According to news reports, the UK government plans to stop ‘subsidising’ social housing for households in England with an income of more than £60,000, who will be expected to pay the full market rent. Many people will agree: why should taxpayers contribute to the rent of better-off families in such homes? Except that they do not.
These were to be the 'legacy olympics'. Regeneration of run down areas, the enthusing of young people with the ideals of sport and healthy activity, the showcasing of the UK (or at least its south-eastern segment), new stadia and facilities - all these have been presented as the quid pro quo for massive expenditure and the likelihood of a gridlocked capital city.
You once described yourself as “the quiet man”. It didn't quite work for you at the time, which is a pity, because quietness implies a capacity for reflection, listening and, in the words of our Quaker 'Advices and Queries', for finding space to “consider it possible you may be mistaken”. These are not qualities which are much in evidence among our noisier politicians.
Many people have not yet realised the full impact of housing benefit and other welfare reforms threatening further hardship for those already disadvantaged. On political if not humanitarian grounds, the government would do well to stop targeting those in greatest need, says Savi Hensman, examining the specific issue of housing benefit.