Category Archives: Tory Scum

Chaos In Supported Housing: Almost Half A Million Homes Under Threat As Ministers Dither

George-Osborne Social housing providers are warning that up to 440,000 homes are potentially at risk due to George Osborne’s plans to slash benefits intended to pay the rent of those living in supported housing.

In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor  announced that Housing Benefit for tenants living in socially managed housing would be capped at the same level as payments for those renting privately.  This cap is to include those living in some form of supported accommodation where high rents are charged to cover the additional costs of providing care or supervision.  With weekly Housing Benefit awards capped at less then £50 a week for single people under 35 in some parts of the UK, this will mean the potential closure of every women’s refuge and homelessness hostel along with supported housing schemes for pensioners and those with acute physical or mental health conditions.  The combined financial loss to social housing providers could be as high as £400 million according to housing industry spokespeople quoted in trade magazine Inside Housing recently – and this is assuming that those over pensionable age are excluded from the cap.  To date no-one from the Treasury, DWP or Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) appears to have said they will be.

The DWP have said that any shortfall in payments to cover rents will be made up by Discretionary Housing Payments.  This is money given to local councils which can be used to top up housing benefits of those affected by cuts already introduced such as the Bedroom Tax and Benefit Cap.  Osborne himself has claimed there will be an additional money for these payments, believed to be around £70 million a year, but this will not come close to meeting the funding gap.  Just as importantly these payments are not ring-fenced and are discretionary – there will be no requirement by law for local authorities to meet people’s rents.  The implications are chilling  Without central control then any old swivel-eyed Tory Council could close a homelessness hostel or drug rehab project in their constituency simply by cutting off their income stream.

Perhaps most astonishingly – given that it is only now that the social housing sector has taken notice – is that this is a problem which is four years old.  Way back in 2012 the charity for domestic abuse survivors Women’s Aid warned that a combination of benefit caps and the reforms being introduced under Universal Credit would ‘decimate’ the women’s refuge system.  This led to Lord Fraud, the comedy toff brought in on the cheap to oversee welfare reforms, quickly pledging that payments for supported housing would continue under the current system.   Then followed a bitter row about what exactly the government means by supported housing, as well as concerns raised over funding for emergency temporary accommodation such as B&Bs.  Neither of these matters were ever fully resolved as DWP ministers dithered and dodged questions whilst homelessness charities and housing associations were too busy looking to profit from lucrative government contracts to pay attention to their impending destruction.

And so here we are again, except now homelessness has soared and over 100,000 children are living in expensive and insecure temporary accommodation.  These bed spaces are also under threat with DWP documents suggesting that housing benefit payments for temporary accommodation will now also be capped.  Previously the solution to temporary housing – which doesn’t have the same costs as supported housing but is more expensive than mainstream accommodation – was to allow an additional weekly payment of £40 to be added to housing benefit.  In the latest guidance aimed at social landlords explaining benefit changes however it states that homeless Universal Credit claimants in temporary housing will have their rents capped at the same level as those in the mainstream private sector.  There is no mention of additional funding.   So it is not just homelessness hostels, refuge’s and other supported housing that is under threat, but possibly B&Bs and private sector emergency accommodation.

Whilst these changes are terrifying and if implemented could lead to a street homelessness crisis that has not been seen before in a so-called developed economy, the DWP has a long way to go if this is truly what they want.  The cuts to housing benefits will not be implemented until 2018 and will only apply to tenancies signed after April this year.  This will prevent, at least for a couple of years, mass evictions.  But the biggest problem is that almost all of the people eligible for both supported and temporary accommodation would be classed as ‘statutory homeless’ if they were unable to find a roof over their heads.  This means that local authorities are bound, by law, to house them – there and then if they have nowhere to go that night.  There just won’t be any money to pay their rent.

