Housing: Misery beckons on the home front | Editorial | Comment is free | The Guardian

Housing: Misery beckons on the home front | Guardian Editorial: "It was the gambling of the rich that busted the banks, but by some genius of plutocratic contrivance it is now the poor and the public servants who are paying the price."

nefit cap Housing beplan will backfire, ministers told | Society | The Guardian

Housing benefit cap plan will backfire, ministers told

And indeed it will - this is a textbook example of how politicians put forward policy when they haven't even begun to think anything through properly. I can imagine how this happened - they got into power - saw the spreadsheets on how huge the Housing Benefit had grown - and thought 'oh we can cut that'. I imagine they thought they could get away with it too - thinking 'oh, people on benefits don't vote for us, and once we leak a few figures the Daily Mail will give us some juicy headlines.' End of line of thought.

Of course they've settled on the easy option of blaming the victim - they always do. The real way to have dealt with the run-a-way housing budget was to start looking at the rental market for housing. The prices *have* grown insane over the past decade - and allowed to run out of control along with the housing bubble that has now been deflated a bit. [There's also a big part of the market where buy-to-let owners have moved in (often as a way of proving an income or a pension - AND expected the renter to pay a large part of the mortgage as part of the rent to boot. The result being high rents.) Then there's the issue that the building of new developments and especially affordable housing over the past decade or more has been woeful - so that scarcity also has led to house prices being kept high.

These are difficult issues to tackle - and putting arbitrary caps on housing benefit and forcing people into searching for cheaper accommodation (and after a year when another 10% cut in HB takes place - having to move again? and the year after that... and the year after that?) isn't a good way of going about things.

Housing should be seen as a basic human right - and it should be kept affordable.
Years ago I remember moaning repeatedly that post-Thatcher since the UK doesn't make anything much to sell the world any more (we've let globalisation move that sort of thing to China - India -etc.) we've become obsessed with buying and selling property as one of the few ways to make any money. Now like the Banking crisis - it's all unravelling.

what's this? Boris Johnson standing up for the poorer Londoners?

I mean - it's like he's doing something that he was elected for. That's unheard of - shouldn't he be doing what most politicians do? Get into sex scandals and be caught taking backhanders and claiming outrageous expenses or something?

Blimey. Good on Boris.

Now can some Lib Dems start to - you know - do what they said they were there for -and start curbing those mad-dog rabid Tories before they start destroying everything?

Boris Johnson backs down over 'Kosovo' comments on housing benefit cuts

Housing Benefit?

Oh NOW there's questions and a fuss being made in Parliament about the upcoming cuts and changes in Housing Benefit.

With *gasps* even a few Tory and Lib Dem backbenchers expressing concerns - concerns which Cameron blithely brushes off - because he so firmly believes the magic fairies of Privatisation will bring forth thousands upon thousands of jobs out of thin air to solve all the countries woes. Over night. Well, he would wouldn't he? I mean his whole life has been led in cosseted luxury - so he has no idea how harsh and grim the majority of people's lives actually are. He has not even a clue of a clue.

Of course the Govt. is right to be bothered about the huge Housing Benefit bill - but that's because erm, there are an awful lot of unemployed people around (and with the Govt. about to sack a few thousand more Council workers - who - will yes, end up having to claim JSA and Housing Benefit. That's on top of the many low paid workers who have to claim HB because they can't afford to live otherwise. I mean - that I would have thought have been a case for rent controls and for raising the minimum wage to be more of a liveable wage - but these things are expressively against Tory ideology.

[I won't mention the fact that there's been decades of not building enough new affordable housing - and the house price bubble that was allowed to grow and grow and grow and grow - because it made everyone feel richer and they could the ever raising prices to raise credit...]

As for the arbitrary and mean-spirited trick of cutting NB by 10% after you're been unemployed after 12 months - that's just sick. I wouldn't be surprised if they've also got their moronic 'work for your benefits' scheme in place by then... meaning people will be working full time for a LOT less than minimum wage with the added extra threat of eviction over their heads because they won't be able to meet their rent. It'll be the next best thing to state sponsored slavery. No doubt by then we'll have Clegg leaping in to wring his hands and proclaim how it was such a difficult decision to make but how it's ultimately fair, and that we're all in it together. Honest. You can believe me, ol' honest Clegg.

Put me in that position - I think I'd eventually go and kill the chairman of whatever private company the Tory Govt. will have hired (one of their mates no doubt) to run the scheme - well, why not? By then what will I have to lose? At least in prison I'd be fed three times a day and have a roof over my head. That would be a step up from destitution and homelessness - and I'll have performed a much-needed public service to boot.

Seriously though - this is exactly the sort of small-minded, non-joined-up thinking I expect of Tories.

a pot pourri of stealth cuts?

Faisal Islam on Economics - Spending review: a pot pourri of stealth cuts?:
"Even if George Osborne is doing unambiguously the right thing, he has not got the mandate to act in a variety of areas where his axe has fallen. I spent most of the election campaign following the minutiae of his policy announcements, and not one jot about housing benefit or train fares, for example, which have seen huge moves.

The mandate for cuts like this can not be assumed from the election result. It needs to be won. And more clarity, transparency, and honesty than we got yesterday, would help."



Which is just more proof the cuts are all a smokescreen for the Tories pushing through an idealogical agenda they had in mind from the get-go, but took pains to hide from the public during the election campaign knowing it would not get them elected. Hell, what they did push as promises didn't get them elected either.

