Friday 28 June 2013

Build the Lenox brillient vision and idea from Julian Kingston do what ever you can to make it happen. he has.

Most small boys think about owning a boat when they grow up, others make millions and buy super crusers based in the med, others potter around the river keeping bees to produce the finest  honey and repair boats in and  on the hidden back waters of Deptford creek.
 Julian Kingston the bee keeping boat builder has turned a truly awesome idea into reality this week.
Julians great idea has been to build the last great war ship build in Deptfords old ship yards and using all the original drawings and plans rebuild the great ship Lenox on Convoy Wharf site,  creating hundreds of jobs, building a global tourist attraction and putting the pride back into Deptford.
 Yes the developer has agreed to the plans  after amazing presentations by his team who have  at last been given space on the site to build the ship, a project that will see massive economic benefit to everyone in South London and will certainly outshine the Cutty Shark at Greenwich this project is truly stunning and we all need to give all the support and help with fund raising and anything else the team needs to build the Lenox.
Thank you for showing the World the talent, the skills and the vision the poor low paid of Deptford have to offer. National Lottery EU money this is the project to Great not to fund.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Greenwich Food Bank open to all residents in need of food aid. run by Nicola & Micah Walters from Greenwich People before Profit

Greenwich Community campaigners Nicola and Mica Walters have started up a We Care food bank for Greenwich.
The New food bank is open to any resident that needs food aid, you do not need vouchers or recommendation, just proof of address, the We Care Food Bank Charity was launched last September by Ray Woolford and Barbara Raymond after they became alarmed at the number of working people going through estate bins for food.
We Care Food Banks also feed pets running the only pets food bank in the UK, presently the food bank feeds over 500 families a month and buys most of the fresh food it gives out from Fareshare and local markets, the 2 staff wages are covered by local estate agent Housemartins who give the food bank money every time they sell or rent a local home, this gives us stability and insures we never run out of money to buy food.
We have a huge shop on New Cross Road Deptford SE14 6TA which has a supermarket food bank at the back, and Advice centre and Charity/Furniture  shop at the front, the cloths and furniture pays the rent and rates and on a good week gives us money to buy fresh fish and chicken.
The Shop/Food Bank is open 11am-2pm Monday to Saturday the admin office is open usual office hours on 0207 231 0535 we are urgently looking for another empty shop and more donation points for people to drop of food.we can collect.
We Care Food Banks have an Account with Co Op in Lewisham you can donate direct sort code 08 92 99 Account number 65659328

Whom do we feed? Young people starting work who have welfare payments stopped and have to wait 5 weeks for first pay cheque.

Pensioners hit with a huge utility bill greater than there entire monthly income leading them to starve or freeze.

Young families not on welfare but self employed who do not get free school meals as they run a business, but due to late payments find they have no money to buy food.

Huge numbers of disabled people sanctioned with no money at all not even to pay rent.

People like you, Due to familie crises, redundantcy, huge bill debt need help .

Does it Cost? WWe ask every one if they have it, to give us just £1 this insures we are here every week, unlike the Trussel trust we do not get £23.Million in state aid nor will Supermarkets let us collect food for local people, big supermarkets have contracts with the large food bank networks insuring most food collected in Lewisham and Greenwich does not go to local people. yes it is a disgrace. and yes it is terrible that we need food banks. but we are were we are and we truly need your support.
Christmas a local big chain went bust, staff were sacked with no notice, they could not get benefit as they were owed money by the company whilst the company was bust so no money to pay. Thanks to the food bank these staff had a Christmas it could so easily be you or someone you love.
Most of the pensioners who use the food bank are to ashamed to tell family members they need help. Our Staff are like friends we treat our people as neighbours in need of support and help, we are the only Food Bank we are aware of that welcomes every one and does not judge or ask them to pray.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

EDL march on Woolwich & the Community campaign in opposition to EDL supported by People before Profit.