In short, it’s a giant fucking mess and one the DWP have been trying to sweep under the carpet ever since Iain Duncan Smith’s half-baked reforms to the benefits system were first announced.  Expect another bodge as the realities of a modern social security system clash once again with the delusions of a Secretary of State who thought he could fix poverty by making people poorer.  The truth is this has probably only dragged on so long because no-one really believes that Universal Credit will ever be fully implemented anyway.  It sill might not be.  The tragedy, as Inside Housing reveals, is that this shambles is already having very real consequnces.  Social housing providers say that schemes to provide desperately needed new supported housing are currently on hold until the government makes it’s mind up about whether they should condemn everybody officially classed as ‘vulnerable’ to street homelessness or not.  Decisions, decisions.  What a bunch of cunts.

A march against the housing bill, which will decimate social housing, is taking place in London on Saturday January 30th.  More details on facebook, please spread the word.

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Same Old Fucking Tories: Government Pledges Millions To Support Traditional Family Values

Cameron goes Back to Basics

Cameron goes Back to Basics

It is genuinely astonishing that a man who fucked a pig’s head and left his young child alone in a pub thinks he can lecture the rest of us about being a good parent.  But that is what David Cameron plans to do as his increasingly desperate government launches a back to basics style campaign based on traditional Tory family values.

The government has announced that an additional £35 million is to be spent on guilt-tripping unhappy couples into staying together for the sake of the kids.  Alongside this there wil be increased access to parenting classes.  This will stop people being poor according to David Cameron who is expected to say in a speech today that “families are the best anti-poverty measure ever invented.”  Which they are if you stand to inherit a multi-million pound fortune like him and all his chums.

The funding will be spent on relationship counselling run by organisations such as Marriage Care, a Catholic charity who say they “embrace and uphold the Christian vision of marriage as an example of a vocation of life and love. In Christian marriage this vocation is shaped by the whole-life commitment of a man and woman, whose love is open to embrace family life.”    God fucking help us.

dad-infoThe government already funds a Sorting out Separation website which claims to provide support for couples who are thinking of splitting up including a section where you can find help in your local area.  Almost at the top of the list of support services, seemingingly wherever you are in the UK, is a website called dad.info. This is sort of online softcore lad’s mag where angry men call women bitches in the forums and whinge about a feminist conspiracy.  Despite the website’s embarrassing attempts to be edgy and butch it is actually run in partnership with the Department of Education and also receives funding from the DWP.

If this isn’t the kind of help a women seperating from the father of her kids is looking for then the next orgaisation on the list of local support groups is Families Need Fathers.  You can see where this is going.

The Sorting out Separation website also contains information on managing conflict, featuring a yotube video of another angry man who has been taught to control his temper by mediation.  The small section on domestic violence merely advises women who are being abused to call 999, talk to their doctor, or ring the helpline run by Women’s Aid and Refuge – who provide far more adequate advice on their own website.  Men experiencing domestic abuse are not excluded, however of the two helplines the government advises them to call, one has shut down and the other closes in March due to lack of funds.

Real tax payer’s money has been spent on this shambles, although admittedly not much of it.  The additional £35 million pledged by David Cameron this weekend is only slightly more than the total of George Osborne’s estimated inheritance.  It would still have gone a long way towards housing the 100,000 children currently homeless and living in temporary accommodation however.  But then that’s real poverty, and this government has no interest at all in fixing that.

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A Nasty Little Cut That No-one’s Talking About Will Demolish Social Housing For The Young

demolition

The destruction of social housing will not happen overnight, although it is likely to be largely gone within a generation or so.  Tenants with serious health conditions or those over pensionable age are probably safe for now as long as they die quickly enough.  When they do, and their properties become empty, then new legislation means the most expensive will be sold off.  Alongside increased Right To Buy sales, this will see the number of social houses available plummet – potentially by as much as 95% in one Central London borough.  Meanwhile fixed term tenancies will ensure that anyone who gets a council house is less likely to keep it for life meaning the flow of houses for potential sale is now embedded within the system.

