Reprehensible idea to punish over spare rooms
OF all the discreditable things the Coalition has inflicted on the long-suffering public, I think the penalising of any unemployed council tenants by cutting their benefit if deemed to have more rooms than their family unit size warrants is one of the most reprehensible.
Presumably, what passes for its thinking is the notion that folk finding themselves in this position will "downsize" to a smaller property or find a job. Just like that.
Understanding that this may be a temporary situation, either in employment or family-size terms, is obviously beyond the Coalition.
Apart from that, the spectre of a family being forced to leave a property in a community where roots, family or friendship networks have been forged over many years, to find somewhere else to live must be threatening to someone who is possibly depressed, has been made forcibly idle or is slipping into debt.
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The policy echoes that of the Highland Clearances, and suggests its perpetrators are more concerned with punishing the populace for the problems of economic depression, inflation and deep structural unemployment brought about by factors beyond individuals' control, rather than addressing the root causes of these familiar but intractable problems.
It is also cynical to encourage people to move into smaller properties knowing full well that such places are in extremely short supply.
Also, it's not illegal to live somewhere with spare rooms so one can accommodate visitors or use them for whatever purpose, and it's a fair bet those proposing such measures have spare rooms, or even spare houses at their disposal.
This demonising of any particular group and identifying them as the "problem" makes recessions and social problems worse without solving anything.