Recent: Statement from Black Country Uaf re 'Bomb left outside Aisha Mosque',
The Stephen Lawrence family campaign Guardian and Channel 4 have uncovered further shocking revelations of police actions and conspiracy
Wednesday 26 June, 7pm at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square :
Woolwich and the War On Terror:
public meeting with Ken Livingstone, Rachel Shabi (author of Not the Enemy: Israel's Jews from Arab Lands), Lindsey German (Stop the War Coalition), Shamiul Joarder (Enough Coalition against Islamophobia), Joe Glenton (former soldier in Afghanistan and author of Soldier Box) and Mohamed Ali (Islam Channel). Info below
Saturday 29th UAF demo Oppose the Edl’s March of Hate! Don’t let the racsist divide us  - 11am Assemble Downing St. March 12 noon
follow UAF at for latest updates as Marches are sometime banned and venues change
Also on Saturday 29th  Save Lewisham Hospital People’s Commission of Inquiry 9.30am-5.30pm
Monday 1st July Unite Against Fascism Public Meeting in Woolwich DON’T LET THERACISTS DIVIDE US  INFO BELOW
Tuesday 2nd July 7pm Lewisham Trades Union Council Open Meeting: Building a Welfare Campaign info  below-open to everyone locally
Wednesday 3rd July Parliamentary Briefing open to the public: Don't lift EU Arms embargo. No new intervention in Syria info below
Some reading after the amazing People’s Assembly Against Austerity last Saturday watch for update on event at attended by over 4000:
Why do we have 'austerity' and what is the alternative? 'increasing state-led investment is the only feasible road out of the crisis which does not lead to the further immiseration of the overwhelming majority of the population.'*By Michael Burke

Ladywell Gateway Project. Conserns raised about cycling & road safety and flats being sold offshore Helen Mercer thoughts

Dear All

There are now several issues emerging around the Loampit Vale / Lewisham Gateway development.

1. That the flats are being sold off abroad as speculative ventures

2. That Saxon Crown swimming club has been given privileged access to the new pool, making public swimming there very crowded.
3. That buyers into the development have gained the impression that they would have privileged access to the new pool (this is something that I was told, I haven't seen it reported anywhere.)
4. That the area is becoming an accident black spot with cyclists especially endangered.
5. The issues of Lewisham Bridge and the lack of playground facilities will grow each year as the school increases its intake (it is currently only taking years 7 and 8 at the secondary level). 
These are all problems that the Ladywell Pool campaign and the various Gateway campaigns highlighted at the time.
6. There appears from Richard's recent emails to be some interesting stuff going on around the old Ladywell Leisure Centre.
I think, when we can, when I can, when I have a bit of a breathing space, we need to consider what we can develop around these issues. They are certainly a major talking point in my area...
Just some thoughts anyway.
Helen Mercer; Ladywell People Before Profit ward team

People Before Profit have set up a seperate Planning Group lead by Helen Mercer to monitor planning applications in Lewisham as clearly Labour party in pocket of Developers. Should you wish to help/Join, you do need to be a party member, just be a concerned Local resident alarmed at what Labour is up to.
Please email me and i will forward your details to Helen. We are about to launch major campaign around these issues and welcome all the support we can get from across the world. or Tweet @Raywoolford.

Monday 24 June 2013

Convoy Wharf Planning application deadline 1 July 2013. People Before Profits submission

Dear Planning Officers

Re:  Convoy Wharf Objection – Reference DC/13/83358

We wish to object to this development on the following grounds:


Whilst the developer states that this 13 year building project will take 13 years, they have not had talks with Lewisham College or any other building training project in Lewisham.  Deptford has 55 per cent youth unemployment and yet the developer has ignored our calls to start training local people with the skills the developer will need over the next 13 years, seeking to bring in cheap labour from outside the area.  Clearly, this would result in widespread community unrest and is in breach of Lewisham Council’s own Job Creation Policy.


This development, on closer inspection, will only produce 8 per cent affordable housing.  This is, once again, clearly in breach of Lewisham Council’s Housing Policy; we need affordable housing that reflects the fact that the average Lewisham wage is £24,400 per year and that the units reflect what the Council needs – not just dozens of studio apartments to meet a quota.

Housing Units are being marketed at a starting price of £300,000 for a studio.  By marketing these as ‘trophy flats’ across the globe, the wider Lewisham community is not likely to see any benefit whatsoever from this.  We consider that the Council should impose both a restriction on units sold abroad and restrict the number sold as buy-to-let investments in order to stop the local rental market from seeing mass rent increases and more local people being priced out of the Borough.


We believe the roof spaces should be used to generate low-cost green energy to benefit all local residents.  It seems odd that the developer has made a deal with Selchip to use the energy created by local residents’ waste to give low-cost energy for the super rich on this development.  This is demonstrably unfair and wrong.


