duIntroduction to social policy
This essay looks at and analyses two articles taken from two different articles in July 2011. Both articles talk about the social housing benefit cap
‘Crisis solved; ship the poor out of their costly homes and sell them’ by Minette Marrin taken from The Sunday Times (London) takes on a very pessimist approach to social housing. Marrin writes about the problems that social housing causes in the most expensive parts of London. She makes it very clear throughout the article her views toward social housing and housing association tenants in the prime areas of London, as well as giving a clear solution which is stated in articles title. Marrin believes that social housing in the expensive parts of London should be sold and houses should be built with the money in the less expensive areas. This would provide more affordable housing would be available for working people in its place. The article strongly implies that the shortage of affordable housing and the excessive house prices is caused by social housing. Article two, ‘Housing benefit cuts: Tory flagship prepares to give 5,000 households their marking orders’ by Patrick Butler takes on a different view. The main problems identified in Butlers article is the impact the housing benefit cap is going to have on the vulnerable groups of people, such as children, families and schools as well as the poorer tenants in the expensive central areas of the capital and the disruption it will cause. The article also explores the options that claimants have if their housing benefits are capped; Butler makes it clear that he does not think the options given are very encouraging. He also concentrates throughout the article on the impact the housing cap would have on particular groups and supports his views with statistics given in a report from an informal meeting drawn up in May by the Westminster council officials. For example, when talking about how children will be affected, Butlers supports his view with the statistic that “at least 50 of the 102 children currently on Westminster’s child protections register would be affected” Although both articles talk about the government’s policy of capping housing benefits, both Marrin and Butler have very conflicting views on the matter. The most obvious contrast between the two articles is the ideas and attitudes that come across very clearly to the reader. Marin takes the right wing approach whereas Butler takes the right wing approach. Right wingers believed that the government have the power to enforce social change and so have the duty to intervene in an individual’s life to make sure social justice is achieved. In relation, Marrin believes that the government should “ship the poor out of their costly homes and sell them” in order to build more and better housing elsewhere. This would mean less of a shortage of houses in central London and at more affordable prices. Marin does not sympathise with those people who are at threat of being moved out of their homes, she states “moving home may be difficult and disruptive, but if it were merely a couple of miles across London in the company of friends and relations, it would hardly be a disaster”, she also believes that if people in social housing are not working then “they might as well do the same thing somewhere much less expensive”. Butler takes a completely different view on the social housing benefit cap. Being a left winger, he believes that everyone should be treated as individuals, rather than just categorising groups of people, such as the “poorer people” which Marrin writes many times in her article. Throughout the article Butler gives the impression that he does not believe the government should intervene with individual’s lives, which greatly contradicts with Marrin’s views. While Marin talks about simply shipping the poor out to places outside of central London, Butler goes into the options for those having...
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