United Kingdom

Austerity clears poor out of London

Published on 8 November 2010 at 11:15

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“Benefit cuts will ‘force poor out of south’”, headlines the Guardian. In the wake of the UK’s 20 October austerity budget, a new study warns that in the next decade “large swathes of southern England will become off limits to housing benefit recipients.” As part of its £81 billion (€94 billion) series of cuts, the government has imposed a weekly ceiling of £250 (€290) on allowances for two bedroom flats and £400 (€463) for four-bedroom homes. London’s famously exorbitant rents will increase to such an extent that by 2025, much of the capital’s commuter belt will be “a no-go area,” the study notes, predicting a mass migration of the poor to the unemployment blackspot that is the north. The proposed cuts have already incurred the wrath of London Mayor Boris Johnson, who has likened them to "Kosovo-style social cleansing".

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