Karen Buck, the shadow minister for work and pensions, has accused the government of wanting to deport non-whites and women from central London by with their housing benefit reforms:
She said: “[The Government] do not want lower-income women, families, children and, above all, let us be very clear – because we also know where the impact is hitting – they don’t want black women, they don’t want ethnic minority women and they don’t want Muslim women living in central London. They just don’t. They want people to be moving out of anywhere that is a more prosperous area into the fringes of London and into places like Barking and Newham. I have nothing against Barking and Newham. The problem is they are already full of people who are quite poor.”
No evidence was provided for this statement. There have been some valid criticisms of the proposed housing benefit reform, especially surrounding the change in percentile reaction (though its ultimate impact is unclear at this point), and the impact on very expensive areas needs to be rexamined (and a broader debate on paying housing benefit should be had). Ms. Buck’s hyperbole does not to help the debate though.
She also made this accusation:
When you listen to the Tories speaking in Parliament, there is an arrogance and an ignorance that I have never known in my 13 years in Parliament: basically, thinking that anyone whose income is below the top rate of tax shouldn’t have children.”
That is presumably why the Conservatives abolished child benefit for people earning enough to place them in the top rate of tax, whilst leaving it in place for everyone else.
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