Housing chief attacks Cameron's welfare speech
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
Housing chief attacks government welfare changes
Stafford and Rural Homes chief executive Karen Armitage criticises the prime minister's latest thinking on welfare reform.
The latest thinking outlined by the prime minister on control of a benefit culture is sadly lacking in facts and another piece of ‘thinking out loud’ to tackle a problem.
In tackling the problem of a ‘culture of benefit dependency’ ministers are supported as it is true that the country has become largely benefit dependent and that work is something that isn’t always available or well paid enough to enable a person to support themselves.
What isn’t true at all is that all people on housing benefit in the main are lazy and workshy.
Welfare reform has focused on increasing non-dependant charges to reduce housing benefit i.e. parents who keep their children at home will face significant reductions in benefit for having a ‘non dependent in the household’.
If they are unfortunate enough to have just one child and they are a couple living in a three-bedroom house with a grown up child they will also face a bedroom tax for ‘under occupation’.
The incentives for families to ‘look after their own’ in the ‘fundamental rethink’ in this country means you are penalised if you do and you are penalised if you don’t.
The Government has reduced working tax credits making low paid families poor and they are reducing the ability to claim housing benefit to the low paid as well as the ‘workshy’ also making people poorer.
The need to tackle a ‘culture’ of any sort as many business leaders understand takes time and effort – time to adjust, time to find alternatives and time to protect those who need protection. Not the wielding of an axe to see where it might fall regardless of the unintended consequences.