To think if you're a fan of the bedroom tax

(276 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 27-Aug-13 22:05:38

That means you are at best a spunktrumpet and at worst a cunt. Watch this short video and see what it's doing. angry sad

Jolleigh Tue 27-Aug-13 22:20:41

Sigh...still not a tax.

PelvicFloorClenchReminder Tue 27-Aug-13 22:23:51

I don't think terminology is really the problem. hmm

OP YANBU.

And thank you for 'spunktrumpet' - I can see that one coming in handy

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 22:27:12

Not a tax... a travesty!

Bowlersarm Tue 27-Aug-13 22:27:35

Is a spunktrumpet better than a cunt confused?

anonnymousey Tue 27-Aug-13 22:29:22

YANBU

noisytoys Tue 27-Aug-13 22:29:56

shockThat's terrible this whole thing makes me so sad when will it get better sad

thecatfromjapan Tue 27-Aug-13 22:30:30

It really is causing difficulties for people I care for. For me, it's not an abstract thing at all. It is not a good policy.

CorrinaKedavra Tue 27-Aug-13 22:34:00

It is a benefit reduction but why not call it a tax? My carers allowance is taxed which equals less money. Is there in existence a tax which gives the taxee more money? Doubt it.

Jolleigh Tue 27-Aug-13 22:36:14

Nope, terminology is just the umbrella for the propaganda. Unfortunately, the issue is people focusing on those who are severely adversely affected rather than those who are aided by the changes.

But this has been argued to death on MN and quite simply there are a lot of people clinging on to sob stories rather than accepting the logic and the fact that a reform was necessary.

It may seem heartless but there are thousands of households receiving money for a house with more bedrooms than necessary. People renting privately and those with their own homes have to downsize if their income doesn't cover their outgoings.

And for all of Labour's arguments, they have absolutely no intention of reversing this. Their arguments were propaganda to gain votes.

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 22:37:13

Had it been thought out and planned for (like building more 2 bed and 1 bed social housing) so that people actually had the choice to move then it would have possibly freed up much needed family housing.

But it hasn't. It has been a complete balls up. Left people in huge debt with no options. And housing waiting lists are longer than ever.

Twats angry

Talkinpeace Tue 27-Aug-13 22:39:06

The clever councils are already getting round it by redesignating rooms as living rooms and study areas so not having to move people.
Only the thick councils are going through the cost of rehousing people.
If a council HAS no 1 bed flats it has no incentive to move people into more expensive accommodation.

NicknameIncomplete Tue 27-Aug-13 22:39:12

I like the idea. ie charging people for unoccupied bedrooms. But the way that it is being carried out/enforced is shit shit shit.

And also where are all the spare/empty homes people can move to?

Did the Government not watch 'how to get a council house'?

NicholasTeakozy Tue 27-Aug-13 22:39:37

Whatever you want to call it it is a disgusting policy. Getting people out of social housing and into private rentals at greater cost to the taxpayer. Fairness (™IDS) doesn't come into it. These utter wankpieces in government don't like socialism unless it means us paying their expenses or bailing out their friends.

thecatfromjapan Tue 27-Aug-13 22:42:01

Wow, Jolleigh, that post sounds incredibly cold. My knowldege of this ... benefit reduction ... is by way of anecdote and acquaintance. I am a well-off, middle-class, highly-educated woman. You might think, then, that the people i might know would be those who were living high on the hog, and the ... benefit reduction ... was a jolly good thing when it came to them.

Oddly enough, however, I only know ... "sob stories".

Strange that.

Perhaps that is because the ... "sob stories" ... statistically outweigh the happy, dance-in-street stories?

And ... guess what ... "sob stories" actually make you fucking cry - and then get really, really angry - when they are attached to living, breathing human beings that you care about.

utreas Tue 27-Aug-13 22:42:03

The policy reform is very sensible, why people in social housing should have vacant bedrooms is beyond me. It also brings social renters in line with private renters.

Portofino Tue 27-Aug-13 22:42:51

I agree with idea in principle but think people should be offered a property that suits their needs first before they have to pay anything. So poorly executed then definitely.

expatinscotland Tue 27-Aug-13 22:43:53

Private renting in the UK is a joke.

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 22:48:12

Yes, because those in social housing can really afford the astronomical private rents, deposits and can easily get references, can't they? hmm

Some people have no idea at all.

thecatfromjapan Tue 27-Aug-13 22:48:21

"sob stories".

They are people.

Not stories.

Not fiction.

They don't get to turn over the page: they live it.

They are more than this "sob story" - which has been imposed on them - which is worth many emotions other than scorn and contempt.

For some reason that phrase "sob stories" is really bugging me. Isn't it kind of abusive? It seeks to subtly minimise pain and discomfort. In fact, it implies it's not realy, doesn't it?

Eeew. Not nice. But probably the kind of mental gymnastics that the people who developed and rolled out this policy, and support it with propaganda, have to perform in order to keep doing what they're doing.

EllaFitzgerald Tue 27-Aug-13 22:48:31

There seems to be no discretion either. An acquaintance is in a private rental of a two bedroomed flat, which he gets way below the market rate because he's a good tenant and he's been there years. He now has to move to a one bedroom flat, which will cost the tax payer much more in housing benefit than he currently receives because he can't afford to pay for the extra bedroom. It's ridiculous.

nonameslefttouse Tue 27-Aug-13 22:52:09

The social housing is up the creek, better plans should have been implemented first to ensure smaller properties were available, that said I haven't seen stories from the other side where families were living in b&b or bedsits who now have family homes because a single person has moved to a smaller property, freeing up family properties for well families.

CorrinaKedavra Tue 27-Aug-13 22:54:19

I think that it's a good idea in principle. All those elderly people on their own in four-bed houses desperate to downsize and have a little bungalow while families are in refuges or bedsits.

But that's not how tackling under-occupancy is going to work in practice is it?

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 22:54:22

if everyone who posts on mumsnet about a govt policy that they hate so vehemently actually got off their backsides and got involved in politics in their local area as a town or parish councillor, a local councillor or whatever then politics wouldn't be the one way all look the same/act the same/agree that we have at the moment. There are loads of new laws and old ones that I hate. so I stopped whinging and became a parish councillor. not much I know but at least I have a bit of a say in what happens where I live. and please, don't tell me that you cant because you are soooo busy because actually so am I with 3 DC's my own business to run, elderly disabled parents etc. stop whining about how unfair it all is and do something. we get the laws, the politicians and the politics we deserve so if you don't like it then change it.

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 22:54:56

You won't have seen those stories because it hasn't happened.

expatinscotland Tue 27-Aug-13 22:55:43

Anyone age 61+ is exempt from the reduction.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Tue 27-Aug-13 22:55:48

Bedroom tax doesn't apply to private rented accomadation, local housing allowance does and that will be less for fewer bedrooms

Jolleigh Tue 27-Aug-13 22:57:17

Yes I do sound cold. But I've argued this to death and the fact is, nobody on either side changes their minds.

It's a controversial policy and as such there are some people who truly get the shitty end of the stick. And for those people I'm as sorry as I can be. But there are then a hell of a lot of people who are arguing simply because they don't like it.

sweetestcup Tue 27-Aug-13 22:58:12

In my area its a disaster - there are a huge shortage of 1 bedroom homes and a huge amount of people stuck in bigger homes forced to pay, even if they want to move they cant. When people in specially adapted homes (that have had a lot of money spent on them) are now threatened with eviction, and then would have to be housed somewhere else suitable for their needs and their original house would have to have money spent to reverse the adaptations, well there has to be something far wrong.

Lilithmoon Tue 27-Aug-13 22:58:32

Well said mummymeister.

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 22:58:58

I'm arguing because it was shockingly, badly implemented, with very little thought or planning as to how it would work (which it doesn't).

CorrinaKedavra Tue 27-Aug-13 23:00:21

I know, expat - that's what makes it so ill-thought-out.

WafflyVersatile Tue 27-Aug-13 23:02:38

''There are people arguing simply because they don't like it?''

Um. Yes. I don't like it. It's a shitty policy in theory and practice. That is why I don't like it and why I then argue against it.

Jolleigh Tue 27-Aug-13 23:05:36

Youthecat - as a previous poster has said...if you don't like how it was implemented, taking to mumsnet full of piss and vinegar won't do anything. Get involved in politics and you may even hear a few things that help you have a clearer view of the 'why' behind it all.

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 23:06:35

Waffly, youthecat, Nicholas - elections for councils in 2 maybe 3 years time in your area? download the forms from your council website only need a proposer and a seconder.

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 23:06:47

I already have a very clear view of the reasons behind it, thanks. hmm

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 23:07:47

Why? We can't all be local councillors, can we? Better to make an informed decision and use my vote.

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 23:08:44

... but you still wont say why you aren't involved in local politics youthecat or why you wont stand for your local town, parish, district or county council so that instead of moaning about something there is a danger that you could actually end up doing some good for your local community - the one you care so much about.

Sallyingforth Tue 27-Aug-13 23:10:58

You won't have seen those stories because it hasn't happened.

If you Google "Oldham bedroom tax suicide" you'll see that someone threatened to commit suicide a month ago, not that they actually did as stated in the video.

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 23:12:49

Youthecat that is a pathetic response. no we cant all be local councillors but you could be. all areas of the country are crying out for articulate interested and in touch people with clear and definite views to stand on the local council. it takes a getting up off your computer screen and one meeting a month for a couple of hours with some reading and community engagement in between. no it is absolutely and most definitely not better to make an informed decision and use your vote. then you are only voting on other peoples ideas, views and principles rather than getting stuck in and speaking about your own. why is David Cameron prime minister, why is Milibland leader of the opposition? because they could be bothered. and if you cant then stop whinging about it.

edam Tue 27-Aug-13 23:13:36

wow, so you can only discuss politics and policies if you are a politician or are trying to become a politician? Thanks for the warning, mummymeister. hmm

Jolleigh Tue 27-Aug-13 23:16:36

mummymeister is talking sense and people don't like it. If so many horrendous wrongdoings are occurring, get involved rather than sitting by and complaining that nobody else is fixing them.