But even these measures are not enough to ensure that the end of social housing happens as quickly as possible.  Something also needs to be done to lock the next generation out of socially managed homes.  So in last month’s Autumn statement George Osborne quietly slashed Housing Benefits for those under 35 who are eligible for social housing.

The Shared Accommodation Rate was first introduced by Labour who casually decided that anybody under 25 in private rented housing should only receive enough Housing Benefit to pay for a room in a shared house.  This was later extended by the Tories to all those under 35 with completely predictable results.  An early evaluation of how landlords were likely to respond to the move discovered that many were introducing policies of not letting to anybody under 35 at all –  whether in work or not – due to fears they would be unable to meet the rent if they became unemployed or took a pay cut.  Despite this shocking report, the cut went ahead as planned and no further evaluations have been carried out.  Street homelessness has risen to record levels since the policy was introduced.

In a savage and strategic move, George Osborne is now extending the Shared Accommodation Rate to the social housing sector* and the results will be devastating for those under 35.  The Shared Accommodation Rate in Sunderland is just £45 a week.  That is the most that a single person under 35 and without children can claim in Housing Benefits in the region.  In Outer East London it is £73.62, whilst in Birmingham it is just £56.77.

The average ‘social rent’ for a one bedroomed council or housing association flat in England is £76 a week. These kind of rents are being phased out however and replaced by so-called affordable rents, which on average cost £117 a week – far above the amount soon to be available in Housing Benefits for younger claimants.  This means it will not just be the private rented sector that under 35s on a low income are excluded from, but social housing as well.

This drastic cut means that three scenarios are possible.  The first is that council and housing associations could cut rents for those under 35.  This is not likely to happen.  Social housing rents are largely controlled by legislation and the recent 1% cut will not come close to making up the shortfall.

Another option is that social housing providers will attempt to bring rents down by splitting up larger properties amongst several young people – or that they will turn to the private sector to provide shared accommodation for young people in housing need.  The problem with this is that many of those under 35 who are eligible for help with housing are care leavers, people with mental health conditions, or those who have been through the hostel or women’s refuge system.  Often, though not always, these are people who have had difficult lives.  Shared accommodation is unlikely to be suitable for a young victims of abuse leaving care, domestic violence survivors or former rough sleepers. And few private sector landlords will be happy renting to gangs of young marginalised people, some of whom may display what social workers like to call ‘challenging behaviour’.

The third option is that these groups will be placed in temporary or supported housing, forever.  Or at least until they are 35.  This will be hugely expensive, but Osborne might even have that covered.  According to the charity Homeless Link the shared accommodation rate will also apply to those in supported housing such as women’s refuge’s or hostels for the homeless.  Rents in these kinds of accommodation are eye-wateringly high to pay for support staff, with the cost of this currently met by Housing Benefit.  If this benefit is cut then anywhere providing supported or temporary housing for those under 35 will close.

Homeless Link report that the government claim they will avoid this by exempting supported housing from the cut using Discretionary Housing Payments.  This is the sticking-plaster money given to local authorities in an effort to alleviate the worst of the homelessness caused by government policies.  The key word is discretionary – local councils are under no obligation to spend a penny of this money. Without legislation to ensure these payments go towards supported housing then any Tory council that decides they want to close every homeless person’s hostel or women’s refuge in their region will be able to do so at the stroke of a pen.

Of course there is also a fourth option, which is that young people will simply be left to fend for themselves.  This will mean the most troubled and alienated young (and not so young) locked out of housing completely or forced to remain in an abusive family environment or relationship.  Or left to freeze on the streets.  Perhaps George Osborne thinks they might as well get used to it.  Because with social housing being made both unworkable and unaffordable then a lifetime of homelessness and desperate housing insecurity threatens the next generation like never before.

*The Shared Accommodation Rate will only apply to those under 35 without children who sign a tenancy after April 2016 and the cut will then not be implemented until April 2018.  It will not apply to existing tenants.

