critics Attack UK Government’s Cruel and Ill-Conceived Assault on Welfare and On Housing Benefit Cuts, British Public Reveals Shocking Lack of Empathy and Compassion, in which I also noted that, according to independent research commissioned by Shelter from the Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research at the University of Cambridge, an estimated 134,000 households “will either be evicted or forced to move when the cuts come in next year as they will be unable to negotiate cheaper rents.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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