This is a poorly served site with terrible access.  Evelyn Street is currently deadlocked most of the time and the scale of units could undermine the entire local business community whilst causing massive health issues due to poor air quality and the scale of works, which have not been taken into account.  Deptford Green School Oxstalls Road is totally unsuitable as main access for lorries.  The small road on which this primary school is situated is used constantly by parents and small children.  We have constantly put forward Dragoon Road as the safest access and, further, more effort should be put into using the river for material access rather than by road.

Business Space

We propose that all these commercial units should be used to launch a new Green Business Hub for new start-ups or to boost the link with the wider Artistic Community, which plays a huge part in the local economy.  Consideration should also be given to the development of a long term sustainable business community and not, as is presently obvious from the plans, more Tesco Metro.

Historical Importance and the River

More must be done to reflect the area’s marine and docks history, giving greater access to the river and for tourism.  We would support the idea of a link to Greenwich and the building of the Lennox as well as the idea of developing boat building repairs on site.  This is a £3 billion a year business and would hark back to the area’s water history whilst boosting local economy through the huge number of jobs it would generate.

We believe that this offshore developer is only paying lip service to Lewisham Council’s planning ideas for Deptford.  The present proposal will not generate a single local job unless this Council enforces it as part of planning consent.  The Council should not be fooled into thinking the developer will not be making any money if it builds Lewisham Council’s 35 per cent affordable homes quota – At almost every level this proposed project fails.

This is a development to make billions with absolutely the minimum community pay-back.


In brief these proposals are ill thought out.  Plans for the listed warehouse are for a community space as a possibility but would not be sustainable.  Who would cover the ongoing running costs for such a proposal?  This is just aimed at being seen to be offering something for the community when our proposal for Green Energy Hub or even centre for the building of the Lennox would be sustainable long term and generate real advantages to the whole community.

Size of Development:     Greenwich and Southwark are set to see population increase by 53,000 with Lewisham expecting an extra 42,000 householders.  However, Convoy Wharf only has Evelyn Street as the one road access which would lead to massive congestion should this number of units be built.  Building a smaller number and giving real living space makes more sense.  The proposed side road access to the site from Grove Street and Evelyn Street are totally unsuitable for a high volume of traffic.  The site fails to address the most basic requirements under both Government and EU Green Deal policy.  The site should, as we have suggested, be used to generate low cost energy for all residents in SE8 and SE14.

Health Risk Assessment:   The site is highly contaminated and yet the developer seems to have no clear proposal as to how the site will be cleared (and by whom) to ensure water contamination does not take place and, further, the asbestos and other toxic particles that would contaminate the air would impact on the health of local residents.  The site is in an area with an acute shortage of health care provision and school places.

The cultural strategy is flawed as at no level does this development reflect the area’s history and its proud boat-building history from the start of the docks in 1513.  The Lennox would make a real link to the past and the future whilst a Green Energy or Artistic Hub or even further boat building and repairs can be demonstrated as present and viable.

Community involvement has been very poor.   Whilst residents have been constantly approached, their views and concerns are consistently ignored and we have very real concerns that despite lobbying for 12 years to encourage the developer to work with local colleges to train up the labour force needed, nothing has been done to promote work for the local community and we fear that should this application go through the developer will then say ‘we had to bring in labour as not enough trained labour is available in Lewisham’.  This could even lead to the site seeing sheds and caravans being placed on site so that the work force can be claimed as local residents – similar to what happened on the Olympic site. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to create a model sustainable development that the world could copy and admire, leaving our Mayor with a true legacy.  What can be better than creating a development that ensures the whole community benefits?  Furthermore, our proposals would increase the demand for flats, thus boosting the profit the developers could make.

Ray Woolford, Barbara Raymond. Jack Eccles ,Yvonne Iles ,George Hallam , John Hamilton.
Nicola & Micah walters.

