. This is possession and eviction day at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch county court. Everyone here is in danger of losing their home.No, in danger of losing their rented or social housing. It’s not the same. But what is the same is the selection of sad cases Polly champions here, which pose more questions than they do answers…
Next comes a grandmother, who cares full time for her 10-year-old grandson and has fallen £3,948 into arrears. She works in Tower Hamlets council’s kitchen – but it’s zero hours with unpredictable income, so sometimes she hasn’t paid the rent.Why isn’t the child’s mother caring for it (I won’t bother asking about the father)? Isn’t Tower Hamlets a Labour council? Why aren’t you complaining to them, Polly?
A mother has debts after her daughter moved out and she has to pay the bedroom tax: rent takes up 60% of her income.Why doesn’t she move? Then she won’t be affected by the
Last, a woman comes in walking crookedly and sits rocking violently, trying to explain her mental problems: she has a small son and has only just applied for housing benefit, but if it’s not backdated she’ll lose their home. Looking at her obvious illness, how could a jobcentre have refused her disability pay?Why does no-one care that an ‘obviously’ mentally-ill woman has charge of a child? Why does Polly assume the jobcentre are all medically qualified to make that judgement?
Universal credit, slowly rolling out now, was supposed to make benefits rise and fall automatically with fluctuating incomes, but it has made tenants less secure: so far 89% of those on universal credit have fallen into arrears, their rent no longer paid direct to landlords.Now why would the removal of the direct payment cause hardship, if these people were sensible and ensured that their rent was paid on time?
This assault on those too poor to buy simply defies belief. How are they supposed to live?The answer’s simple; by taking responsibility for their own lives and choices, and not relying on the poor bloody taxpayer to subsidise them.