Benefit cap to be lowered by £6,000 say Treasury officials

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CHANCELLOR George Osborne, the hammer of the poor, is so determined not to increase the taxes of the rich that he is about to further cut, by £6,000 – from £26,000 to £20,000 – the maximum amount families can claim in benefits in a year, according to Treasury officials.

A £26,000 cap on the total amount of benefits that non-working people aged 16 to 64 can receive has just come into force in England, Scotland and Wales.

The reality is that for many families getting the current maximum of £26,000 in the South East and the London area, the majority of it goes straight into the pockets of the landlords, leaving the families, in many cases, with not enough to buy food.

The reality is that further cuts in the total amount of benefit paid will see tens of thousands of families made homeless or forcibly evicted and then shipped off to areas of the UK where the landlords have not as yet been able to impose sky-high rents.

They will be internal refugees, unable to live in the home of their choice, after being forced into areas where there is much less chance of getting any kind of job.

However, the government and the landlords will be ecstatic. Osborne will have shown that landlords’ rents are sacred and must not be cut, while the tenants are being evicted to try to cut the deficit and to teach them a lesson. The rich meanwhile get away completely unscathed, and still live a charmed life. Another Tory success story!

This policy of making war on tenants in London and the South East has been accompanied by a vicious propaganda campaign that entirely leaves out the sky-high rents in London and portrays those who are being attacked as lazy good-for-nothings who live off the backs of society. This is actually a very good description of the class interest that Osborne serves.

Under the new system, couples and lone parents will now not receive more than £500 a week, while a £350 limit applies to single people.

Now they are to be stretched even further on the rack, as the Treasury reveals.

Alongside this atrocity is the growth in the number and the use of food banks by millions of people in the UK.

Coalition propaganda is equally cynical, with its sneering line that food banks are just very popular and are frequented by people who want a free meal and who have the cash to buy a meal if they had to!

That this is just the start of the slippery slope to return the UK to being a nation of paupers has been made perfectly clear by the Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps. He has said that child-related benefits for unemployed parents should be capped at two children.

For those who are so insolent as to have a third child, Child Benefit, Income Support or Tax Credits should be withheld. The minister also suggested unemployed people aged under 25 should be denied housing benefit altogether so that they can be forced to go back home to their parents.

‘Welfare should not be a way of life,’ says Shapps the representative of the party of the big bosses and the bankers.

‘If you are a working family and you have another child, you know it’s going to mean quite a severe impact on your living costs. Yet in the welfare system, it’s almost turned on its head, so additional children are actually recognised, with no limit.’

Meanwhile, energy company RWE npower says that household energy bills are likely to rise £100 a year more than the government projects, and warns the average bill will rise £240 a year by 2020.

The firm says that the average combined fuel bill in 2020 will be about £1,487 – that’s £200 a year more than now and £100 more than the government projects.

In addition, RPI inflation, that includes housing costs, has just risen to 3.3% from 3.1% in May with CPI inflation rising to 2.9% from 2.7% in May.

The message is being spelt out loud and clear. Wages and benefits are being cut while living costs soar. Meanwhile the rich are getting richer! There is only one solution to this crisis of capitalism.

Wages, benefits, jobs and basic rights must be defended by a general strike and a socialist revolution that will overthrow capitalism and bring in a workers government and socialism.