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What a fucking shambles, the rise and demise of Community Work Placements

Iain-Duncan-Smith-poutIn 2013 the government published an evaluation of the Community Action Programme.  This workfare pilot scheme involved sending long-term unemployed people to work without pay for six months for charities or so-called community organisations.  It was one of several workfare programmes introduced in a flurry of activity after the 2010 election as Labour’s forced work schemes were shut down at huge cost to be replaced by Tory forced work schemes.  As the evaluation later found, the Community Action Programme was a disaster.

Despite attending full time forced work for six months the programme had no impact on whether people were able to secure paid work.  Even unpaid workfare placements could not be found for half the participants, whilst there was some evidence of claimants transferring to sickness benefits as they were too unwell to carry out full time physical work.  So shit were the results from the evaluation that many assumed it would be abandoned, including apparently Iain Duncan Smith who was unusually quiet about the future of the scheme.

Then came the 2013 Tory Party conference.  Whilst Iain Duncan Smith was reduced to announcing a small scale pilot scheme in his speech, George Osborne stole the limelight by pledging a vast £300 million ‘Help To Work’ programme including forced community work for long term unemployed people, for six months, without pay.  And so the Community Action Programme was renamed Community Work Placements and set to be inflicted on all of those leaving the Work Programme.  As ever it would be overseen by private companies from the welfare-to-work sector.

It was clear that Community Work Placements would be shambles as soon as the tender documents were published.  An analysis of the proposed payment structure by Private Eye found that it could be more profitable for welfare to work companies to keep people on workfare rather than encouraging them to take up short periods of real work.  This of course didn’t bother the welfare-to-work sector, who were more concerned with the requirement that if they could not find somebody a placement then they would have to provide 30 hours of work related activity themselves.

Traditionally this has been achieved by herding people into a room containing a couple of out of date newspapers and a broken computer and ordering them to stay there for 30 hours a week.  Even this costs money though, at the very least someone has to be paid to sit in a back office all day playing Angry Birds whilst pretending to supervise the inmates.  And not only did the welfare-to-work companies have to provide this activity, but they wouldn’t be paid anything until they found someone a placement.  With the previously mentioned pilot showing that placements could only be found for half of participants then this was not the kind of DWP gravy train the workfare industry has come to expect.

Very few of the usual welfare-to-work sharks chose to bid for Community Work Placements, and those that did, such as Learn Direct, had little experience of running schemes of this scale.  But there was one firm who were very keen to get back in the Government’s good books.  There was just one problem.  At the time G4S were banned from carrying out government contracts due to being  investigated after the security tagging fiasco.

The companies set to run Community Work Placements were supposed to be announced at the beginning of March 2013.  This announcement never came.  It was not until mid-April that the DWP informed those who had bid for contracts whether they had been successful, and two weeks later before they bothered to tell the public.  The investigation into G4S was closed on the 9th April.  On the evening of the 28th April, the day Community Work Placements were due to begin, it was finally admitted that G4S would be running the placements in most areas of the UK.

This delay meant that the scheme was long behind schedule, but those opposed to it were very much on the ball.  First dozens, then hundreds of charities signed the Keep Volunteering Voluntary statement pledging not to take part in this or other workfare programmes. Demonstrations were called by Boycott Workfare and other groups, whilst even previously enthusiastic workfare advocates like the Salvation Army said they would not take part in a scheme lasting so long.  The problem of securing enough placements was getting worse.

Over the next year and a half thousands of people were sent to work, without pay, for six month stretches.  Yet there was no word from the DWP on whether any of these participants had gained real jobs as a result of the Help To Work programme.  There still isn’t.  It was not until last month that any performance figures for Community Work Placements were made available at all and these neglected to include job outcome rates.  What they did tell us is that less than half of all people referred to the scheme had actually started a placement.  Which was hardly surprising.