Lewisham & Greenwich People before Profit

Friday 21 June 2013

Food Bank Wars

Fed up with yet again finding the Pecan Church collecting food from Lewisham Tesco to feed Southwark Food Bank clients, this is food most local residents give, thinking they are giving to local residents. Are you aware these big food banks get Goverment funding as well as local Council grants? but you should be asking if they are getting all this tax payers cash, why are the staff working for free? and why are the public asked to give food and cash ? what is going on here? why are questions not being asked?
This week i have copied  and pasted the criteria for getting food from one of the many Trussel food banks is it really acceptable that people are asked to pray? is it just that a charity given millions in state funding for its Conservative party directors to feed people in need, is using free labour and securing food and cash from people unaware of what they are up to?
We Care Food Bank, welcomes every one, feeds people health food as long as they need it, treat our clients with respect and give support in hard times, not treat them as you would a sick dog in the street we give food 6 days a week, look after ever growing number of pets and have 2 paid workers thanks to residents who sell and rent homes through the south London estate agent i run Housemartins giving us the cash to buy decent food and run our hugely popular advice centre, Stores give us no support, we buy our food, our new furniture and charity shop brings in funding that makes our project sustainable asking for food is no easy task but we do important work to support our neighbours and do not ask for degrading vouchers, or decline people due to sanctions or unable to speak English or expect people to be grateful for getting aid after paying the price by losing a job as direct result of a financial crises that they had no part in.
We care would never dream to ask our clients to Pray, Give thanks or expect them to vote People Before Profit nor do we support or wish to be seen as part of the Big Society Labour and Tory no longer serve the interests of the poor, we are therefore doing our bit.
We hope when you are out and about you challenge what is going on. Because people are being seen to be doing a good thing, should not be a reason not to challenge, or ask Questions.
We do not get State Funding but use every penny to feed local residents in can make a donation to help us ; Co iop Bank Lewisham; We Care food Banks . Sort code 08 92 99 Account number 65659328

Trussel Trust Criteria as laid out on website ;
criteria and
· Client must be in receipt of a Trussell Trust food voucher
· On arrival at centre the client presents a voucher and is asked to verify and/or
information (see Data collected) and is offered the opportunity to have a chat
with a volunteer who provides signposting help, where possible, for reason of
presenting hardship
· Before the client is given bag(s) of allocated food, they are asked if they would
like to say a prayer
· Under Trussell Trust rules only 3 visits every 6 months can be made to the food
bank by the same client

Thursday 20 June 2013

Cuts & Privatisation are accepted as the only solution by Labour & Conservatives has the time come for People before Profit to go national?

The BBC Economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, has concluded that Ed Balls' speech on the economy at Thomson Reuters marks a new phase in the debate about British economic policy. The "growth versus austerity" dispute over is now over.

As far as the three parliamentary parties are concerned there is no alternative: Austerity has won.

This was reflected in a major item about the deficit on Newsnight last night. There was nothing about growth or raising revenue through collecting unpaid taxes, it was all about cuts, both current and future.

Using computer graphics, Flanders showed the divide between spending on government departments that is being cut and areas that have been ‘ring fenced’ i.e. the NHS and pensions. She made the point that choosing to protect some areas means that a greater burden falls on the remainder. Cue an ‘expert’ explaining how harmful and illogical it is to ring fence NHS spending.

Even with ‘ring fencing’ budgets are tight and this causes bitter battles within the NHS for the use of scarce resources. We need more spending on the NHS not a freeze. The speech by Balls (together with that of Ed Miliband) has taken increased spending off the political agenda: it’s all about cuts now. Flanders’ Newsnight speech shows that this is what we can expect from now on.

What has this to do with the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign?

Saving Lewisham Hospital will cost. There are plenty of managers who will be prepared to argue that money spent on keeping Lewisham Hospital would be better spent somewhere else. Professional politicians from all the main parties and the media, will back them up. The “there’s just not enough money” propaganda bombardment will convince some ordinary people and weaken our campaign.

If the Government manage to close the Hospital then persuading a future government to re-open it will be very, very difficult.

The Role of the Labour Party

The Labour Party have been extraordinary feeble in their opposition to the Conservative/Liberal Democratic Government. Of course, it is difficult for them to do so because fundamentally they have similar policies.
As Stephanie Flanders pointed out herself the great "growth versus austerity" battle between Ed Balls and George Osborne was a pseudo debate because Balls never really offered an alternative policy.
“Former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling was going to slash capital investment too from 2010 onwards. Ed Balls distanced himself from Darling's plan and came up with his "five point plan." But in the scale of things, that was not so very different from what we already had.
“A determined Keynesian effort to double public investment, cut taxes and go all out for growth - along the lines suggested by the likes of Paul Krugman - was simply never on the table.
“Maybe America shows us that there was a better alternative out there. Maybe it doesn't. The problem for Ed Balls is that people never really believed he was offering one.”

The Labour Party bowed the knee to the Baal of Neoliberalism a long time ago. Between 1997 and 2010 Labour ministers deregulated, privatised and signed PFI deals with reckless abandon.

Only last month Lord Warner was on the wireless calling for end to the ‘ring fencing’ of the NHS budget.
“A Labour former Health minister has warned that the NHS “is living on borrowed time” and called for an end to its protected budget.
“Norman Warner said the health service’s business model “is bust” and it should no longer be exempt from the austerity measures that have hit most government departments.”
People Before Profit

Not long ago, a local Liberal Democrat acknowledged that, despite not having any councillors, ‘People Before Profit’ were the real opposition party in Lewisham.
It seems as though, despite not having any MPs, we might well have to fulfil that role at a national level as well.
Agree with us? Join , set up , launch your own local group.

Food Bank why should Church or Trussell Trust expect people to pray for food?.

The main stream media continues to give massive support to Trussel Trust food banks, set up by the Conservative guys who wrote much of the party big society agenda and it seems increasingly as a way of issueing vouchers to the poor instead of emergency cash loans for people in need to decide  how and what they need to buy whilst someone is clearly getting paid a large amount of money to deliver this whilst much of the food is donated by the public unaware of the politics of it all.
We Care food bank in Lewisham &  Greenwich has tried consistantly to gain access to both Sainsbury and Tesco supermarkets as a local charity you would think stores whould support us, after all people buying food at supermarkets boost the stores profit, whilst seeming to be a good friend to the poor. Trussel trust has no problem with supermarket access but restricts food parcels to just 3 visits and at some food banks even expects people to pray with thanks for getting help.
This is truly shameful. most people collecting food have been robbed by the state, having benefit cut or starting new work but have to wait 4 weeks plus for the first pay cheque if the system was fair we would not need food banks, but i am concerned they are being used by the Goverment as a way of reducing its responsability to the people it is elected to serve, and thinks that by throwing crumbs to the poor they will be able to hold back civil unrest  why the Labour party is not making more political gain out of this scandle is a mystery, whilst the party is on many fronts no different from the Conservative party, it does have some wonderful MPs who do understand the issues but seem far to quiet if the public were truly aware about what is going on we may see real action to address the reason why we have Food banks and how we can so easily close. We care covers the whole of Greenwich and Lewisham, we do not judge our client, asking for food is no easy task, we do not get funding from state or Goverment but by members of the public with main costs being met by Housemartins estate agents with most of the staff being members and supporters of the rapidly growing community political movement Lewisham People Before profit.
On this blog you can read how to set up your own Food Bank one which by linking as a charity shop should be sustainable, we welcome visitors and we hope treat our clients as friends and neighbours in need of support not as people needing pity far to many people seem to be getting on the Food Bank wagon, and it looks increasingly like that the agenda they have is not about being a good neighbour.

You can follow me on twitter@Raywoolford

We welcome donations of food. Furniture and Cloths. we offer childrens cloths exchange. advice centre and the UKs only Pet Food Bank.
We Care food Banks bank with the Co Op; sort Code 08 92 99 Account number 65659328.

Elephant & Castle residents & community latest update & perpective June 2013

Dear Friend,

Please find below our latest update on the Elephant & Castle Regeneration.

Kind regards,

35% Campaign

The Heygate Diaspora

JUN 8TH, 2013
“There is a huge silent majority of people that have been moved out of the Heygate that are happy in their new homes.”
Cllr Fiona Colley Cabinet Member for Regeneration
“I could no longer afford to stay in the area and, in the end, the offer I was made plus £45,000 of my life savings bought me a terraced property 15 miles out of London. I have, I feel, given up my home to accommodate the building of homes for overseas investors.”
Terry Redpath Former Heygate Leaseholder
In our last blog post we corrected some of the more fanciful claims that council leader Peter John made about the rehousing of Heygate tenants. We showed that only 45 Heygate tenants have actually been rehoused in new homes. We now also know that only around 1 in 5 Heygate secure tenants actually remain in the SE17 postcode (216 tenants out of 1034). This information comes from a response to an FOI request.
While we know what has happened to the secure tenants, Southwark can supply no information about where the 438 insecure tenants were rehoused. These are tenants who had moved onto the estate since Jan 2001, when Southwark stopped issuing proper council secure tenancies, and started using the estate for temporary accommodation. Such insecure tenants had no right at all to a new property out of the regeneration. Those who were eligible for council housing, will in most cases have been moved into existing council stock throughout the borough.
We are still gathering information about leaseholders. What we know so far is that they have moved furthest of all residents, as the following illustration shows:

