Labour shadow minister accuses government of planning mass deportations


by Rumbold
17th March, 2011 at 9:29 am    

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.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Current affairs,Party politics






39 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Labour shadow minister accuses government of planning mass deportations http://bit.ly/hNpYKC




  1. Kelly — on 17th March, 2011 at 10:36 am  

    I would say its more to do with expense rentals at taxpayers expense.

    ..and no, people should not have kids unless they can afford it.

    Sensible policies I would say.

  2. boyo — on 17th March, 2011 at 11:17 am  

    Basically she’s said what everybody knows but it is politically unacceptable to admit. Sorry Rumbold, but you are in bed with vermin ;-)

  3. Kismet Hardy — on 17th March, 2011 at 12:57 pm  

    Housing benefit gets cut, well-to-do areas raise rent, poor people all converge in poor places like peckham and deptford, well-to-do people in those areas move out, those places get full of poor, jobless and angry folk. Population mostly black. Back to dangerous no-go areas for white folk moaning their city has gone to the dogs.

    Lovely

  4. cjcjc — on 17th March, 2011 at 1:07 pm  

    Why will well-to-do areas raise rent?

    If landlords could get a higher rent they would already have demanded it and/or chucked their existing tenants out to make way for higher payers.

    If people do move out there will be a large number of vacancies which will put downward rather than upward pressure on rents.

    That is why landlords will probably offer (some) rent reductions rather than lose reliable payers.

  5. MaidMarian — on 17th March, 2011 at 1:15 pm  

    Depends how you look at it Rumbold. It was the Conservatives who kicked out the rental market in favour of owner-occupation with the crazy 1989 Rent Act (known then as the Landlords Charter). It was from that point that houseproce hyperinflation became inevitable. Labour did little to reign it in, though in all fairness it is tough to see politically what they could have done.

    The point is that the housing benefit debate seems to work on the assumption that people on HB/in social housing pay too little and that that is a problem. The real problem is that everyone else pays too much for housing. Buck is off target making this about race, it is infact even more sensitive – how to reign in those in the so-called boomer generation who have grown fat on house price inflation.

    ‘That is presumably why the Conservatives abolished child benefit for people earning enough to place them in the top rate of tax’

    By Conservatives, I take it you mean Coalition?

    It just speaks to a view held by many that human life is to be problematised.

  6. Kismet Hardy — on 17th March, 2011 at 1:27 pm  

    .

  7. Kismet Hardy — on 17th March, 2011 at 1:27 pm  

    cjcjcjcj (sorry dunno when to stop, it’s like banananana)

    Anyway, not sure about the rent raising part but I know a bangladeshi family who’ve lived in russell square for a decade but now that their housing benefit has been targeted they are planning to relocate to lewisham. I doubt that’s an isolated case.

    I’m sure the residents of russell square will be quietly rejoicing at their departure, but I daresay they will come to view somewhere like lewisham as a foreign country in time to come

  8. cjcjc — on 17th March, 2011 at 1:32 pm  

    Well they should try to negotiate first.

    Though I doubt that the residents of Russell Square will ever have felt the need to visit Lewisham, assuming they even know where it is. (Where is it?)

  9. Kismet Hardy — on 17th March, 2011 at 2:28 pm  

    somewhere equidistant from bangladesh and the carribbean

    But that’s the fear though, isn’t it? Places like russell square will get whiter, places like peckham darker

    Bye bye multiculturalism

  10. Refresh — on 17th March, 2011 at 2:30 pm  

    Rumbold,

    This is Thatcher Plus at work. They ruined housing the last time, New Labour did little to reverse the abolition of social housing and now we Midsomer Madness.

    What Boyo said, Vermin.

  11. MaidMarian — on 17th March, 2011 at 2:44 pm  

    Kismet Hardy –

    Russell Square itself is surrounded by Senate House library, the admin offices of the University of London and NHS London, a small office block and some dirt-cheap hotels. There are a few student accommodation blocks, mostly (I think) very short term. There might be a few penthouse style places on the square itself, but the only place I can think of around there with real housing is in and around the Brunswick Centre.

    I struggle to see that the place lacks multiculturalism and I don’t see in and of itself why HB necessarily should pickle someone’s housing arrangements in aspic. There are arguments to be made about HB, I’m not sure that yours are really amongst them though.

