Tag Archives: social

DWP Hide Details Of Forced Transition To Universal Credit Pilot From MPs | The poor side of life

Once again the Department for Work and Pensions has been caught hiding information – this time not just from the public but from MPs as well.

Here’s The Poor Side of Life:

The DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) have once again been found to have covered up data from a forced transition pilot which took place in Harrogate.

Not only have they tried to hide this information from the public they’ve also hidden the details from MPs.

There is evidence of the DWP covering up not only the details of the forced pilot which took place in Harrogate, but also details of their incompetence.

This relates to the forced transition from legacy benefits to UC (Universal Credit). The social security advisory committee (SSAC) has been reported saying to MPs that there is a need for external scrutiny of the worrying process this month.

Steve McCabe MP for Birmingham Selly Oak has disclosed that copies of the Harrogate forced transition pilot report on the Harrogate pilot have been placed in the House of Commons library, after being entirely redacted with the exception of the words ‘Moved to Universal Credit’ and ‘User research’.

The total redaction tells us one thing, the DWP doesn’t want to let MPs know the details of the pilot and what happened. It goes without saying that they don’t want the public to know these details either.

Steve McCabe also gave details concerning a constituent who was left in a very bad both physically and mentally leaving the constituent in distress. The DWP reported that she failed to respond correctly to a migration notice despite already being told that she didn’t have a computer at home.

He went on to say that she attempted to phone the DWP but could’nt find anyone to speak to. She also sent a letter by recorded delivery at her expense which the department ‘thought’ that they didn’t receive it. This left her without any payments for many weeks.

Charlotte Pickles, a member of SSAC (Social Security Advisory Committee), told MPs that the SSAC believed that some kind of external scrutiny of the ‘scary’ migration process is needed which will then supposedly give people forced to transition confidence that the process will be fair.

She went on to say, “We are all very aware that for some groups, in particular, UC is quite a scary proposition. If you are sitting on a legacy benefit or you are a tax credit claimant, you possibly, likely, in certain groups, are very nervous and possibly reluctant to make that move to UC.”

After all who can blame them. The DWP are concealing important details not only from MPs but the public as well. The evidence from the Harrogate trial should be provided in an open and transparent way and any failings dealt with before expanding forced migration to Universal Credit.

Concealing evidence such as this will result in a failure of responsibility from the DWP and will undoubtably result in suffering and distress for those forced to move to Universal Credit.

At the time of writing the DWP are still hiding these details.

Source: DWP Hide Details Of Forced Transition To Universal Credit Pilot From MPs – The poor side of life

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

When Labour tries to ditch the MP OF THE YEAR, you know the party has lost all direction

Ian Byrne: his own party may have dis-Organise-d him but will he be able to use the social(ist) media to turn the tables on the hierarchy?

Could the UK’s voters ever have been given a clearer sign that they should not support a political party?

Labour is trying to remove MP of the Year Ian Byrne from his Liverpool West Derby Parliamentary seat – but as he is the recipient of that award, and hasn’t done anything wrong, the party is trying an inventive way of doing it. Constructive dismissal, one might suggest.

So, in the campaign to be reselected as the party’s candidate for that seat, Labour has rescinded Mr Byrne’s access to Organise, the communication facility between the party hierarchy and its members.

His rival in the campaign – a shiny Wes Streeting-a-like from London – does have access to the tool and therefore has a huge advantage over Mr Byrne, who is reduced to trying to resource his reselection campaign on the social media.

Here’s Damo with the details:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Is it time for governments to guard against the collapse of social media – and other online – firms?


The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk has created a huge upheaval in the corporation, with many financial supporters and users either leaving it or planning to do so.

There are widespread fears that it may collapse.

Other large firms, that similarly dominate our online lives, are at similar risk of takeover and destruction – calamities that would threaten our current way of life.

What is to be done about it?

I copy below a thread by economist Richard Murphy, who believes that governments should act to create similar systems that are publicly funded and free from commercial interference.

Before you read that, consider this: way back in 2020, I published an article quoting an Australian (I think) magazine that said the UK’s mass media had been complicit in lying to the nation about the Boris Johnson government’s efforts to deal with Covid-19.

It stated that the only people questioning the then-government’s behaviour were independent, social media sites (like Vox Political) and called for them to be supported.

Instead, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have squeezed us hard. This Site’s Facebook page has more than 42,000 followers – but only around 350 ever get to see any single post.

I am shown adverts calling for me to spend £14 to send them to a couple of hundred more readers, but there is no guarantee that they are followers of the page, or even interested in UK politics at all.