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 23:19:33

Why? Tbh I can't afford it and the councillors where I live reasonably represent my views so why would I want to waste a deposit (which I would have to save for to the detriment of my family) running against them?

And where am I whinging exactly? I have expressed an opinion that this policy has been very badly implemented.

So are you a councillor?

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 23:19:59

I am not a politician or trying to become one. I am on a small rural parish council because they kept making decisions about planning applications locally that really hacked me off and one of my neighbours pointed out that if you don't like it stop whinging get involved and effect change. I have no other ambition - once a month is quite enough. if you keep leaving politics to other people then you end up with their views. please re- read my post edam. what I am trying to do is encourage more people to discuss and get involved but to do it with a purpose somewhere that they can actually effect a change. you cant keep walking on the other side of the street if you feel as strongly as the OP can you?

thecatfromjapan Tue 27-Aug-13 23:21:16

I don't think there is room for everyone to be a councillor, M.P, etc., mummymeister, so I would be the very last to berate and belittle those who are not involved in politics as elected representatives.

Representative democracy also needs those who vote, and those who are happy to carry out all the around-the-edges stuff that keep parties rolling (and I have enormous respect for Independents, who manage without back-up).

And it is my cherished belief that there is much to say for the power of argument, for rhetoric (though it is sometimes viewed with suspicion), for those involved in politics at the level of communication and discussion - and actually, come to think of it, merely at the level of being interested, and being prepared to listen and engage. If there were no place for persuasion, for change resulting from argument and information, there would be no politics. And that would be a sad thing.

And mummymeister do you really view all of those voting for you with this enormous contempt because they aren't councillors like your good self? Have you tried telling your electorate that there is real politics - undertaken by those such as yourself - and there is lesser politics, not real politics - that is undertaken by those who merely vote?

What do you think voting is exactly?

I think you should make your views on this issue public, attached to your real life name. I think your electorate would love to hear them.

Or maybe sheep don't matter.

BreconBeBuggered Tue 27-Aug-13 23:21:35

Standing isn't the same as being elected, last time I stood for election anyway.
And yes, I'd argue againt the bedroom tax even though it doesn't affect me and I'm not a local politician. I haven't seen any evidence yet of larger families being moved out of cramped housing because of it - mainly because the 3-bed council properties in my locality are occupied by pensioners, many of whom would like to downsize but can't because of a shortage of one-bedroom properties. All I see are examples where implementing the extra charge ends up costing the taxpayer more money.

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 23:21:37

I think it might be slightly more involved in a large city council. There are no small parish councils here.

BoffinMum Tue 27-Aug-13 23:21:43

Time to release land for building and stop paying these greedy bastards to sit on land that is doing nothing because some Norman forebear or other decided to become a robber baron.

It always feels slightly dirty linking to the DM but they have a point

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 23:23:47

Parish councillors, local councillors and town councillors do not pay a deposit youthecat. only if you stand as an MP does any money have to be paid. a shocking lack of knowledge about how our democracy runs. you can even claim your travelling and child care expenses so that you are not out of pocket. many larger town councils give their councillors an allowance to cover this. I am not suggesting everyone on here stand as an mp just to get themselves involved. I am glad that your local councillors represent your views but why have it done second hand when you could do it yourself. everyone always has a million excuses why not to do it.

BoffinMum Tue 27-Aug-13 23:24:21
YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 23:25:16

But why stand against someone who is already doing a fine job of it?

bunchoffives Tue 27-Aug-13 23:26:17

YANBU

Sob stories really infuriates me. I posted back in April when the bedroom tax was first introduced, about a member of my family who is disabled. She was housed in a 2 bed council flat. She got the flat because she has specific needs and would not be able to either move or manage maintenance of a property.

How can it be right that one of the most vulnerable people, who already struggles everyday with her disability, is made to pay a tax on a bedroom that (a) she didn't want; (b) can't now afford; and (c) has no choice over because there are no 1 bed flats available.

And, that's what's so absurd about this tax - in the last quarter the number of buy-to-let mortgages has shot up. Demand for private rentals means rental property is suddenly a very lucrative investment again. Where's the demand coming from? Yeah, that's right..... housing benefit claimants who are trying to move to avoid the bedroom tax. So housing benefit is up and so, of course, is the taxpayer's bill. So that worked didn't it IDM????

I will never EVER vote Tory or Lib Dem.

Jolleigh Tue 27-Aug-13 23:26:59

So, after all the excuses reasons why people are happy to complain about it rather than getting involved...how many of you can honestly say you've even written to your local councillor?

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 23:29:31

I used to chat to my local councillor every now and again but never wrote to him.

My ex has had a few phone conversations with our MP about some issues.

If I had an issue with something to do with the local council I would go to the monthly meeting up the road.

thecatfromjapan Tue 27-Aug-13 23:29:32

You know, a policy such as this has been developed and put into effect across such a wide terrain, that it is extraordinarily naïve to think that simply becoming a local councillor will have a great deal of effect.

It is genuinely the case that you need widespread and disparate opposition to effect change with something like this. And that opposition needs to be across a number of locales: media (and there are many different forms of this); parliamentary representation; policy-making, to name but three.

(Suddenly realised the truth of Foucault's image of the net when conceptualising modern power. But realises it doesn't go far enough in defining the different "strata" (for want of a better word) across which that net has nodular points).

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 23:32:10

thanks Jolleigh but don't expect to get an answer. I am just off out to get my flock in apparently.

Jolleigh Tue 27-Aug-13 23:32:53

Youthecat - your councillor can do much more if those who aren't happy put their views in writing. They're busy people too and won't be able to tally up numbers and opinions if everything is verbal.

thecatfromjapan Tue 27-Aug-13 23:33:30

I think it would be quite silly to think that: raising awareness via mumsnet (which has a larger reach than some newspapers); fine-tuning the elements of a counter-argument; fashioning a discourse of opposition; swapping stories; communicating the volume of dissenting opinion is "doing nothing".

I, personally, think it counts as "politics". But I am a namby-pamby ex-humanities student. So what do I know?

YouTheCat Tue 27-Aug-13 23:35:10

I shall consider that should I ever have to put forward a complaint.

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 23:37:29

thecatfromjapan - yes of course you need widespread and disparate opposition but you also need people with real life experiences to be in places where they can effect change. its not true at all to say local councillors can not have an effect. they are the first port of call for all planning applications. the bottom up approach to opposition really works. I don't belong to a political party and I never will but I can get in there once a month and have my say and I can talk to my neighbours about what they care about. change starts with the individual.

Jolleigh Tue 27-Aug-13 23:37:57

It's worth doing even if your councillor agrees with you. It gives them what they need to take it further.

CharlieAlphaKiloEcho Tue 27-Aug-13 23:39:21

I am in temp housing after going through the homeless system and I don't think this is a good idea on any level.

Private renting just wasn't an option for us. close to 300 phone calls and not one agent would let us view a property once the words housing benefit left my mouth.

My mother is in a 3 bed property and disabled. She needs to go to sheltered housing but the waiting list is over 18 months long. Luckily she won't get charged but this shows you that it isn't always people just wanting to hang onto their large house.

And as for the notion that we should get involved in campaigning to change this....... I contacted 27 local politicians directly involved in the housing situation in my city regarding this and the dire joke that is the homeless system. 3 replied. One of those replies was an automated "on holiday" thing and they never did reply once they were back. One of the replies was to tell me that I was wrong and that the homeless system didn't work like that (er...right. Maybe explain that to the council staff who had told me to get lost until eviction day then....) She simply had no idea how it was being run and she was on the city housing committee. There really is so little that can be done about this when no one is willing to listen.

These schemes are dreamt up with absolutely no regard for the real people who will suffer them. There are so many different ways in which a similar system could have been implemented which would have actually worked.

LAs have no smaller properties to move people into.

How can this be a money saving exercise when every single independent report has proven it will cost LAs more because people will go to private housing at a cost 2 - sometimes 3 times higher then social rents?

thecatfromjapan Tue 27-Aug-13 23:40:02

Having said all of the above - and I do man it - I have to say that I have enormous respect for those who do become councillors. It's hard work. and the people I know who are doing it have a great deal of integrity.

I'd feel very bad if I hadn't made this point.

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 23:42:20

too right jolleigh. how many letters of support has Cameron had for this policy? write to your mp and ask them to table this as a question that would cause a stir. why catfromjapan do you think I value something less just because I am putting a counter argument? of course MN is important. why do the political parties put so much time and effort in to undercover stories on it if it wasn't. why the use of the word namby pamby and why should I think you know less than me just because we have a different opinion.

mummymeister Tue 27-Aug-13 23:46:54

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ShellyBoobs Tue 27-Aug-13 23:47:35

YABU.

There's no such thing as 'bedroom tax'.

Typical left-wing bollocks propaganda.

usualsuspect Tue 27-Aug-13 23:58:42

The OP of this thread has had the same name for a long time.

So go on email mnhq.

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 00:00:08

Nice summary ShellyBobs wink

Again worth a mention that labour have made it clear that despite all their objections, they have absolutely no intention of reversing this policy. When it comes down to the gritty, both parties agree the best way forward is to run with this.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 00:01:53

Odd that this apparently very needed reform costs more to administer than it will save.

Odd that if its so important the three largest groups of under occupiers are totally exempt from it.

Odd that the group of people most effected by the change are those already disadvantaged by disability.

talkin did you know that instead of re designating bedrooms as other living spaces to save tenants money many LA's are re designating other living spaces as bedrooms so dining rooms that have a doorway (so a room as opposed to one on the end of a long living room) are now being classed as bedrooms so it costs the tenant more money.

ShutUpandRun Wed 28-Aug-13 00:06:05

What ever you want to call it this policy has totally destroyed my village and those around us. The UK is not a one size fits all place.

In my area the only one beds are very few, right in the (small) city centre and cost way more than LHA will even consider for a family home as they're 'luxury' lets. Two beds are also pretty thin on the ground. The vast majority are three rooms plus as that is what the council built.

Up here there are no smaller homes, there are no jobs and rent arrears are soaring. Private owners have moved for work, to share with family or to cheap council homes and are letting out 3 beds at the 2 bed LHA rate to get tenants. But these rates are still £100 PCM higher than the council rents. The council homes are empty and more money is being paid out in housing benefit, no homes have been freed up and no one is benefitting.

But, the tenant loses security of tenure, many can't afford to move in the first place. Landlords are stopping paying their mortgages when they realise it'll take years to clear negative equity and the first the tenant hears is the eviction notice, get evicted, get housed, end up paying the underoccupier tax as the council has no smaller homes to offer! Other LL's just don't bother with upkeep and homes are increasingly dilapidated with poor, expensive heating such as coal and inadequate insulation.

Lets not forget that it is an increasing disincentive to work as you now need to earn more to be in the same level.

I'm sure plenty will come on and squeal as to how they can just get a job. Come to the agencies and industries that hand out shit work on a daily basis and see how early they line up daily to only be turned away again. When 10% are unemployed just getting a job isn't easy. You can't spout that Eastern Europeans come and find jobs either, there are very few EE as there are NO JOBS.

It is heartbreaking here and I look at the children and young adults and wonder what chance they have.

The worst part is that the prosperous South would be a fucking third world country without the North. We have the coal, we grafted, we gave the world the industrial revolution. All the wealth and power was built in the North, yet we've been shafted and many in the South feel we should be grateful for the crumbs they offer after they trashed the economy. Thanks a bunch.

mummymeister Wed 28-Aug-13 00:07:59

blimey usualsuspect where did that come from? do you know Nicholas? not a squeak since the original post. is that not odd? sock which LA's are doing this? name and shame them please.

BreconBeBuggered Wed 28-Aug-13 00:08:58

Why don't the apologists for this extra charge respond to posts like the one by Charlie who has firsthand experience of how it works in practice?

YouTheCat Wed 28-Aug-13 00:09:15

Why is it odd? Maybe she/he is busy doing something else?

mummymeister Wed 28-Aug-13 00:16:47

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 00:17:24

Does it matter if its referred to as the bedroom tax?

Its become a widely used name for it when you say it everybody knows what you mean they all understand what your talking about.

Its a bit of a pain in the arse to keep typing under occupancy housing benefit reduction charge and when you say that to many people you come into contact with you get a blank look and then end up saying bedroom tax then they understand.

The vast majority of organisations who assist with benefit and housing matters refer to it as that usually with its full name followed by more commonly known as the bedroom tax.

Fine its not an actual tax, we all know that but getting wound up and focusing your arguement on how people refer to it makes you look,well a bit uninformed. If you pro then fine say why you are rather than just making yourself look like you just want to ridicule people for using a well known easily understood nickname for it.

YouTheCat Wed 28-Aug-13 00:18:13

Sometimes real life has a horrible way of getting in the way of the internet.

mummymeister Wed 28-Aug-13 00:20:54

call it what you like sock. can you name and shame the councils who are doing this dreadful re-designation of living rooms into bedrooms. I am not pro it and wouldn't ridicule anyone who used a nickname that was well understood.

mummymeister Wed 28-Aug-13 00:24:00

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

revealall Wed 28-Aug-13 00:27:42

I don't have a problem with benefits paying the amount for bedroom entitlement.

However in the South East all the one and most of the two beds are flats. Most of the town new builds are over pubs /Tesco Expresses/or similar. Not ideal for raising your wholesome family with no space and lots of late night noise.
No body should live in anything a Councillor wouldn't be happy with IMO.

CorrinaKedavra Wed 28-Aug-13 00:28:27

My tiny kitchen has a breakfast bar separating it from a space which is just about big enough to house a little table and a drying airer. I've heard of HAs trying to say that this can be a bedroom.

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 00:29:56

Brecon - because we've never insinuated that there aren't people severely affected by it. In fact, we've acknowledged that there are and suggested that those who are particularly passionate because of any number of reasons get more involved. Whether that be writing to your councillor or even becoming one.

I strongly feel that as far as this issue is concerned, taking your vote elsewhere will do nothing as no major political party intends to reverse the changes. None. So those who feel passionately must do more.

usualsuspect Wed 28-Aug-13 00:30:22

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

YouTheCat Wed 28-Aug-13 00:30:54

It's a possibility. I've seen the OP posting at plenty of other times and so presume she/he has reasons for not coming back to this thread yet.

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 00:32:17

Corrina - I'd be very interested to hear which HAs you've heard do this and from whom?

BreconBeBuggered Wed 28-Aug-13 00:37:40

Odd, Jolleigh,I thought I saw you agreeing up there that the whole thing was 'left-wing bollocks propaganda'. Unless that was a joke, in which case, har-de-bloody-har.

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 00:43:11

It is. I call it propaganda because despite all their arguments, they have no intention of reversing it. So they've helped put fire in the bellies of the masses purely to gain votes. Voting Labour won't reverse the bedroom tax.

MistressDeeCee Wed 28-Aug-13 00:44:38

mummymeister youve made a valid point, I suppose. Ive just looked up how to become a Parish Councillor online..theres a booklet..so I will take a look.

I believe this country is becoming increasingly right wing and am not sure that tide can be reversed. I hear working class people talking about those affected by Tory policies, those deemed to have less, in such cold harsh terms that Im actually shocked.

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 00:44:45

And so you're aware...I just called it propaganda. You may want to re read the thread to get who said what straight.

MistressDeeCee Wed 28-Aug-13 00:46:19

Even Labour are pseudo tories. Milliband has fuck all to say about mean Tory policies. Self serving MPs just keeping their heads down so as to hold onto ministerial post and keep getting the big salary, long holidays, and perks. God knows what will happen in 2015. I dont even think Labour deserve to win, for their utter weakness in the face of Tory attrocities. I guess theyd be the lesser of 2 evils tho. But, still...

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 01:03:24

To give a full list would put me in rather a difficult possibly problematic situation as well as also being quite unfair on a few other mumsnetters. however many that are doing so are already in the public domain. These include a couple in Scotland 3 in the south west and at least 1 in each other area of the uk I believe some have even put it on there own websites and its talked about on the dwp's own website.
(That's seriously not a cop out if any of the MNers who have pm'd me for help about this want to openly talk about it I'm sure they will)
If a LA or HA reclassified a property to downsize it so it officially had less bedrooms, then that action will be subject to a review and possible catastrophic results for that LA/HA's entire housing benefit budget as its been made possible to remove the ability to manage HB withdraw the subsidy for it in order to sanction the LA/HA.

They can reclassify a 3 bed as a 2 bed if its no bigger than a 2 bed on the same street or if its been permanently adapted or the reclassification was scheduled for good reason prior to jan this year but they cannot do it just because they want to be nice at least not without risking the entire subsidy.

However they do have absolute discretion to reclassify rooms as bedrooms that were not previously considered as such this clause is actually written into the legislation so dinning rooms and box rooms are fair game there is also no size restriction even if lots of people think there is because the minimum size only matters with regard to over crowding.

However there are legal challenges going on in some cases where this has happened and I'm very interested in the results.

Jengnr Wed 28-Aug-13 06:43:20

Totally reasonable OP. Although I wouldn't bother with the spunktrumpet business and just head straight to cunt.

sashh Wed 28-Aug-13 06:43:38

The policy reform is very sensible, why people in social housing should have vacant bedrooms is beyond me.

If they have children who live with the other parent then somewhere for them to stay at the weekend.

In my case because my property is built to be wheelchair accessible, and they only built 2 bedroomed ones.

NicholasTeakozy Wed 28-Aug-13 08:38:04

... and Nicholas is nowhere to be seen. off to name change and create another political thread using clever sweary words no doubt

Personal attacks are always funny and clever. Except this one. I've used this name for over 18 months, though I must admit I'm due a change. Sorry I disappeared, I was sleeping, surely that's allowed?

If you think this policy isn't causing havoc you're living in cloud cuckoo land. All they're doing is switching the cost from central government to local, meaning council taxes will go up and they'll blame that on benefit claimants. Don't forget most benefit claimants are in work and have to claim due to low wages and high rents. The best and fairest way to reduce the benefit bill is to pay a living wage and cap private rent.

I for one think the bedroom tax is a completely pointless excercise soley to bring more money to the pot. Basically robbing people blind.
Not many houses have been freed up by this as there isn't anywhere smaller to move in to.
The only solution to the housing situation is to build more affordable housing, doesn't take an idiot to work that out.

But of course they don't want to do that as it costs money, instead they are making peoples lifes hell in the hope they will go off and die. It is already happening, people commiting suicide as their daily struggle to live has been made worse by this so called 'tax'.

I'm lucky not to be in the situation myself, but i completely emphasise with those in the situation they have no way of getting out of.

Politicly this was started by the conservitives but the truth is labour don't give a stuff either so it will never change.

AnneTwacky Wed 28-Aug-13 08:54:30

The problem I have with the social housing benefit cap is that there is a lack of smaller council houses.

People can't move to a smaller house/ flat if there are none so they're just stuck where they are, not being able to afford the rent.

It's an awful, heartless policy. I totally second Nicholas' idea of capping private rents and paying decent wages.

mycatoscar Wed 28-Aug-13 08:55:43

If this "tax" was really about freeing up larger properties for social housing then why does it only apply to those claiming benefits/housing benefits?

I was amazed to hear that my childminder who lives in a HA house and has a spare bedroom does not pay this because she pays her own rent, which is subsidised.

It is just penalising those who are on low income, not fair!

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 09:04:22

Jolleigh that is just the point though. I dont have more bedrooms than necessary. In a 3 bed with 7yo Dd with Health Issues and a 4yo Ds. All of my 3rooms are occupied by myself, Dd and Ds. Yet I'm subject to the charge because the 'Reforms' have said they have to share. Ill thought out Policy at best ~

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 09:08:59

mycatoscar The 'Private People have to pay the subsidy charge thing' didnt wash with me from day one. DM used to rent a 2bed house with me and Ds sharing the 2nd Bedroom. She still had to pay a big chunk of the Shortfall that HB wouldnt pay and well, that wasnt because of an empty spare room was it? I'm talking years ago though so admittedly laws might have Changed ~

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 28-Aug-13 09:11:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

SaucyJack Wed 28-Aug-13 09:20:25

Still a massive fan of the housing benefit decrease here.

I don't doubt there will be problems during the crossover, but in the long run it is clearly the fairest thing for everyone else.

Fairer on those who are working to pay for their own homes or pay their own rents who are expected to work longer hours or make other sacrifices if they fancied having a couple of spare bedrooms, and it's fairer on other council tenants who get crammed into the smallest possible flats available and have to lump it.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 09:30:26

SaucyJack many of those who work also have to claim HB subsidies. Sock I completely understand where you are coming from. There's a Lady around my area that turned her Dining Room into an extra bedroom because the LA told her she will be waiting years for a property. Guess who's now been subject to the 'Bedroom Tax' ? hmm ~

LondonMan Wed 28-Aug-13 09:34:00

And, that's what's so absurd about this tax - in the last quarter the number of buy-to-let mortgages has shot up. Demand for private rentals means rental property is suddenly a very lucrative investment again. Where's the demand coming from? Yeah, that's right..... housing benefit claimants who are trying to move to avoid the bedroom tax.

The bedroom tax increases the proportion of people in social housing, at the expense of the private sector, so overall it should depress private rents. Maybe what you are seeing is landlords buying one-bedroom places, but eventually they will presumably be selling larger places, or dropping the rents.

usualsuspect Wed 28-Aug-13 09:35:44

It's all a bit, why should poor people have something I haven't got ,isn't it?

And considering most underoccopied houses are lived in my older people who are not subject to the tax, it's all a bit of a farce really.

Still I expect it will win the Tories a few votes ...

SaucyJack Wed 28-Aug-13 09:38:58

Yes I'm more than well aware of that MissPixieTrix, but they've never been able claim housing benefit for more bedrooms than they need so the new proposals are still fairer all round.

racmun Wed 28-Aug-13 09:40:24

I agree it's been done to death. The principle is right but the implementation of the policy is wrong.

There should be a proviso whereby if you sign up to say you are prepared to move but that you are waiting for suitable alternative accommodation then you are exempt from the reduction. That way individuals aren't penalised because there are no smaller properties to move to.

The benefit system as a whole needs radical overhaul, the country is in a situation whereby people working need to be subsidised just to live. Effectively the tax payers are subsidising low wages and the natural economic balance between supply and demand is totally out of balance and it will not end well....

LtEveDallas Wed 28-Aug-13 09:40:56

The policy reform is very sensible, why people in social housing should have vacant bedrooms is beyond me

My neice was moved from her 2 bedroom flat into a 3 bedroom house when her council sold off the land that the flats were on to developers. There were 5 other families in each block and 3 blocks. As far as I am aware they were all moved into the 3 bed new builds.

She didn't ask for 3 beds, there were no 2 beds available.

Now she is to be 'charged' £14.00 per week for her 'extra' bedroom unless she can find someone to swap. To date she has been unsucessful.

That's why my neice has a vacant bedroom - and I'm sure she's not the only one in this position.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 09:48:56

I dont think anybody has. When someone can explain to me why my Mum was paying a shortfall when she was privately renting a 2bed with 2DCs. Then I will say it is fair. It is not. Simply because there just isn't the smaller properties for those 'UnderOccupying' to move into. There is actually an Indefinate wait in my area now for a 2bed house. ~

LondonMan Wed 28-Aug-13 09:57:46

If this "tax" was really about freeing up larger properties for social housing then why does it only apply to those claiming benefits / housing benefits?

Social housing isn't just for poor people, and private isn't just for better-off, it's all just housing, and those who can afford to pay for more than they "need" with their own money are allowed to.

Since the "tax" is a reduction in housing benefit, obviously it doesn't affect those who don't receive it in the first place.

On the other hand, it's illogical that those who rent social housing get housing benefit for spare rooms when those who rent privately don't. This change fixes that anomaly. That it will also increase the occupancy of social housing is just a beneficial side-effect.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 28-Aug-13 10:02:16

The reason I think the policy is bullshit is because they've excluded people over the age of 61 but they've included disabled people who are equally - if not more - vulnerable. The other reason I think this policy is bullshit is because where are all these smaller properties for people to move into?

I have written endlessly to my MP who, to his credit, does reply but rambles in politics speak and defends the policy. I work for a disability organisation - we have a huge campaign at the moment, have appeared on Daybreak and are still in discussions about how we can move forward with this. Our partner housing organisation is swamped and underfunded and anyway, referring our clients to them is not always going to resolve the issue. We have a helpline and receive about 5 calls a day from disabled people in our borough who are experiencing a reduction in their HB due to being under occupied. Many of these people are already experiencing social isolation, poverty as a result of their disability and lack of access to the local community - how is uprooting them going to help? Also, what is the cost of finding suitable properties that are fully accessible for disabled people - ramps, stair lifts, walk in showers? Oh and again, where are all these smaller properties?

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 10:17:17

Misspixie - yes you're one of the unfortunate people affected by the changes. However, if you weren't lucky enough to have managed to get social housing and be in receipt of housing benefit, you'd have had to do what the rest of us do...downsize to make ends meet. I've been in the position where I've had to downsize. Yes, it's hard. As I've said previously on this thread, write to your local councillor if you feel this passionately because simply voting against tories won't change this reform.

Nicolas - I'm assuming you don't mean personal attacks in the sense of calling people cunts based upon them having a different opinion to you?

It's quite odd really...those of us who agree with the reform are willing to admit that some people get a really raw deal out of this. We're not daft. But the fact is, reforms like this are always going to have some negative effects. And there was a problem that needed solving. The government have taken a stab at it...if you think there's a better way, get involved and get yourselves heard. Seems like your numbers are big enough that if all if you did what you can you'd be difficult to ignore.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 10:23:39

Precisely usualsuspect I can count on both hands how many middle aged or Pensioner couples are currently living in 2 or 3bed properties on my Street. Now I'm NOT for one minute proposing we kick them all out of the homes they have lived in for many years before I get flamed. I'm just pointing out the flaws in this Policy when as Usual so rightly put it most of them who are actually underoccupying are exempt ~

Crowler Wed 28-Aug-13 10:26:23

I have read all these comments with interest, and can appreciate that this is all flawed from the outset if there are indeed no 1/2 bedroom flats available for downsizing. I also think it's pretty shite and illogical to exclude over 61's while including disabled people (obviously pandering to voting blocks).

On the other hand, I think it's unrealistic to dismiss as irrelevant the fact that in large swathes of the country, well-off people working extremely long hours to pay for extremely expensive flats simply can't afford a guest room. I know a pretty well-off couple going through a divorce in London right now and they're having a nightmare of a time with the whole bedroom issue because they can't afford two flats between the two parents that have adequate bedrooms for the two kids (a boy and a girl who are approaching the age where they can't share) and they're having to make hard decisions.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 10:36:27

Jolleigh I did. I also had someone come out to measure Ds's bedroom and it was 1sq foot short of the requirements to be reclassified. I decided to pay it as I'm not planning to spend the rest of my life on Benefits (got this house after fleeing a violent relationship so yes I feel really lucky in being given a Social Housing Property hmm). I'm in a position where I have chosen and budgeted to pay it. After all if you think about how much it costs to move the moving costs alone would probably pay a years 'Tax'. Some people either havent got that choice or the sense for want of a better word to do this or think about it in this manner ~

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 10:40:46

Misspixie - so you don't feel lucky living in a country that has safety nets like the benefits system in place? I certainly do. And frankly I'm appalled that you clearly don't feel lucky to be getting the financial help that others who don't tick certain boxes so desperately need.

SaucyJack Wed 28-Aug-13 10:42:03

There are more than enough properties to downsize to (certainly round here), but obviously they won't just be lying around empty.

People need to be on exchange lists or homeswapping websites if they are wanting to find more appropriately sized properties.

gordyslovesheep Wed 28-Aug-13 10:43:46

I love the idea that, by disagreeing on MN with a government policy, you are assumed to be an arm chair politian with not active involvement in local and national politics hmm

not in my case

here's a little reality check - so you see how people are trapped in under occupied homes through no fault of their own

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/big-lie-behind-the-bedroom-tax-families-trapped-with-nowhere-to-move-face-penalty-for-having-spare-room-8745597.html

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 10:46:21

If this "tax" was really about freeing up larger properties for social housing then why does it only apply to those claiming benefits/housing benefits?

Because you can't reduce the amount someone gets in benefits if they don't claim any benefits, obviously.

