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Wisbech readers on housing and asylum seekers, Chatteris reader talks about benefits

Here are the latest letters to the Fenland Citizen...

Housing pledges are easier in theory

Prime Minister Boris Johnson re-stated the government’s commitment to extending a home-buying scheme, known as right to buy, to housing association tenants.

He said he wanted to extend it “within existing spending plans” and ensure a “one-for-one replacement” of each home sold.

The prime minister also said universal credit recipients would get to choose whether to spend their benefits on rent or put them towards a mortgage.

The government will explore discounting lifetime ISA and Help to Buy ISA savings from Universal Credit eligibility rules.

Currently, claimants are only eligible for universal credit if they have savings below £16,000 and lifetime ISAs are included in this limit, Mr Johnson said.

Housing benefits, which help low-income or unemployed people pay their rent, cost the government around £30bn a year, much of which goes to private landlords.

A person is not usually eligible for the payments if they have a mortgage.

This was a prime minister who wanted to talk political plans – not personal problems. But there are big questions about how and when the policies announced will be delivered.

The PM also failed to commit to the pledge to build 300,000 houses a year in England by 2025 – something which was in the 2019 Conservative general election manifesto

It’s looked increasingly unlikely since the government dropped plans to reform the planning system in England to make it easier for developers to win approval.

A reminder perhaps that housing pledges can often be easier in theory than in practice.

This is a Tory conspiracy to destroy council housing in this country, and again this will increase homelessness, telling them to go to hell. The same as the Labour Party did under Tony Blair. And look what happen to him.

John White


We need asylum centres

With their vile determination to deport refugees to Rwanda, the Tories are pushing down hard with their anti-migrant racism. It’s part of a much broader plan to scapegoat people for the government’s failures.

And it seeks to divide working class people when they desperately need to be united. Refugees fleeing war, poverty, persecution and disasters aren’t a drain on the resources of Britain.

It’s not down to despairing men, women and children from across the world that council housing, benefits and NHS treatment are unavailable.

This is all thanks to years of Tory austerity. But it suits those at the top to pump out myths that migrants in boats are the problem rather than the rich in their super-yachts.

The number of British billionaires has reached a new record, up six from last year to 177. Their loot has increased to a record £653billion.

Those people, and the politicians who shield them, should be the target for workers’ anger and action, not refugees.

Migrants drown in the Channel. And if they do get to Britain, they are crammed into rotten accommodation and detention centres.

The solution to migrants crossing the Channel in flimsy boats is for the UK to set up asylum and immigration processing centres in France, a policy supported by the French government.

John Smithee


Free lessons could still cost you

It’s interesting that Jobseeker’s Allowance and welfare benefit claimants can now have up to 40 free driving lessons? You pay for theory and the test, but the lessons are free.

Clearly if you are disabled this goes against your capability assessment.

Usually the decision maker says: “Mr Smith can drive, therefore Mr Smith demonstrates good cognition and no impaired judgement, good manual dexterity to hands and arms and upper body rotational, therefore he doesn’t qualify for Higher Rate Personal Independence Payment, Mobility or a Motability Vehicle and awarded Standard Rate Daily Living and Mobility.

So, do you sign over your Personal Independence Payment payment for the so-called free driving lessons like you do for the Motability Vehicle?

Hopefully to make this gesture a reality, the DVLA has solved its two-year backlog of processing provisional and full driving licences and the driving instructor sector has increased its capacity and resolved how to fund this cost of fuel crisis.

Mark Burton


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