A protest outside parliament over the plan to slash housing benefit was set to take place as Socialist Worker went to press.
The protest, called by Defend Council Housing and other tenants’ groups, coincided with a vote in parliament on the changes to housing benefit.
Next year the government plans to cap housing benefit. It will then reduce the benefit rate by pegging it to the lowest 30 percent of rents in each area, not 50 percent as it currently is.
Thousands of people will be forced to move, driving poor people out of inner city and more expensive areas.
Welfare minister Lord Freud denies this will happen—but said it would be “quite valuable” to change the legal definition of homelessness so that it doesn’t include overcrowding or the risk of homelessness.
Some 70 percent of the rise in the housing benefit bill is due to new claimants, mainly people losing jobs.
We need to create a storm of protest against this assault on the poor and demand rent controls, not social cleansing.
For more go to www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk