Benefit cuts are 'economic cleansing'
The government has been accused of practising ‘economic cleansing’ through its programme of cuts by one of its own backbench MPs.
Liberal Democrat MP Bob Russell told an adjournment debate in Westminster Hall yesterday that cuts to housing benefit would force families to leave the areas they had lived in for years.
He said: ‘Housing benefit cuts are going to lead to low-income families being forced out of their neighbourhoods. This is economic cleansing: it has no place in civilised society and the coalition government most not take any measures where it will be accused of economic cleansing.’
The adjournment debate, which discussed the impact of government policy on low-income families, was called by Labour MP Karen Buck. She said deputy prime minister Nick Clegg had broken a pre-election pledge to not abandon the poor.
‘Unless the government changes course before the comprehensive spending review, we are likely to see an increase in poor families losing their homes,’ she said.
Minister for disabled people Maria Miller was answering on behalf of the government. She claimed the cuts to the welfare budget, first announced as £11 billion in June’s emergency Budget, and increased by £4 billion last week, were necessary to cut the country’s deficit, now the largest among the G20 nations.
Inside Housing is running a campaign calling on the government to find a fairer way to reduce housing benefit costs.