Advanced search

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).

morethanpotatoprints Sun 17-Feb-13 22:07:52


Ah I see now. Yes I think there were a lot more problems with the small print on the loss of earnings, illness, etc.
We were told we had to have cover with our mortgage and got a payment of over 2k back, but we didn't have that mortgage for long. It could have been many more thousands if it had been our first mortgage. smile

Really sorry for you MsIngsFewmarbles, I can't imagine what you and your family have been through. I hope things are better or improving for you all now. brew

Southwest Sun 17-Feb-13 22:11:16

But Clyaetem just how many people would be affected by that crash?

How many people are mortgaged over 90% without means to pay it down a bit? If you took a mortgage with prices at an all time high and interest rates at an all time low and cant afford it then you kind of have to accept that there may be entirely forseable consequences that are not in your favour

How many more are affected by not being able to buy a home?

your language is very emotive but I disagree with the numbers involved and feel the scenario you describe would not happen.

so it still raises the question as to why fiscal policy etc etc shoould be constructed to protect these small numbers of people from a financially 'difficult' situation

what about savers? what about renters? what about people priced out?

the government can not protect us all from everything.

house prices have crashed before and the world still revolved

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 18-Feb-13 09:59:41

southWest - yes, it doesn''t matter what house prices do, unless you want to move, otherwsie as long as you can pay the mortgate the 'price' of your house os purely theoretical. The trouble s people are obssessed with the 'housing ladder' and assume they are buying an appreciable asset, just because that's what their parents did. When you factor in the real costs over the lifetime of 'owning' a property as oppose to renting, the difference in what you pay is minimal.

frustratedworkingmum Mon 18-Feb-13 13:55:53

After reading THIS today, I am now convinced that the government has not a fucking CLUE wht they are dong or what they are going to do about the rising housing crisis. This is by far a worse scandal than folk having to pay excessive rents. The government need to get on top of this NOW - yeah, its not vote winning because there are too many daily mail readers who coudlnt give two shits about the plight of homeless families. The bill for this is mental!!!

There but for the grace of god - my DP is a builder, one of the ladies in the articles DH was a builder but his firm went bust, its happening all the time - we are struggling so how long before we become one of the statistics you are talking of on here? I have a job, but its poorly paid, high stress - should i get another one to work on top of it? I mean, i wouldn't want to be all "entitled" and actually expect to sleep would i??

frustratedworkingmum Mon 18-Feb-13 13:56:52

They are "reacting" to the crisis but they aren't actually doing anything constructive and long term, probably because the people that need the help aren't their target demographic in terms of votes - it is sickening that families are having to live this way.

frustratedworkingmum Mon 18-Feb-13 14:00:27

MsIngaFewmarbles - i can't help but wonder if you were "missold" that insurance then? I know that this is bandied about all over the place but id be certainly looking into whether or not you have some sort of come back. I am glad that your DH is on the mend, must have been a terrible time for you all xx

Auntmaud Mon 18-Feb-13 14:03:53

Seven children [shocked]?

frustratedworkingmum Mon 18-Feb-13 14:05:56

That was an unfortunate example - i think you will find most families will have normal size broods!

Auntmaud Mon 18-Feb-13 14:17:37


MsIngaFewmarbles Mon 18-Feb-13 17:22:32

That's really kind. DH has been well for over 2 years now. Unless his body can regrow the organ they removed we should be fine smile

Checked into the misselling thing but sadly it doesn't apply to us. It was very scary at the time but it's just made us realise we are lucky to have who and what we have.

Anyway enough about us, back to the poor sods at the sharp end of all this.

Mrsdavidcaruso Mon 18-Feb-13 17:48:11

I agree with Floggingmolly - I had to move away from my support network ie my friends community and family as I could NOT afford to rent in the area my parents lived and certainly when it came to buy I could not have afforded a house anywhere near my family. I agree rents and house prices are too dear in London and something needs to be done but what they are asking the Camden people to do is what I had to do and 1000s like me - move to a cheaper area. Its not social cleansing its what private buyers and renters have had to do for years.

LineRunner Mon 18-Feb-13 17:54:38

Yes it is what people like me have had to do - it doesn't make it right when elderly parents are left on their own.

