Posted by: iangilbert | February 7, 2012

Tony’s take on the benefits cap

I thought I’d get back to blogging to take issue with Tony Cox over his remarks about the housing benefit cap.

Personally I’m more inclined to believe Shelter about what the real results of the government’s welfare ‘reforms’ will be:

£26,000 is a lot of money, and I can quite understand why people would be horrified that people could be taking that much in state benefits. In that respect it’s smart politics from David Cameron. However, Tony Cox picks on Ed Miliband – he neglects to criticise Tory mayor Boris Johnson who said that the benefit cap would result in ‘Kosovo style ethnic cleansing.’

The fact is that benefit cap in itself makes no direct difference in places like Southend – no one gets that sort of money in benefits. What it does mean is that the poor, unemployed (of which Tony Cox’s government are making more and more) etc will not be able to afford to live in central London. This is why Labour is calling for a regional cap that takes account of the local price level.

Tony may believe that the unemployed shouldn’t be able to live in central London, and anyone losing their job their should be forced out, regardless of their children’s schooling, family ties or anything else.

However, people have to go somewhere. Southend Council’s officers are concerned about the impact this could have on places like Southend. Tony should be as well.



  1. Also, what people seem to forget is that people who earn are still entitled to benefits. suggests that households with an income of up to around £46,000 and in rare cases of up to £70,000 could be entitled to benefits of one kind or another. It’s a complete myth that working families are not supported and that those unemployed and on benefits are getting a better deal than those in work. It is not only the poor unemployed, but also the working poor, for whom benefits form a vital bridge between earned income and the costs of living, that will be affected.

    The benefits cap will do exactly what it is designed to do; create suburban ghettos of the poor and put an end to any kind of mixed community. It is a recipe for community fragmentation, isolation, resentment and, ultimately, revolt. If the government wants to see a reprise of the kind of violence and aggression we saw last summer then they are going the right way about it. Then again I suppose if all the disenfranchised poor people are in the same place they can just kettle the entire neighbourhood and keep them under control.

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