Article from Z2K website. Above title by Swheatie of the KUWGThe Conservative party conference has produced a rash of announcements committing the party to further welfare cuts should they win next year’s general election. These include lowering the Benefit Cap to £23,000pa, freezing benefits for two years, barring 18 – 21 year olds from receiving housing benefit and limiting the same age group to claiming Job Seekers Allowance for only 6 months. Taken together this package of measured could have a devastating impact on the lives of low income individuals and families.
The rhetoric espoused to justify this policy is, as always, focused around ‘fairness’ for hard working tax paying families. But this belies the fact that the benefits freeze, because it includes tax credits and housing benefit, would hit twice as many working families and workless. George Osborne says that it’s unfair that benefits should rise faster than wages but if action was taken to push up poverty wages then millions of low income working household would no longer need to rely on benefits.
The other side of the poverty trap equation is rents. The 1% cap on LHA rate rises, alongside a host of other changes, has made private sector accommodation in London and the south east increasingly unaffordable to housing benefit claimants. A complete freeze for two years would have a catastrophic effect and significantly reduce the number of properties available to benefit claimants.
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