Tony Blair was right. At least once. “Why don’t you tackle directly the excessive rents being charged by private landlords rather than making tenants the victim,” he wisely said when leader of the opposition. As the House of Lords are debating whether families should have their benefits capped at £26,000 per annum – regardless of how many children they have or how much rent they must pay — the PCS has produced a pamphlet which calls for steps to be taken to curb high rents, including Mr Blair’s surprisingly useful quote.
The pamphlet, Welfare — An alternative vision, doesn’t stop there. It includes sections on unemployment, low income, disability, children and pensions as well as housing. And it can be downloaded here. It summarises its conclusions like this:
What we need
- A welfare state that ensures everyone has a decent standard of living free from poverty
- A government that commits to full employment
- A welfare system based on need not moral judgements
- A government that acknowledges and respects the work of dedicated DWP staff
- To end low pay that leaves people dependent on means-tested benefits.
What you can do
- Challenge the myths when you read them in the press, hear them in the media or if they are repeated by people you know
- Discuss the issues raised in this pamphlet in your trade union, community organisation or political party
- Lobby your MP against welfare cuts and privatisation, and for full employment
- Support our campaigns and those of others like Gingerbread, the National Pensioners’ Convention and Defend Council Housing