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Friday, 29 October 2010

Turning London into Paris

Chris Bryant has said that capping housing benefit at £20,000 a year risks turning London into Paris.  Now having lived in both Paris and London, that may be no bad thing.  Paris has an inner ring road that may be a death trap but it ensures that it takes no more than 20 minutes to get from the centre of town along one of the military boulevards to get onto the motorway and away.  Compare driving up the Champs Elysees and down the Avenue de la Grande Armee to get onto the Peripherique with the 90 minutes I spent last Sunday night getting from Battersea to the M4 and you will see what I mean.

But we shouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand, because Mr Bryant may have hit on an idea.  Instead of paying £2,000 a moth in rent in London, the government could save a fortune by sending the homeless to live in Paris. €2,025 a month gets a very nice 3 living room 2 bedroom apartment in Neuilly close to the shops and metro, and of course for EU residents would pass the cost of unemployment and health care onto the French. Plus they might learn to speak a foreign language.

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