Tuesday 9 February 2016

The Conclusions Are Obvious…

…but then this is Polly Toynbee, so to her, they are anything but:
. 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 bedroom tax removal of the subsidy.
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.


AndrewWS said...

Haven't you posted this one already?

Software glitch?

Anonymous said...

I usually agree with you, Julia, but not on this.

Rented accommodation may not be someone's house but it is their home. If they're in social housing they probably haven't moved because there isn't available social housing of the right size and they haven't got the readies to secure private rented housing. So most of the dole money goes on the appalling bedroom tax which should never have been implemented until there was enough suitably sized housing so that those who continued to remain in under-occupied housing had truly made a choice to do so - and to pay for it (and I don't blame the Evil Tories - Nulabour introduced a bedroom tax for private rented accommodation two years before). Don't know about anyone else, but if I were sitting in the middle of winter in a freezing cold house, I'd be tempted to rob the rent money jar for the meter to get warm.

I truly think that these days responsible people can find themselves in a position once reserved for the feckless - all it would take would be to become ill when in casual, low paid work and have no support network.

Perhaps you were merely being provocative.


Anonymous said...


A former colleague when we worked together over ten years ago now stated that housing benefit was paid to the claimant and not directly to the landlord and that was ten years ago. Which makes me think that dear old Polly should have been writing this under the Blair/ Brown years.

The Cowboy Online said...

Bunny, I know three / four years ago we were discussing the impact the reform would have on the social market, especially around housing benefit being paid directly to claimants rather than the landlord, so this is a recent change - and the impact was entirely foreseeable, which might not have been a flaw but rather by design.

Greencoat said...

Under the sob-sob smokescreen we see the results of the anti-family, anti-father, anti-authority, self-indulgent society that rich hypocrites like Polly Toynbee have spent decades gleefully promoting. Such cosmic lack of self-awareness makes the eyes water.

Anonymous said...


I tried to look up the date it changed on the internet but couldn't find it, though I worked with the bloke ten years ago and he said it was problem then. Interestingly enough the research did show that it was paid by councils which could explain that the implementation could be different in different areas.

Anonymous said...

'Housing benefit is usually paid directly to you if you're a private tenant. It's paid to your landlord if you live in social housing. '


JuliaM said...

"Haven't you posted this one already?"

Not that I'm aware of!

"I truly think that these days responsible people can find themselves in a position once reserved for the feckless..."

I accept it's possible, but I very much doubt it's anything other than very rare, requiring a very large amount of bad luck.

"...the impact was entirely foreseeable, which might not have been a flaw but rather by design."

It's a dilemma - evil, or thick? Neither thought is appealing.