More bad news for social housing in the UK! Social housing was brought in during the 1930’s by a Liberal Government. This was because of the disgracefully poor quality private rented properties. In the 1930s people were still living in hovels, in the ‘land fit for heroes’. Firstly under Labour, who continued with Thatcher’s policies and now under this satanic Conservative party. We are returning to the days of utter deprivation for most of the public: poverty-in-the-uk..
Manchester City Council (100% Labour) constantly complains about Central Government, whilst it is happy to unlawfully enact the bedroom tax. Putting many Manchester residents into deeper poverty and even homelessness. Manchester is one of the most deprived cities in the UK, with the lowest life-expectancy for males. And all Manchester City Council is concerned about, is throwing money at the usual property developers, like Urban Splash and Ask Development
The UK is becoming another Edwardian Britain, as depicted in Robert Tressell’s The_Ragged-Trousered_Philanthropists. Unfortunately, Labour are just as much to blame, as they never overturned Conservative policies concerning council housing, during their 13 years in Government. In fact, Labour controlled councils, like Manchester City Council, were happy to rid themselves of council housing. They demolished hundreds, just so, ‘homes-to-buy’ could be built, resulting in many being put up for private rent. We have over 5,000 empty dwellings in Manchester, with a long waiting list for social housing.
There is a Global movement calling for the end of ecocide: https://www.endecocide.org/en/. Something I think Mark Burton is striving for with Steady State Manchester. Manchester City Council, under Richard Leese and Howard Bernstein, have been pushing a policy of build, build and build more. This is offices, retail units, hotels and home-to-buy, when what is needed, is investment in front-line services and council housing. And as Mark points out, there are those, who are supposed to be ‘Green’, also wanting to follow the policy of build, build and more build. Which would would only drive climate change and inequality.
That is why I was to come across the European Trade Union Institute pursuing: Social innovation and equality keys to social ecological transition. At the bottom is a link to a presentation, showing how austerity has driven inequality. One change I would make to the presentation, is slide 5. I would change the box with ‘Inclusive Growth’ in it, to ‘Inclusive Prosperity’.
Yesterday, 3rd December, 2014, The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made his autumn statement in which he set out the government’s plans on the economy.
He confirmed that a Tory government will continue to cut public spending in the years to come. Indeed it turns out, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”. As the Office of Budget Responsibility puts it, the government’s plans mean that
Between 2009-10 and 2019-20, spending on public services, administration and grants by central government is projected to fall from 21.2 per cent to 12.6 per cent of GDP and from £5,650 to £3,880 per head in 2014-15 prices. Around 40 per cent of these cuts would have been delivered during this Parliament, with around 60 per cent to come during the next. The implied squeeze on local authority spending is similarly severe.
For a sound analysis of where these cuts will fall, see Richard Murphy’s piece, accurately…
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Whilst Manchester has some of the worst deprivation, all Richard Leese does, is blame others. He has been behind the push to get rid of council services, by outsourcing them. This is especially true of council housing and the council’s housing staff. One social housing provider in Manchester, Places for People, has the highest paid CEO in the sector. The council outsourced a number of services to G4S, which is renown for paying less than the minimum wage
This week was Living Wage Week. The new Living Wage rate, uprated in accordance with increases in the cost of living, of £7.85ph outside London was announced. At least 21.8% of people in Greater Manchester currently earn less than it, and this is similar across the UK. To mark the event SSM, along with signatories from other Campaign groups including GMB Union, the GM Living Wage Campaign and the Green Party sent an open letter to the leaders (and city mayor) of the Greater Manchester Local Authorities.
The letter urged them to take action on in-work poverty and inequality and demonstrate a commitment to the Living Wage and principles of Fair Pay. It’s below:
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All those affected by the ‘bed-room tax’, should read this and appeal the decision.
An update on the heinous bedroom tax and how the UK tax-payer is bailing out the private rental sector and losing out. The bedroom tax does not treat social tenants the same as private tenants.
The link below is a blog from the Green Alliance and a project to involve residents in living sustainably. I think this blog will go some way to debunk the notion of some white middle-class environmentalists, that people who live in council/social housing do not care about sustainable living. Maybe, environmental groups in Manchester will endeavour to involve more people from council/social housing in their work?