Monday, 10 November 2008

Beckett's welfare housing reforms just plain stupid

The government commissioned a major piece of research from the LSE a couple of years ago on welfare housing. The study broadly found that, once ensconced in welfare housing, tenants gave up searching for work and settled back to a lifetime on welfare benefits. In particular;

The LSE report finds that if you have no qualifications, you will be 43% likely to be workless if you live in non-welfare housing, but 70% likely to be workless if you live in welfare housing. 35% of single parents outside of welfare housing are without work, but 64% of those in welfare housing are out of work. Amongst those of working age on welfare estates, around half are without paid work. Two groups predominate amongst these; those on incapacity benefit, and single parents. One in eight private house moves are work related, but just a very few thousand moves a year amongst 4m welfare tenants are for employment reasons.

So you would have thought the government's major policy push would be a stick and carrot approach to getting welfare tenants into jobs, wouldn't you?

Beckett's latest piece of lunacy is intended to have quite the opposite effect. Welfare tenants who find work are to be evicted or forced to buy their welfare homes. This idiotic proposal is designed to free up space on welfare estates for those clients of Brown's State who will behave themselves and stay on benefits.

Honestly, you couldn't make it up.

1 comment:

Pat said...

I assume that workless means having no recorded work- I know that some and I believe very many have some sort of work in the black economy.
Its madness subsidising housing, it either means that people have to move (not cheap) if they improve their circumstances, or they hide their improvement as long as possible (e.g. Lee Jaspers continued stay in a council house up to the point where he was earning £117,000 p.a.) I can't blame anyone who makes an effort to improve his circumstances, and one can hardly blame anyone who plays by the rules. the only solution I can see is a national wage just sufficient for a single person to subsist on and no benefits in kind except for the disabled- who should receive benefits only in kind and only related to overcoming their particular disability. Do that and you free up an army of social security clerks for productive work, and social security fraud disappears. If said clerks were put on to tax evasion we might also get some compensating increase in tax receipts,thus reducing the necessary increase in taxation levels necessary to pay for this.