Opinion – Universal Credit staff describe chaos behind scenes of flagship Tory reform | Politics | The Guardian – John Gelmini

No DSS. Advertisement for a house in Bungay, S...

No DSS. Advertisement for a house in Bungay, Suffolk. Some private landlords will not rent property to claimants. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Industrial dereliction Brownfield lan...

English: Industrial dereliction Brownfield land by the river in Gainsborough (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Brownfield site Development land near...

English: Brownfield site Development land near the river in Gainsborough (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: New housing on a brownfield site The ...

English: New housing on a brownfield site The former site of Middlesbrough General Hospital is gradually being transformed into a housing site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Examples of brownfields that were redeveloped ...

Examples of brownfields that were redeveloped into productive properties (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In August 2013 I answered Dr Alf’s original blog and warned of what would happen to Universal Credit, the mental brainchild of Lord Freud, a City grandee with no conception of what thought processes a benefit recipient or Housing Benefit recipient has.

My late father, as a buy to let landlord and I, understood and understand that mentality very well and the concept of Universal Credit and benefit recipients budgeting as if they had the thought processes that the rest of us have to use meant that Universal Credit was always doomed.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, recognized the problem and argued against Duncan Smith, whose Universal Credit pilots all failed in over 80% of cases making the implementation timetable slip to the point where roll-out was delayed by 12 months.

Benefit recipients, by and large, do not budget, are feckless people who go to lenders like Wonga, get themselves into trouble by producing babies that they cannot afford, and then expect everyone else to pay for their housing, their food and their spending money.

What they need is an economy that produces work which pays them enough to live on and a method of systems building and container conversion that can provide housing of an affordable nature. Converted containers are already being used as housing in East London as are IKEA systems built houses.We need lots more of them and people on benefits could, and should, be assigned to construction firms and made to build them for their benefits plus a small top-up. Putting benefit recipients in those shipping containers and systems built properties on brownfield land would eliminate the need to pay Housing Benefit and eliminate the need for Universal Credit. Where insufficient brownfield land existed then one would hollow out hillsides and put the dwellings underground in a concrete shell with sunlight piped in via a sun-pipe. Countryside could then be replaced on top and nobody would have their views spoiled and best of all the benefits bill would fall and people would be housed.

John Gelmini

Opinion: Fergus Wilson: The landlord who wants to put 200 families out on the street – The Independent – John Gelmini

Twickenham United Kingdom

Twickenham United Kingdom (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The issue is not with this buy to let landlord, who is trying to run a business, but with the fact that we have a housing shortage of 11.5 million houses and a rate of building new houses of 100,000 a year.

We also lack the builders and craft tradesmen to build enough houses, the mortgage finance to fund the purchases even if the houses could be built and everyone seems to have forgotten that 1 person in 6 cannot get credit on standard terms or at all.

Successive Governments keep on allowing more immigration when there are no houses to put them in and successive Governments refuse to deal with the need for systems building and the parallel need to bring local authorities, banks, centralized lenders, building societies into an agreement with firms like Hof Haus and the refurbishers of shipping containers which could be used to house Housing B enefit recipients.

The truth is less than 3% of our UK politicians and Ministers have any experience of real life or are qualified as engineers and scientists whereas the corresponding figure for Germany is that 30% of German Government ministers are scientists and engineers capable of solving problems.

I say Fergus Wilson should evict all 200 of these people and that all other landlords who can afford to do so should follow suit.

Then the politicians, particularly the vacuous Ed Miliband, will have to stop shedding crocodile tears and either start getting more houses built or finally admitting that they are powerless to act.

It is in summary, “put up or shut up time”, not time for scapegoating landlords who are providing a useful and necessary service dealing with people who are often troublesome and vexatious and who are people most readers of this blog and most Government Ministers have no knowledge of and would not want to meet in a month of Sundays.

Those who feel Fergus Wilson is being harsh should adopt a bit of the spirit of the “Good Samaritan” and if their houses are large enough let them out to benefit recipients at rents below or at least within the Government’s LHA cap.

This should apply in particular to newspaper proprietors, MPs, Local Authority CEOs, Anglican Bishops, newspaper reporters, television presenters, BBC executives, reporters,TV correspondents, interviewers and to the service directors of local authorities.

I will wager that there will be no takers only more scapegoating of this maligned landlord.

 John Gelmini

Enhanced by Zemanta