So it looks like the government is going to cap any rises in working age benefits at 1%, where historically it has been at the rate of inflation. For me, and for many others, it won’t make any difference to our pockets because we are ‘middle class’ and have jobs, mortgages etc.
We are also probably the ones who hold the power when it comes to casting our vote in any election and I feel that this is what the government believe – that this is a no issue. I have certainly seen in the popular media swathes of people who are happy to see the ‘scroungers’ losing out in some way. And this is where I have an issue. I am one of the lucky ones who profited from the disasterous decision by Thatchers government to sell off social housing on the cheap. This has led to a whole new generation of 40 – 60 year olds making huge somes of money as the housing market boomed, living in large houses on designer estates and forgetting that there are others that have not been so fortunate.
We are now back at the point where we have a huge divide between the have and have nots. I live not far from where I was born and brought up but I don’t feel comfortable wandering that estate, particularly at night. I look at the demographic of the people and although this may be a stereotypical description, they are either young family’s with little money, poor clothing, smoking, drinking and out of work or the older generations who did not manage to jump on the bandwagon when housing was cheap.
We have managed to create our own version of ghetto’s because those that can’t afford private housing are packed into the few areas where a council house is available. Again, this is very stereotypical, but a lot of these people haven’t been to college or university, their peers are exactly the same and their children are following in their footsteps.
When social housing was at its peak there was a complete mix of working, educated and socially aware residents which leads to greater understanding of others needs and social responsibilities. And I’m not saying that this is absent everywhere there is a council estate…its just that I haven’t witnessed it yet.
So following my rant, and back to the point, if the government cap benefit rises this is another wedge in the divide. If you are sat in your nice house on your nice estate then you can afford to see cuts elsewhere, other than those aimed at the least well off in our society, and you also have the power to do something about it at every single election…..