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Housing Benefit to get capped at £20,800 a year

House built from £20 notesThe UK Welfare system is seriously flawed. People who should be on benefits are the minimum wage earners, not MPs on multi million a year estates. Yet the caps to be introduced into the housing benefit system seems to be aimed at them. People on benefits for housing are expected to be able to live in affordable accommodation until their personal income justifies an expensive home.

Have a look at right move, see what you can get for the housing benefit deal. For me, its a 5 bedroom home just outside the country club. Alternatively, I could get another 3 reasonably priced houses that do just fine.

When I first saw that the cap was to be introduced, I thought that Boris Johnston was acting sensibly when he was saying its a bad move but I had not seen the cap was a weekly allowance.  There is no justification for housing benefits being paid to people that feel they can afford a £20K a year property. Given that minimum wage doesn’t even come close to that.

The acusations flying from London of Social cleansing are uncalled for. This is cleansing of those which can not afford to pay their bills from expensive property. It is a sensible strategy I stay on the outskirts of the city because I prefer the peace and quiet of the neighbourhood and the relatively easy access to the countryside, but also because I know I can not afford to pay for a city center flat – nor should I expect the government to pay it for me.

If they want to deal with welfare problems however there is two things that I think would make a huge difference to the general public life: increase national minimum wage so that money is flowing in the economy. They will undoubtedly use the argument that they [companies] are unable to afford it. Well, here’s my counter argument, my previous employer made £33.3 Million in Profit in the last year. But they “could not” afford to bring in more staff or fix the heating system. This sounds like a crappy employer more than anything – Maplin Electronics if your interested. We done the maths on it, the “cant afford” would equate to £30Million in profit and every member of staff receiving over £1K worth of bonus!

Moreover, a cap not on the benefit but on the house it might be price fixing for the residential market but it would be a great help to the general public who could know that no matter where they were, their housing cost is fixed, say £75 per room. Combining these two would mean that people do not require housing benefits in order to survive daily life.

References
The Gaurdian
BBC News

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Politics

Unions and Boris Johnston Clash but they are both right.

Strike ImagesIt is not often that I agree with both parties, especially if one of the parties is the infamous Boris Johnston. However there is a first for everything and today it seems that it is time. I am siding both with the Unions and the Mad Major of London.

Unions are there to represent workers to ensure they get the best deal possible. However the strength of the union has steadily been degrading since the Tories of the past and with the new government I cant say that it is likely to improve.

We need unions, they work for our staff to ensure we can work sensible hours no more shall we have minors working 15 hour days, no more will death be an acceptable side effect of work. There certainly cannot be corporal punishment in work. Without the power of the union these could have been the reality of the working life.

Boris Johnston however has been arguing that industrial action should not be as easy as it is speaking as London sees a 3rd day of strikes on the underground network. He wants change in the law to make it harder for industrial action to take place. Suggesting that unless half the workforce votes for industrial action it should not be possible.

Quite rightly, Industrial action should be seen as an absolute last resort. However it seems that the weakening of the unions have made it such that it for many cases becomes the only option – management do not feel the threat of the power of the union – mostly because there is no power any more.

Action never serves anyone any good in the short term, workers loose money, the company loose money, and the consumers may be effected  as well which will have a knock on on their supply and demand chain.

A new balance should be brought, bring back the unions to enforce our rights and give them powers to do their job. Balancing this with the expectations of the company that the strike becomes the last ditch effort instead of only course of action and everyone will benefit.  Perhaps it might even see a raise in minimum wage.

References
The Telegraph

Categories
News Technology

Mobiles to go down the tube

London UndegroundFor once perhaps Boris Johnston in his role of Mayor of London has actually done something or at least attempting to do something which could have a decisive benefit to the people of London. Getting involved in plans to put mobile phone antenna into the underground network in time for the 2012 Olympics.

London would not be the first city in the world to recive a mobile phone signal in underground public transport. Many European cities that have underground services already have this in place.

What the mayor will do however is iorn out deals with the Mobile Phone industry meaning that the multi million pound project will be funded by the industry equally, 3, Vodaphone, Orange & T-Mobile, and O2 will all get involved in the project meaning that tax payer’s money will not be used to fund the expensive project.

Long term this may make London even more attractive as a business city than it allready is – communications is a key part of business and if people cant communicate for long times whilst on underground transport it means they are likely to be unproductive. The economic benefits are likely difficult to calculate however given the large scope of the underground’s user base.

The project will apparently extend to cover Eurostar services as well. Discussions have been in place for a very long time about the prospect of installing mobile signals into the underground, which in principle is a very straight foward system: install transmitters along the top of the tunnels and recivers on each carrige of the train allowing signals to be picked up and redistributed to mobile phones. The cost however has always been a problem but with some strong negotiation the mayor may have finally struck an agreement within the industry for them to put it in place.

References
Hexus
The Telegraph