Heygate Leaseholder Displacement Map (using data submitted by Southwark Council at the Feb 2013 Heygate CPO Public Inquiry)

Around half have relocated to SE postcodes (including Woolwich, Thamesmead and Welling), most of the rest have had to move to suburbs such as Sidcup, St. Albans, Chelmsford, Croydon, Bexleyheath, Ilford, Romford, Dartford, Cheshunt, Mitcham and West Thurrock. The reason for this is clear: the very low levels of compensation leaseholders have received for their Heygate homes. This link has a full list of the amounts paid to Heygate leaseholders. It is compiled from information received through Freedom of Information requests, and includes an indexed column showing today’s value of the settlements.
The average compensation paid for a 1 bed flat is £108,164 (indexed to today’s value). Owners of 2 bed flats received on average £122,140, 3 bed maisonettes £185,070 and 4 bed maisonettes £209,440. Some homeowners got particularly poor deals: one leaseholder received just £32,000 for a 1 bed flat in 2008.
Compare this to the cost of the new Heygate homes as advertised by Lend Lease. These start at £330k for a 1 Bed flat, £455k for a 2 Bed flat and £590k for a 3 Bed - (
All in all not many residents - whether a secure tenant, an insecure tenant or a leaseholder - will get either a new home or a home at the Elephant through the regeneration.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Bedroom Tax and benefit cap everything you need to be aware about this madnes.

You thought the bedroom tax was bad! The much worse benefit cap starts in 4 weeks!!

A maximum of £500 per week in total or overall benefit payments sounds a lot.  It is a lotYet this overall benefit cap won’t save the public purse money at all, in factit will cost much more and as much as £1 BILLION per year more and the policy should be abandoned for the sake of the country’s finances!
In 4 short weeks time this overall benefit cap begins and this is not only bad for tenants and housing like the bedroom tax it will cost the taxpayer more.  It is a stupid and reckless policy based on political dogma with no economic rationale at all.
First to note is that we already have a national welfare benefit cap.  JSA is £71.70 wherever you live.  The overall benefit cap includes Housing Benefit however and rents vary dramatically across the country and so the overall benefit cap is a policy to reduce Housing Benefit, and indeed that is how it will work.
Second to note is how it operates.  The £500 per week is the starting point from which welfare benefits are deducted and this leaves a maximum amount of benefit which becomes the maximum housing benefit to be paid. So if a family gets £300 per week in welfare benefits the maximum it can receive is £200 per week in housing benefit. The table below shows how much welfare benefits a family receive and also how much they will be left towards their rent.
Thirdly, the DWP has sent letters out to 88,840 families between May and October 2012 stating they will get hit by the overall benefit cap.  The same DWP state the average reduction in weekly benefit is £93 per week at 2012 figures.  The bedroom tax average by comparison is £14 per week.  The benefit cap thus presents a seven times greater likelihood of non-payment of rent and a seven times higher risk of the tenant being evicted and becoming a homeless family.  In fact homelessness through eviction for arrears is inevitable with the overall benefit cap whether the tenant family lives in social housing or private housing.
Fourthly, the DWP say 46% of these families hit by the overall benefit cap (OBC) live in social housing so about 41,000 live in council or housing association properties and 48,000 live in the private rented sector or PRS. This is not a high private rent issue that only affects London!
The OBC will have a devastating impact and a far greater one for the tenant, for the landlord and for the taxpayer than the bedroom tax.  It will see far more evictions for arrears and will see a huge increase in families made homeless and these families will in turn create a huge taxpayer and public purse cost for the homelessness the OBC creates. 
The general public who have been so outspoken against the bedroom tax policy which has seen this remain in the news month after month know little about the OBC and its impacts and I begin to address the impacts here. 
As I state above we already have a national welfare benefit cap and the amount of welfare benefit a family receives is the same national and depends on thee make up of the family.  Table 1 below shows these amounts and also shows how much the OBC leaves to pay for rent through Housing Benefit (HB) in social housing or through Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for a private tenant.
Table 1 – Welfare Benefits and HB/LHA under the overall benefit cap

