Hot on the heels of news last week that the Tories had set the unenviable record of presiding over the most household evictions in one year (18,000) since records began, Theresa May is pushing through plans that will devastate poorer families yet again.
The nasty party are never satisfied by just resting on their laurels, so on the 7th November this year they will implement their reduced benefit cap of £20,000.
The cap follows a raft of attacks on the benefits system since the coalition slithered into government, six years ago. Other measures have included benefit freezes, benefit reductions, the bedroom tax, and changes to working tax credits.
Contrary to the vile narrative peddled by politicians and their media lackeys, most families that rely on benefits do have at least one person who is in work. Either they are unable to work as many hours as they would like because of zero-hour contracts, or their derisory wages are not enough to keep up with the cost of living, or to satisfy the gluttony of parasitic landlords – who treat benefit claiming tenants as a cash-cow.
It has today been claimed that the new lower benefit cap will directly impact 840 families, including 2,800 children, in just Liverpool alone. Those families will see an average reduction in housing benefit contributions of £166 each month, per household. For many families this will mean having to choose between paying rent or eating.
Inevitably rent will go unpaid, arrears will pile up, and evictions will follow. The council will then have to house families in temporary accommodation that will cost much more than what may be saved by reducing their benefits in the first place.
Jane Corbett, a Liverpool Labour Councillor, stated that:
Aside from the devastating social consequences and stress, in financial terms all this policy is doing is shifting the cost from the government over to the council, housing associations and our other local partners. This at the same time as we’re facing huge cuts to our budgets: £90m alone in the case of Liverpool city council over the next three years. At the moment we’re spending almost £7m a year shielding households from the full impact of cuts to council tax benefit, using our own funds to top up the discretionary housing payments pot and helping people in crisis pay for food, fuel, clothing and essential white goods. The savings we need to find over the next three years is going make it much harder for us to respond to families affected by this.
The benefit cap is a clear false-economy, that will give the chattering classes a warm feeling, but will actually save little or nothing in the long-term, and will lead to misery for thousands of families.