I understand that this policy is having a very negative effect on many people, and I would like to see the exemption extended to disabled people who have a clear need to stay where they are. They should be assessed on a case by case basis.

But surely it's not hard to see that we shouldn't be giving out money to people for something they don't actually need?

If we wanted to make things fairer to everyone in a socialist type way without implementing the housing benefit reduction, then we would have to start giving out more money to people who don't really need it so that they can have a spare bedroom too. Perhaps the government should step in and pay out whatever anyone needs to be able to keep affording their privately owned or rented home as well? Would that be better for the country?

I know a couple of people who have been affected by this policy, they have just paid the increase without it having too dramatic an effect on their lives. They have had to stop buying things they would normally buy, but nothing that they can't live without. They both recieve enough in child tax credits to be able to cover the shortfall.

fedupdownhere Wed 28-Aug-13 10:46:35

I think in the long run this bedroom tax is the government shooting its self in the foot, those that need a smaller house and cant get one from local HA or council will be able to rent privately thus ensuring they get all their rent paid even though its at a much higher rate therefor costing the council more in housing benefit. How can this be a better way to do it.

specialsubject Wed 28-Aug-13 10:48:27

As others note, the idea is sound but the execution is badly flawed. For instance, was it assumed that come the deadline everyone would just easily swap houses and all end up in the right-sized house?

as always, our politicians need to see the obvious and do something about it. Such as exempting the disabled who need carer accommodation, exempting those who are clearly trying to move but where there is nothing available and so on.

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 10:50:18

gordy - it's not an assumption when everyone but you has admitted they're not.

And nobody was assigning blame as to why some people are in houses that are too big (by the new standards). I think by now we've managed to establish that yes, some people are unfairly affected.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 10:51:23

See that's what I mean why be appalled? Where did I ever say I didnt feel lucky? Did you even read all of my Post? You said I should count myself lucky to which I replied the circumstances preluding how I got lucky enough as you put it to be placed in Social Housing. ~

NicholasTeakozy Wed 28-Aug-13 10:51:28

Nicolas - I'm assuming you don't mean personal attacks in the sense of calling people cunts based upon them having a different opinion to you?

Only if you agree that penalising the poor - again - is the right way to run a country, then yes. Loads of people disagree with me on many things, most of them aren't cunts. smile HTH.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 10:53:29

Broken Isnt that why they imposed a Benefits Cap?...

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 10:55:03

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 10:57:02

The thing about people over 61 being exempt will work itself out eventually when these under occupying older people either die or move into care homes.

No policy ever achieves its aim overnight, or within a couple of years, bit in the long term I think this policy will dramatically reduce under occupancy. People will start trying to downsize as soon as their children have left home and settled elsewhere, which is something many people in private accommodation already do. Or, they will have the choice to pay their rent themselves and stay put, which is fair enough.

This is a problem that was created because of people being given the expectation of being able to stay in a family sized home for the rest of their lives regardless of whether they needed it or not. If social housing had only ever been allocated according to need in the first place when we had a surplus, it wouldn't be a problem and social tenants would have expected to move according to their needs.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 10:58:46

Only if you agree that penalising the poor - again - is the right way to run a country, then yes

This policy penalises the poor no more than the previous policy penalises the not quite so poor.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 11:00:20

How the AF do I come across as ungrateful Jolleigh?! Please enlighten me...

soverylucky Wed 28-Aug-13 11:04:04

The policy is so ill thought out and wrong.
There aren't enough properties available. Families are either in temporary or unsuitable accommodation because too many family homes are being occupied by single people or couples.
They should have used the money from right to buy to build more houses.
They should not implement this policy without having the smaller properties available for people to downsize.
All age groups and people should be treated equally. I wouldn't be surprised that it is in the 61 plus age bracket where most under occupied properties are because of their children having grown up and left home. The government have excluded them because of voting. Just like the fact that they have kept their bus passes!
I also think that the attitude that once you get social housing it is a home for life is wrong. Social housing should be for as long as you need it rather than as long as you want it.

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 11:07:43

Nicholas - you may see it as penalising the poor. I see it as the government stopping paying for people on housing benefit to have spare rooms. I was raised and currently live in an area where you were seen to be daft if you went to work and the government has repeatedly failed to address those types of pockets of society. I've quite literally been asked by my neighbours why I bother to work the hours I do and my answer is always 'to make ends meet'. These pockets are now being addressed. There are thousands of areas like that around the country. Do I wish it had been executed better? Of course I do. I also wish there had been more exceptions built into the policy.

That said, there are a lot of people who aren't taking advantage of the system who are affected. And yes, those people also have a difficult decision to make. But in cases like Misspixie's , doesn't the fact that she's capable of absorbing the cost prove that although yes it may have been a difficult decision what to cut back on, the government were right in thinking that she's adult enough to make that decision for herself.

usualsuspect Wed 28-Aug-13 11:09:39

You are only allocated a council house on your needs.

You are not given a 3 bedrooms house unless you need one.

And there has never been a surplus either.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 11:12:15

I dont think anybody has. When someone can explain to me why my Mum was paying a shortfall when she was privately renting a 2bed with 2DCs. Then I will say it is fair. It is not. Simply because there just isn't the smaller properties for those 'UnderOccupying' to move into. There is actually an Indefinate wait in my area now for a 2bed house

It could be a couple of reasons.

If it was after the LHA came in (off the top of my head I cannot remember when exactly this was but it has been for quite a few years) it would be because her house was over the amount allowed for the LHA band she was entitled to claim.

If it was before the LHA then it could be because the rent was high for the area and the type of property and the fair rent assor did a property inspection and stated the property had a unfair rent (basically the LL was over charging) the intention of these inspections was to force the LL to reduce the rent to a fair ammount but often they did not but it did limit what HB would pay as they would only pay the fair rent.

Or if she had a job for a few hours a week (not enough to qualify for The benefit that was before WTC but enough to go over the small earnings disregard) then it could be due to the means testing.

Obviously for the last two possiblities it could be a combo of them both.

usualsuspect Wed 28-Aug-13 11:12:43

And this problem was created when Thatcher sold all the council houses off.

wonderingsoul Wed 28-Aug-13 11:15:14

i get the reason behind it, and to a point i agree with it.

HOWEVER . there isnt any places for people to move to, some will get priviet housing, but you know what.. it'll cost the govermeant MORE.

our town has allways had the rules they imposed, so hasnt really effected our town to the extent it will have others, we always had very strict rules on the ages children can share etc, its only the older but not oap age that have been hit and a few exceptions.

i recently had a latter thought, saying that they where thinking of taking the "tax" away and was asking for opions/interveiws. i was picked and shall be stating thzt its a vile thing to do, i see the need for a reform but this is not the way. diont p unish thouse who cant move, build more house for these people to move to and keep the rules, just not for thouse exsiting in the house.

usualsuspect Wed 28-Aug-13 11:15:36

You do in know that a lot of the older people living in CH were given their houses because of slum clearance,don't you?

wonderingsoul Wed 28-Aug-13 11:16:02

a letter though..

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 11:16:53

Come on then Jolleigh please point out where I come across as ungrateful? I am more than aware how grateful I am to be living in a Country where they have safety nets like this in płace and have never knowingly implied anything of the sort ~

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 11:17:48

Usual, nowadays you might only be allocated a house according to your needs, but that wasn't the case for many people who are now over 61 having lived in the same house for decades.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 11:18:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaucyJack Wed 28-Aug-13 11:19:57

It isn't penalising "the poor" anyway. It's just bringing one set of housing benefit claimants and social housing tenants more in line with the conditions imposed upon other housing benefits claimants and/or social housing tenants.

Besides which, once the policy becomes the norm in years to come, just as many families and children will benefit from it as it'll (hopefully) make it far less common for older adults to cling on to the bigger houses for life.

usualsuspect Wed 28-Aug-13 11:20:38

You were always only allocated a house according to your needs.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 28-Aug-13 11:20:48

Its not a tax, just a reduction in benefits. A long term policy to ensure properties are not under occupied. If you want the luxury of an extra bedroom when not paying the rent yourself then obviously people and government want to address that.

If somebody who pays their own rent or mortgage wants an extra room, they they expect to have to pay more. This creates a more equal footing, still not enough but a good start. People will need to budget for the extra rent if they want to stay. Most families have to make cut backs to live in certain areas or get the number of bedrooms they want.

soverylucky Wed 28-Aug-13 11:23:09

I am aware that older people are often in council houses because of slum clearance as my nan was one of those people. If a person over 61 is in a house provided by the council that is now too large for them they should be subject to the same rules as others. It isn't fair that a mother fleeing violence with two young children has to live in a b and b whilst a two bedroom house is occupied by a single person. It would also be unfair to tax the single person extra for that room unless a one bedroom property was available. The policy is flawed but their are elements of common sense buried in there somewhere.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 11:23:14

Sorry! Tried to correct a spelling mistake and it didnt end well! grin

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 11:25:03

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 11:28:01

missPixie

That would have happened to that lady even if she was not using it as a bedroom. A social LL cannot reclassify based on how the room is used unless it has been adapted by the LL to prevent its use for anything else( think tiny bedroom turned into a lift) but it can reclassify (only up for amount of bedrooms) if they decide they fancy it.

One big reason for this if if they have had to reclassify down on quite a few properties in an area then they will reclassify up on a few as well to make sure they do not go over an acceptable amount of downgrades and invite it appearing that they are doing so to get around the 'tax' as doing that threatens the entire gov HB subsidy they manage.

the poster upthread saying about the childminder

No your childminders rent is not subsidised if she is not getting any HB. Social housing rents are self supporting they are not a subsidy from the tax payer

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 11:31:03

You were always only allocated a house according to your needs.