Last week George Osborne scrapped Community Work Placements in his Autumn Statement document rather than admit in his speech that his much fan-fared Help To Work initiative had been a flop.  The truth is that these placements didn’t help anybody except the charities and community organisations who benefited from up to 20 million hours of forced unpaid work.  There have been no statistics made available on how many people have had their benefits sanctioned for refusing to take part in this embarrassing and exploitative mess.  Bungled schemes like this carry real human consequences, consequences that can be tragic.

Referrals to Community Work Placements should end in March next year although it is likely to start being wound down now.  It is in no-one’s interests to keep this charade going, not even G4S who for once are probably not making any money, or at least not much.   Workfare, on this kind of scale, is expensive.  Far more expensive than just leaving people the fuck alone.  The DWP spends nearly twice as much on admin, Jobcentre salaries and payments to welfare to work companies then they do on actually paying people the pittance of Jobseeker’s Allowance.  But don’t expect them to have learnt their lesson.

A new Health and Work Programme is due to begin in 2017.  Once again this will be contracted out to private companies although there is some suggestion that local councils are also to be invited on board the workfare gravy train.  It is likely, although not certain, that this programme will make use of the ‘black box’ approach – meaning welfare-to-work companies having the power to mandate claimants to any activity they choose, including workfare.  Until then those on the current Work Programme can still face forced work under the same arrangements.  Plans have also been announced to compel all those under 21 to carry out unpaid work experience for private companies or be sent on community workfare.  Workfare isn’t going anywhere yet, although that should not stop us celebrating this important victory.

It is an open secret that Iain Duncan Smith and George Osborne despise each other.  The lives and futures of benefit claimants now appear trapped between a clash of two egos.  Osborne thought he could do workfare better than Iain Duncan Smith and has been humiliated.  In revenge he seems to have turned off the vast sums of tax payer’s cash that were being used to pay for Iain Duncan Smith’s endless crazy schemes.  What this means for the future is anybody’s guess.  Millions of people are now at the mercy of two warring politicians.  Both believe in a nasty ideology that claims unemployment is caused by unemployed people – and increasingly that sickness and disability are caused by unemployment.  They just disagree on the best way to torment and punish claimants for their perceived sins.   The future is far from rosy for the poor, but in the chaos that is to come there will be more opportunities than ever for collective action to defeat and destroy this bullshit for good.

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Not All Terrorists Carry Guns, But The Deaths From Osborne’s Cuts Will Be Just As Real

osborne-littleIt is hard to conceive how a Chancellor can look at people surviving on just a few pounds a day and decide it is them who must have their incomes cut to pay for a financial crisis caused by the rich.  What kind of fucking human being would do that?

These are people who may be struggling with a serious health condition, newly unemployed steel workers, the precariously self-employed or those on the lowest pay. These are to be the likely victims of the latest round of economic terrorism that George Osborne is set to inflict in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement.

Be in no doubt, this is terrorism.  Millions of people are now living in a state of stark and permanent panic as reckless Tory cuts strike randomly, demolishing lives, putting homes at risk, endangering health and tragically driving some to suicide. The callous assessments for disability benefits alone have led to 590 people taking their own lives researchers recently revealed in a report that should have brought this Government down.  Yet it was greeted with little more than a murmour.  The UK establishment, in all its guises, cares no more about the lives of the poor than the Isis death cultists cared about those they mercilessly gunned down in Paris last week.  A welfare state that destroys lives whilst masquerading as a safety net is the perfect weapon of class warfare.  The victims kill themselves, or disappear without trace under the burden of desperate poverty.

Such is the carefully constructed poverty trap that there is now almost no chance of escape.  There are just under 2 million people in the UK who are unemployed, and a further two million who don’t have a job and want one but do not meet the strict criteria of official unemployment.  Add to that a couple of million sick and disabled people or lone parents who are now being ordered to endlessly search for jobs. There are just 740,000 vacancies according to the Office for National Statistics.  If every one of those was filled tomorrow there would still be millions looking for work.

