“The poor pay for the mistakes of the rich”

In an article on the rise of homelessness in London:

“Austerity has been about the poor paying for the mistakes of the wealthy for years and those who are homeless have paid the most”
Rabbil Sikdar
Lefty Muslim writer

… When a majority of impoverished families are working households or when a million families depend on food banks, then it becomes less difficult to see just why homelessness has become a big a problem as it has. Austerity has been about the poor paying for the mistakes of the wealthy for years and those who are homeless have paid the most. In London, the chances of going overboard and losing everything is always high. The opportunities here are limitless but so are the risks. Take Tower Hamlets as the chief encapsulation of the city’s wonderful prosperity but failure to share it fairly. Here, the financial district exists but so does extreme poverty. High inequality is the unspoken story of London and many of those who cannot cope with the city’s suffocating pressures end up on the streets.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies found that 40% of Londoners’ incomes were being consumed by rent. There is little security in the private rent sector, less so if your job pays poorly or goes. The winners in this crisis are landlords who, according to a Savills report published earlier in October, were benefiting from the steep rise in people renting, due to the housing crisis, and being able to charge high rents. The latter often leads to landlords being subsidised by the welfare state due to the housing benefits which many renters need to get by.

There is a tendency to sometimes disconnect issues from the wider political narratives pumped out by those in power, to treat it as isolated incidents, but the awful plight of the homeless in London is a sign of how the Tories have looked at the poor.”


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