  12. Kismet Hardy — on 17th March, 2011 at 4:14 pm  

    They live right opposite british museum. it’s a plush place. don’t really know the exact details but i know they’re moving cos of losing out on benefits. is all i know sorry. i was never going to make it as a lawyer

  13. Bored in Kavanagasau — on 17th March, 2011 at 4:22 pm  

    Kismet

    Bloomsbury is one of the most diverse places in London, primarily due to the transitory student populations of UCL, SOAS etc. Drummond street, a few minutes walk away, has plenty of Bangladeshis.

  14. cjcjc — on 17th March, 2011 at 4:30 pm  
  15. Angelofthenorth — on 17th March, 2011 at 5:08 pm  

    “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.”

    That’s not quite the full story tho is it, the non earning wife of a millionaire can still get child benefit, a single mum with four kids, working a couple of jobs and just hitting the income threshold would lose a lot of money, and esp if they live in the south east could be hit quite hard.

    Soon child benefit claimants will become only the very poorest, and we will see the stigma that comes with means testing.

  16. Rumbold — on 17th March, 2011 at 7:30 pm  

    Thanks everyone for your contributions. This is what I mean by having a proper debate.

    On housing benefit, in theory I don’t feel that people should receive large sums just because they want to live in a certain area. I work full time, and earn enough to make me ineligible for housing benefit (as it should be). I cannot afford to live in Russell Square, yet someone getting housing benefit can (potentially). Why?

    If it was merely a cost question, I would champion this line. However, there is social cohesion to consider. Whilst I think the impacts have been overstated of the reforms (which I shall expand on), it is true that some claimants will probably be pushed into poorer areas. Like Kismet, I don’t think this is a good thing, so the question boils done to whether or not the cost of housing people in expensive areas is greater than the benefit derived from having more mixed areas.

    On the impact of the reforms though, research from other countries suggests that most of the cost will be borne by landlords (who will lower their costs to keep a regular source of income):

    http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2010/06/the-incidence-of-housing-benefit.html

    Anecdotally I know of one landlord who has already done this.

    As MaidMarian says, housing is too expensive generally. These reforms will reduce costs, but we also need to make moving easier.

    Refresh- I think that the Conservatives were right to let council tenants buy their homes; what they failed to do was invest that money into replacement social housing.

    On child benefit, I don’t see why anyone earning £40,000+, at a time of massive deficits, should really be getting extra money from the taxpayer, when some at the bottom are losing out.

  17. Dr Paul — on 17th March, 2011 at 7:38 pm  

    Why does Ms Buck want to treat the matter as a gender and race issue, rather than dealing with it as a class question? As far as I can see there will be a lot of poorer people, men and women, of all manner of ethnic/racial backgrounds, who will be hit here. This is an attack on those at the bottom end of society, it is first and foremost a class issue, and will be best fought against on that basis.

  18. semf — on 17th March, 2011 at 9:25 pm  

    If anything places like Peckham will get whiter, while Croydon will be blacker

  19. Sarah AB — on 17th March, 2011 at 9:43 pm  

    angelofthenorth – I don’t believe that is correct. I thought if either parent was a higher rate tax payer then CB would be forfeited.

    I agree with Rumbold about the hyperbole.

  20. douglas clark — on 17th March, 2011 at 9:48 pm  

    semf,

    I don’t know, really I don’t, but isn’t there at least a chance that it might just end up chocolate?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HHT_V294Co

    I’d prefer that….

    And, contrary to the divisions and shit that we seem to be going through just now, that is where we will end up. All the rest of this is just us wasting time. Love beats all.

    I rest my case.

  21. Boyo — on 17th March, 2011 at 10:46 pm  

    It’s social cleansing. I’m not surprised that you think it’s “fair” Rumbold, because your brand of libertarianism, like Cameron and Clegg’s, is inequality-immune.

    The same applies to Sarah AB who appears to dream of a world where the working class are as invisible as those 19th century novels she lectures upon.

    It denies the fundamental, accelerating inequalities in our society, or rather views them as part of the inevitable social order. It’s about time, really, the poor people that produce so much dissonance to the gentrifying class in Notting Hill or Islington, are moved out, families and social networks that may have been there for generations fragmented.

    It’s only “fair” because what other way to measure fairness but income? It says much about the poverty of aspiration in our society that we think that.

    This truly is of a piece with the other Coalition policies, be it the privatisation of the NHS and other public services or university fees – its a sprint to roll back every attempt at equality over the past 50 years before the public actually wake up to what is happening. It is as John Harris wrote, little short of a coup.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/27/coalition-coup-sleeping-public

    These people criminals, pure and simple, class enemies doing everything they can to grab the loot.

