‘Coffee House’ , the web presence of that august journal of The Spectator runs a post agonising over the new housing benefit limits. It prophesies Armageddon. Well that sort of thing sells papers (it even parodies that arch inventor of news, The Sun, by claiming an ‘exclusive’).
Where do I begin? It is a post full of a load of preposterous rubbish. It totally totally misses the point. It also champions a report sponsored by Shelter, hardly a a disinterested pressure group.
I am very (very very) sorry for ‘genuine’ out-of-work in the midst of being retrained etc. But it is not the state’s duty to keep people in a comfortable existence if they are unemployed.
The state’s duty is to alleviate the worst excesses and suffering of people whilst they are unemployed.
I submit that limiting housing benefit to £400 a week is far and away above and beyond what the minimum duty of the state is – not least when it has absolutely NO MONEY to start with.
Just for the record – one just 1 website I found 7,500 houses available at £400pw OR LESS for rent within 5 miles of central London. A similar search found 18,500 flats.
The Spectator’s Mr Howker should stop insulting my intelligence – it is absurdly easy for a govt minister to answer any noisy questioner on ‘Question Time’; he/she says we are limiting housing benefit to £20,800 per annum, which is probably (I’m guessing) equivalent to a pre-tax income of c£30k, and thats just for housing benefit!
Oh and lets not forget shall we …?
IF the state limits its wasteful spending on housing benefits (which solely actually benefits landlords and props up property prices), THEN it could actually spend more on retraining/education of people and creating some real benefit to workers and the economy.
It makes me smile sometimes (it really does) – after 13 years of Labour their idea of success is to have put millions more onto benefits. Such is the brilliance of socialism. Well socialism has been very good to Fred Goodwin I suppose.