That's just not true in my experience. When I was a child I had quite a few family members living in council accommodation, five of them had spare bedrooms, only one was over occupying.

Anyway, that's not really the point.

Those of you that object to absolutely everything about the 'bedroom tax' - do you really think it's right that people are given more money than they need to house themselves?

Do you really think it's wise to spend our limited amount of money on paying for people to have bigger houses than they actually need?

How would you feel about everyone being given money to house themselves, as long as they are on an income of say, less than £40,000? That way, everyone would be able to have an empty bedroom in their home, and socialists would be happy because everyone is being treated the same. That would be fair, right?

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 11:35:40

You called me ungrateful for no reason whatsoever. You cant point out where I come across as ungrateful because I havent. You wasnt questioning my need. Really? So the 'ticking all the boxes' and 'other people so desperately need' comments were saying what exactly? ~

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 11:39:37

Misspixie - I've actually explained all this quite clearly to you. Now if you don't mind, I'd much rather have a sensible discussion with people who aren't under the misguided impression that I'm talking about whether or not they're entitled to housing benefit.

LondonMan Wed 28-Aug-13 11:45:33

the poster upthread saying about the childminder

No your childminders rent is not subsidised if she is not getting any HB. Social housing rents are self supporting they are not a subsidy from the tax payer

Actually I agree with the up-thread poster, I started a whole thread about this recently. The child-minder is being subsidised if her rent is less than it would be if the council decided to rent to the highest bidder.

To use the example from my other thread (which was started after seeing the "How to get a council house" program relating to Tower Hamlets) if the child-minder is paying £100 a week but the property is capable of generating £300 a week, then she is getting £200 of free housing and the council is losing £200 a week of rent.

From Wikipedia

According to one OECD definition, “A subsidy is a measure that keeps prices for consumers below market levels, or keeps prices for producers above market levels or that reduces costs for both producers and consumers by giving direct or indirect support."

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 11:53:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 11:55:09

What do you mean you'll stay put? Are you now under the impression I'm telling you to leave?

LondonMan Wed 28-Aug-13 11:55:40

You called me ungrateful for no reason whatsoever.

Not my argument, but in the bit quoted below, you are "sceptical" that you should feel lucky to have been give social housing.

(got this house after fleeing a violent relationship so yes I feel really lucky in being given a Social Housing Property hmm)

LondonMan Wed 28-Aug-13 11:57:04

(I really don't care, no requirement from me that you should feel grateful.)

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 11:57:38

Thanks for that sock I know they have to be so careful dont they? Govt have already said they are limiting the number of Boxrooms that can be registered so the LA's can't continue to use this 'Loophole' ~

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 11:58:30

jolleigh

You were really very rude to missPixie, I don't normally even think much about anything other than the factual basis of a post but the one you made after she said why she got housed was very eyebrow raisey.

fYI anybody who does not own a liveable house can apply for social housing you do not require any need to be accepted onto the waiting list if they have no need they may very well end up waiting a very long time but they can still stay on the list.

About 70% of homelessness is caused in some way by domestic violence its a bit unfortunate to decide that people many of whom will have been tortured raped and beaten on a regular basis often for many years should feel lucky,perhaps you should stick with feeling lucky if you have not been or are not in that situation.

strokey Wed 28-Aug-13 12:00:42

In some cases its appropriate. A friends mum is fifty something and still lives in a 3 bed house since her children moved out years ago. Still covered by HB. Why shouldn't she be forced into a 1 bed flat if she isn't willing to pay the difference? There are some families living in poky little bedsits with children who could have her place instead. Makes sense to me.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 12:01:59

<sighs> I've already explained that bit LondonMan the Poster said I should count myself lucky so I simply stated the preluding circumstances in which I got 'lucky' enough to be here. That's where the hmm came from. ~

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 12:06:16

Sock - I've never questioned why she's entitled. It's none of my business. If me pointing that part out is rude, then I'm rude. As LondonMan has pointed out the precise phrase I was referring to and I have repeated that her reasons behind being entitled don't affect the discussion on this page, forgive me if I don't take this being rude thing to heart.

I personally think that anyone privileged enough to live in a country where financial aid is available to those who need it should feel lucky to do so. There are countries on this planet where this type of aid isn't available and people in need starve on the streets.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 12:07:38

On that programme 'how to get a council house', I was actually quite surprised to see the council offices telling single homeless men that they had no obligation to provide housing. They weren't accepted onto this list and they didn't own liveable houses.

I don't believe that 70% of people currently living in social housing have tortured, raped or beaten.

And of course no one is going to feel grateful or lucky if that has happened to them. But we can feel grateful that there is a system to pick us up if it, or anything else unfortunate does happen, as many people in many countries don't have have any support at all.

Considering some of the stuff that's going on in the world at the moment, I feel very lucky just to have a stable government.

thecatfromjapan Wed 28-Aug-13 12:08:34

Jolleigh: "But in cases like Misspixie's , doesn't the fact that she's capable of absorbing the cost prove that although yes it may have been a difficult decision what to cut back on, the government were right in thinking that she's adult enough to make that decision for herself."

I find statement this fascinating. I think it succinctly sums up what a lot of supporters of this policy are telling themselves.

What, exactly, would constitute not being "capable of absorbing the cost"?

My guess is that nothing short of full-on starvation counts. People going without, having to live very constricted lives, being in grim financial straits: that doesn't count. That's being "capable of absorbing the cost[.]"

It's a grim way of thinking. A little lacking in charity and compassion.

By the way, all of you who think this policy is "good but flawed in execution": think again. It's execution is working just fine. It's execution is just dandy - and doing just what it was meant to: pitting one group of the poor against another; spreading dissent and mistrust; dividing the different groups who are getting screwed. And all the while, the people who pay shitty wages, and make profits from accommodation, and screw us all - their income differential is soaring away from the majority of us. Up, up into the stratosphere, into the Elysium of the super-rich, where they can look on us tearing into each other for crumbs.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 12:10:15

It's execution is just dandy - and doing just what it was meant to: pitting one group of the poor against another; spreading dissent and mistrust; dividing the different groups who are getting screwed.

And this is where the lefty hysteria kicks in!

YouTheCat Wed 28-Aug-13 12:13:06

Thecat, I saw that film yesterday. It was rather excellent. grin

Some people on this thread are horrifically patronising and really have no idea how these insanely awful policies impact on real people on a day-to-day basis.

dirtyface Wed 28-Aug-13 12:13:41

yanbu

Jolleigh Wed 28-Aug-13 12:14:02

Not just me who thought that then Broken?

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 12:14:03

Thankyou LondonMan

Dawndonnaagain Wed 28-Aug-13 12:16:52

It wouldn't even be a reasonable policy if there were the housing to back it up. It may be that people would be having to move miles away from a support network, one that's been in place for years. It may be that they have mental health problems and moving would be too many changes to cope with, eg. different nurses/social workers/health authority. All these seemingly small things need to be taken into consideration and aren't.
Oh, and used to be chair of the Housing Committee before anyone wants to say I don't know how it works.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 12:23:42

broken I did not say 70% of people currently in social housing, I said 70% of homelessness is caused in some way by DV.

Lots of people are in social housing due to waiting it out or if housed many years ago due to slum clearance or a succeeded tenancy along with a few other reasons.

Homelessness is one way of getting onto the waiting list it is not the only way. One of the reasons someone who was applying as homeless could have any duty to them discharged would be intentionality and that can go back to there last settled accommodation that is the most frequent reason for a homeless person to not receive emergency or temp help.

Crowler Wed 28-Aug-13 12:25:12

By the way, all of you who think this policy is "good but flawed in execution": think again. It's execution is working just fine. It's execution is just dandy - and doing just what it was meant to: pitting one group of the poor against another; spreading dissent and mistrust; dividing the different groups who are getting screwed. And all the while, the people who pay shitty wages, and make profits from accommodation, and screw us all - their income differential is soaring away from the majority of us. Up, up into the stratosphere, into the Elysium of the super-rich, where they can look on us tearing into each other for crumbs.

This is just silly. There's a huge chunk of people between those who are on housing benefit and the super-rich, the people who are actually paying for the housing benefit. Some of those people are on this thread, and they are pointing out that they can't actually afford an extra bedroom or maybe they've even got kids sharing a room and they're getting older and they'd like to separate them (I think I recall that different sex kids over the age of 10 don't have to share under the so-called bedroom tax).

Talk like that just isn't productive.

I'd like to see an increase in wages and I think that a lot of the working poor have gotten a bad draw over the past several years but that doesn't change the fact that there's a shortage in housing stock.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 12:25:45

Sock I wouldnt waste your Intellect grin

DizzyZebra Wed 28-Aug-13 12:26:25

I think you've got to be pretty short sighted to think this policy is a good one. It isn't reducing the amount of under occupiers because the largest groups are exempt.

The people it is targeting have no where to move to because there are no smaller properties.

It is not saving money because in a lot of areas, the cost of privately renting is higher than social housing - So housing benefit are just paying more out for them to live in a one bedroomed place (IF they're lucky enough to find one) than they were paying for them to live in a two bedroomed house.

I don't think everyone are cunts or bastards though, The media propaganda when it comes to benefits and social housing is disgusting, it's bound to effect those who have little to no experience of 'the system' and the more self righteous of those who do.

mycatoscar Wed 28-Aug-13 12:28:15

Okay her rent is less than local market value. Obviously the use of subsidised was technically incorrect here. However, that wasn't my point was it? I was surprised that as a family of three (her, dh and teenage son) living in a 4 bedroom HA house she was not subject to the bedroom tax because she pays the rent herself. I stand by what I said about this being unfair.

cory Wed 28-Aug-13 12:29:03

There seems little point in saying that benefit receivers should be moved out of their 3 bedroom social housing because high earners can only afford 1 or 2 bedrooms of expensive private housing: that is irrelevant. The benefit receivers couldn't move into those 1 bedroom flats anyway, because they can't afford them. They can only move into smaller housing if affordable smaller housing is available. And in many parts of the country, developers only build smaller flats/houses for the upper end of the market.