  22. Refresh — on 18th March, 2011 at 12:26 am  

    Rumbold,

    ‘…. I think that the Conservatives were right to let council tenants buy their homes; what they failed to do was invest that money into replacement social housing.’

    I don’t think they ‘failed’ at all. They achieved what they wanted. They needed to breakdown all aspects of resistance, be it trade unions, manufacturing or social groupings – and council house tenants stuck out like a sore thumb. It was engineered.

    And whatever Boyo says.

  23. Sarah AB — on 18th March, 2011 at 6:18 am  

    Boyo – I wouldn’t have objected if the comments had been framed purely in terms of social class and, although I initially thought the HB shake up seemed fair, I was swayed against it (at least provisionally) by something I read on Liberal Conspiracy. I specifically objected here to the *hyperbole* – I think those statements about women from ethnic minorities are bizarre – but I am a member of the LP.

  24. cjcjc — on 18th March, 2011 at 8:32 am  

    Chris Dillow of Stumbling and Mumbling is so right at the end of his piece when he says “And I happen to think (sometimes, I fear, uniquely) that there’s no reason why the Left should subscribe to bad economics.”

    Did Boyo or Refresh bother to read it?

    “The question, then, concerns the incidence of the cut. There’s a direct parallel here with taxes. Just as the pain of a tax rise doesn’t necessarily fall upon the direct payer of the tax, so the pain of a benefit cut doesn’t necessarily fall upon the recipient.”

    Precisely so. It’s exactly like the hue and cry over corporation tax – completely ignoring all the evidence that it is borne by employees and not owners.

    A more philosophical question – what are the benefits of “mixed” (class) areas? And to whom do those benefits accrue? Like you I feel in a rather vague way that mixing is probably better than segregation, but if you were to ask me precisely to articulate those benefits I would probably struggle.

    And what is meant by “mixed”? Blackheath (smart) is bang next to Lewisham (dump). The City is next to Tower Hamlets. Holland Park is next to Shepherds Bush. Is that segregation, or mixing, or what?

  25. Refresh — on 18th March, 2011 at 8:59 am  

    cjcjcjc

    Let me get back to you on corporate tax and tax. So much rubbish is spewed on the subject almost all of it by people who think they are paying it for someone else’s benefit.

  26. cjcjc — on 18th March, 2011 at 9:19 am  

    Meanwhile let me get back to you.

    http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2010/04/corporate-tax-incidence-some-evidence.html

    “taxes don’t necessarily fall upon the people that they are formally levied upon. An inability to grasp this point is one of the features that distinguishes economists from non-economists.”

  27. Rumbold — on 18th March, 2011 at 9:35 am  

    Boyo:

    I said it would only be fair if this were purely a cost question. To quote, er, myself:

    Whilst I think the impacts have been overstated of the reforms (which I shall expand on), it is true that some claimants will probably be pushed into poorer areas. Like Kismet, I don’t think this is a good thing, so the question boils done to whether or not the cost of housing people in expensive areas is greater than the benefit derived from having more mixed areas.

    Refresh:

    Thatcher was right to reduce the power of the trade unions. As for British manufacturing? It is still larger than our financial sector, and I am not sure why in the 1980s taxpayers should have been spending massive sums on subsidising unprofitable industries (rather than spending the money on schools, hospitals, etc.)

  28. Boyo — on 18th March, 2011 at 10:52 am  

    “but if you were to ask me precisely to articulate those benefits I would probably struggle.”

    “Clever arguments carve up feelings,
    Wave away intuition – so much amorphous,
    Inexplicable stuff that only tells us
    What is good and what is bad
    And what is love.”

  29. Boyo — on 18th March, 2011 at 10:59 am  

    I would admit that I think there’s a distinction between, say Kensington or Hampstead (where I would simply prop them up against a wall… joke!) and Notting Hill, Hoxton, islington, Crouch End (even) etc which have been gentrified.

    But I also think the important thing is that this is not an isolated policy (although it may be the most naked expression of contempt) but part of an entire agenda to create a paradigm shift in the role and expectations of the rich and the poor in this country – it seeks not just to adjust but utterly smash the post-war consensus, cement-in huge inequality, and end forever the “we’re all in this together”.

    God when will people wake up to the dissonance between what they say and what they do?!

