Author Archives: Dominic Curran

Opinion: Are there no workhouses? Our skewed housing benefit debate

This recent debate about housing benefit has been explosive, with anger and froth expelled by both sides of the debate. And with Christmas coming, I can’t help feeling that there are many out there whose approach to housing the poor is somewhat Scrooge-like. ‘Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?’ they are almost asking.

Housing benefit reform is a tricky beast, no doubt, as the most outrageous (but numerically few) examples of, say, unemployed immigrants getting £1,000 a week to live in Notting Hill have riled many, myself included. But it’s worth asking the question why are so many …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 62 Comments

Opinion: Council Housing – our role in its downfall

Housing is not an issue of Conservatism or Socialism. It is an issue of Humanity

The Conservative Minister for Housing said that. In the 1950s. His name was Harold Macmillan, and he oversaw more than 300,000 homes built every year of that decade, two thirds of which were council homes.

Those words were spoken in a time when there was a consensus that the state should step in where there had been a market failure, and to ensure that everybody who wanted a decent home could afford one. Fast forward fifty years and what has happened that concrete and brick foundation …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 54 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • John Marriott
    @Simon McGrath You are, of course, right about those boundaries. However, Sod’s Law means that it favours the Tories. I must be on a roll at the moment - ...
  • Tristan Ward
    All good news. My Local Party is fighting a Kent County Council by-election in Willmington (north west Kent - near Dartford and easily accessible from London...
  • Steve Trevethan
    Might a necessary factor in considering the quality of a democracy be equity of wealth? How real is our democracy when 31% of our children go hungry, week afte...
  • James Fowler
    Good summary from William Francis. Have you read Keith Middlemass's series? They're a bit dated, but very interesting....
  • John Grout
    We should not be surprised that people who are the subjects of a debate want to be part of it - it’s also not unsurprising that they won’t want to debate, p...