Family composition
Welfare Benefits
Max HB/LHA payable
1 parent and 2 children – 1P2C
2 parent and 2 children – 2P2C
1 parent and 3 children – 1P3C
2 parent and 3 children – 2P3C
1 parent and 4 children – 1P4C
2 parent and 4 children – 2P4C
1 parent and 5 children – 1P5C
2 parent and 5 children – 2P5C
1 parent and 6 children – 1P6C
2 parent and 6 children – 2P6C
1P2C household – A single parent with 2 children will have a maximum payment of £279.80 per week towards rent.  More than enough to cover rent in the vast majority of the country.  Yet if this household sees a mum and a teenage boy and girl in London living in a 3 bed flat with a typical weekly rent of £350 per week plus with a private landlord can they afford to find over £70 per week from welfare benefit to make up the shortfall in rent?  The obvious answer is no so they will be evicted for arrears and the local council will then have to place then in temporary accommodation costing £600 – £3000 per week.
The same will apply for any larger family and so we see that a family with 2 children or more living in a PRS property in London will be evicted for arrears and cost the taxpayer so much more. 
It also has the following general impacts: -
  • A family on welfare benefits will not be able to afford a private rented property in the capital and so PRS landlords will not accommodate a family on welfare benefits. 
  • As PRS landlords will not accommodate these families will either have to leave London and/or increased demand on social housing there. 
  • If such a family is accommodated in high cost temporary homeless accommodation by a London council then they can only leave there to go to social housing in the capital
Also note well that the OBC creates a very perverse incentive to family life.  If you are a 2 parent household it is better in financial terms to ditch your spouse or partner as you then receive £41 per week less in welfare benefits yet a £41 per week better chance of keeping the roof over the head of you and your children!
Outside of London and in the PRS we see that the 2 parent and 3 child family will only receive a maximum of £172.95 per week or just under £750 per calendar month to pay towards rent.  The national average 3 bed PRS rent level is closer to £800 per month and the average 4 bed PRS rent level is £309 per week or £1340 per calendar month. Even a low-rent area such as Liverpool has an average 4 bed PRS rent level of £235 per week according to 2012 official VOA figures.  Can such a family afford a £61 per week rent shortfall?  The answer is no the 2P3C family cannot afford this figure which is over four times the average bedroom tax shortfall in Liverpool.
A general point is that PRS landlords can evict quickly and without any reason and a judge has no discretion in this.  So with an average shortfall of £93 per week nationally then a very high percentage of the 48,000 PRS families affected will be evicted for arrears and fall on the local council to place in temporary accommodation – at a hugely increased cost to the public purse.  Note too that  before the OBC commences we have about 53,000 homeless families nationally so the homeless figures will double with the benefit cap.  These families currently cost about £500m per year to the public purse and the OBC is expected to save £270m per year.  Go figure!!
Yet these numbers and huge public purse costs have yet to consider the social tenant affected and almost 41,000 have been given letters by the DWP to say they will be affected.  The same will happen to them as I outline will happen to the PRS tenants above which will add to the homeless numbers and to the public purse cost.  The ONLY difference is that it will be larger sized families.
Take the couple with 5 children (2P5C) who in just 4 weeks time will receive a maximum of £41.53 in Housing Benefit per week.  A 4 bed SRS property will have a rent level of £110+ even in a low rent area such as Liverpool.  Will such a family be able to find £70 per week or over £300 per month from their welfare benefits to make up the rent shortfall?  Of course not and so they will also be evicted and quickly by a social landlord.  They then add to the homelessness numbers and to the burgeoning public purse cost.
Yet there is one hugely significant additional consequence here with the ‘large’ family – Where the hell are they going to live?
To explain if the ‘large’ family in the cheapest form of rented housing cannot afford to live in the cheapest rented housing then they will remain in temporary costly homeless accommodation permanently!  There is nowhere for them to go as the council cannot place them in a council house as the same series of events, from arrears to eviction to homelessness, happens again.  So where the hell are such families to live? 
The options they have are stay in unsuitably temporary accommodation with all their children or (a) one parent gets a 30 hour per week job on the minimum wage or (b) the 2 parent 5 child family splits up into to households of 1P3C and 1P2C.
The latter point is yet another perverse incentive of the OBC.  If a large family household splits to form two smaller ones then they can avoid the cap. 
Logically a council would rehouse them in two 3 bed properties next door to one another and so avoid the much higher temporary homeless cost.  Yet of course no council could advise a family to split up and even if this happens we see a doubling of the HB claims as they are now on 2 properties whereas before they were on one.  The public purse cost increases yet again!!
The former and only viable solution according to the coalition is for one of the parents to take on a job and that is a key ‘nudge’ of the policy to change the behaviour of the benefit claimant.  A low paid job would see receipt of working tax credit that exempts them from the OBC.
Take the 2 parent 5 child household as an example.  Instead of having their overall benefits capped at £500 one of the parents takes a 30 hour per week job at £6.40 per hour (£192 per week gross) and they receive £524.09 in benefits plus the £184.66 wages for a total of £708.75 per week.  This is based on a rent of £120 per week and so previously this 2P5C family would have received £678.47 per week made up of £458.47 in welfare benefits and £120 per week in Housing Benefit. So they are £30.28 per week better off.  However, working they have to pay £8.11 per week in Council Tax whereas before they paid £2.12 and so they are better off by £25.29 per week…for working 30 hours!
If the travel to and other work costs exceeds £25.29 per week or just over £5 per day then the family is worse off financially and one partner is working 30 hours per week in a mundane job simply to stay in their accommodation, their family home.
I suspect not many families will see this as an incentive!!! 
Of course the last possibility is that one of the parents finds a job paying £53,000 per year gross which will see the family break even with their benefit payments of £678.47 per week plus £10 per day for work costs…not the jobs which grow on trees! Then again if by some miracle such a family found a job paying £53k per annum then Tory run Hammersmith & Fulham (zealous adherents of welfare reform who don’t think Coalition goes far enough) is proposing to charge more rent to social tenants earning over £40,200 per year and so such families would be worse off financially by getting such a job at this £53k salary.  These families would then likely be evicted for rent arrears for taking a £53k per year job!!  Yes reader this clearly is thought through and the Hammersmith & Fulham policy is called pay to stay (more correctly pay MORE to stay) and came from…yes you’ve guessed it ….the coalition who first mooted this 18 months ago and who want to introduce this as yet another of their hare-brained housing policies on a national scale!!
So in summary the overall benefit cap will cost the public purse about £1bn more each year and this gets worse each year as rents rise by more than the benefit cap figure.  What was that reader?  You thought a benefit cap reduced the welfare bill…Come on keep up!! Just because the coalition dream such policies up on the back of a fag packet doesn’t mean you have to have the same lazy superficial thinking!!  What about all those homeless families exported from London?  How about the more than doubling of the number of homeless families?  Numbers – well 89,000 or so families made homeless is about half a million men women and children or more than the population of say Liverpool…Yes that’s each and every year! 
You begin to get a picture of why the overall benefit cap is much worse than the bedroom tax now?  Good that’s the idea.  So all those activist techniques of keeping the horrors of the bedroom tax in the news will be honed and sharpened then?  Yes you have 4 weeks and that’s an age with social media.  You have some idea of why councils need to spend a hell of a lot more on benefit cap DHPs now than bedroom tax DHPs?  You see why councils spend a hell of a lot more DHPs on private tenants? 
What was that again?  You thought the bedroom tax was bad?  It is but nowhere near as bad as the overall benefit cap as you now see.  Perhaps all the social landlords that are so blasé about it and were all of 2012 when I wrote repeatedly the benefit cap will see more evictions than the bedroom tax and it hits landlords finances even more than it?  Worse than that is the LGA, the umbrella body for all local councils.  The huge transfer of costs the benefit cap gives from central to local government has seen a LGA response deafening in its silence.  They didn’t even pick up that local councils will have to spend at least £400m more in HB as their proportion of the added costs of coalition welfare reforms this year that is hidden away here in the Autumn Statement of 2012 and I discussed in December 2012. 
That’s £400m per year on top of the extra costs that central government will have to give local government for the higher HB costs of temporary homeless accommodation by the way – yes additional to!!
Anyone left out there with an IQ of higher than minus 12 who thinks the benefit cap will cut the welfare bill?  If so the coalition are looking for new welfare policy workers!