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!

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 27-Jan-13 10:01:19

The end of the article where they talk of people having more kids to fill the room, well anyone in that mindset is heading for big trouble IMO. Digging themselves into a deeper hole.

sashh Sun 27-Jan-13 10:12:24

It's very unfair to take a house with more bedrooms than you need when there are families needing it more.

In my case because the HA only built 2 bedroomed properties for people with disabilities.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 10:13:02

Some homeowners can't move on because they are in the same position as tenants, moving house is expensive. It can be too expensive for both tenants and homeowners.

A lack of spending restrictions is one of the reasons we have the problems we do now. Too many people being given mortgages that they can't afford to pay back. We need some lending restrictions to prevent the same mistakes being made again.

I can't say I agree with your argument on that tbh. It's the same as me saying 'Well, the government have already done enough by tenants by giving them the deposit protection scheme and giving them the right to stay in a property when they haven't paid rent for months'. It doesn't really wash does it? There are still tenants in horrible situations despite what has been done for them, and there are still homeowners in horrible situations despite interest rates being low.

Doesn't everyone deserve decent housing? Whether they are providing it for themselves or the council is providing it for them is irrelevant. Their children at least should be entitled to the same.

TheCalvert Sun 27-Jan-13 16:50:23

People are going to lose out whichever way the axe falls. That is life. But I do feel that under occupancy of social housing is a massive problem for those who are over occupying. IRS not fair,and at least the government are trying to address the issue.

What was the Labour lot doing about building more affordable housing stock for people on low incomes when times were good?

Unfortunately, this is not a problem which will be fixed overnight, or indeed over a year or two. Houses need to he built, but as a shorter term solution until such houses can be built, I think the government are trying to do the right thing. Whether or not that is fair or not depends largely on where you stand when the policies come into force.

The idea is good, but the practicalities seem like there is no way this is going to work.

It doesn't make sense that a 50 something couple of empty nesters have a four bedroom house for another thirty years, especially when there are young families who need the space and if there is a way to encourage them to downsize then that is good.

...But that article also pointed out problems, like the art studio guy. I don't think the gov should be paying for his art studio, but he says that there aren't subsidised 1 bedrooms available. What are you meant to do if there is no suitable accommodation to move to?

I think the disabled housing should be need assessed.

Hopeforever Sun 27-Jan-13 17:15:27

The plan has many pitfalls, however " 1.6 million children in Britain live in housing that is overcrowded, temporary, or run-down"

england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns/why_we_campaign/supporting_families_and_children

They don't have one bedroom let alone one at each parents house.

MoreBeta Sun 27-Jan-13 17:16:10

Sorry but if we are going to implement this policy we need to apply it to OAPs as well as young families.

Proves once again that the 'grey' vote always gets its way on benefits while the younger generation always pay for it.

An OAP couple only need one bedroom in a sheltered accomodation block. Much better for them in the long run Simple as that. They are overhoused in 2 - 4 or 4 bed social housing all over the country that families do need.

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 17:18:01

i still dont understand the logic of this 'tax'. i understand what they are doing. i understand the figures and what it will cost me. but what i dont understand is how it is being presented as logical and right.

e.g. lets say a 2 bed house allowance is £100/wk. a person with entitlement to a 2 bed house will only get £100/wk, regardless of what size of house they actually rent. so if they rent a 4 bed at £175/wk they will only get £100 of that in HB the rest they will have to find themselves, but this tax will now mean they get less than £100 and will have to find more of the rent themselves even though they aren't taking any more from the state than a person who is actually in a 2 bed house.

i dont understand the reasoning behind it. what is the offical Govt party line that explains why this is justifiable?

Darkesteyes Sun 27-Jan-13 17:28:13
Orwellian Sun 27-Jan-13 17:49:02

YABU. It is not cruel. Nobody has to give up their social homes but if they want to stay then they have to make the choice of paying extra for the luxury of a spare bedroom or downsizing. We have a major housing crisis with hundreds of thousands living in overcrowded accommodation and on the waiting list for social housing. There is no reason why a subsidised asset that was given to someone because of a need 20, 30 years ago, shouldn't be reviewed when the need is no longer there and someone else has a far greater need. Social homes are already much lower rent that private lets and this is just adding a little bit of balance to the unfair system that gives lower rents and secure tenure to those in social homes whilst those in the private sector pay much more for much less. Besides, the homes are not owned (unless bought through the generous "right to buy" subsidy) so they are not being evicted from "their" homes but are being made to free up space at a time of dire need from a government asset.

If only Labour had built 5430580 homes during the 13 years they were in power rather than throwing money at greedy landlords, it wouldn't have come to this!

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 17:56:52

Considering the 2 largest groups of tenants who underoccupy are exempt from this ruling, I can't see it is going to achieve anything substantial apart from making poor people suffer more and more.
Does anyone know roughly how many family homes this will actually free up?
Does anyone actually know how much this will reduce the housing benefit bill by?
My guess is 'not much'.

tiggytape Sun 27-Jan-13 18:06:17

The disparity between over and under occupied homes in enormous in some areas. I appreciate not everyhwere has such diverse housing stock but where it does exist, real hardship is created by young families unable to be allocated a big enough house living virtually nextdoor to older couples in 3 or 4 bedroom properties who refuse to move.

