To think this is a cruel policy, and not an actual 'tax'?

(313 Posts)
katykuns Fri 25-Jan-13 23:11:08

www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/25/spare-bedroom-tax-contradiction-impossibility?CMP=NECNETTXT766

I just think its unrealistic, and completely ignores reality that it is not just easy to drop everything and move. It is also very unfair to the disabled.

Why can they not target the damn landlords charging extortionate rents?

It is not directly affecting me, but I do claim housing benefit and I work, and life is hard. I just feel like it makes it impossible to live with a 14-25% cut of your benefit.

Its not a tax, its a benefit cut. Say it as it is hmm... just another attempt to make people struggling to get by struggle even more!

MillieMummy Sat 26-Jan-13 08:14:04

The 'tax' ( it isn't really a tax it's a reduction in housing benefit) applies to people in social housing only if they are of working age.

If you are affected:
Get a benefit assessment to see if there are benefits you should be claiming which will exempt you from the bedroom tax.

See if your LA or HA have any incentive shcemes to assist you to move to smaller accommodation - some pay removal costs or a grant.

You can apply for discresionary housing benefit to make up the shortfall.

MillieMummy Sat 26-Jan-13 08:14:48

Also foster carers will get discresionary HB - talk to your LA.

revenue, most people in our situation won't move. as we need the room for stepchildren so will just take the cut. only get partial so won't be a huge amount but enough for us to notice it

NeverBeenToMe Sat 26-Jan-13 08:15:58

waitingforastar if your sd is with you for 4 days a week, why isnt your home classed as her main residence?

lulabelleg Sat 26-Jan-13 08:16:17

It is only for those in social housing. Those on HB in private rent receive an allowance for how many rooms they need based on hosuehold size, this is not changing. In my borough though I believe this can vary you could be a 3 bed need in a private rented property that has 10 bedrooms and as long as it is within the 3 bed LHA rate it will be paid (obviusly this is unlikely, mostly happens the other way that you might find a 2 bed house for 3 bed rate). The new rule is designed to make people give up HA or council larger properties that are underoccupied by then by making them pay per room that they underoccupy by reducing the HB payable.

she sleeps here 3 days and at her mums four so that is classed as her primary residence

Sunshinenow Sat 26-Jan-13 08:24:03

Ah my mistake. I see now it is only for social tenants on housing benefit.

Whilst I think the idea to release houses that are excessive for need is ok. It is the execution I think is harsh. There is a huge shortage on 1 bed properties (historically just as cheap to build a small 2 bed for councils).

If people had somewhere to go it would be better. And it took account of disabled people.

PackItInNow Sat 26-Jan-13 08:29:20

What way does it work for a family of 4 with 2 DC of different gender? I know in NI that the DC have share a room until they're 10yo, but I'd like to know if this still applies if the female child has started her period at 9yo?

ediblewoman Sat 26-Jan-13 08:32:04

I work in homelessness and this policy is one of a number of reasons I am seriously considering taking redundancy. We can't really afford for me to but I am so miserable at the way things are going and all I can see is it getting worse.

the rules allow one bedroom for ever adult couple, any other adult aged 16 or over. any two children of same sec under 16, any two children under 10, any other child whose main home is elsewhere other than a foster child and a carer who doesn't live but spends the night to provide care.

lollilou Sat 26-Jan-13 08:47:08

So if it doesn't include pensioners then it is just another shitty tax on the poor. What I mean by that is that people over retirement age will be the ones most likely living in under occupied social housing.

NynaevesSister Sat 26-Jan-13 08:53:46

No it doesn't work that way in private sector. You won't be able to get a 10 bed house if it is same price as 3 bed. The housing officer will tell you that as those unused rooms can be rented they will deduct the amount of rent you could get from your HB. This prevented a couple I know from moving into a three bed house as HB said they only needed two beds and deducted it from the overall rent. No lodger wants to live in a house with toddler and twin newborns! They got a three bed council place but as children are under 10 and his hours have been reduced they don't know what they will do this year. They would move happily if council had a place but they don't. And rents around here are astronomical. It is going to end up costing us the taxpayers more to house them and it will drive up rents even more. It feels like a big win for the private landlord market.

threesocksmorgan Sat 26-Jan-13 08:57:11

one thing I noticed is that no allowance is made for disabled people who need carers. so you can 't have a bedroom for a carer, even though you need one.....
so what does a disabled person who needs round the clock care do?

the letter i received states a bedroom is allowable for a carer who does not live with you but provides overnight care for you or your partner

ShellyBoobs Sat 26-Jan-13 09:08:22

*8.
A bedroom for a non-resident carer will also be taken into account in determining the relevant size criteria where they provide overnight care for the claimant or their partner.*

From the DWP link Sunshine posted.

the rules allow one bedroom for ever adult couple, any other adult aged 16 or over. any two children of same sec under 16, any two children under 10, any other child whose main home is elsewhere other than a foster child and a carer who doesn't live but spends the night to provide care.