  30. cjcjc — on 18th March, 2011 at 11:11 am  

    That poem is lovely.

    Yours?
    Should I know it?

    (Google was no assistance…!)

  31. damon — on 18th March, 2011 at 9:13 pm  

    It was a completely daft thing for Karen Buck to say, and it gives lefties a bad name. It’s the sort of thing you might read in Socialist Worker or Indymedia UK.
    It’s the same kind of inaccurate emotive propaganda that was made about the ”women’s hunger strikes” at Yarl’s Wood detention centre. Whether you agree with detention or deportations or not, it was just people fighting their deportations because they didn’t want to be deported in the same way that Irish Republican prisoners sometimes stage hunger strikes or no-wash protests to force the hand of the state.

    My point is, that Buck was doing something similar.
    At least she admitted that she went a bit OTT.

    Btw, some of our most expensive property in London is owned by non white people. People like Saif Gaddafi and all the corrupt people who rip off their own countries. We welcome them.

  32. douglas clark — on 18th March, 2011 at 9:18 pm  

    Boyo @ 28,

    Do we have a very good poet in our ranks? Anyway, it’s not often I say this, but I agree with cjcjc ;-)

  33. douglas clark — on 18th March, 2011 at 9:23 pm  

    damon,

    People like Saif Gaddafi and all the corrupt people who rip off their own countries. We welcome them.

    Yes we do, don’t we? It’s not right.

    She was poor, but she was honest
    Though she came from ‘umble stock
    And an honest heart was beating
    Underneath her tattered frock

    ‘Eedless of ‘er Mother’s warning
    Up to London she ‘ad gone
    Yearning for the bright lights gleaming
    ‘Eedless of temp-ta-shy-on

    But the rich man saw her beauty
    She knew not his base design
    And he took her to a hotel
    And bought her a small port wine

    Then the rich man took ‘er ridin’
    Wrecker of poor women’s souls
    But the Devil was the chauffeur
    As she rode in his Royce Rolls

    In the rich man’s arms she fluttered
    Like a bird with a broken wing
    But he loved ‘er and he left ‘er
    Now she hasn’t got no ring

    It’s the same the whole world over
    It’s the poor what gets the blame
    It’s the rich what gets the pleasure
    Ain’t it all a bloomin’ shame?

    Time has flown, outcast and helpless
    In the street she stands and says
    While the snowflakes fall around ‘er
    “Won’t you buy my bootlaces?”

    See him riding in a carriage
    Past the gutter where she stands
    He has made a stylish marriage
    While she wrings her ringless hands

    See him there at the theatre
    In the front row with the best
    While the girl that he has ruined
    Entertains a sordid guest

    See ‘er on the bridge at midnight
    She says “Farewell, blighted love”
    There’s a scream, a splash……Good ‘eavens!
    What is she a-doing of?

    So they dragged ‘er from the river
    Water from ‘er clothes they wrung
    They all thought that she was drownded
    But the corpse got up and sung

    It’s the same the whole world over
    It’s the poor what gets the blame
    It’s the rich what gets the pleasure
    Ain’t it all a bloomin’ shame?

  34. jamal — on 19th March, 2011 at 6:08 pm  

    The inequalities across london are clear for all to see,
    London boroughs take eight out of 10 places in the national league table of child poverty.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23932411-london-dominates-child-poverty-map-of-england.do

    while other parts of london kids live in luxury, it just so sad to read these kind of reports. You lose faith in humanity when even in 2011 we have kids in poverty across london one of the richest cities in the world.

  35. abdul abulbul emir — on 20th March, 2011 at 12:22 pm  

    Mrs A says

    Abdul

    This Londinium is a pretty ruthless place let me tell you.

    They even turned their own cockney geezer salt of the earth spit in Hitler’s face types out to make way for us.

    Now we are being thrown out to make way for others.

    Who might they be Abdul ?

    Like the Enoch I see the River Tigris flowing with much curry…..

  36. cjcjc — on 21st March, 2011 at 8:06 am  

    abdul is back – where have you been ?!!

  37. Wibble — on 21st March, 2011 at 10:46 am  

    @36 He’s been umming and arring wether to leave ‘BNP Central’ for the EDL.

  38. fugstar — on 21st March, 2011 at 11:17 am  

    http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/analysis/in-depth/forced-to-move/6513932.article

    This is certainly somthing that should be thrust into the forefront of public debate. Its as if the Residents Associations have been givern the keys to the asylum.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.