Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/811/18610
The Socialist 14 May 2014 |
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Housing evictions - main parties to blame
Mary Jackson, TUSC candidate Stainforth and Moorends ward, Doncaster
Evictions in Britain have reached a ten year high. Disgracefully 31,000 possession orders are being applied for by councils, and it's mostly Labour councils that are carrying out this appalling act.
Another 6,500 are being evicted by private landlords but we can expect no better from them; they are letting properties to make profit. Our elected councillors are supposedly providing a service.
This housing crisis is a nightmare for families, but also a growing social problem for us all. Cuts to housing benefit, the bedroom tax and the benefit cap are making it impossible for people to keep their homes. None of these measures were designed to save public money or ease the housing crisis (as was the excuse of this unelected government) but simply a measure to take government money (our money) to use for tax breaks for the super-rich - £8 billion this year alone.
The only answer to this crisis is a massive council house-building and regeneration programme which would not only create the desperately needed homes for the two million families currently on the waiting lists for social housing but would cut the dole queue, create apprenticeships for young people and put money in people's pockets.
The money is available in council coffers from the sale of council houses over the past 30 years. Councils are saving this for a 'rainy day' but haven't they noticed it's pouring down!
But neither Labour nor the Con-Dems plan to invest in homes and jobs in this way. These parties are too busy putting the interests of the fat cats first. Housebuilder Telford Homes, for example, expects to double its profits on the back of Osborne's 'Help-to-buy' scheme, which is also fuelling a housing price bubble.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to the establishment parties and their slavish devotion to 'market' policies.
On 22 May, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates are contesting council elections in the biggest left of Labour challenge since World War Two.
TUSC councillors will refuse to vote for any Con-Dem cuts to our services and will fight for the creation of millions of council houses. Don't waste your vote. Use it!
- Tackle the housing crisis by mass building and renovation of council houses
- Cap all rents in the private sector at council rent level
- Scrap the bedroom tax. Reverse all welfare cuts
- For a £10 an hour minimum wage for all
- Nationalise the house-building companies
- Fight for a socialist alternative to capitalism