DizzyZebra Wed 28-Aug-13 12:29:16

Not my argument, but in the bit quoted below, you are "sceptical" that you should feel lucky to have been give social housing.

Until the other month i lived in a huosing association property. I didn't feel lucky, I was pushed in to it. I didn't need or want it. I did feel grateful to the housing association initially for not making my situation any worse than it already was. But lucky? No.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 12:29:51

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 12:31:08

<gasps> at Dizzy. I fear you're in for it next grin

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 28-Aug-13 12:34:47

The concept of trying to make sure that social housing is fairly distributed by making sure that everyone has the space they need, in an appropriate property, is sound. This policy is not that. If that was the basis for the policy, they wouldn't have given exemptions to the thousands of older people in larger properties. If they actually wanted to make things fairer they would do something about the disastrous private rent situation. If this is the best solution that the government could come up with to sort out the problem of oversubscribed social housing, it doesn't fill me with confidence that they can do anything else properly at all. All they are doing is pandering to a section of the population who have had to 'tighten their belts' due to the economy, but are still very far away from understanding that £14 a week could be the difference between being poor but fed and sheltered, and having the bailiffs knocking at your door. People think that they understand what being really poor is like because they are struggling or unable to afford their previous lifestyle. They do not have a clue.

Hawkmoon269 Wed 28-Aug-13 12:36:47

Sorry, but who are the people in this clip? It doesn't explain why they're being evicted or what their circumstances are. They do seem to think they "know their rights" though...

Crowler Wed 28-Aug-13 12:38:31

There seems little point in saying that benefit receivers should be moved out of their 3 bedroom social housing because high earners can only afford 1 or 2 bedrooms of expensive private housing: that is irrelevant. The benefit receivers couldn't move into those 1 bedroom flats anyway, because they can't afford them. They can only move into smaller housing if affordable smaller housing is available. And in many parts of the country, developers only build smaller flats/houses for the upper end of the market.

I already said upstream that it's a flawed premise from the outset if there's no smaller properties available (not suggesting that you need to read all my posts, just rather pointing out that I agree on this point).

However, it is relevant because in many cases the affordable social housing stock that you speak of is subsidized in the first place by those same taxpayers - but I will agree this is less relevant outside of the southeast.

Not every person who lives in an expensive flat has swanned in by way of inheritance.

Hawkmoon269 Wed 28-Aug-13 12:38:32

Also, it's pretty distasteful using the alleged example of someone who has hung himself (if that's even true) as an effect of the bedroom "tax".

DizzyZebra Wed 28-Aug-13 12:51:27

The other thing that annoys me is this belief that everyone in a larger property asked for it - Where i live it was quite common for single people to be put in 3 bed flats. Because there are more of them. Now they're stuck because the housing association won't put them in a 2 or 3 bed place due to the bedroom tax, But there are no smaller properties.

Personally i think the whole concept of going by number of bedrooms alone is flawed anyway.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 12:52:29

broken I did not say 70% of people currently in social housing, I said 70% of homelessness is caused in some way by DV.

I did recognise this but the thread is about people who are claiming housing benefit, not homeless people, so I think bringing statistics about domestic abuse into it is just feeding into the the socialist, doom and gloom disaster type propaganda.

There are many many people who are no longer getting their spare bedroom subsidy that have chosen to incorporate the extra expense into their budget rather than go on a waiting list for a smaller property or searching home swap sites. This whole debate seems to have missed that point, when rent and mortgages and the cost of living has gone up for many people.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 12:55:38

All they are doing is pandering to a section of the population who have had to 'tighten their belts' due to the economy

Policies that make things fairer to the population as a whole is hardly 'pandering' to one section of the population! And this section of the population you are talking about, those people who are also struggling in life, do they not deserve to be taken into account by their government too?

Or should government policy only ever be directed at helping a small, especially poor, section of society?

DizzyZebra Wed 28-Aug-13 13:06:46

BrokenSunglasses

But the policy isn't helping anyone anywhere. It is pandering to a certain mindset - It isn't saving 'taxpayers money' it's pissing more of it up the wall. It isn't freeing up housing because the largest group of under occupiers are exempt.

If anything it will just result in a rise in rent for smaller places, because they will be more in demand, putting single professionals at a financial disadvantage.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 13:14:23

If you look at it long term, it will free up housing because people with family sized homes will move out of them when their grown up children leave home, but before they are old enough for a move to be a massive and distressing upheaval.

I appreciate that the policy will cost money in paying higher rents on private, smaller properties, but then that is balanced by all the people that are choosing to stay put and make up the shortfall in their HB themselves.

It may not actively help anyone, but it does make things fairer overall for the population as a whole, and I think that in itself is very worthwhile.

noobieteacher Wed 28-Aug-13 13:15:06

Interestingly Oldham is a labour majority council - many councils have waived the bedroom tax because it is not feasible (there are not enough smaller properties for people to move in anyway).

Suicide is a very common occurrence in times of recession and depression. My grandfather killed himself when he found he couldn't support his family in the 1930s - you'd think in 2013 the policy makers would be a bit more cautious.

noobieteacher Wed 28-Aug-13 13:32:03

I think this year the recession will start to really bite. People have had bits of cash floating around to keep going on, a bit of credit, friends etc. Now we can't ask anyone for anything any more, we have finally lost our credit rating due to redundancy or non-payment, and our savings have been used up.

No more blank cheques being sent through the post with an invitation to spend on a new credit card!

But this year it's really going to bite. Government contracts have run out with nothing to replace them, the little bit of charity that was swilling around for people when times are hard has dried up as there are too many people requiring access to it.

Why on earth Oldham council wants to add to the misery because a family won't or can't pay an extra £15 a week is beyond me.

DizzyZebra Wed 28-Aug-13 13:32:37

I'm not sure it does make things fairer though. It's too one size fits all.
In my area like i said, we now have 3 bed flats that no one will move single people or couples in to because of the bedroom tax - But only ground floor ones will go to families, because they don't allow families with children under 12 to live in 1st floor + flats.

Obviously people with children over 12 can move in to them, but then once they've left home the parents will have to move, eventually there will just be a load of empty flats because there won't be anyone eligible to move into. I've lived in emergency housing etc and most people in them have younger children, i've never known anyone in one with older children - These people will get 2/3 bed houses.

Surely you'd rather see someone in need get it, even if it might be bigger than they strictly need, than it sit empty and rotting? What is the point in that?

My mum lives in a housing association property too - She was quite happy in her 2 bed flat. It was perfect with her mobility issues, being ground floor. She asked for help with the homophobic, violent neighbour who kept attacking her and her partner and poisoning my dog when we were there, and their only solution was to move HER. I don't think that's very fair that she will end up paying because of a violent criminal and the authorities refusal to boot him out.

Not only that but like i said, Judging by number of bedrooms alone is silly to me. My first house was 2 bed and it was bigger than most 3 bed, every room was massive, i had a massive, secure back garden. Someone with three children could comfortably live in that house, i'd even say 4 in fact, if they were all the same sex or young enough to share and not be overcrowded, yet i've been in 3 bed houses that i would feel cramped in with two children.

DizzyZebra Wed 28-Aug-13 13:33:16

MY first house was housing association btw - Not some big fancy pad. It was just very large and well laid out.

Viviennemary Wed 28-Aug-13 13:38:56

It's a benefit reduction. A reduction in subsidy. In no way a tax. The way social housing is allocated is a joke. The whole thing needs to be reformed.

DizzyZebra Wed 28-Aug-13 13:41:25

I'm not against people being allocated according to need BTW. I just don't think this policy adresses that, and i don't think any policy will without the whole system being changed first, and certainly not with a blanket policy.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 13:46:20

But only ground floor ones will go to families, because they don't allow families with children under 12 to live in 1st floor + flats.

I agree that this sounds ridiculous, but I think the problem there is with the policy of not moving children into flats, not the policy of removing the spare room subsidy in HB.

I lived in a tower block for a couple of years of my childhood, and many of my cousins lived in then for their entire childhoods. It was fine, and I have lovely memories of those homes.

OhDearNigel Wed 28-Aug-13 13:49:50

Yes, because those in social housing can really afford the astronomical private rents, deposits and can easily get references, can't they?

Not forgetting the caveat of "no DSS or pets" that most private landlords put on their tenancies.

DizzyZebra Wed 28-Aug-13 14:43:54

Brokensunglasses - I don't know the reason for the rule about no children in upper floor flats so i don't know why they dont just stop it. I've seen upper floor flats i'd happily live in with children.

I think renting over all needs look at TBH. If we want more people privately renting then landlords need to be stopped from charging astronmical fees and rent, They need to be forced to ensure their property is up to standard, and this stigma with HB claimants needs to go (Although i understand thats not always the landlords decision).

If we want more social housing then the right to buy needs to go and tenancies need to change so that needs may be reassessed at intervals to prevent the large number of OAPs we have on their own in 3 and 4 bed properties now.

Common sense needs to be applied though too - There is absolutely no point in penalising people for living in a house when there is no other options available. If there are no one bedroomed places, why are people in two bed places being penalised? They physically cannot do anything about that. They cannot pull a one bed bungalow/flat from their backside.