So where are the Lib Dems in all of this? (Wish we had some footage of Clegg's face as the cuts were being announced - was he hooting and braying at the announcement of the loss of thousands of public sector jobs as the rest of the Tories back-bencher's were?) Are they really going to nod through all of this and make themselves unelectable for another near century or more? Because the time to stand up is now. Not further down the road when the riots start once the effects of these measures really start to bite.

For the Conservatives, this is not a financial crisis but a long-awaited opportunity | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

"We've been staring at the wrong list. In an effort to guess what will hit us tomorrow, we've been trying to understand the first phase of the British government's assault on the public sector: its bonfire of the quangos. Almost all the public bodies charged with protecting the environment, animal welfare and consumers have been either hobbled or killed. But that's only half the story. Look again, and this time make a list of the quangos which survived."

For the Conservatives, this is not a financial crisis but a long-awaited opportunity | George Monbiot

Social housing budget 'to be cut in half'


This is seriously demented. Where are these areas of the country that have these masses of new jobs that these people are supposed to be able to move to? If they could even afford to move...

BBC News - Social housing budget 'to be cut in half'

Rail fare increases of 30 to 40%

Holy honking crap!

This is obscene. Train fares are already ridiculously high - and the service is decidely shoddy - and if we're remotely serious about reducing carbon emissions we should be doing everything possible to improve the train stock, make the service more reliable, more pleasant and easier to use in order to lure a lot more people out of their cars. But here we are again - stupid money grubbing Tories - obsessed with car ownership (they sure love all the extra money they can milk out of motorists) - unable to see the future consequences of their proposals.

I.E. If fares go up that much how care people going to afford it? There's already people taking pay cuts and pay freezes - if they need to get to work they'll have to start asking for wage rises... and if employers have to meet those rises because they need their staff coming into work (although a few might make do with less staff and that'll only increase unemployment) they'll have to raise the costs of their goods/services to their customers - which will come on top of the new VAT rise... and that'll depress demand even more...

You see where I'm going with this.

And erm... when the cap on housing benefit comes into play and people on low wages have to move out of their current homes in a search of cheaper accommodation - and have to travel in to their job only to find they're having to shell out even more in fares...

We're looking at a system that's already straining to cope now going into meltdown.

Faisal Islam on Economics - Rail fare increases of 30 to 40 per cent

University fees: Students' and parents' views

Anything to do with university fees and loans makes me see red. I firmly believe this is something the State should be funding, and should be pleased to see it as an investment in the country's own people and it's own future.

Doesn't anyone else see the total absurdity of asking students to pay for their education when they're not in work earning money? So here they are being forced to take on loans and debts on the premise that they're possibly able to pay it back later when they've got a job... but now all that's in doubt - what with SO many graduates now all out there looking for jobs... and having a degree has been devalued as a consequence. So many kids might have been better off not going to University - taken a low paid job and they'll have had a three year advancement on their peers - who'll looking to get those same jobs out of desperation now.

No one saw that this was coming? Really? (Actually that doesn't surprise me - no one the credit crunch coming - no one saw the bankers were out of control and heading for disaster... etc. Whacking great icebergs bearing down on us and those in control were having such a great time they chose to pretend it wasn't ever going to happen.)

University fees: Students' and parents' views

Incapacity benefit claimants reassessed

I do wish they'd stop trying to spin this as being anything other than a cynical exercise to save the government some money. It's only going to make a lot of people's lives more miserable than they are already. Condemning many to extreme poverty - followed by retarded part Government/part private funded scheme after scheme after scheme to 'help get them back into work' (that if the Government isn't going to start doing something about - is never going to happen). We've seen it all before. We're about to see it again.

Meanwhile the likes of the Daily Mail will be churning out article after article with scaremongering stories how all benefit claimants are living lives of luxury watching Jeremy Kyle on their 50" plasma TV sets while laughing at those mugs who go to work everyday.

We really are a country that's getting nastier and more mean spirited by the day.

BBC News - Incapacity benefit claimants reassessed

Here is the Daily Mail take on the same news - and the 500+ comments are just - for the main part depressing. Look at the type of people who support the Tories - I mean just look at them. So much spitefulness, hate, ignorance, inhumanity.

Vince ditches graduate tax option

Is anyone keeping score on how many manifesto promises the Lid Dems have broken so far? I don't know why they just join the Tory party now and have done with it. Let the original Lib Dem go off on it's own.

BBC News - Vince Cable ditches graduate tax option for England

Duncan Smith universal benefit deal

Duncan Smith universal benefit deal could cut £9billion - Channel4 News

I'm waiting to see the details on this but I have undefined good feeling about DS

lovely headline

"Right-wing dogma has had its day"

Wish that it were true. It should be evident to every last person that the past 30 year neo-liberalist agenda has been as crashing failure - but they've still re-arranging the seats on the Titanic hoping things will soon return to (ab)normal.

ya think so?

Global unemployment to trigger further social unrest

The world is run by a small bunch of frickin' idiots. Insanely greedy idiots. It was obvious the way the banks were behaving that it wasn't going to end well. It was obvious house prices in the UK weren't going to keep on rising forever - it should be obvious the Western countries need to get off the oil teat as soon as possible. And now with people being driven to mass unemployment and poverty all to bail out the bankers and a failing crony capitalist system - it's come as a great surprise they're not going to be happy about it? Dur.