|The News Line: Editorial
Thursday, 6 April 2017
PM May hammers the poor as 7,585 families receive 50p housing benefit!
PM MAY makes a lot of noise about her concern for the ‘just about managing’, ie the middle classes in crisis-ridden Britain.
In fact, she is seeking to prop up the Tory base while she wages a ruthless war on the working class and the poor of a type that has not been seen since the establishment of the Welfare State in 1948 by the Attlee government.
Her government is now throwing the working class and the poor overboard, with thousands of families being hit by the introduction of Universal Credit and its benefit caps that have seen many families, after they have bought food, clothing and paid for heating, being left with just 50p a week towards their rent, a BBC investigation has found.
The cuts are part of the government’s drive to force unemployed people into any kind of work and super-exploitation – into Deliveroo-type precarious employment without any trade union protection and rights – by removing their benefits.
As the government explained: ‘The amount of the benefit cap is changing, even if your benefit is capped already … The benefit cap is the total amount your household can get in benefits … What this means for you is that your Universal Credit may go down, so that the total amount of your household benefits is not more than the new amount of the benefit cap.
‘This may mean you have to manage your money differently to budget on a monthly basis and pay your bills. The new level of the benefit cap may apply to you, so we want to make sure you are ready for this change.
‘Finding work could mean the benefit cap wouldn’t apply to you. Your household will be exempt from the benefit cap if you earn £430 or more per month or if you live with a partner and you jointly earn this amount per month.’ The government is seeking to drive people into super-exploitation and using hunger and the fear of eviction to do so!
‘The benefit limits are £23,000 in London and £20,000 in the rest of the country. This means that the amount of money above the limit is taken from housing benefit or Universal Credit.’ It means people can lose all their housing benefit, except for a nominal amount of 50p. The BBC Panorama survey of hundreds of local councils across Britain has discovered that 7,585 families had their weekly housing benefit cut to 50p.
Welfare delivery minister Caroline Nokes says of the measure: ‘What we sought to do was incentivise work because we know that the outcomes for children will be better if they are in families that are working.’ What is meant is that hunger and homelessness is now being used by the government to cut the massive debts of British capitalism by forcing families into 19th century conditions.
The latest measure, a new cut limiting Universal Credit to the first two children in a family – starts today. It will push another 200,000 children below the official poverty line. The biggest group affected will be working families with three children, who will miss out on up to £2,780 per year as a result of the cut. Larger, non-working families already have their benefit awards limited by the benefit cap so are not the main target of the policy.
Overall, upwards of an estimated 850,000 families with more than two children are likely to be affected, around two thirds of whom will be working. Families hit by the cut will include those who were not on Universal Credit when the children were born but who will need to claim in future because of an unforeseen change such as redundancy, ill-health, separation or even death of a parent.
Children in families with more than two children are already at a higher risk of poverty: 39% of children in families with three or more children live in poverty after housing costs, compared with 26% for those in families with one or two children. British capitalism is seeking to resurrect itself at the expense of the working class and the poor. After all, most workers have not had an above 1% pay rise since 2010.
There is only one way forward. This is through the organisation of a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers to bring in a planned socialist economy and socialism.
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