On Twitter, I have more than 10,000 followers currently – but, again, only a few of them ever see my tweets.

This is clear interference in the performance of my business, that takes advantage of the need to promote my site via the social media.

So my question is this: is it time to set up publicly-funded alternatives to Twitter, Google and so on, simply to re-establish a level playing field for businesses?

Here’s the Richard Murphy thread:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

After the non-election, the backlash. Voters react to Rishi Sunak as prime minister

Rishi Sunak: yes, it’s this shot yet again. Still, he’s prime minister now. I’ll probably get some new ones in. Hopefully they’ll make him look just as daft.

The UK now has a prime minister whose value, taken in tandem with his wife’s, is greater than that of the King. What is he going to know about tackling the cost-of-living crisis?

Not a lot. At least, that’s the fear going around the social media right now. And who can blame people?

The information on which they’re relying is accurate – and incidentally makes a nonsense of any claim that we should applaud the elevation of a non-white Hindu to the highest office in the land.

See for yourself:

The next two should be taken together:

You said a lot there, Kerry-Anne!

And there’s a brutal, Tory winter on its way.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Now the Tories are blaming the results of their nightmare mini-budget on the social media

Watch this:

So there you have it: it’s all the fault of the social media.

I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.

Of course, he doesn’t mean mass-market sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or whatever, so they won’t be getting taxed properly, even now – he means sites like Vox Political, with our tiny (in comparison) audiences.

I never knew we were so influential.

Or do you think – is there a teeny, tiny, ever-so-slight, possibility that he might be mistaken?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Rishi Sunak wanted to Americanise the UK’s social care system

Sunak: he’d rather hand social care to profit-making American companies than invest in a UK-based service that might actually help people.

Here’s a good investigation from iNews: Rishi Sunak tried to get US-based social care companies to bring their businesses to the UK.

He tried to get social care firms Honor and Unite Us, healthcare data firm Komodo Health, health insurance firm Devoted Health, and cancer detection company Grail (whose parent Illumina is advised by former PM David Cameron) to profit from UK citizens’ care needs.

They all turned him down:

According to partially redacted Treasury minutes of the meeting… “US healthcare firms want to focus on their domestic market before contemplating expansion, because i) it’s so vast: population and spend per capita much higher than e.g. in the UK; ii) it’s complicated and idiosyncratic; it’s not a portable approach.

“UK healthcare has historically not been especially innovative, but some participants reported positive engagements where they’ve worked with the NHS recently.”

This is particularly telling:

A Government spokesperson said: “We have a strong track record of promoting overseas investment to the UK to boost our economy and level up the country.”

Is that because it’s easier than investing in doing it ourselves?

Trouble is, the profits go out of the country too – leaving the UK even more impoverished due to Tory policies.

We should be glad that Sunak failed.

Source: Rishi Sunak met private US social care firms to discuss ‘opportunities’ in the UK

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Shame on Sue Gray – it seems she has let Boris Johnson off the hook over Downing Street parties

Sue Gray’s report on alleged Downing Street parties has been published and is likely to cause further controversy rather than quiet it.

She claims that the very first event she discusses – in which Boris Johnson and others were pictured sitting around a table drinking wine on May 15, 2020, was a legitimate work meeting.

But the rules she herself describes in her report stated that “participating in a gathering of more than two persons in public was prohibited except where the gathering was ‘essential for work purposes’… Social distancing guidance applied, with workplaces required ‘to maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible'”.

Was the gathering “essential for work purposes”? Sue Gray tells us, “the Prime Minister, Martin Reynolds (his Principal Private Secretary), and Dominic Cummings (his senior adviser) were continuing a lengthy meeting that had started in the Prime Minister’s office, before moving to the garden at around 18.00.” Why did they have to meet in person for this meeting? Why were they not socially distanced (you can see from the image above that they are not two metres distant from each other? And crucially, how can it have been a work meeting if there was alcohol provided – and by the prime minister as well?

This Writer has never been to a work meeting at which alcohol was freely available and imbibed by those present.

Those who were there were ignoring social distancing rules that they had imposed.

And there was no reason for them to be in the same space as each other at all.

This was a social gathering, not a works meeting, and Sue Gray has ignored the evidence.

In her favour, Gray criticises those who participated in the events for failing to come forward with full details after her investigation was announced, instead allowing information to become available “piecemeal” as it was revealed by the press. “This is disappointing. Given the piecemeal manner in which events were brought to my attention, it is possible that events took place which were not the subject of investigation.”

