...to think that some of you'd like to see Iain Duncan-Smith live on £53 per week for a year

(302 Posts)
SDeuchars Mon 01-Apr-13 20:30:35

If there are still spaces on the petition, please sign it.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 19:34:03

As a lone parent with a DC I couldnt' wait the two years either - and we were classed as homeless and in desperate need - I rented privately...and my HB was £110 per week until I managed to find a job instead of the £50-60 per week it could have been. Taking social housing is no not taking responsibility for oneself.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 19:31:02

You said people need to be more responsible. Should they have had a crystal ball and realised that the government was going to say they can't be moved into smaller accommodation?

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 19:29:33

No they did not choose something larger than they needed!!!!!! Christ on a bike. And social housing rents at way under the local housing allowance in the main (3 bedroomed council house in North Wales £70, private rented property of equivalent size - £125 - weekly. Local Housing Allowance for a property of that size, approximately £115 per week) if someone needs a 3 bedroomed house which would you rather see them in|? the one costing the taxpayer £70 a week or the one costing the taxpayer £115 per week?

how can you possibly say that someone chose a house allocated to them by the LHA? How? They can turn a house down, but they can't say...nah, I want a bigger one cause you know, I like my space...IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY! The LHA will allocate the smallest one available.

reluctantmover Sun 07-Apr-13 19:25:34

I said people have to be responsible for themselves at some point, that does not in any way mean people are irresponsible, that is very puzzling you think I said people in social housing are irresponsible.

reluctantmover Sun 07-Apr-13 19:23:01

Sorry Flaming, I did indeed apply for social housing but as a single person without "special needs" or dependents, I couldn't wait 5 years for it, I go off my arse and looked for somewhere private to rent. Of course the social housing exists, but guess what, you have to look for it and that includes moving perhaps away from family or further from work, that's life. I am far from blinkered, I ran away from an abusive family actually.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 19:19:25

Reluctant - I did have a fair amount of respect for you...until you said that people who are in social housing are irresponsible. That's a completely unfair statement. I'll tell that to my grandmother who left an abusive husband who nearly killed her with her tow young children and worked hard all her life but could never afford to buy a house or rent privately. I'll tell that to my friend who did rent privately but was moved by environmental health because her flat developed problems that no-one could seem to get her multi-property owning private landlord to fix - her situation was so bad, and she couldn't' raise another deposit for another flat (cause, you know, landlords just don't give deposits back until after you've moved out - sometimes they even keep a hold on it citing you as having damaged their property when you haven't) and she's now in a three bedroomed property and cannot get moved into a two bedroomed one. I'll tell that to the gentleman down the road who has mobility problems and the only property available was a two bedroomed property and renting privately wasn't an option and now there's no where to move him...he's retired by the way and worked all his life but only has a state pension.

Your attitude is shameful.

reluctantmover Sun 07-Apr-13 19:16:50

So in fact the people you were talking about DID make a choice and chose something larger than needed in the public sector, they weren't put there at all, they put themselves there to be completely correct, even if that sounds rather unemotional and unkind, it's not meant to be. Yes I chose the smallest place, I did it because if I'd chosen anything bigger, I had already been told what HB would cover and didn't want to have to pay a proportion out of IS, this was a few years back, so it's nothing new to HB only now will not fully cover housing. The local housing officer even came around to check I really was renting a small place and the rent was a fair one, she told me if she'd deemed it too high, I would only get a proportion paid. With such a small amount of IS, I couldn't take chances.

The UK is overpopulated, budgets are being cut everywhere, those in public sector work, those in private sector work and those on benefits in work and not. I know from personal experience with someone close to me whose just been forced to take 30% pay cut and works alongside colleagues earning thousands more doing the same job, stupid bugger signed up for annualized hours and has now been stung, that's working for a large government department and now earning less in £s than 10 years ago, it's crazy, but has a job and is told to shut up and put up. Life stinks, life goes on.

Xenia Sun 07-Apr-13 19:11:00

There are smaller places to rent around the UK. It is not impossible to find them and lots of social housing swaps going on. You just as ever need to get on your bike.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 19:09:16

So, what you are saying reluctant, is that no one should live in the social housing that does exist? It's all their fault? You had as much right as anyone to apply for social housing - you chose not to. And what about those with children? Should they get a bedsit too? And those with complex disability needs, should they have chosen a bedsit too...you are being pretty blinkered and unreasonable. They were being responsible - they applied to social housing - A RIGHT EVERY SINGLE PERSON HAS - it's cheaper and costs the tax payer a heck of a lot less than renting privately . And what about those who did have a family and their children have moved out? And they've asked to be moved, and have been told they can't? You are simply applying your personal situation and thinkin it would fit everyone. Life isn't like that.

CecilyP Sun 07-Apr-13 18:54:01

"they didn't choose to be put there", what did they not have free will to look for their own place to live?

