"Affordable housing key to welfare reform" — Taxpayers Against Poverty
Guest blog piece from Rev'd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty
TAP Letter in The Times – 14 August 2014 - AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS THE KEY TO WELFARE REFORM – MORATORIUM ON “DEPENDENCY”
Sir, May I suggest a moratorium on the word dependency in the context of
the welfare debate (“Beveridge’s Bequest”, leader, Aug 12)?
2013 there were 5.1 million claimants of housing benefits in the UK.
Tenants in particular totally depended on that benefit to keep a roof
over their heads. Come April 2013 and the poorest large families
(£26,000 annual limit) and single people (spare room supplement) had
their housing benefit cut, leaving rent unpaid and eviction threatening.
single people, widows and widowers, around 50 to 60 years old, becoming
ill or unemployed for the first time in a long, working, tax-paying
life could no longer depend on the rest of us to keep them in their
family home among vital community support. The policy is to force them
to move to make a better use of affordable social housing. Large
families with young children suffer the same fate just because they
happened to be large on April 6, 2013.
very small minority of benefit claimants might be dependent on benefits
to such an extent that it is corrosive to the wellbeing of individuals.
Most need them but wish they did not. Yet all are publicly branded and
their incomes reduced, even though the fault lies with the lack of any
governmental policy to provide enough affordable housing for many