Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2013

Stop social cleansing: Cap rents, not benefits

Paul Kershaw

Camden council in London has announced plans to move poorer families out of the capital to places as far away as Bradford, Leicester and Birmingham, saying it can no longer afford to house them.

Camden is contacting 761 households, 2,817 people, who may be affected by the government's benefit cap, which will limit total welfare payments to 500 a week for families later this year.

The Labour council warns that most of these families have three children and will need to find on average an additional 90 a week for rent to remain in their homes when the cap comes in.

Camden say they regret the move. But rather than acting to protect working class people by launching a mass campaign against the cuts and setting a budget based on the needs of the community, they are implementing a policy of social cleansing.

Other London councils are developing similar plans and four (Haringey, Enfield, Croydon and Bromley) will be trialling the new arrangements from April. Westminster has estimated that 2,327 local families will be hit.

A single mother was quoted in the press saying: "I want to stay where I am for my children's education. What it seems like is the government just want London for the rich."

Benefit myths

It is not even the case that people's problems will ease when families are forced out. Bradford points out that it has 20,000 people waiting for social housing, 10% overcrowding in some areas, and a severe shortage of school places, especially in the areas where these families are likely to end up.

The government has defended the policy saying: "It's not right that benefit claimants can receive higher incomes than families who are in work..." repeating the false idea that claimants are not workers. But the benefits system has become a mechanism for subsidising low-paying employers.

It is true that rents in inner London are sky high - rents of three bedroom homes in Camden are at least double the government's maximum welfare payment of 340 a week for such properties in north London. But it's landlords, not tenants, who get rich.

If your job is in London it's likely that a rent that was once affordable has become unaffordable as rent increases outstrip wage increases.

The average rent in London increased by 6.7% last year. A minimum emergency step would be to cap rents instead of benefits. Most European and North American cities control rent.

Fighting councillors

Two Labour councillors in Southampton have stood up for working class people by refusing to implement cuts but have been expelled from Labour.

No councillors in Camden have had the courage to stand up against cuts and social cleansing.

Support Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate John Reid (regional secretary of London Transport for the RMT transport workers union) in the Camden council byelection on 14 March as a voice against cuts and social cleansing.


Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 20 February 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Toxic Tories - Time to fight their cuts and lies

Government on the back foot after workfare ruling

Stop social cleansing: Cap rents, not benefits

Food adulteration - government cutbacks and capitalist profits

Self-regulation: 'Like having the burglars install your locks'

Bosses take tax liberties

Action needed to end caste discrimination

Free trade agreement means NHS privatisation

Them & Us

Southampton feature

Fighting for a real alternative to cuts

Councillors' contempt exposed

International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Democratic Socialist Movement conference

Kazakhstan: Vadim Kuramshin faces 12-year jail sentence after appeal denied

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS branch supports 24-hour general strike call

Prison officers protest outside parliament

No pay cuts at Thera!

Tyne & Wear metro cleaners up the ante

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Mid Staffs hospital scandal: Cuts, PFI and big business to blame

Coventry: 'We need to fight now to save our services'

Getting organised can change things for low-paid workers

Caerphilly says 'bring back our A&E!'

Save our Services demo in Newcastle attracts 3,000

Carlisle: Demands to 'tax the rich' hit a nerve

London NHS

Socialist Students holds first North West conference

Nepal: The forgotten revolution

Socialist Party campaigning news

Socialist Party review

Review: "It's time to take over the banks"


Home   |   The Socialist 20 February 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

triangleWaltham Forest Universal Credit protest

triangleDriving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

triangleEnd Tory war on poor


triangleTory housing policy: build zilch, hike prices

trianglePosh estate agent's housing crisis solution: make your own sandwiches

triangleUS: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts


triangleHeating scandal on east London estate

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The national question

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The rise of Militant


triangleThem & Us

triangleCamden evacuation - residents expose fire risks


triangleTunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity


triangleCorbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy


triangleNo to the Woolwich monster block

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy



Victory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests



NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!



Carillion crisis: demand action to save jobs and services



Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence



Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS



Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation


Them & Us

Them & Us



Teacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding


Fire service

Fire service victory



Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up


Higher Education

Mobilise against rip-off executive pay



NHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off 1bn



Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes


Fat cats

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle18 Jan Waltham Forest Socialist Party: How do we get Corbyn's policies into Waltham Forest council?

triangle18 Jan Southampton Socialist Party: Is there a global nuclear threat?

triangle18 Jan Swansea Socialist Party: Is there a threat of nuclear war?

triangle18 Jan Cardiff East Socialist Party: Building Socialism in Cardiff East

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



January 2018






















Platform setting: = No platform choice