Not that finding a job will help the poorest as housing costs soar and in-work benefits are demolished.  Only if you can climb to the ranks of the so-called squeezed middle will you perhaps be able to grab some quality of existence, and even if you get there you’d better not get sick, become disabled or lose your job.  And you won’t ever get there.  Try walking into a Jobcentre and saying you’d like to re-train as a plumber or take an IT course that will actually get you a job rather than just teach you how to turn on a fucking computer.  When they’ve stopped laughing they will point you in the direction of a private training company, who want thousands of pounds, and for which there are no students loans available.  Even then, if you manage to raise the money, the Jobcentre may order you to leave to attend full time workfare instead.

Those who have had benefits sanctioned for missing a meeting, or failing to attend workfare, now survive on around £41 a week – and only then if they qualify for Hardship Payments. Those under 25 who are looking for work will fare little better with a weekly income barely over £50 whilst the older unemployed receive just £73.10.  Some of these claimants will be paying the Bedroom Tax, as well as Council Tax out of that sum.  Others will be frantically trying to make up rent payments to cover Housing Benefit shortfalls as private rents soar and benefits intended to pay them are capped and frozen.

Any further cuts to Housing Benefits will be devastating and could plunge some into a negative income as unavoidable costs like rent, water and Council Tax leave them with no money at all, just a steadily increasing debt.  This will include the working poor who have little more to live on than those on the dole, making a mockery of Iain Duncan Smith’s claims that his reforms are making work pay.  Whether Osborne cuts Tax Credits, Housing Benefits, or child benefits this week will make little difference to those affected.  Their lives are earmarked for economic destruction however the Chancellor chooses to cut.

In the face of such an onslaught we have no choice but to fight back.  There is no slack in the social security system left at all – in fact there never was any to begin with.  Street homelessnes is already at record levels and the full impact of the last round of cuts has not yet been truly felt.  Gideon Osborne is playing a dangerous game that could leave millions with nothing left to lose and no futures to plan for.  The rich may sleep comfortably in their mansions tonight.  But there will be consequences, there must be, because one death was too many and we cannot allow this to continue.

As ever Class War are taking te fight direct to the pampered elite calling for a picket of George Osborne’s family business to coincide with his speech on Wednesday.  Meet outside Osborne & Little, 204 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 from 12-2pm on Wednesday 25th November. Spread the word.

Apologies for the extended absence.  Back to normal now hopefully.

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The Temperature Is Rising, Let’s Show Them We Fucking Mean It

two-days-of-rageThey will keep coming back for more and more if we let them. They will come for our homes, our pensions, our benefits, our health service, everything they think they can grab. Everything that working class people have won.

Don’t think having a job will save you. As the bungled attempts to cut tax credits shows, they don’t give a fuck about that anymore. If your wages are low, then tough shit, you obviously aren’t working hard enough is the new mantra from the rich. To be poor now, whether working or not, is a sin in itself and the only way for redemption is to be poorer, to teach us a lesson. They think this will make us like them – grasping venal capitalist scum, exploiting at every turn, fucking over our neighbours in a desperate scramble to hoard wealth for ourselves whilst around us bodies huddle in shop doorways. That is what they mean by being a striver. It is the morality of thieves, the worship of the worst of human nature. And it must be stopped.

None of this has happened by accident. The working class had to be broken before this capitalist coup could be enacted. This destruction of organised labour, the endless succession of petty laws, an obedient and ever ready to be violent police force, the erosion of living standards and housing, all of these were necessary to eradicate the kind of collective action of the scale that is needed to resist this attack. But the truth is that the class war is far from over. We are not broken, not by a long way. It is the pampered rich, who think their privilege is safe behind the walls we built, who are the real vulnerable ones. Their entire cosseted existence depends on us remaining compliant. That is why even the most trivial act of political disobedience or rebellion terrifies them. They are as scared of us building the level of resistance necessary as we are cynical about whether that can be achieved. But it can be done, history shows us that. And it will start in the fucking streets.

