Among the Chancellor’s targets in the Comprehensive Spending Review are social housing and those who need it. The capital budget has been slashed, and new tenants may face being charged up to 80 per cent of market rents.
The National Housing Federation has warned that thousands of low-income families could pay £9,000 extra a year. While the average rent for a three-bedroom social home is £85 a week, this could go up to £250 a week.
This is more than the entire take-home pay of some workers, including full-time staff in certain occupations.
In some regions, rents are far greater than the national average, posing even more of a challenge to ordinary families. Though the government is supposedly keen to encourage more people to seek jobs, in practice many low-paid workers are being badly hit by the cuts, alongside disabled people, carers and pensioners.
It is not quite clear what careworkers, cleaners, nursery assistants, and others who risk being priced out of living in many parts of the UK, have done to deserve such harsh treatment.
It is also not certain that the government has fully calculated the practical difficulties, and political risks, of making life so difficult for people doing important work, and the many who are grateful to or rely on them.
Savi Hensman works in the social care sector. She is also a Christian commentator and Ekklesia associate.