Refugees Welcome Haringey are calling on Cllr Claire Kober, leader of Haringey Council, to ensure the resettlement of four Syrian refugee families in the borough by Christmas 2016 via the Vulnerable Person Resettlement (VPR) scheme. The scheme is funded by central Government. Refugees will be living in private rented accommodation, not social housing, and will be entitled to work and claim benefits.
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thanks for signing - and yes, Haringey Council really should take a look in the mirror!
To clarify, The VPR scheme brings people directly from camps close to the conflict region. Not those currently in Northern France etc. People are selected by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the scheme is open only to those whose vulnerabilities mean they would not be safe in their current location. To give you some context, this is the programme which also relocated Afghan interpreters who served the British military and therefore were at immediate threat of murder in Afghanistan.
You are 100% correct. But sometimes we need to put economics and efficiency and even relative fairness aside to help people in desperate straights. Yes, these people could be taken in by other countries closer to their place of origin but by taking them in the UK is setting an example to the rest of the world much as it did when it took people in from Cyprus and Uganda and a host of other places. The fact that our Government chooses to very slightly reduce our collective wealth to help people in need is something of which I am quite proud.
Council tax has been frozen in Haringey for ages (and apparently not always collected). A cynic might think that the Council does this in order to blame service cuts on the Central Government for political advantage. A small increase in Council tax would make a big difference to a lot of people.
I think the fact that the vast majority of public revenue is spent on welfare in its various forms (NHS, state schools, age care etc) and that those amounts dwarf what is spent on foreign aid and support for people coming from other places would indicate that we do look after our own people first.
You are right that there are many people in Haringey who need every penny. A lot of them don't have to pay full council tax. On the other hand there are many people who could easily afford to pay 5, 10, 20 or even 100% more in Council tax and I'm sure many of them wouldn't mind doing so if they were certain the money would be spent effectively and efficiently and not on stuff like 'Haringey People' or false consultations as a couple of examples.
I'm very happy to think we are helping a few Syrian families.
It is a common trope to say 'charity begins at home' and 'we should be helping our own pensioners' but there is plenty of money to bail out the banks or to bomb people in Syria, isn't there? It is an austerity myth to say there is a limited pot of money to go round. The bedroom tax for example, has saved not a penny, and yet has forced people out of their homes and neighbourhoods. You have to ask why. The national debt has gone through the roof as austerity policies have reduced the governments income, but guess what? They proceed with more of the same. They want us fighting over the crumbs.