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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).

Rhiannon86 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:54:08

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

telsa Fri 15-Feb-13 12:42:51

Maybe government needs to think a bit more - about who does all the dirty work for little enough money, while they fiddle their expenses and cash in with directorships.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 15-Feb-13 12:55:47

Happymumofone - your post is vile - lifestyle choice - really? Do you know how santimonious you sound? Is it nice there in your utopia?

So, say this single mother with four children, maybe she is a single mother because her DH died? maybe she used to have a good job but got made redundant? Maybe she has a job that just doesn't cover her "lifestyle choice" but she does it anyway so that she can at least have some self respect so that people like you don't think she is entitled. She has to rely on family to provide childcare for her four children so that she can do this job and of course has to rely on benefits to supplement her income. Only now, they wont cover her rent so she will have to move her children away from her family, friends and support network. She will have to give up her job and claim full benefits - but what do you expect when she chose to live somewhere above her station??

Honestly, can you not SEE how ridiculous your "lifestyle" choice comment is?

I said earlier that i live in an area that was never affluent before, until people were selling their expensive london homes, making a proper "lifestyle choice" so their children could grow up somewhere "naice" with open space and a beach. Their lifestyle choice pusheed the property prices up out of the reach of many local people - what are they supposed to do? Move over for those who can afford choices??? Really?

Solopower1 Fri 15-Feb-13 12:56:25

HappyMummy - why do you think it is a lifestyle choice for someone to be on benefits? Who would choose that if they were aware of any other options? The woman could be disabled or have a disabled child; she could have been the owner of a business that has just been made bankrupt - she could be absolutely anyone!

Why do people have just one model of a 'typical' family on benefits? What newspapers are you reading??

The 'entitled' people - what does that mean anyway? - are the people who want to take more than their share from society. The people on benefits live on less a week than someone else might spend on two nights in a hotel. The chances are that no-one is doing or has ever done them any favours. They are not the takers of society. No prizes for guessing who is.

Solopower1 Fri 15-Feb-13 12:57:02

OOps, X posted, Frustrated.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 15-Feb-13 12:58:00

I really hope all the holier than thou people never fall on hard times, they will positively hate themselves wont they. And no, I am not on benefits, i own my own home and both my DP and myself are lucky enough to hve jobs.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 15-Feb-13 12:58:56

Great minds, solo!

Solopower1 Fri 15-Feb-13 13:13:55

smile + high five icon.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 15-Feb-13 13:24:20

Its entitled as its expected, having four children is always going to mean great expense. Life can change but theres short term assistance for that. The article reads that she believes she has the right to chose where she lives regardless of the fact that she cant pay for that choice. It doesnt mention she is seeking a second job etc to help herself. The article is vague as doesnt mention if she works at all but its unlikely that she does given the cap only affects those on £26k plus benefits.

Thousands of people cant live where they would like, i'd love to live elsewhere but we live where we can afford. Those that work and self support also have to factor in costs when deciding the number of children they will have.

Living in a cheaper area will mean less rent, less state assistance, cheaper childcare and wages will stretch further.

We dont live in an ideal world and most people have to make compromises, why should she be any different to the many other thousands who have to live within their means.

JakeBullet Fri 15-Feb-13 13:34:35

You have answered everything in your first paragraph HappyMummy , "the article is vague".

Despitr this you have made a lot of assumptions which has led you to dismiss her as "entitled".

That says more about you than it does her.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 15-Feb-13 13:37:23

So now people who have four children are entitled? Maybe she should have put three of them up for adoption when she fell on hard times? Im not referring to a woman in an article, im talking about people who might find themselves in difficulty. Sometimes those difficulties are not "short term" either. Like you say, life isn't fair, is it?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Feb-13 13:38:53

"I really hope all the holier than thou people never fall on hard times"

Realistically, if any of us do fall on hard times, then moving house is potentially one of the outcomes. No-one 'deserves' to have to up-sticks when they are quite happy where they are. It's always an upheaval to have to relocate. But none of us, unless we happen to be independently wealthy, have the guarantee that we can remain in one place indefinitely. Whether it's a change in housing authority policy forcing the change, redundancy, illness, divorce, an addition to the family or some other factor outside of our control.... we all have to be realistic. 'Holy' or otherwise.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 15-Feb-13 14:04:10

I take your point cogito, but surely this is when people need the stability of staying near loved ones and support networks so that they don't fall into a cycle of benefits and having to rely on the state. So much for the big society.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 15-Feb-13 14:06:37

Don't get me wrong, im not totally niave, i know that there are people who take the piss and expect to be kept by the state and i resent subsidising them as much as anyone else, but i just cannot see how moving people from pillar to post is going to lessen the financial load. Children WILL suffer from the upheaval of being moved to poorer areas, they will grow up with no hope, no reason to strive and the whole sorry cycle starts again.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Feb-13 14:15:27

"but surely this is when people need the stability of staying near loved ones and support networks so that they don't fall into a cycle of benefits and having to rely on the state. "

No more than anyone else, unfortunately. In many divorces, for example, the resident parent with main responsibility for children is often forced to sell up and move on or rent somewhere cheaper. They often don't have the luxury of staying near loved ones and avoiding benefits. It's nothing to do with 'Big Society', just the reality of life.

