The Strategy of The Bedroom Tax

We are told that George Osborne treats politics as a game of chess:

… it is one of those three-tiered chessboards. The lower tier is tactics, the art of winning day-by-day scuffles. The middle tier is strategy, which is planning for the next election. The top tier is grand strategy.’ http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2012/03/george-osbornes-budget-0

It is obviously essential that the policies and day-to-day tactics of this ‘Tory’ government be confronted but it needs to be understood that activity within each layer of the board is predicated on the intentions of the topmost…

For example, the ‘Bedroom tax’ is the strategy.  The strange rationalization… that government is trying to ‘reduce overcrowding’… is the tactic.

But the grand strategy is the age-old one of dispossessing low-income people from the high value land that they occupy… the long-term aim is social cleansing of the inner city.

The dire impacts of the ‘Bedroom tax’ on individuals are heartbreaking but the real targets are the social housing associations whose viability are threatened by the likely large scale rent arrears… and their subsequent difficulties in arranging finance:

‘The social housing sector is an intricate machine; significant manipulation of policy and funding levers without fully understanding the potential impacts, is likely to cause major disruption to the way the sector works, both in terms of its ability to support its tenants and its ability to attract investment for development of new affordable housing.‘ (1)

 

Why would the Tories want to cripple housing associations and clear the inner city? …Just think of the rents that private landlords will be able to charge for newly acquired ex-social housing in Kensington and Chelsea… and the prime locations that will become available for purchase.

But perhaps more importantly, it moves away potential ‘trouble’, creating much more easily defended areas for the wealthy (just like the heavily defended citadel in Soylent Green).  By relocating individuals and families to cheaper areas, the assault on social housing also provides the means to break up natural communities of mutual support.  Public protests and rioting are invariably urban phenomena, as we saw in the London riots.

Boris may have said that there would be ‘”no Kosovo-style social cleansing” of the city’s low income households on his watch, but he has diverted 80% (£93.3 million) from affordable housing programmes to the Mayor’s Housing Covenant, which aims to help middle income earners into homeownership.

In war, the first casualty is truth

 … and as Warren Buffett said:

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”  

References:

  1. Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Response to SSAC call for Evidence – Universal Cride/ Housing Benefit in Social Sector Part 1
  2.  Soylent Green, George Osborne and Plutonomy

6 thoughts on “The Strategy of The Bedroom Tax

  1. This is all very true(maybe) However the actions by all three parties in not building proper Council Houses for low cost renting, by people who are on benefits or low incomes is inexcusable. At least the Labour Party should have built them & I would have Expected the LIBDEMS to also be involved. All MPs have to sign a pledge that certain essentials will be provided for all the people. SHELTER is one.

  2. Thing is, these are the last days of the rentier empire. The aristocracy here, the fabled British Establishment, are facing extinction and they know. They’ve got nothing to lose then by going for broke and milking the population for all they can in one last grand orgy of exploitation. This above is an example of them creating enclaves just as the rich whites have in South Africa. The wealthy are expecting trouble and are preparing to defend themselves here just as they do there. The gloves are coming off now and any pretence of this being a democracy are being abandoned. Good! The sooner we get into it, the sooner we win. Since they’ve got nothing to lose now I’m sure It’ll get a lot dirtier yet.

  3. I’m sorry but I do not believe that Cameron and his like have the intelligence to see a grand design. Cameron and his motley crew are there as a front for the rich and powerful who have for decades continued to make the poor poorer in order to enable them to increase their wealth.

    Sadly we seem to have an opposition that doesn’t care about the poor either and are quite happy to go along with the rich and powerful backers in maintaining the status quo.

    If either party had been serious about reducing poverty they would have taken the opportunity to radically change the financial system that make fortunes for the few at the expense of the many when we had the collapse in 2008.

  4. If the money made by Maggy selling off council houses had been ploughed back into social housing we would not be in this mess today. Why cannot money raised from selling publicly owned property be ring fenced for building new properties which then be sold if required and the money reinvested in social housing. The reason is that their is no profit in it for the rich private landlords. MPs themselves rent out hundreds of private properties themselves so they vote in their own interests. How can any civilised society have a such a big homeless problem, plugging the gap with hostels, bed and breakfasts and squalid private flats are not the answer. The rich want central London to themselves, rising the rates, bedroom tax and transport costs, braking up communities and family ties – divide and conquer.

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