The extract that follows is taken from a Shelter report on the impact of poor housing on children’s development: http://england.shelter.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/39202/Chance_of_a_Lifetime.pdf
- Bad housing affects children’s ability to learn at school and study at home.
- Homeless children are two to three times more likely to be absent from school than other children due to the disruption caused by moving into and between temporary accommodation.
- Children in unfit and overcrowded homes miss school more frequently due to illnesses and infections.
- Overcrowding is linked to delayed cognitive development, and homelessness to delayed development in communication skills.
- Homeless children are more likely to have behavioural problems such as aggression, hyperactivity and impulsivity, factors that compromise academic achievement and relationships with peers and teachers.
- It is unsurprising that homeless children have lower levels of academic achievement that cannot be explained by differences in their levels of ability
The Tory Solution or Recipe for Disaster?
- So, they evict families unable to pay the ‘bedroom tax’.
- Families end up in slum landlords’ B&Bs where there are limited cooking facilities, where children have no room to play or develop stable relationships with others.
- The Tories make a futile attempt to compensate by giving them a free school meal because their nutritional standards are so low that they cannot learn.
- Aided and abetted by the LibDems the Tories then waste the savings from their hopelessly inadequate housing policies by rewarding people for getting married even though living in inadequate accommodation is one of the most likely causes of marriage break-up. This is especially so, since a higher proportion of homeless people is moret likely to be out of work and therefore not benefit from the tax allowance which will be paid to the married rich, fairly rich and not so rich, but not to the poorest who don’t pay income tax.
Just how can this be fair?