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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2016

3.5bn on temporary housing for councils

Spend the cash building homes!

Housing is a right

Housing is a right   (Click to enlarge)

Mary Jackson, Doncaster Socialist Party

Councils have spent a disgraceful 3.5 billion in the last five years keeping homeless vulnerable families in temporary accommodation according to figures obtained by the BBC.

A million houses are needed to tackle the housing crisis. At 100,000 a house, the amount councils have spent could have built 35,000 homes which would last for decades.

The millions, possibly billions by now, put aside from the sale of council houses over the past 30 years is ring-fenced - but cannot be spent. How can this be in the present homes crisis?

Homelessness in Britain is alarmingly high. 120,000 children will be homeless this Christmas. They'll be in hostels, bed-and-breakfasts or private lets. No security, no peace, very little privacy, not even a toilet for each family.

The law in the UK means that a person is only statutory homeless if they are vulnerable in some way, for example because there's children in the family, or severe disability.

Vulnerable

But even that is no guarantee of being accepted. A court in Manchester decided that a man without legs was not vulnerable, because he was born without legs so was used to it!

Apparently Buckingham Palace needs some upkeep, at a cost of 369 million.

Now this modest home for the queen and her hangers-on has 775 rooms. That should be enough to satisfy anyone, but apparently not. The government (in other words, we) bought her another little castle for her 90th birthday.

This is unbelievable. We've had the mantra of austerity drummed in our ears since 2010, when the Tories, first aided and abetted by the Lib Dems, then on their own since 2015, have savagely attacked the standard of living for vast swathes of folk.

They have increased council and housing association rents at the same time as capping housing benefit, forcing families into arrears and homelessness.

Let's campaign to make Labour a mass workers' party with socialist policies and kick them out! And Jeremy Corbyn should join our call for Labour councils to refuse to implement cuts, and start a mass council house building programme.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 23 November 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cash for rich and royals, cuts for the 99%

Tories drop 'pay to stay'

Tories plan pain with Brexit Autumn Statement

3.5bn on temporary housing for councils

'Just about managing': 2,500 worse off by 2020

Job figures mask casualisation

What We Saw


What we think

The Socialist Party and support for the Corbyn movement


Socialist Students

Fight back to save education!

Campaigning Socialist Students groups needed to hold student unions to account


N30 strike: five years on

Lessons of the 'N30' 2011 pension strike: when workers showed their power


International socialist news and analysis

USA: mass protests break out to #ResistTrump

Ireland: repeal the 8th Amendment - fight for abortion rights

Spain: Students' Union surges forward in historic congress

Hundreds rally to celebrate anniversary of Students' Union and Izquierda Revolucionaria

UN climate change summit: more hot air from Marrakech


Workplace news and analysis

"I don't always feel that I'm a carer anymore" - a day in the life

Southern Rail Strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Reselection motion passed at Labour Party branch

Packed-out Socialist Party meetings hear American socialist and Black Lives Matter activist

School talk on the struggle for the vote and its importance today


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

The Socialist inbox

"I can't stop thinking about Socialism 2016 - it was truly brilliant"

Socialism 2016: what you thought


 

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Related links:

Homes:

triangleJobs and homes for all

triangleStop Pimlico gentrification

triangleManchester death rate caused by deprivation

triangleYork residents demand land for local community needs

triangleEviction resistance in Walthamstow, London, mobilised by Waltham Forest Socialist Party and supported by Waltham Forest trades council, 29.6.21. Nadia addressing the crowd after bailiffs say they're not entering her home today!

Housing:

triangleEast London resident fighting eviction again

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleWe need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

triangleHousing: Join the service charge 'strike'

Council:

triangleBarnsley 'Big Green Space' protest

triangleBexley bin workers strike for better pay

triangleWorkplace round-up

Homeless:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: House the homeless - take over the empty homes

trianglePandemic homeless

Children:

triangleTories and Labour fail on child poverty

Family:

triangleBook review: Shuggie Bain

Homelessness:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

Rents:

triangleScrap fees, refund rents and pay a living grant

Housing benefit:

triangleTory hypocrisy over housing benefit cut

Austerity:

triangleReaders' comments

Accommodation:

triangleTories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

Cuts:

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts

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