Saturday, 30 March 2013

Stalins in Frank Field

Frank Field MP, the governments Poverty adviser since 2010, has called the Bedroom Tax, 'The government is introducing social and physical engineering on a scale that Stalin would have been proud of.'

I suspect in the short term the government will save it's £500 million this change of charging social tenants 14% for one spare bedroom or 25% for two or more spare bedrooms.

An example why the Bedroom Tax is so flawed is socially rented properties cost around about £90 for a two bedded property, but in the private rented sector the cheapest properties cost around £450/500 per month, so in effect if someone moves from socially rented to private rented will cost more housing benefit. If there is a rush for private rented accommodation then it will cost more as people chase fewer properties.

Field believes the "bedroom tax"  is doomed to fail: "It is Treasury driven. There are always schemes in the department like this horrible one which civil servants take off the shelf."

The government whole approach to welfare reform is to tackle the symptoms of the disease, rather than the disease.

The governments approach is generally ideological, if it was to take a more practical approach, it may well ask, questions about the short term nature of investment within business, how to improve productivity and training and education within the workplace.

More generally questions should be asked about early interventions to help mothers in parenting skills, it is well reported that children of wealthy families are exposed to a broader and higher volume of vocabulary, this helps their educational development and access to greater opportunities.

It appears to me, that our Libraries could be better used to expose mothers and young children to the magic of literature, the Conservatives attempt to close Somerset libraries should be viewed in the same short term failure as the investment in business and the £200,000 wasted in the High Court would of been better spent on young families.

Under the previous Labour government they had a scheme called 'Every Child Matters' this was a scheme that identified young people that was causing concern, all agencies came together to plan to rectify the problem, the young person could get qualifications and be employable. Michael Gove cut this program.

Education plays a critical role in shaping the life chances of our young people, it is the single most important element that allows social mobility that allows greater life chances, in an age where knowledge is the main attribute that allows a decent standard of living and economic well-being.

Every child in Shepton matters, for every child to have the same opportunity, it is important that statutory agencies work together effectively, to offer help that can allow every child to flourish, this will challenge and require holistic solutions, if young people leave school motivated they will be in a better place to achieve economically.

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