It’s a tough life for the posh poor. That’s not the posh who are poor, that’s the poor who are posh. They have a taxpayer out hard at work providing their daily bread for them, and an EU migrant doing their job for them – what we used to call ‘slaves’, or ‘servants’. The rich can’t afford them any longer.
Do not envy them too much, their life is not all it is cracked up to be. They have to undergo regular training for one thing, as the uncaring Tory Government changes the benefit rules. The latest is ‘learning to pay your rent’.
From October, the benefit will be paid to the tenant once a month instead of directly to the landlord.
The National Housing Federation said it expected rent arrears to increase by £245m a year as a result.
The Housing Federations are planning to provide ‘special support’ to explain to the deprived poor that when the nice man in the south of England has handed them the money to give to their landlord and keep a roof over their head, they are expected to, er, give it to the landlord. Perhaps housing benefit should come wrapped in a grubby note saying ’please give Kylie a receipt for her rent’.
It’s not as though they don’t know how to budget. They do. They walk past that enticing shop selling selling breakfast cereal for their children, muttering to themselves ‘mustn’t waste this hard earned taxpayers money, the school will give them breakfast’. They drive their disability scooter (we are the mobility capital of Europe with 300,000 of the pesky things) past the fresh fruit and veg shop, that is trying to ‘suck the lifeblood out of their community’ by ‘targeting residents already struggling to make ends meet’ in a bid ‘to maximise their profits, artificially inflating business rates’. Pausing only to call into MacDonald’s which everybody knows is the most economical way to eat, they head straight for the inanimate object preying on them.
That is, they do on benefit payday. The next day, and the five after that, they stop off at Paywonga.com – an organisation which employs strong arm men to reach out, grab them off their mobility scooter and force more money on them, happy in the knowledge that they will to repaid from the labours of the man down south.
Their troubles are not over even then, for on the corner of the high street, hidden in the depth of a shop with blacked out windows, there lurks an inanimate object just waiting to suck out the last penny from them before it can reach their children’s bellies. The caring Labour Government even passed a law in 2004 to ensure that those 300,000 mobility scooters glided over the doorway with never a moment’s hesitation. Bastards.
Yes, it is the Fixed Odds Betting Terminal. Or FOBT as it is known. Now the swinish Labour Government, that’s the same caring Government that wanted to introduce super-casinos, passed legislation in 2005 limiting each betting shop to four of these machines. Book-makers are law abiding folk – they do only have four machines in each shop – they just opened more shops. Voila! Today there are 73,683 machines in 4858 betting shops in Labour controlled areas. 50% more than in Conservative controlled areas. That’ll be because of the high unemployment in Labour controlled areas and them ‘aving more time to play on the pesky machines, I guess, or it could be a deliberate policy to prey on the poor and rob them of their housing benefit whilst they are making their dutiful way to the rent office.
Of the top fifty unemployment blackspots, the profit from the terminals was more than £173m last year. By comparison in the 50 constituencies with the lowest levels of unemployment, the bookie’s made just £44m.
An astounding 5 billion quid was dropped into those machines last year, by people who imagine there is a better way to get money than working. Fixed odds should tell them something! But hark, there is something wrong with these figures designed to show how Tory Government actions (well, they’re in power now, so they get the blame!) are hurting the poor and deprived. Either that or Book-makers have suddenly come over all altruistic…
If a mere 84 machines in Angie Bray’s Ealing constituency can produce £124,338,153 why would a Book-maker go to the trouble of installing 124 machines in Edinburgh North and Leith to give him a measly £128, 937,293; hardly worth the trouble. The ’Conservative’ machines are considerably more profitable.
There must be a reason why Book-makers are targeting Labour strong holds. Can’t think what it is.
At least we now have the pleasant vision of a centrist statist Labour MP calling for power to be devolved to local councils and away from the Westminster politicians.
Clive Efford, Labour’s spokesman on gambling, called on the government to give local councils the power to decide on whether bookmakers could cluster on the high street.
Would we have had this proliferation of gambling dens if local councils had had the power to decide in the first place? I find it hard to believe that Birmingham Ladywood would have ended up with 157 inanimate gambling machines ‘sucking the life blood’ out of the local muslim community if the, er, ‘community leaders’ had had anything to do with it.
£163 million quids worth of good islamic non-gambling lifeblood at that…