This can only be seen as criticism of Boris Johnson as he made it perfectly clear from the start that he would not willingly provide any information about what had happened in Downing Street on his watch.

That’s what This Writer sees after reading just 11 pages into the 60-page report. It seems clear that, like the police before her (or indeed, after her, if this report was in fact written before they started their investigation), Sue Gray has given Boris Johnson every break possible – even if there is damning information in the rest of her report. That is shameful in itself.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Covid HAS harmed online politics – but so have social media platforms that suppress alternatives

The Covid-19 pandemic and its lockdowns that forced so many of us online for our social interactions has polarised and poisoned political debate, according to some arguments.

But is it really the people reading and responding who are fouling the well, or the organisations dictating what they see and influencing how they respond?

This Writer’s experience is that people turned away from politics – hugely – during the lockdowns, and are now only slowly returning.

Vox Political had its highest-ever readership in March 2020 – nearly one million hits, and I think that was because I was reporting the failures of Boris Johnson’s leadership on Covid in an unbiased way.

Readership remained high during April and May, but then it suddenly and sharply dropped off during June.

It is certainly possible that some of this decline was due to the debate about Covid-19. In his article on the BBC News website, Richard Morris puts forward views that Dominic Cummings’s visit to Barnard Castle polarised the public, as did the debate on mask-wearing and the lockdowns themselves. I would add the debate on vaccination, also.

But who fuelled those debates? Suddenly the social media were full of “experts” we’d never heard of before, all screaming that their view was right and we were fools if we didn’t accept it.

Who promoted those views? Who gave them the space? Wasn’t it right-wing media outlets with an agenda to get people back out of their homes, never minding that they were in danger of death from the disease, and into work making money for rich industrialists again?

How many Tory MPs spent the whole of the crisis ranting about the economy when they should have been concerned with their constituents’ health?

And how many right-wing social media organisations minimised rational debate by using algorithms that push links to sites like mine down users’ notifications in order to starve us of followers and views?

I’m thinking of Facebook under Nick Clegg, and of Twitter, because those are main outlets of mine. Vox Political‘s following on FB has been static at 42,500 for years because of this mistreatment.

It’s a recordable phenomenon. I have lost count of the number of old readers who have contacted me to say they were amazed Vox Political was still going because they had not seen a link for (insert long time period here), despite having asked to be alerted when notifications are posted.

And sites like mine lose out on shares because people are afraid they will be criticised for supporting points of view that don’t conform with those of their more loudly-opinionated right-wing acquaintances who have only gained a platform because they have received preferential treatment.

None of this is properly addressed in the Morris article.

Instead we see information that five per cent of UK internet users are in a “left-wing echo chamber” and two per cent of them are in a similar position on the right.

We see an opinion that “it’s ‘only human’ for journalists, politicians and those in media to see extreme negative reactions to their posts online and for this to ‘colour your perception of the whole world the same way’, with no discussion of who is posting those reactions and why.

Do you remember the government’s Nudge Unit, which is now at least partly in private hands? It was a shady organisation David Cameron used to push the public into supporting his policies by subtly guiding us into decisions we would not have taken otherwise.

So, for example, people may have found themselves supporting the benefit policies that have killed thousands of good people for no reason, because they were “nudged” into believing that benefit claimants were all scroungers who were perfectly capable of work but were defrauding the system (tell that to the diabetes sufferer who could not keep his insulin at the right temperature because he could not afford to power his fridge – oh, but you can’t: he’s dead).

The article concludes by saying it may “take years to find out the lasting impact on society of what took place in the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021” – but I think it’s worse than that.

I think after those years have passed, we’ll be presented with a conclusion about what happened that suits the people in power now – because they will have used all the levers at their disposal, including manipulation of the social media by “nudging”, to make you believe them.

Call me paranoid if you like, but what did you think of mask-wearing and social distancing, of the lockdowns, of vaccinations before somebody told you they were wrong? How did that affect you? And how many people do you know who were swayed by these dangerous whispers?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Here’s why it isn’t ‘Right to Buy’ the UK’s diminishing stock of social housing

Headcase in a hard hat: you can be sure the houses Johnson was helping – if you can call it that – to build weren’t publicly-owned.

I just heard a cautionary tale about a family who had a disabled child.

This youngster needed a lot of extra attention and help, so the family needed to be close to what might nowadays be called their “support network” – family members and friends able to help out.

Fortunately, they were able to rent a council house exactly where they needed it.