This is what confuses me as in the frequently asked quest it says that sc it depends who has parental responsibility dependant on who claims child benefit for them. but then what other child whose main home is elsewhere would qualify for a room if they dont :s

ErikNorseman Sat 26-Jan-13 09:55:13

The man with the two bed said he had asked for a transfer to a smaller flat but they didn't exist. Plus his HB wouldn't cost more if he moved to private rental because he wouldn't be entitled to a one bed flat until he was 35. I don't think anyone should be forced to move from a secure tenancy to a shitty 6 month private rental tenancy.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 26-Jan-13 09:55:50

I agree with the principle of this policy, it's just the reality of putting it into practice that's the problem!

I agree that we shouldn't be paying out housing benefit for people to have rooms that they don't need, but many disabled people need a spare room for a carer, or even just for their spouse in some cases. Foster carers need rooms available for children to have their own room, because that's the rule. So obviously, it very very wrong that they should be affected.

In cases where families have three or four children in three or four bedroomed houses, or where single people or couples have two bedroom flats, it's completely fair enough. Families with three or more children chose to have those children knowing that their choice was going to lead to a lot of expense, single people have the option of renting a room in a house share or being a lodger, and couples have two opportunities to have a wage coming in. I don't think we should be paying for people in those situations to have spare rooms that they don't need.

ErikNorseman Sat 26-Jan-13 09:58:47

Nynaevessister (good name) that's not right - in private rent you get the flat rate according to need and if you choose to rent a bigger/more expensive house you pay the extra yourself. If you found a 4 bed for eg that was the rate of a 3 bed you could rent it. (Though that's fairly unlikely)

edam Sat 26-Jan-13 10:59:55

Very good point about the MPs who make this decision having their rent paid for them. Hypocrites.

Some people who are ill and disabled need their own room, even if they are married or in a partnership, but the new system only allows one room for a couple. They may have extensive equipment and need their own bed, and the room may not be big enough for two. What happens to them?

If the government genuinely wanted to make family-sized social housing available for families, they would build more social housing. They would set up an allocation system that worked fairly and gradually, rather than have a big bang that punishes people. They would offer assistance to those affected by the policy. Focus on housing, not on punishing people who aren't in charge of the social housing stock and aren't in charge of housebuilding. They would fund the costs of moving - which are far more extensive than removal van.

But, as usually, it's bash the poor and attack the victims, not deal with the causes that are completely out of the control of those affected.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 26-Jan-13 11:48:31

That story only tells part of the picture - nowhere does it mention that the family would be able to claim tax credits, DLA and carers allowance for the child with autism which amount to around £10,000 a year. They may loose out on the HB if they choose to stay in the large house but they are not as hard up as that story makes it look.

adviceandassistance Sat 26-Jan-13 12:00:28

As a stepparent with shared access we stand to lose £60 a month which is a pretty big amount for us right now. I know lots of other peoples losses will be higher. I wouldnt begrudge this amount if it was a spare room that we didnt need but we do. I am sure access would be stopped if we moved to a 2 bed and said sd would need to sleep on the sofa without her own room for half of each week. rock and a hard place!

threesocksmorgan Sat 26-Jan-13 12:04:01

Waitingforastartofall mine didn't

CloudsAndTrees Sat 26-Jan-13 12:25:24

My children sleep on a pull out bed on the floor in the same room as their dad when they stay with him, which is usually 5/6 nights a month, and longer during the holidays. It's really not a problem, they have a room to themselves in my home which is all they need. It does them no harm at all, so I don't see the problem. Neither of us claim any form of benefit including tax credits, so while it would be great if they had a separate room to sleep in at their Dads, as their parents we just can't afford to give them rooms in two homes.

adviceandassistance Sat 26-Jan-13 12:29:51

My stepchildren stay twelve to fifteen nights a month, I don't think it would be appropriate for sd to sleep on a campbed or sofa then go to school. The living room would be the only available space for a campbed. I also know if this was the case her mother wouldnt let her stay and I can see why

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