THE PRIME MINISTER HAS BEEN BADLY BRIEFED BUT HE, AND THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT.
Rev'd Paul Nicolson writes:
The Daily Telegraph
For publication please.
The Prime Minister has been badly briefed. He cites the £6.25 a week increases in the single adult jobseekers allowance to £71.70 a week since the last election as facts to refute the Archbishop of Westminster’s claim that the basic safety net no longer exists. This Trust frequently drew the attention of the Labour Government to the facts that the single adult JSA was half the governmental poverty line measured by 60% of the median after housing costs have been paid, and 42% of the Joseph Rowntree robustly researched minimum income standard after housing costs. He clearly has not been told that that since April 2013 single adults, widows and widowers aged around 55 years old, who have been hardworking taxpayers for many years now fall ill and unemployed to find they are expected to pay £24 a week rent out of that £71.70 a week, because they have a spare bedroom, and £5.00 week council tax because local government funding has been severely cut. Both the rent and the tax have a knock on effect on the food and utility bills, which become unmanageable.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Trustee, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K)
34 Grosvenor Gardens
IT IS GOVERNMENT POLICY TO EVICT THE POOREST TENANTS AND ALLOW PRIVATE LANDLORDS TO PROFIT
Hidden away under all the news about floods were Ministry of Justice figures showing that a record number of 37,729 public and private sector tenants were forcibly evicted from their homes by bailiffs in 2013 in England and Wales. That cannot be explained as an unintended consequence of welfare reform. It is the intention of the coalition to force single tenants out of their public sector homes to free up spare bedrooms for tenants in temporary accommodation. It is also the intention of the coalition to force large families whose benefits come to more than £500 including housing benefit to move to cheaper accommodation. That is done by cutting the housing benefit so the rent cannot be paid, hence eviction. Private landlords have soaked up ever increasing billions of housing benefit from the taxpayer, £9.32 billion in 2013, but it is the tenants who are being punished.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty