Housing Benefit

I’ve been reading in the news recently about the range of comment and the sides that are being taken with respect to the chancellor’s decision to reduce the limit of housing benefit offered to claimants and feel it’s high time I said my piece.

First let me be clear on my stance; I wholeheartedly support the cut in benefit levels in this area, indeed I would like to see the level dropped even further. This view may well anger many but I will make clear my reasons.

My philosophy on benefit has always been that it should only be available to those that really need it. That’s not something to be read into, it’s actual need. To illustrate, someone who is genuinely homeless should be provided with benefit such that they can pay rent on a house. Not an expensive house, not even an average house, just a house. Because, after all, without the benefit they wouldn’t have a house at all.

With that in mind, imagine my disgust to read that individuals with no income are being provided with housing that 90% plus of the population would never be able to afford, even when in employment.

I have many friends who have good jobs in the city and are forced to house share with colleagues and friends miles away from their place of work as they can’t afford even a one bedroom flat near their office. Why then is someone who has no income allowed to use these people’s tax money (tax that it could be argued contributes to them not being able to afford a city centre flat) to rent a house that these individuals wouldn’t be able to afford even if they were promoted several levels above their current pay grade.

There are naysayers who would have you believe that such a benefit cutting policy is akin to ethnic cleansing but based on income levels. To them I reply with this simple statement. Benefits are there to support people who can’t support themselves, not to elevate said individuals to the same level as those who can.

If it is more cost effective for the citizen to claim benefit than to work then the country will quite simply fall apart round our ears. We simply must live in a society where the incentive is to work rather than to sponge off the state. Failure to effect change both in law and monetary policy that reflects this will ultimately be our undoing.


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1 Comment

  1. Tom Said,

    January 17, 2011 @ 3:08 am

    Amen – A hand up, not a hand out.

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