Long piece in The Guardian which doesn\’t really do the campaign against the housing benefit cap any favours:
Mick Beirne, a tenancy relations officer with the council, acknowledged that parents were \”very anxious\” and said his department was expected to be very busy for the next two years. The longer-term effect of the benefit would be a migration of families to parts of the capital that were more affordable, he said, and the profile of this part of London would inevitably change. \”If people who are poor and cannot afford to live here move out, their places, their homes will be filled by people who can afford to pay the rents,\” he said.
Then we\’ve the examples of those directly affected by the cuts.
Until November, Amira, 39, was renting a flat near Edgware Road for £812 a week, with her four children. She is not currently working because her youngest child, aged one, is unwell and receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street hospital, and her rent was met in full by housing benefit payments.
That\’s, umm, £44,224 a year. People working part time on minimum wage should pay income tax for this?
The council offered to rehouse the family in Dagenham, on the eastern outskirts of London, but because this would have meant moving three children into new schools, Amira refused the offer.
To make £44 k a year post tax you\’d actually have to have an income well up there in the top 5% (top 10% starts at about £45 k pre tax I think). Who seriously thinks that someone not working should be subsidised by everyone else to that level?
A few miles away in Camden, Jo Stoakes has been living in an emergency hostel with her three children since she was evicted from her basement flat by her landlord last October, when it became clear that housing benefit reductions meant she would no longer be able to afford the rent. She was paying £525 a week, but the housing benefit, after the cap, would have paid only £340, and she was unable to make up the difference.
That old HB bill, to make that pre-tax, let alone post -tax, you\’d have to be making more than the median wage for the country.
The family was offered alternative accommodation, seven miles away in Enfield, on the north-eastern edge of London, but refused it, because it would have meant moving both younger children into new schools, at a particularly critical time in her teenager\’s education.
Exiled to Enfield, eh? What cheapskate buggers we taxpayers are to be sure.
Azhar, 44, who lives with her four children in a tower block off Edgware Road, is currently paying £750 a week rent. Once the cap is applied to her claim this month, she will need to persuade the landlord to lower his rent to £400, or move out.
£39,000 a year. You\’d have to be in the top 10% of all households by income to be able to pay that rent. That\’s without having anything left over for food, clothes, anything at all actually.
I seriously doubt that the average taxpayer is going to weep bitter tears over these tales.