Star actor tells people to tear down policy ‘brick by brick’
IDRIS ELBA has torn into the Tories’ hated attacks on the welfare state, blasting their regime of increased homelessness.
The star of The Wire and Luther hit out at the changes that came into effect this week stopping unemployed 18 to 21-year-olds automatically receiving housing benefit payments.
He was speaking at a fundraising gig for housing charity Shelter on Tuesday night, headlined by Mercury Prize-winning grime artist Skepta.
Shelter said the event at Islington Assembly Hall, north London, raised more than £30,000.
As he introduced the rapper, Mr Elba told the crowd: “It’s 2017, there’s 850 people here tonight but there’s like at least 1,000 men and women on the streets tonight. That’s fuckery.”
He called on gig-goers to sign Shelter’s petition and told them they could effect change “brick by brick.
“We have one of the strongest currencies in the world. Why do we have 60,000 women and single mothers homeless. That’s fuckery, that’s bullshit.”
“The government is trying to take away housing allowances from 18 to 21-year-olds … Seriously man. No-one should be homeless, it’s fucking bullshit.”
Cuts to several benefits will come into force today that will make thousands of impoverished families more worse off.
The government would be depriving the lowest-earning households of £800 million while awarding around £1 billion to those earning more than £11,100 a year through raised personal tax allowances.
Benefits would have risen by 1 per cent this week — in line with the inflation rate of last September — if they were not “frozen” by the Department for Work and Pensions, according to research by think tank the Resolution Foundation.
But families on universal credit will also be affected by inflation reaching an estimated 2.5 per cent over the course of 2017-18, says the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Other forecasters expect it to rise to over 3 per cent, it added, and this would effectively result in a double-whammy of cuts.
The family element of tax credits and universal credit — worth £545 a year — will be removed for families with a first child born today or after, hitting an estimated 270,000 families.
Around 160,000 families will have support limited to two children. Those affected will no longer receive up to an additional £2,780 a year for each additional child born from today.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “Seven wasted years of [Tory] austerity have taken a horrific toll upon families. Inequality is increasing, as is child poverty, and more people in work are living in poverty than ever before.
“This month we’ll see seven further cuts to social security come into effect which will radically alter the nature of the safety net we’ve relied upon since the formation of the welfare state.
“This disgraceful attempt to trash our social security system is a new low by this government, who once promised to help those struggling to get by.
“Labour will fight these measures every step of the way, as part of our promise to transform the social security system so that, like the NHS, it is there for us all in our time of need.”