All was well for some time – until Margaret Thatcher introduced her “Right to Buy” scheme that allowed tenants to purchase their council houses, taking out mortgages on them. The houses lost to the private sector in this way were not replaced.

The family in my story took advantage of the offer and bought their home.

And then the child’s father lost his job.

The family became unable to keep up payments on the mortgage and the lender foreclosed. They lost their home – and were rehoused a considerable distance away, meaning they also lost the “support network” on which they had come to rely.

Nobody bought the now-empty former council house – not for a number of years anyway, and certainly not to the knowledge of the person who told me this tale.

So, as a result of Thatcher’s “Right to Buy” scheme, a family lost their home and it went empty – and this was not a unique situation. Homelessness increased exponentially under Thatcher, and this was a major contributor.

I mention all this by way of introduction. Now let me direct you to an article by the I newspaper’s housing correspondent Vicky Spratt (link below), arguing strongly against Boris Johnson’s plan to revive the “Right to Buy”.

It’s a long read, which I strongly advise you to take the time to absorb. One significant point is that failure to provide good-quality social housing leads to the spread of disease, and private landlords will never be able to provide the quantity or quality of homes people need.

But I’ll cut to the chase. Her verdict on social housing is as follows:

Social housing was a national asset, both because it was state-owned and because it benefited society, empowering people with secure, healthy homes.

Social housing allows people not merely to survive but to build their lives.

On “Right to Buy”:

The problem is that it enabled the transfer of social housing – and the rental income it generates – from local authorities to private landlords, who can charge renters as much as they like. Between 1980 and 2015, it resulted in the sale of more than 2.8 million dwellings. In the same period, we did not come close to replacing these with new social housing.

Jim Strang, former president of the Chartered Institute of Housing, wrote in 2019 that this made it “the biggest act of economic and social self-harm ever inflicted on this nation”.

Who has benefitted most from the policy over the decades? Right to Buy homeowners turned private landlords, and investors who bought up former social homes to rent out. Right to Buy became Right to Buy-to-let.

Hundreds of private landlords now own five or more Right to Buy properties; they are hoarding them and it’s good business. This means that Government pays significantly more in Housing Benefit than they would have if they had kept council properties in state ownership – and it is going straight into the pockets of private landlords. It has become a state subsidy to private landlords.

Delivered through Universal Credit, Housing Benefit is calculated through the Local Housing Allowance (LHA). In his 2010 austerity budget, Osborne announced that he would cut LHA from covering the lowest half of rents in any given area to the lowest third. He also made it impossible for single people under 35 to get Housing Benefit for a place of their own, thinking this would encourage people to look for cheaper properties. In 2016, the Government announced a four-year freeze in LHA.

But rents kept rising, causing low-income renters to have to choose between eating and paying their rent. It forced many out of their homes. And none of Mr Osborne’s cuts reduced the amount that private renters had to pay their landlords – they simply took cash out of renters’ pockets. The private rental market was out of control, with both rising house prices and the social housing shortage enabling it.

Ms Spratt’s comments on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic – and Rishi Sunak’s pathetic offer to tenants – are also well worth noting.

And on Johnson’s new plan, she says:

His policy unit, led by Andrew Griffith, is beginning to examine how up to 2.5 million households – or five million people – who rent from housing associations could be allowed to buy their homes at a discount of up to 70 per cent. Polly Neate, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, said the “hare-brained idea” is “the opposite of what the country needs”.

But Boris Johnson has always been about doing “the opposite of what the country needs”. Look at Brexit. Look at his overall response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the thousands of people who died needlessly. Look at his lawbreaking and his lies.

He wants to help private landlords buy up more of the social housing stock because it will put millions more people into housing insecurity; because it will force more of you to have to choose between eating and paying the rent; because it will make more of you homeless.

What do you think of that?

Source: Social housing saved my grandparents in 1956, but Right to Buy has betrayed today’s young families

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

If you thought the UK National Insurance rise was going to the NHS: that was a Tory lie

Rishi Sunak: His – and Boris Johnson’s – claim that a massive hike in National Insurance, announced last year, would go entirely to fund the National Health Service and social care… was not true. Were you fooled?

Boris Johnson’s claim that his – and Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s – National Insurance rise would sent £12bn to the NHS and social care was a lie, economic analysts have confirmed.

They pointed out that measures in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement have chopped that amount in half – but added that it was never intended to go to the NHS in the first place.

Here are BBC Business Editor Simon Jack and Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies to explain:

Were you fooled by the Tory liars?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook