Sunday, 28 November 2010

Forbidden cities.

I've been at the Guardian website again. In between all this wikileaks excitement (Personally looking forward to hearing the diplomats candid views of Cameron) I've spotted an article on how the cap on Housing Benefit has been pushed back to January 2012 to allow local authourities time to deal with the ensuing displacement.

I'm genuinely terrified by the consequences of this policy. According to the article the number of households affected in inner London will be 18 645. Given that the average UK household size in 2008 is 2.37 just taking that figure means at least 44 189 individuals will be affected, however, the real figure is probaly more, as the households affected are more likely to be families rather than single people or couples without children so the average size of affected households will be greater than the overall uk average.

I am unfortunate to live in a city where rents are high. The reasons for the high prices are many, too many to be listed here, but there is a general rule of thumb that proximity to transport links and proximity to the areas where jobs are concentrated mean higher rents. Lower rents are found in areas far from jobs where public transport is poor and even if it does exist prohibitively expensive.

It seems strange to me that if you lose your job you will possibly end up moving to an area far from potential sources of work. It certainly seems counter to the IDS led reforms to unemployment benefits which are all about getting people back into work. I have a scary vision of the marginalized, being literally marginalized, dispatched to the edge of cities where a punative benefits regime forces them to undertake long journeys each morning and evening to minimum wage service sector jobs in the centre of the cities where they are not allowed to live. Forbidden cities.

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