They could have chosen a private rental over LA/HA but that would have been more expensive, if indeed they could raise the deposit.

People above HB thresholds make these choices, they might actually be struggling too with bills and dependents too, it's time everybody did.

We were allocated larger council accommodation than needed; we were above the HB threshold. We could have chosen to reject it and rented smaller accommodation privately, but then we would have qualified for housing benefit.

reluctantmover Sun 07-Apr-13 18:42:31

"they didn't choose to be put there", what did they not have free will to look for their own place to live? Here comes individual responsibility, at some point people should stop relying on the state and start thinking for themselves how they can better their lot. People above HB thresholds make these choices, they might actually be struggling too with bills and dependents too, it's time everybody did. Sometimes people in the UK don't know how lucky they are. Many countries have no such thing as housing benefit, that includes ones in the EU too.

CecilyP Sun 07-Apr-13 18:40:08

I would imagine you were young at the time, and chose to live in a shared flat, reluctant. The people affected would either have applied for social housing and been allocated something larger than needed, or their circumstances may have changed and they will be in accommodation larger than needed. Some may even be on transfer list for smaller homes. But it takes time and smaller homes have to become available. A friend of mine (a widow in her 50s) moved from a hostel to a 2-bed maisonette to a one-bed bungalow. She was quite happy for the 2-bed to go to a family, but that was what was available at the time and she would have been competing for the one-bed with those who could not manage stairs. (At a rough estimate, about 60% of one-bed LA and HA accommodation in my town is ground floor)

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 18:11:22

Reluctant - you chose to live in a small room...these people who are having the bedroom tax levied on them didn't choose to be put there, the LEA put them there. Could they rent privately? Yes, so long as they can get the deposit together and pay for the move...and find somewhere cheap enough that is covered by their LHA housing allowance for renters in private properties...it's not that easy. Some may be able to achieve it, but those that can't and are being told they won't be moved because there isn't the stock...is that fair?

reluctantmover Sun 07-Apr-13 18:01:29

well of course I didn't have a proportion of IS taken off me because I chose to live in a small room, I didn't hang around for someone to be responsible for me, I deliberately chose the smallest place, smallest bills etc. I don't know why any single person would live in a 2 bed place, pay more council tax, pay more rent, pay more bills. That's just me, I always go for the most economical option.

CecilyP Sun 07-Apr-13 17:45:43

As for £53 a week after housing, well I'd not like to be in that position but I've done it myself many years ago, living on IS and renting a tiny room in a shared house.

In a sense, you probably haven't quite done it. You were probabably managing on the rate of IS at the time for a single person. This has subsequently been raised over the years in line with inflation. However you did not have a a significant percentage taken off your benefit to pay towards a proportion of your rent. This is really what the originators of the petition are complaining about.

In terms of housing stock, I think it depends largely where you live. In London, where council housing started in the 1900s and councils have taken over many older blocks built by charities like Peabody Trust, I am sure there are many one-bedroom flats as a proportion of the total stock. In the provinces, where council house building only started in the 1920s, there are relatively few and, in some cases, hardly any and, of those, most will be bungalows designed for older people.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 17:32:13

Reluctant - yes you are thinking simplistically - I don't' have all the facts to give to you but only a small percentage of families have multiple children - those stories you see in the papers about large families banging on about not having enough space are rare cases. What happens a lot is that there are a lot of 2 bedroomed and 3 bedroomed houses/flats and not many 1 bedroomed. Families have had kids move out or people who have never had children have been put in two bedroomed accommodation because there wasn't anywhere else to put them...and now there isn't enough accommodation to make it so that people are not under occupying. The rules have also been changed over the years. Just a few years ago I kne several people who today would only qualify for a two bedroomed house even though they had 2 children and now those goal posts have been moved...and people are being told by their LHA that there is no where to move them.

There had always been a shortage of housing since so much of it got sold off. In one distric near me the wait list is.....13 years to get a council house. In the district I used to live in, I was on the emergency list because we were homeless and the wait was two years even being in the top priority - there IS a shortage, that's no mistake.

JakeBullet Sun 07-Apr-13 17:29:39

It's both.....there is just a shortage of social housing full stop. Some have had three bedroom houses allocated when they really only need two....but there is a shortage if two bed houses. They might be affected if they claim HB. Likewise if they are privately renting due to not being housed in the social sector and took a three bed because their HB covered that.

