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Monday, 15 April 2013

Benefit cap, will it help people back into work as tories say it will ?

The Tories new benefit cap comes into affect today in several London Boroughs as a test before it’s rolled out across the whole of the country. e cap, being introduced in four London boroughs – Croydon, Bromley, Haringey and Enfield – will see couples and single parents receive no more than £500 a week in benefits. The limit for single people is £350, although there are some exemptions. National implementation of the cap will begin in July, and the policy is scheduled to come fully into force by the end of September. The cap is being brought in to cut spending and to bring benefits payments into line with average income. The aim is to get people back into work but I highly doubt it will do. If anything it will exasperate the housing crisis and harm those it’s meant to help. There is something that many in the media still do not understand there are just not the jobs out there for people to take. If there was don’t you think they’d take them given the amount of benefits they can get which is as we know now £53 a week which Iain Duncan Smith was challenged to try and live on? He has since shut up on that point. The benefit cap has been hailed as the answer to our so called benefits crisis and both labour and Tories support a benefit cap labour only differ by which cap it is and unsurprisingly they won’t give details on what they’d do. We suspect it’d be very similar to the Tories. In fact it’s not meant to help people at all its designed to set employed against the unemployed and so on. Its set to deepen divisions in communities as the suspicion of who is getting what heightens further due to this cap. The stigma around benefits increases and the government are being aided by their friends in the capitalist press who are playing the strivers and shirkers card hugely to ram home the minority of people frauding the system is lots of people. In fact benefit fraud in the UK is less than 1%. The government says those who rely on benefits should not have incomes above the national median. But things are rarely as simple as suggested by the coalition. Government is making £18bn of social security cuts on the back of a handful of high-profile cases splashed across the tabloids – typically showing large families living in opulent surroundings at taxpayers' expense. These exceptional cases will be dwarfed by the million families losing out. Families will be severely disadvantaged, some almost £400 a week worse off. People desperate to stay in their local area will have to downsize, making households overcrowded, or move into poorer quality accommodation. There will undoubtedly be a knock-on effect on other services, and children will be forced to move schools. Quite clearly we are in the midst of a huge housing crisis with over 5 million now on the housing waiting list with most forced into over crowded private rental accomadation. This is often sub standard and ridiculously expensive. A socialist government would instantly look to unroll a programme of a mass affordable homes building project while looking to cap private rents at an affordable level. We used to have rent capping at a fair rate why is this noteven gettinga echo today in 2013 ? It is due to the fact that all major political partiesnow see no alternative to the market system and have fell back on the market for so long they cannot see further than their nose. The socialist party and formally Militant has always called for rent caps not benefit caps. Buildign new affordable homes is just one part of a solution it is not everything though providing good well paid work for peopl is another. There is no shortage of things we need but for as long as we put up with a system based on profit first and whether something can make profit is the measure of whether something gets done or not we will not get the things we so badly need.

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