24 Jan '12, 10am
Cap bonuses, not benefits | Andrew Simms
So, not only have financial services triggered a recession leading to rising unemployment and families dependent on benefits, they’ve also driven up the cost of the housing in which the unemployed find themselves. If the poor are now forced to move to areas of the cheapest housing it will amount to a form of economic apartheid and ghettoisation. It’s worth remembering, as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed, that finance as a sector is by far the largest funder to the Conservative Party. Ian Duncan Smith effectively admitted on BBC Radio 4 that the Coalition government that he was speaking on behalf of, had not modelled the likely effects of the benefits cap proposal, but merely ‘believed’ it would not worsen homelessness. The danger is that the full social costs of the cap could, in a broader sense, cost far more than it is claimed it will save.