Doesn't change the fact there are a shortage of houses though. I have seen 4 children and parent(a) squeezed into one bed flats waiting for three bedroom properties. I have seen someone with one baby and one on the way allocated a three bedroom house. She will be affected as her children are under 10 and in reality could share a room.....she won't be likely to find a 2 bed house under social housing though.....I only got mine as DS is autistic which meant I was deemed high priority.

reluctantmover Sun 07-Apr-13 17:21:38

Maybe I'm thinking a bit simplistically here, but you hear people going on about families squeezing into public housing several children to a room because there is no public housing free that they could move in to, so in comes a "bedroom tax" and suddenly the opposite is true, saying there is a shortage of housing which is smaller so these people are forced to live in housing with spare rooms and there is an outcry that their HB is therefore reduced. So which is it, UK is on the whole overpopulated and not enough housing or underpopulated and too much housing?

As for £53 a week after housing, well I'd not like to be in that position but I've done it myself many years ago, living on IS and renting a tiny room in a shared house. I'm very grateful that tax payers picked up the tab for me for a few months and I've paid back into the system. I'm more than happy for my taxes to go towards those who find themselves out of work or unable to work. The state purse is only so big though, to me more should go to less, more to those in greatest need, less to those who need to get out and provide.

CecilyP Sun 07-Apr-13 12:54:01

reluctantmover, the £53 per week is for a single householder living in a LA/HA unfurnished tenancy who has been hit by the bedroom tax. So, yes, it is after they have paid the proportion of the rent that they now have to pay. It is not relevant to per head in a family because they live alone. That is what they will have left for all bills, expenses and everything else they need.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 11:22:31

So for the percentage of the 3% of single teenage mothers who are claiming benefits ( and you feel that somehow they are all fleecing the system) you are saying that the VAST majority of decent honest claimants (and that include those who do work but don't earn enough to be clear of claiming - and by the way, and single 37 year old mother who work 60 hours a week on NMW still qualifies for some benefits) should pay and have their benefits cut even further?

Might I turn you attention to this article, which gives you a much clearer picture of the benefits system.

Aditionally, that money that's getting fleeced from the taxpayers....50% of the benefits budget is, actually, pensions.

I'm not sure what percentage of taxes are avoided by tax dodgers - but the cost to the treasury is approximately £120bn.

www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/cost-of-war/2356-10-lies-were-told-about-welfare-and-how-to-stop-all-the-cuts

reluctantmover Sun 07-Apr-13 10:21:37

Sorry I might have missed the criteria for living on £53 a week, is that exclusive of housing (eg after paying rent or mortgage) and is that per person? If so, I'd like the challenge please as that would mean getting more per week than at present per head in the family.

merrymouse Sun 07-Apr-13 10:13:00

(Thats proper stats, by the way, not stats dredged up from some irrelevant report 10 years ago for the sake of a speech).

merrymouse Sun 07-Apr-13 10:12:10

To be honest, I am more familiar with people who are thought to be 'fleecing' the tax system than the benefits system.

My mother used to mutter darkly about friends owning their own businesses and 'putting it all against tax' (as though HMRC was somehow handing out free cars and kitchen extensions), and I've known freelancers who claim to be saving money through various tax schemes (e.g. setting up their own companies before the crack down) - until they realise how much tax they actually have to pay at the end of the year.

Apparent 'fleecing' often doesn't exist, or is due to financial incompetence. When you come down to the nuts and bolts of how much things actually cost and proper budgeting, the reality tends to be rather different. It is difficult to 'fleece' without actually breaking the law, and people often believe they are fleecing before they do their sums.

Stats are no doubt inaccurate, but I think more accurate than hearsay.

Springdiva Sun 07-Apr-13 09:27:42

Yes, it's only 3% of single parents but there is, though I can't quote figures, less liklihood of a successful outcome for the DCs of young single parents. So possibly their DCs are becoming single parents at a young age so are producing 2(or more depending on the number of DCs) families to the average middle class 1 (as they are having families later). So it's still a drain on the coffers.

Everyone, absolutely everyone, I know can give examples of people fleecing the system so stats are only telling part of the story. The genuine claimants are the ones who will suffer but what is the option? Tax payers are fleeced into bankruptcy or some suffer in the short term to nail the cheaters in the long term, the second option is the only one imo.

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 09:04:00

Springdivas - I hardly think that single teenaged mothers from the benefits list will help much since they only account for 3% of single parents - what percentage of that 3% actually claims benefit (and its reasonable to think it's not all of them) I do not know.

As a single person with no children it's not easy to keep on claiming benefits unless you are working with a very low income - you can't just keep on keeping on claiming JSA without looking for work. Sure you can keep walking out of work, but you don't immediately get JSA given to you if you create your own situation.

What about the large proportion of people who do work and still qualify for benefits because NMW doesn't give a living wage? What's the government doing about that? Oh, they've created a workfare scheme giving free labour to the big companies which drives down the hours of the people already in work thus creating more problems and more benefits paid out to those in work so long as their hours dont' drop below the minimum amount of hours to qualify for WTC and in the form of increased HB payments up to the maximum Local Housing Allowance....clever idea there.

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