Is London the city for the rich? Increasingly house prices are becoming a serious issue. It is true that on the salary I am on, I have no prospect of buying a property in this city for about 20 years. If I was on a minimum wage salary, this could be understood, but I am not. In many other towns and cities in England I could half the amount of time it would take to get a mortgage.
I can complain but I am lucky enough to be able to pay my rent. This article highlights the problem that those living on benefits have.
There are many arguments around this topic – if you are on benefits, maybe you should not be living in the most expensive areas, and you certainly should not be ‘earning’ more than those in full time work.
However, many are not in work for various reasons, a single parent may often find in London that child care costs more than they can earn from a minimum wage paying job. Those with disabilities may be unable to work, and many may simply be unable to find work. Also, should we be dividing society so clearly into the rich and poor?
London house prices are disproportionately huge. The benefits cap is understandable on the face of it, but when looking closer, at individual cases, it does not appear to be nearly as ‘fair’ as it has been sold.
Uprooting hundreds of families because there is just not the money to house them in London seems a very good way of ensuring that London becomes the home of the privileged only. The kind of thing seen in sci fi films – where the poor live in the slums while the rich live in their walled cities.
The church can have a part to play in this – it looks likely to happen, so churches that have families moving into their communities can reach out. Help them settle in, love them and make them feel welcome. Churches losing members of their community – do we really want to become a society for the elite? separated from need? Will this not just simply increase the lack of understanding creating an ever larger gap between the rich and poor? Speak out!
In no way am I saying that everyone is innocent and should have whatever they want, some could move with minimum disruption, some should be helped and supported here. We should differentiate and ensure that there is actual accommodation and support available for those who need it.
We cannot punish individuals merely for being poor, and if we are to send some northwards – can we ensure there will be work available for them there, or are we just passing on the problem?