Social 'cleansing'? What are the implications?

(383 Posts)
Solopower1 Thu 14-Feb-13 16:34:49

Camden Council wants to move 750 poor families north to places like Bradford and Leicester. They say that because of the new benefit caps (which limit total welfare payments to £500 a week for families, no matter how many children they have or how much they have to pay for rent), some families are not going to be able to afford to live in London. So they're shunting them all up north.

I don't think this is a new idea, btw, but I still find it shocking.

When the govt were discussing these benefit cap plans, they must have worked out the implications for the families that would no longer be able to afford to live in their houses. And they will have realised that this would happen more in the poorer, Labour-run (?) councils. It's inspired, it's so clever. In one fell swoop they free up all the lovely expensive properties being wasted on poor families, and the Labour councils get the blame for it. It's absolute genius, don't you think?

So what sort of place will London be, when the heart is ripped out of it, and all the children go? Perhaps a tad melodramatic, but the Pied Piper springs to mind - not that I am blaming the Mayor and Corporation of Camden, particularly (don't know enough about it, tbh).

money.aol.co.uk/2013/02/14/council-to-export-poor-familes-to-north/

PuffPants Thu 14-Feb-13 17:54:52

Why should people being looked after by the state get more of a choice in where they live than anyone else? Plenty of working people having to live in areas they wouldn't have chosen for themselves or their families but they cut their cloak according to their cloth.

The comment about disrupting childrens' education is invalid. Lots of families move house and children start at a new school. It's hardly uncommon.

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 14-Feb-13 18:06:46

It's social engineering to pay the rents of people to live in areas they couldn't afford if working.
As I said, I'd love to live nearer my support network. It just doesn't work that way if you work, you have to live where the jobs are.
Again in the case you linked to- she has 4 children. I couldn't afford that many. I was incentivised to stop by living on what DH and I could afford to support.

Solopower1 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:15:32

Wish - But if you already have the children ...? (Plus not everyone plans their families). And if you are already living in the area?

And as I said, I'm sorry if you aren't able to live nearer your support network. But why should other people - who have not caused that situation, and who probably have a lot more problems than you do - suffer too?

Puffpants - people being looked after by the state are going to be forced out of their houses. Not much choice there.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Feb-13 18:17:17

It's not social cleansing and the whackier ideas about places like Bradford etc always evaporate on closer inspection.

Floggingmolly Thu 14-Feb-13 18:22:00

not everyone plans their families. Most people have a vague idea of how many children they can afford - if they plan on footing the bill themselves, that is hmm

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 14-Feb-13 18:23:34

Four children though! Unless they were quads, that some mega lack of foresight. I live in a v posh area, btw and have a local friend with three children on HB- single Mum 3 dcs. They won't be affected by the changes as she's I a small flat with children sharing.

Floggingmolly Thu 14-Feb-13 18:29:52

The comment in that article - Not being given the option to choose where you want to live... People have always been given the option to choose where they will live.
Not everybody is given the option of having someone else foot the bill.

Solopower1 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:33:14

Some people's lives are just chaotic, Flogging. Nothing is planned. Other people are just unlucky.

But deserving or undeserving, these poor people are the ones the government has decided it can sacrifice, in order to make life more fun for the people more likely to vote for them.

That's what intrigues and horrifies me. The govt decided on this policy, knowing full well that as a direct result, families with small children would lose their homes. They thought it was a price worth paying. For what?

And the problems that are caused by poor or insecure housing end up affecting the whole of society. It's in all of our interests that any families with young children get the best our society can offer. How else will they grow up into responsible adults who have a stake in society?

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 14-Feb-13 18:33:47

All these houses or flats are under £500/ week.

StormyBrid Thu 14-Feb-13 18:34:42

Floggingmolly - but everyone does have that option. Anyone can lose their job and be unable to find another and have to rely on benefits.

adagio Thu 14-Feb-13 18:35:36

If all the HB are shifted 'out' of private rentals in an expensive area, will that force rents down as the landlords will struggle to find a replacement tenant willing to pay the high rent?

If they do find replacements who are able and willing to pay, then I guess that is simple market forces? Ultimately, the country is broke so something has to give, and it does seem a bit unfair that people not eligible are forced to move out from an area due to cost, but those claiming can stay (is that what happens at the moment or is that just Daily Mail stirring?)

Solopower1 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:41:24

If the economic crisis was caused by banks lending money to people who couldn't afford the repayments, or by banks gambling with our money, or by banks doing x,y,z - then by definition, the poorest in society (ie the ones who have no money at all of their own) did not cause the economic crisis.

So why do they have to be punished for it?

telsa Thu 14-Feb-13 18:45:11

£500 is the total cap on benefits for families. The rent component of that is about £175 a week (would like clarification on that). Try looking for properties at that rate. Oh there are none.

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 18:58:26

Well, good luck finding low paid workers in inner London in the future - teaching assistants, dinner ladies, hospital cleaners, park wardens, dog shit cleansers...

EllieQ Thu 14-Feb-13 19:01:27

One thing that strikes me is that the proposals to move people to places like Bradford or Leicester are likely to reduce the chances

EllieQ Thu 14-Feb-13 19:09:53

Sorry, hit post too soon. I meant to say that moving to those places means it is less likely someone on benefits could find a job, simply because there are less jobs available compared to London! So the chances of a single parent on benefits being able to find a job and get off benefits (though it's obviously not as easy as that - childcare etc) are being reduced.

PuffPants Thu 14-Feb-13 19:14:48

I'm afraid Solo that if you rely on the State to keep you fed, clothed and housed...then when the State's in trouble, so are you.

Solopower1 Thu 14-Feb-13 19:15:49

The State has enough money to do what it wants to do. It's a question of priorities.

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 19:26:41

The Government, not the State, said that families would not have to move out of London because of this policy.

The State needs workers in the Capital, and it needs councils in the other cities to be able to balance the books. This decant is fiscal madness.

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 14-Feb-13 19:35:38

telsa I didn't know that. Maybe my friend with three dcs won't be so lucky.
Maybe rent control is the answer. It works, as far as I know in New York. Properly mixed neighbourhoods where people can afford to live and w

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 14-Feb-13 19:37:13

The thing is there will always be street sweepers and waiters, either student jobs or migrant workers in unsafe and overcrowded housings.

lemonmuffin Thu 14-Feb-13 20:04:38

I don't get why this is considered to be such a bad thing.

Bradford and Leicester are vibrant, multi-cultural areas.

Surely lots of mumsnetters would love to live there?

Solopower1 Thu 14-Feb-13 20:09:48

Yes - I know Bradford. But that's not the point, is it?

usualsuspect Thu 14-Feb-13 20:12:05

So,where will they live? There are no spare council houses in Leicester.

frustratedworkingmum Thu 14-Feb-13 20:15:43

It absolutely isn't the point, i agree solo - people tend to live where they live because it is either where they grew up or where they work, families live etc. Its not just about the location. Children's friends etc.

Saying that, im not sure i am happy to be subsidising astronomical rents. I also don't think landlords that are charging the market value for their properties should be penalised.

I think the problem is the market being allowed to get out of control - house prices have been allowed to get ridiculous.

Puffpants - some people find themselves in a situation where they cannot help but accept state support, you know, its not through choice!

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