Clare suffers from depression and mental health problems, and is unable to work. She lives in Leeds and relies on housing benefit. She spoke to Socialist Worker about the impact the Tory proposals will have on her life.
‘When housing benefit is cut, many people won’t be able to afford to live where they do now.
But there’s nowhere to move to.
A lot of private landlords don’t accept tenants who are on benefits and the city centre is full of posh housing and flats. There are hardly any council houses available.
I think the government wants to shift poorer people out of richer areas.
It’s like they’re ghettoising poor people.
If you have to pay more for housing, you end up cutting back on things that you do need but convince yourself you can do without, like heating or food.
Everyone I know with a disability is in limbo. We’re all waiting for the Tories’ spending review in October to see what else will be cut.
It’s causing a lot of stress for people who are already vulnerable and can’t handle that kind of stress.
You don’t know where you stand. We’re just waiting for them to take something else away.
The Tories say people need an incentive to get back to work.
For disabled people that’s an insult—they’re implying we’re not really ill.
There’s an idea that someone on benefit doesn’t deserve the same quality of housing or services as someone in work.
It’s based on the idea that people on benefits are lazy and should be punished.
But for those people who could work, there aren’t the jobs there, or not ones that would provide a decent income.
The cuts aren’t based on economic need at all. How does closing a library do anything about the deficit? And they’re still spending money on war.’