From the TUC

Life on Benefits is Not an Easy Ride

18 Feb 2011, by in Society & Welfare

I have put up a post at Left Foot Forward which discusses a new TUC report – it reviews objective evidence to show that life on benefits is no easy ride.

One Response to Life on Benefits is Not an Easy Ride

  1. Clare Fernyhough
    Feb 21st 2011, 10:00 am

    To further impoverish people on JSA year on year, which is what will happen, can only lead to trouble.

    Couple this with the fact that housing benefit will not cover any rent rises, again, year on year I don’t quite know how the government think people can continue to live on an ever decreasing income whilst all other costs rise.

    I’m currently chronically disabled, but I have come to terms with fact that there is a real possibility that at some point I will be migrated onto JSA. Prior to that however, any benefits I do receive will reduce each year. I have been informed by my ex council housing assoiciation that because of government changes my rent will increase 7.2%, and increase above inflation every year until 2035. Additionally, despite ministers stating to the media before christmas that that the under occupancy rule would not apply to existing tenants, the primary legislation concerning it printed two weeks ago, says otherwise: I do not understand how they are able to tell such lies and cannot be held to account. I will be expected to pay £22 per week to stay in the home I have lived in for 24 years. If I’m migrated onto JSA, I would have to leave immeadiately since I would not receive the rise in housing benefit as it was.

    Even as things stand, I have crunched the numbers, and after paying expensive bus fare to sign on (I can’t even travel on a bus or walk the distance from the bus station to the JSA office due to my illness), I would have exactly £1 left for food per week. Any price rises, including benefits not uprating to cover housing would wipe this out in one year. Even if my housing association had any one bedroom flats (waiting list is 7-10 years), they are as expensive as my semi detatched since the properties are not as old. Similarly, benefits not covering housing would soon mean I would have to give the flat up.

    The government document says that if that is the case, I will have to find a property in the private sector, but the above problems remain the same. The LHA rates for renting a room, or one bedroom property are set way below anything in the city in my area. Even if I secure one, since my housing allowance will not rise with inflation, then again, I would soon have to move out.

    The fact is that this government have not thought this out or maybe they have. If people like me cannot afford social housing, then social housing will no longer exist. If welfare payments are to reduce then welfare will no longer exist.

    Where am I and all of the other millions supposed to go and how are we supposed to live?