Some councils are pretty good at incentives (cash bonus, redecorating and moving costs and choice of any available property) to get people to downsize but it doesn't have much affect. People are attached to their homes and enjoy having a spare room, knowing their neighbours etc.
As such I don't think this is an unreasonable alternative to really pressure people to downsize where they can because the living conditions for many people in houses too small for them are just awful. It is ridiculous to exclude pensioners from this though.

Rockchick1984 Sun 27-Jan-13 18:07:01

Booyhoo I think you are getting private rent confused with social housing. Private rent means (in your example) that they would get £100 paid to them and find the extra £75 themselves, this isn't going to change.

If they were in social housing and needed a 2 bed property but lived in a 3 bed, they would get all of the rent paid for the 3 bed. All that the change is doing is bringing them in line with the family in private renting, and only subsidising them for the size of house they need rather than whatever size they are in!

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 18:13:31

i'm in NI and yes it is changing here (i think people forget NI exists sometimes)

soverylucky Sun 27-Jan-13 18:14:22

I think it is really wrong that the policy does not apply to OAP's. They still get the winter fuel allowance regardless of genuine need, they also get the free travel. It does seem that this government are targetting families in particular. I do however still agree with the policy in principal.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 18:41:42

I am surprised that so many people want to see this applied to OAPs. I think that's quite selfish tbh.

These older people were given tenancies that included the expectation that that would be able to stay in their homes for life. It's not right that the goalposts should be changed now that they are old. If they had known that this was going to happen, they could have downsized when their children had left home and they were still able to form local bonds, make new friends and get out and about easily. Or if the rules had changed when they were still able to increase their earnings to cover the extra cost, it wouldn't have been so bad.

But to turf them out of their homes once they have spent years thinking that their home was secure when they are at an age when they should be able to be settled is just mean. I'd say they have more right to their home than someone who has had more children than their home can comfortably cope with while knowing there was a very real possibility that benefit reforms would affect them.

This is why it's a good idea to bring this in for people who are young enough to know that they will have to move when their children have left home, or they will have to ensure they earn enough to cover the extra cost. It's fair when people know what the deal is, but it isn't fair when you give elderly people expectations of one thing and then you pull it out from under them.

mynameisnowsonicthehedgehog Sun 27-Jan-13 18:49:36

My sister lives in a street of social housing, like many of her neighbours she owns her property. Her direct neighbour is a lone parent with two children under 10, living in a 3 bed semi, so under the new rules she faces a reduction in her houing benefit.

When she received the letter informing her of this, she quite blatantly told my sister that she is going to get pregnant so this doesn't happen. Imagine finding out this was the reason your were born.

Whilst I appreciate this won't be the attitude of all, unfortunately it will seem like the easy option for some.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 18:59:03

Clouds that applies to everyone who has been given a tenancy not just pension age people.

As things stand at the mo. they are given out as lifetime tenancies, but its the tenancy that's life time not the house.

Viviennemary Sun 27-Jan-13 19:13:00

There was a similar thread to this a while ago and I thought disabled people were exempt from the new policy.

katykuns Sun 27-Jan-13 19:14:21

I don't have a spare bedroom in private housing, in fact it's very cramped. But I understand that there's a recession and if I want a bigger house I'll have to earn more money to pay for it, it isn't up to the government to sort out spare rooms for me!

But the fact is the people in social housing cannot save up enough if they are getting benefits, so that's not an option, and if you are in a low paid job getting your income topped up with benefits, the harder you work, you just receive less benefit! I know because that's what I am doing in private renting with housing benefit being paid.

Totally agree with all you have said expat and edam!

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 19:20:12

I thought that was changing Sock, and the tenancies would be secure but the homes aren't. So new tenants will know that they won't have their homes for life, it when people who are now old enough to be OAPs were given their homes, they were told they would be for life.

Orwellian Sun 27-Jan-13 20:21:49

It should apply to pensioners as they are the biggest group likely to have a spare bedroom (or two or three) and have benefited the most from cheap housing, generous pensions, free university education (basically things that the younger generation can now only dream of).

However, the pensioners tend to vote Conservative so of course the Tories are not going to include them (turkeys and Christmas etc) in the bedroom tax.

It is indeed very stupid & very unfair.
I have 4dd and me & my dh have been told due to the fact they are same sex siblings we don't need 2 bedrooms for them and they could easily fit in oneblush
They haven't looked at my home, or anything theyv'e gone on how many rooms we have & how many dc we have got and said they are only paying bla bla towards our rent-We are newly unemployed after redundancy.

It's not as if we can just up and move, our kids our settled at school and we have no garantour or deposit for a new rental.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 21:32:41

So old people should be uprooted and penalised because they might have benefitted from things that we going on around them in their youth that they had no control over, in favour of people who had control over how many children they chose to have while they were being supported in some way by the state?

Yeah, that sounds fair. hmm

And i'd like to point out it wouldn't be fair on the elderley either.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now