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.