Theresa May’s homeless British Christmas

This 2016 video from England says about itself:

My Homeless Christmas: The misery of life on the streets of London

James Brown explores what it’s like to be homeless on the streets of the UK. Christmas is all about being with the people you love and enjoying life but this time, James joins thousands from all round the country who are forced to sleep rough and beg for money.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Homeless for Christmas

Thursday 16th November 2017

Universal credit shambles could leave thousands without a home

THOUSANDS of families face the “trauma” of being threatened with homelessness this Christmas because of rent arrears racked up under the Tories’ universal credit, Jeremy Corbyn warned yesterday.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, he read out a pre-emptive eviction letter that a lettings agency in Lincolnshire has sent to its tenants warning that it will take action to kick them out if they run up arrears.

The letter says: “GAP Property cannot sustain arrears at the potential levels universal credit could create,” adding that this “affects the vast majority” of the tenants on its books.

Universal credit is due to be rolled out to north-east Lincolnshire on December 13.

Mr Corbyn told the Prime Minister: “I suspect it’s not the only letting agency that’s sending out that kind of letter.”

He renewed his calls for Theresa May to pause the expansion of the welfare shake-up so that problems such as payment delays of around six weeks or more can be fixed.

“Blanket notices of eviction handed to tenants because of universal credit are totally unacceptable, should shock us all and bring shame on this Conservative government,” he stormed.

“Ministers have been told over and over again that the roll-out of their flagship social security policy is causing debt, hardship and homelessness and this is further proof of the devastating impact it is having.

“The Tories must immediately pause the roll-out and fix these problems that are turning people’s lives upside down.”

Ms May acknowledged there have been concerns over the welfare reforms and she claimed that the number of universal credit recipients in arrears has fallen by a third after four months.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey said in a statement: “People on ordinary incomes, both in and out of work, are paying the price for ministers’ ideology and incompetence.

“The actions of the letting agent are shocking, but the buck stops with ministers.

“During seven years of failure on housing, this government has ignored renters with no protection against poor standards, no control of rising rents and no action on constant insecurity.”

Ministers could act next week to cut the six-week wait for payments to five, a group of Tory MPs suggested yesterday.

But shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams warned: “Much more needs to be done.

“The government must confirm that alternative payment arrangements will be offered to all recipients, including fortnightly payments, and bring forward plans to restore the principle that work always pays under the programme.

“A pause to the programme’s roll-out would ensure that it does not push people into poverty and deprivation until these issues are fixed.”

Britain’s children’s commissioners wrote to Chancellor Philip Hammond calling for an immediate pause in the roll-out and for the restriction of universal credit benefits to only two children to be reconsidered before next week’s Budget.

They said it constitutes a breach of an adequate standard of living under the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

The commissioners also called for an urgent review of the benefits freeze after the Institute for Fiscal Studies forecast a 4 per cent rise in absolute child poverty by 2021-22, three-quarters of which will be caused by benefit changes.

This would affect around 400,000 children, they said.

Theresa May could be banned from every pub in her constituency following anger from bar owners over police cuts: here.

Theresa May faces major setback as social mobility tsar quits with his team. Alan Milburn says he resigned after months of ‘indecision, dysfunctionality and lack of leadership’: here.

26 thoughts on “Theresa May’s homeless British Christmas

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  3. Friday, 17 November 2017

    Smash Universal Credit! It is the tool for ruling through fear and mass evictions!

    THOUSANDS of families in England will be spending Christmas in fear that the New Year will bring eviction from their homes.

    This was the message hammered home by a private landlord in a letter sent out to hundreds of his tenants in anticipation of the roll-out of Universal Credit in the area his company covers. Universal Credit is due to be introduced across north-east Lancashire on December 13th and new applicants will have at least six weeks, probably much longer, before they get the first payment they are entitled to.

    At least six weeks with no money inevitably means that families will be left with nothing, no money for rent, heating, food or clothing. GAP Property, based in Grimsby, is certainly not prepared to see its profits cut by tenants falling into arrears, instead it is going to evict the lot as soon as they fall behind.

    To ensure that its tenants were under no illusion about what would happen if they failed to pay up on time even if they had no money the company sent a letter to every one of them spelling out that:

    ‘GAP Property cannot sustain arrears at the potential levels Universal Credit could create (this affects the vast majority of our tenants), therefore we find it necessary to issue your Notice Seeking Possession.’

    To make sure this threat was clear the letter states in capital letters: ‘IF YOU DO NOT PAY YOUR RENT WE WILL HAVE NO OPTION BUT TO ASK YOU TO LEAVE AND RECOVER LOSSES FROM YOUR GUARANTOR.’

    Accompanying the letter was a formal notice of possession, a device to cover the company from any legal holdups meaning that evictions could take place immediately a rent repayment was not met on the exact date due.

    The owner of GAP Property, Guy Piggott, told the press that the letter was not intended to threaten tenants, an astounding statement given its contents. In fact this letter, which clearly reflects the attitude of landlords throughout the country, is designed specifically to threaten and scare tenants into making the choice – pay the rent, even if it means starving, or be thrown onto the streets.

    Piggott revealed that he is fully aware of this when he explained that the majority of his tenants have an average family income of £17,000 a year saying: ‘People are already living hand to mouth,’ and that: ‘A lot of landlords are saying enough is enough.’

    This repulsive threatening letter was revealed by Jeremy Corbyn during PMs Question Time in the House of Commons last Wednesday. After quoting from the letter Corbyn said: ‘Will the prime minister pause Universal Credit so it can be fixed?’

    May responded making it clear the Tories had no intention of ‘pausing’ Universal Credit. Why should she, after all the whole basis of Universal Credit was to cut benefits and create a regime of fear by withholding payments which would force workers to accept any low-paid job on zero-hours contracts with no rights and completely under the domination of employers who can lay them off at will.

    From the Tory perspective Universal Credit is working as designed – a tool to teach workers a lesson, to discipline them through fear – in other words a return to the days of the 19th century with its workhouses and poor laws.

    Corbyn accepts Universal Credit ‘in principle’ and confines himself to begging the Tories for a pause so it can be made to work even better in disciplining workers, without running the risk of them rising up in a mass movement that will topple the May government just as the poll tax did for Thatcher.

    Universal Credit can’t be fixed. It must be abolished as millions of workers, who are also saying enough is enough from this hopelessly weak Tory government, are now demanding. The time is long overdue for the TUC to be made to intervene and put an end to the attempts by the Tories to rule through a regime of fear by organising a general strike to kick them out and go forward to a workers government that will evict the landlords along with the bankers and bosses and provide decent, affordable social housing for all under socialism.


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