LittleTyga Fri 15-Feb-13 14:24:26

I was born and raised in Paddington - we lived here when no one else wanted to - we were surrounded by prostitutes, pimps, illegal drinking houses and drunks! families were packed in to rooms in large houses with no bathrooms. But through it all we went to school and work, we paid our taxes and supported our local businesses and built a community. My parents eventually bought our house for £3k back in the 70's.

I went to work, paid my taxes, road taxes, spent my money in local shops and worked for local businesses so they could pay their taxes. I support my neighbours looking out for the elderly and helping raise my neighbours children. I pay my rent and look after my home - So now Paddington has become a desirable area (parts of it!) The poor who built this community have to be shunted up to Liverpool? Its disgusting!

I won't be affected by this but if I should fall ill and not be able to work is it right that my family be moved away from my community? The community we have strived (yes that word) to maintain and build and supported throughout the bad times. I know families that have lived here since he 50's - some have survived terrible tragedy and have been surrounded by familiar faces and who have helped them through.

Don't forget behind every sensational headline is a family with a story and a history. My children lost their father to a drunk driver - I couldn't bear to remove them from their aunties, cousins, friends just because some LL decided he wants to increase the rent on their ex-council house - because said LL bought it from the council and now rents it back to them at £500 pw :O

Solopower1 Fri 15-Feb-13 14:29:35

Cogito, if you fall on hard times, you might decide to move. Up to you. But that's very different to being moved by the council.

People on benefits find their options are very limited. They are totally at the mercy of the local council that pays their bills. Some of us think that is a horrible situation to be in, and we're angry that vulnerable people are being picked on (especially when they did not cause the present economic 'crisis').

But in any case, rather than focusing on whether a group of people should or should not be moved out of the area they live in, why not think about what has caused a situation to arise in which a local council feels it has no option but to slough off one section of its population so that a different sort of person can move in?

How could that ever, in a million years, be fair??

LittleTyga Fri 15-Feb-13 14:35:24

Cogito I was in that position - Widowed and faced with having to support my children - But it was My Choice to make - do I stay here or move away somewhere cheaper - I stayed and downsized - rather than choose somewhere with a bedroom each and a garden. We live in a small one bed I sleep on the sofabed my girls are in the bedroom - that was my choice - these families are being presented with no choices.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Feb-13 14:38:31

It emphatically isn't up to me. If I fall on hard times and can't pay the mortgage, the lender will eventually foreclose whether I want that to happen or not. There will be no-one offering to make up the short-fall or campaign to keep me in the neighbourhood so that my child isn't disrupted. That's life.

I think the reason the Camden kind of situation has arisen is complex. A shortage of affordable housing is one, a very high demand for very expensive accommodation is another. However, the arguably 'unfair' - or at least unsustainable - subsidies that have been (up to now) provided by HB has really skewed the picture as well.

Solopower1 Fri 15-Feb-13 14:42:22

There is a difference between life throwing things at you, and your local council deciding to move you on! It's not just fate that your council might one day take it into their heads that they don't want you in their area any more.

SparklyVampire Fri 15-Feb-13 14:42:44

Where are these people going to live when they shove them all up north?. I live in Bradford and i was on the waiting list for social housing for 8 years before i got somewhere.
Does this new influx mean local people are pushed further down the waiting list to make way. Jobs are hard to come by too, this is just going to make the poor north, rich south stereotype a reality.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 15-Feb-13 14:43:43

LittlyTygga - I am so sorry for your loss, you describe just the situation i was getting at. I think the fact that people take a "Thats life" attitude is very sad indeed. I am so pleased that you have had family to support you through.

Greedy landlords, inflated house prices are to blame, its not rocket science.

Solopower1 Fri 15-Feb-13 14:44:15

What I mean to say is that in this case, there is a government that is actively trying to make things more difficult for you, in order to make them easier for someone else.

That is not the same as falling on hard times.

frustratedworkingmum Fri 15-Feb-13 14:44:37

Sparkly - Excellent point!

Solopower1 Fri 15-Feb-13 14:45:21

Last post was in reply to Cogito.

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