22_march_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,036

Sunday 22 March 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

When the Welfare Reform Act was passed it was decided that direct payments to landlords of Housing Benefits would stop and be paid to tenants to “encourage people to manage their own budget in the same way as other households” and “help tenants learn how to budget finances in preparation for the world of work”.

I am 64 years old and have lived in rented accommodation all my life and I do not appreciate being patronised and having my intelligence insulted by ministers who have no idea what they are talking about, least of all by Iain Duncan Smith who lives rent and mortgage free in a mansion on his father-in-laws estate and, as far as I can ascertain, has no experience of life in extended poverty.

In or out of work your government has been pursuing ever greater financial insecurity for millions since you came to office. The Independent newspaper reports that “More than 11,000 tenants were evicted in just three months between June and September this year (2014) – an 11 per cent increase on the previous quarter and the highest number since records began in 2000. In the year to September 2014, more than 40,000 households were evicted – a rise of 11.7 per cent on the previous 12 months”.

People are not able to budget finances, they are not even into crisis management, they are abandoned, crushed by the lack of control ordinary people have over finances. We have no say in wages any more than we have any say in welfare. The people who do have control, government, have attacked and abandoned ordinary people creating mayhem and disaster at every turn.

Managing a household budget is a learned skill but all the skill in the world cannot manage something from nothing. It is only in the twisted minds of government that you promote the propaganda that people will learn to be responsible only when they are deprived of the means of survival and any and every other means of support, including sanctioning Housing Benefits.

Ending direct payments to landlords simply means that landlords will abandon tenants who receive housing benefits whether in work or not. Housing, low pay and benefits in Britain have become a killing field, the biggest landlords have never had it so good, whilst the poorest tenants are dying in droves, not least because of the bedroom tax, yet another club to knock ’em down with.

Direct Payments are very similar to Direct Debits, where a third party is authorised to make payments on ones behalf, as such they are an entirely responsible way of paying bills and rent and widely used. Iain Duncan Smith is pursuing this policy for no reason other than to cause disruption in the lives of peoples already living closest to the edge and finding it hardest to manage. As such it is inexcusable behaviour in your ideological war on the poor. It’s just another miserable Tory lie!