Monday, 3 September 2012

What Devolution?

I always thought that housing was a devolved area of responsibilty where the Welsh Government had primacy. So what is this all about then?
The new offence, introduced under clause 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, will be punishable by up to six months' jail and fines up to £5,000 in England and Wales.
Haven't we got enough homelessness in Wales without having any more Tory inspired legislation imposed on us? Isn't the changes to Housing Benefit going to increase homelessness enough without criminalising squatting. I really don't know where Local Authorities are going to get the money to meet their statutory responsibilities in respect of homelessness.

We have had several examples recently of Westminster Minister's interfering in devolved areas of responsibility in Wales, but we hear not a murmur from either the Welsh Government or the Assembly. If they don't fight the corner of Wales's poor and disadvantaged who the hell does? Yet another example of Carwyn's Government sleeping on the job and the opposition parties providing no scrutiny or challenge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In Scotland, squatting has always been a criminal offence BUT their legal system requires applying to the court for an eviction order, to be executed by bailiffs. This new Westminster law for Englandandwales does not even have this common sense. Now a criminal offence which is a reportable offence to the police, the plod can evict. Once evicted the property owner is unlikely to press charges as the desired task in done. There will however, be those persons evicted now requiring housing. The local authority asks the question 'what was your last address' to determine if they are responsible for cost of re-housing. "That squat" will be the answer. So now papa units will be a free lift to the council offices for a place on the housing list, with local councils picking up the tab. Even if the CPS pursue a prosecution the punishment is a fine (the will have no money, they are squatters, doh) or a small prison sentence. In which case the probation service will be tasked with finding them housing upon release from one of her majesty's most expensive establishments. Good time to squat, me thinks. Come to think of it, for hairy drop outs with a scraggy dog, why not choose to squat in Wales, as a quick collar from the Heddlu hands you over to the desired council. Saves all that bother of building a Tipee in a National Park.