THE ‘social housing’ budget in England is to be slashed by more than 50 per cent.
Up to 90 per cent of the market rent is to be charged to council tenants, and a flexible tenancy introduced to allow tenants to be evicted for such crimes as having one bedroom too many.
This policy, due to be unveiled today, is being billed as ‘Doomsday for Council Housing’.
There is to be a National Home Swap Scheme, under which people in ‘unsuitable accommodation’ – such as a pensioner who now has an extra bedroom, after the children have moved out – will be forced, under this new tenancy or under special legislation, to ‘swap’ his home for a smaller property.
Even before this measure has been introduced, officially and legally, threats are being made to pensioners up and down the country that if they will not move or ‘swap’ they will be evicted.
This is after such pensioners have spent large sums of money making their homes fit to live in for a lifetime!
The previous Labour government was committed to spending a paltry £1.6bn a year on social housing, which helped build 50,000 new homes last year.
Under the new Coalition regime this ‘subsidy’ will be slashed by more than 50 per cent from next April.
There is a vast army of homeless people in this country, but new homes are to be built at a rate of only 25,000 a year. Parallel with this, councils up and down the country, many of them Labour, are levelling council estates to make land available for developers, and decanting their tenants into much inferior private housing.
It was Frederick Engels, writing in the 19th century, who maintained that capitalism was organically incapable of resolving the housing crisis that its rise had created.
Once again, he has been proven to be 100 per cent correct. Capitalism is now destroying the council housing stock that was built up in the 1960s, when homes for life were provided for working class tenants, and homelessness was temporarily abolished.
Council tenants are now to be menaced by a regime that will assess their entitlement to a home at regular intervals, and will ruthlessly evict them if the assessors allege that they either earn enough to pay for private housing, or if they have one bedroom too many and are therefore allegedly denying a family a home by their ‘selfishness’.
Capitalism in crisis is set to destroy the entire council stock and with it the socialist ethos of a ‘home for life’.
At the same time as rents go up to 90 per cent of the market rate, housing benefit is to be slashed. Under the new flexible tenancy rules those tenants that have their housing benefit cut, but cannot pay near market rates, will be evicted.
Then, like the US, every city will have its tent city, with the UK looking more like Haiti, as ex-council tenants join private homeowners who cannot pay their mortgages under canvas.
This is the ‘Big Society’ that the Tories and LibDems are advocating, where low pay and no pay dominate, where everybody has been levelled downwards to pauperism and where council homes for life and housing benefit are just memories of some past utopia, wiped out for ever.
What the Coalition is setting out to do is unacceptable and will be fought tooth and nail and be defeated.
Millions will rise up against the Coalition’s ‘Poor Laws’, and the trade unions will mobilise to make it ‘Doomsday for the Coalition’ and capitalism.
Only the WRP is organising a general strike, and building up the new revolutionary leadership to bring in a workers government to build millions of council homes for life, to resolve the housing crisis and bring in socialism. Join it today.