On Wednesday (4th November) students will be taking to the streets demanding free education. Thousands are expected to attend what promises to be a lively demonstration. The march will depart from Malet St, outside the former University of London Union, at 13.30pm. For more info visit the organiser’s website.

The next day (bonfire night, Thursday 5th November) will see the annual Million Mask March take place in cities across the globe with Class War promising to drag an effigy of Tory London mayor candidate Zac Goldsmith in chains down Whitehall.  This event was huge last year and begins at 18.00 in Trafalgar Square.  More details on facebook.

Finally on Saturday 7th November the Class War Women’ s Death Brigade will be back outside the vile and unwanted Ripper Museum on Cable Street, E1.  Meet at the Cable Street Mural at 2pm and help drive this creepy bunch of gentrifying wannabe psychopaths out of the East End for good.

Please help spread the word about all events.

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How George Osborne’s Minimum Wage Rise Will Mean Brutal Benefit Cuts For The Self-Employed

gideon-osbornePlans to raise the minimum wage will mean a brutal benefit cut for the lowest earning self-employed workers due to complex changes to in-work benefits.

When Universal Credit is fully introduced (stop laughing) then anybody who is self-employed will be subject to the ‘Minimum Income Floor’.  What this means is that when calculating in-work benefits, such as Tax Credits and Housing Benefit, the DWP will assume a level of income regardless of how much the self-employed worker is actually earning.  For most people this means that the rate of benefits they receive will be based on them earning the equivalent of the minimum wage for 35 hours a week.  This will apply even if they earnt nothing at all that month, potentially plunging people hundreds of pounds into rent arrears just because they’ve had a bit of a slow period.

So, as George Osborne is well aware, any rise in the Minimum Wage will prove devastating for the self-employed if they are not able to constantly improve their earnings to keep up.  Instead of it being an employer’s duty to pay the Minimum Wage, for the self-employed at least, it will be the worker’s duty to earn it.  Failure to do so will mean an effective cut to vital housing benefits as well as the replacement for Tax Cedits.

For five years the Tories have been happily encouraging low paid, precarious self-employment, not least because it helps bring the unemployment figures down.  Companies running the Work Programme have been handed pay-outs worth thousands of pounds in some cases everytime they encourage someone on the dole to become self-employed.  And now, having used a bogus fall in unemployment to help them win an election, the Tory Party are setting out to destroy this socially engineered entrepreneurship.

The median self-employed income in 2012/13 was £207 a week.  When the Minimum Wage rises to £7.20 these people will be assumed to be earning £252 a week for benefit purposes, leaving a huge shortfall unless they can increase those earnings.  Every time the Minimum Wage goes up again, they will be forced to try and keep up or face being unable to pay their rent.  For most, going onto unemployment benefits will be preferable to this kind of imsecurity.

Only the Tory Party could have produced a draconian system that means a rise in the Minimum Wage will prove devastating for the lowest earning workers.  They may talk the language of aspiration, but what they do shows a very different intention.  Rules are planned which will force social housing tenants to pay eye-watering rents if their earning rise above a certain amount.  Further Benefit Caps are on the way to force the poor out of big cities where the best jobs are.  Huge student fees and the abolishing of the Educational Maintenance Allowance have devastated the opportunities of the poorest youth.  And now they are coming for the self-employed, who are struggling to stay afloat, let alone prosper in an ever-more insecure jobs market.

George Osborne wants to put the working class back in their place, just like his idol Margaret Thatcher.  Unless you come from the gilded elite then don’t think about ever owning a house, getting an education, or setting up a small business.  Don’t get on your bike and look for work alongside the newly graduated rich kids in cities like London or Edinburgh.  Stay in your box.  Don’t complain.  Doff your fucking cap.  Stay poor. That is the real goal of Tory Party policy.

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