LineRunner Mon 18-Feb-13 17:56:46


You have moved from swearing to grinning.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Feb-13 18:04:34

There is a difference between free choice and being made to move.
We moved for work as well and lived about 300 miles away from our extended family and it was the worst thing we ever did. There wasn't any work for us in our birth towns and at the time we felt like we didn't have many options. However, this is not the same and it is Social Cleansing, however you want to dress it up.

Auntmaud Mon 18-Feb-13 18:19:10

linerunner you just can't please some folk wink

Auntmaud Mon 18-Feb-13 18:23:37

Social cleansing is a ridiculous hysterical term for a simple realisation that the taxpayer has neither the stomach nor the means to pay any longer for hideously expensive accommodation for the non tax payer.

Auntmaud Mon 18-Feb-13 18:25:58

Anyway, you can call it what you like it's here, it's happening and lots of us think it's long overdue and are very pleased indeed to see it!

JakeBullet Mon 18-Feb-13 18:30:45

I agree that social cleansing is an over the top expression to be honest. Not sure what you would call it instead.
I suspect those that have to remain in Camden will have a few months of instability until they can find other accommodation....if they are lucky this will be social housing (unlikely) . Others will move's a done deal, all gone through so people now have to make the best of it.

There is also the fact that from April everyone of working age will have to contribute something to their council tax so the Camden folk will have to find that too. I have no issue with contributing to CT and will just set up a DD as I did while working. We all use the services it pays for and it's coming at a time when councils are having to make cuts in other areas. I do worry that overall this is going to lead to a big loss of income due to non payment and recovery methods not being cost effective.

JakeBullet Mon 18-Feb-13 18:34:26

Not sure I can be very pleased at someone in dire straights having to uproot. I am overjoyed that people can no longer rent a 5k a month property all on housing benefit. THESE are the folk this was intended to target and not someone already struggling who might NEED to remain in somewhere like Camden due to caring responsibilities for example.

Mrsdavidcaruso Mon 18-Feb-13 18:34:35

Sorry Morethan its exactly the same - When there is not enough money coming in to afford rent or mortgage in the place you want to live, whether you have to earn it all yourself, get your wages subsidised by HB or are on benefits inc HB you cannot afford to live there. What free choice did I have when I wanted to live in Wimbledon near my parents - none what so ever I couldn't afford to rent there I HAD to move out - no choice what so ever. Its NOT social cleansing its real life. BTW I used to travel back into London to work a 4 hour round trip and I was BLOODY BORN in London I am not whinging and complaining and using emotive names just because I cant afford to live in the City where I was born.

alemci Mon 18-Feb-13 18:44:03

It would be helpful to find out who is being moved as there is no detail. are they working at all or totally dependent on the state I expect we will find out in due course.

I think you have a point Mrs D

Matildaduck Mon 18-Feb-13 18:55:16

Interesting thread.

It is social cleansing, however it's difficult to sympathise as the rents the councils are paying (£350 pw )are crazy. How can you fight for someone when it cost this sort of money to keep them? Who carries the cost?

it's not their fault and bloody awful for them. The answer is to block right to buy, rent control and cap hb. A combination of which should help to resolve things.

I think that most people agree that having four children without holding an amazing, secure job is a risk. ( by good job i mean, doctor, barrister etc) it's just not ok to think the state will keep you. It should help you but no, you don't have a right to live in a £1200 a month flat. If my dh divorced me for example i would have to move. That's life.

My personal feeling is that this will deter the next generation from having too many children. Which is a good thing. We all need to be responsible.

Auntmaud Mon 18-Feb-13 19:02:04

Totally agree Matilda. People need to take responsibility for their own lives, their own finances and their own children.

Too many women especially don't bother establishing a career or even job experience before having kids. They are then unable to get any decent work once their children are grown or if they are divorced and then they expect teh taxpayer to keep them.

freetoanyhome Mon 18-Feb-13 19:11:06

So who os paying for the new school places and hospitals and infrastructures in the northern cities?

MechanicalTheatre Mon 18-Feb-13 19:17:20

You know what I hate about this? All the posts that go "well, I can't afford to live in London, so you just have to suck it up."

Really? You want to live in a country where only the rich can live in the capital?

These things are not inevitable. We are the citizens of this country and we can change things. Instead of just muttering about people being "entitled" because they want to live somewhere.

"That's life" is not the answer to everything.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now