Ukrainian refugees crossing into Poland. Photo:The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine/CC
Ukrainian refugees crossing into Poland. Photo:The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine/CC

Seize the wealth to fund homes and services for all

Around 200,000 people in Britain have offered their homes to Ukrainian refugees. But of the 32,000 applications for visas during the first two weeks of the Homes for Ukraine scheme, less than 3,000 had been granted.

So much for seizing the mansions of oligarchs to house Ukrainians, as more than one Tory minister spoke of! The government can’t even bring itself to invest in the staff and resources needed to administer the scheme.

There are reports of families wanting to offer their homes being unable to find anyone to answer their calls. And when they are answered, they find under-resourced staff, some without even access to a computer!

If the government can’t even arrange the paperwork for people to be able to travel, what hope is there for it to provide longer-term homes, jobs and services for refugees?

The truth is, the Tories and the bosses don’t see human beings needing help, they see potential low-paid workers – a source of profit. An asylum system managed and controlled democratically by the working class would be run in the interests of people’s well-being, ensuring access to homes and services for all.

The Tory government will not provide a safe and prosperous future for those fleeing the conflict. The brutal decade of austerity, the disastrous handling of the Covid pandemic, and now the dreadful cost-of-living crisis, show that the Tories are unable to offer us a decent future, wherever we are from.

The government is already cynically blaming the war in Ukraine for the cost-of-living crisis that predates the invasion. How long before Tory politicians take to blaming Ukrainian refugees too? A decent future – with well-paid jobs, quality affordable housing and fully funded services – means challenging for the wealth of the super-rich, including seizing the wealth of oligarchs. Democratically controlled, and in the hands of the working class, the huge wealth currently hoarded by the super-rich could be used to offer a future for Ukrainian refugees and for everyone else too.