I also think that if someone is on a waiting list for a smaller place and actively looking for a smaller place, they should be exempt for that period, Or the amount paid in that period should be refunded should they find a privately rented place so that they can afford the bond/first months rent in advance.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Aug-13 14:54:54

Could everyone please remember our Talk Guidelines? Fine to attack another poster's post - NOT fine to attack another poster. Thanks.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 15:11:18

In many ways I agree with you, but I don't think it's as easy as just saying that landlords should just have to stop charging as much as they do.

They make charges in line with the property's value and often what their mortgage payments are, therefore the rents reflect market value which is fair. I know some landlords are unscrupulous bastards, but many are not. They are just doing something to provide for their own future, which involves a lot of work and a big risk that they will have nothing to show for it.

Yes, landlords need to keep their property's up to standard, but to do that they need to charge enough rent to pay for it, and it doesn't come cheap.

HB claimants need to look to other HB claimants if they want someone to blame for the stigma they face. Insurance companies, mortgage companies and landlords don't say 'no DSS' for no reason. They say it because they are significantly more likely to lose money because of them than they are because of people who pay their own rent. There is much more that government and councils could do to tackle that problem without making the risk and the cost belong to the landlord.

I also think that if someone is on a waiting list for a smaller place and actively looking for a smaller place, they should be exempt for that period,

I agree with this, but I think to qualify for exemption you should be willing to move into the next available property within a 10 mile radius, otherwise you will end up with people refusing to move because they don't like the alternative they are being offered at the same time as expecting the exemption.

MiaowTheCat Wed 28-Aug-13 15:45:21

I have no issue with the principle behind it, the implementation has been shit. I don't think we should be subsidising under occupancy but there isn't the housing stock out there (even privately round here there are few 1 beds even for the nice juicy 'professional' market, let alone benefit claimants... and no way when you want to stay in the social housing sector) to do it properly.
As for complaining to councillors, both of my parents are councillors in a large city, and both have been strongly and loudly opposed to it, so hardly doing nowt.

BoffinMum Wed 28-Aug-13 15:54:19

The problem is not about people, it's about housing supply and circulation.

I'd ditch the bedroom tax and simply convert all social housing leases to shorter periods, say 5 years, with reviews of housing needs carried out regularly on that basis. Then I would get on with building a lot more family flats, very rapidly, along with the necessary schools, surgeries, transport infrastructure and so on where needed. Because that means we'd all get a more stable society whilst ensuring that we came out of the post 2006 economic crisis in fighting form. And by the time I peg it, we would have accommodated the additional 10 million people who will have appeared in the UK during my time on the planet, instead of pretending they are somehow less worthy of a home for reasons of luck rather than judgement in many cases.

Problem is those policies are far too practical and do not allow enough opportunity for vilifying the less fortunate. How on earth can people have a good rant about that?

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 15:58:36

Thats a good Idea actually BoffinMum

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 16:10:53

It's a nice idea in theory Boffin, but I can't say I relish the idea of either my tax bill or the national debt doubling to pay for it.

Crowler Wed 28-Aug-13 16:23:15

What does DSS stand for?

BoffinMum Wed 28-Aug-13 17:22:22

BrokenSunglasses, you're just a victim of the myth perpetrated by the super wealthy and the political classes that any investment in infrastructure constitutes an affront to the taxpayer in some way. If we can afford quite literally billions of pounds for the legal and professional costs associated with academicisation of schools, for example, or the creation of hospital trusts, or indirect subsidies for companies via profits accrued through private sector outsourcing, then I think we can afford to put a roof over the heads of our fellow citizens, many of whom either have paid taxes or will pay taxes in the future, I hasten to add. And even if they don't, I would rather they had some sort of reasonable accommodation than come and burgle my house or mug me as a means to achieving this.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 28-Aug-13 17:22:54

Its the old abreviation for benefits. Lots of landlords mortgages and insurance policies wont allow renting to those on benefits due to the higher risks.

Sadly rating factors show its likely more damage will occur by a benefits tennant than one paying their own rent and the council wont help with one of their properties until you legally get evicted leaving the poor landlord with court costs etc. Its not hard to see why many wont take them as they are running a business not a charity.

BrokenSunglasses Wed 28-Aug-13 18:08:52

We can't afford those things though, that's why we have a deficit!

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 18:41:33

Crowler DSS = Department of Social Security ~

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 19:03:41

Interestingly Oldham is a labour majority council - many councils have waived the bedroom tax because it is not feasible (there are not enough smaller properties for people to move in anyway)

This is incorrect and they haven't. They are not allowed to waive it or decide not to do it as it is now the law, they have to follow it and they have no choice. Any social landlord found to be not enforcing it would have there entire HB gov subsidy removed so no, no LA has decided to waive it or not comply with it.

There are a few exemptions that apply to over 61's and some children with disabilities (but no adults with disabilities) hard to house sex offenders.

They have a few legal opportunities to reclassify a property as having less bedrooms if the landlord has permanently adapted one of the original bedrooms so it can no longer be used as one, and a hand full of other situations but all building based not circumstances.

The only other option they have is to use the DHP/DHF to make up a short fall but they do not have to and most LA's have a circumstance priority allocation for that.

But they do not have the option to just ignore it.

Talkinpeace Wed 28-Aug-13 19:17:26

Sockreturn
for my sins I read a fair bit of council literature
redesignation is going on wholesale - especially for people whose homes have been adapted for disabilities
because moving the tenant is not an option

I agree with boffin that five year lease reviews woud be a good move
and bringing in five year tenancies in the private sector (as is the case in mainland Europe) would be good too

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 19:21:41

Talkin that's because they are allowed to reclassify under those circumstances its one of the extreamly limited reasons they can use.

Your original post implied it was something being done in houses with more usable correctly designated bedrooms with no good reason other than to avoid the HB reduction. And this is not true or even legal.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 19:27:59

To the poster upthread saying about under 12's and above ground floor flats that's a local thing not a national one.

More LA's do allocate above ground/first floor flats to families with young children than don't unless of course the tenant or a family member have a health condition that would prohibit them from using stairs.

Viviennemary Wed 28-Aug-13 19:42:50

I think 5 year reviews would be a really good idea. With people with disabilities and the very elderly being treated sympathetically. That would be common sense. IMO anyway.

Portofino Wed 28-Aug-13 20:50:02

I'm in continental Europe and have a 9 year lease. This is standard. The landlord can only end my tenancy if he wants t live in the property himself. As long as we pay the rent/don't trash the place of course. Private renting is highly regulated here. Why can than this not be set up in the UK.? It stops people doing it to make a quick buck.

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 21:09:46

Potrafino apparently Rent Control would deter landlords from buying so I've read and some other crap reasons are given about it not being beneficial ~

Talkinpeace Wed 28-Aug-13 21:12:25

A lot of the UK tenancy laws date back to the days of Rachmann : and they have reached a point where neither landlords nor tenants benefit in the UK.
A 5 year medium term tenancy would be a major step in the right direction for both parties.
Rent control is almost impossible to bring back in where it has stopped - New York tries and fails

Misspixietrix Wed 28-Aug-13 21:13:13

Sure sock will be along soon to explain it more eloquently than I do though Portofino ~

utreas Wed 28-Aug-13 21:13:40

The problem with rent control is that its a measure on the demand side which disincentivises supply. The reason for a shortage of housing is a lack of supply relative to demand so taking measures that depress supply are highly counterproductive.

motownmover Wed 28-Aug-13 21:20:27

Genuine question would it be possible for pple to knock out walls??

Talkinpeace Wed 28-Aug-13 21:23:05

rented houses ......

Portofino Wed 28-Aug-13 21:49:40

It's not about rent control. Rent here goes up according to indexation only. Not the landlords whim. But it does go up.

Portofino Wed 28-Aug-13 21:50:52

It's more a question of a secure tenancy. 6 months is nothing. 9 years makes it your home.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 28-Aug-13 22:03:31

Sure sock will be along soon to explain it more eloquently than I do though Portofino

Something to do with people wanting to make a quick buck. But personally I think portofino's way is a good one.

Re knocking down walls. Well in theory you could but in practise the LL would not give permission if you didn't have permission its a tenancy breach so you get evicted. If it was being approved solely to get around the HB deduction then it could leave the LA wide open to sanction because it makes no sense to do.

siezethenight Wed 28-Aug-13 22:33:54

The law is mad - if you have 2 girls and a boy (or 2 boys and a girl!) And one girl is 20 years of age, the law says that 20 year old is an adult - she is, quite right. But it says she is no longer allowed to share with her sister as, as an adult the law says she has to have a room of her own. The council won't allocate a three bed to this family, it has to be a 4 bed or a three bed with an extra reception room downstairs to class as a bedroom.
Why can they not share? They are sisters, girls? Grew up together. Baffles me.

Elderly people can't leave their houses as there are no 1 bed houses to be found (not here in Wales anyhow, absolutely none - there were none when this law came in) and no places in sheltered accommodation for them to move to. Sheltered accommodation in many instances costs more in rent than a 2 bed council house. My Grandmother is in a sheltered flat and the rent is terribly high for what are basically, elderly people living on a pension. They can't go out and 'work harder' to help themselves. My Nan is 94 so I don't think her getting a wee part time job is on the cards... She is paying more rent herself for this flat than she ever did her house. She's far, far safer in the flat than on her own in a house but the rent is awfully high. My Nan says that she served in the war, her brother died in the war, her husband saw actual fighting in the war - all to give David Cameron the freedom he has today to treat her like shit - her actual words - I really, really love my Nan! She does not mince about, she's right out with it!

sweetestcup Fri 30-Aug-13 09:39:01
internationallove985 Fri 30-Aug-13 09:52:43

I had tears in my eyes about the poor gentleman who hanged himself. This government is making life almost unbearable for a lot of people. Anytime they're looking to make cuts and save money, it always seems to be the poor and vulnerable that are targeted. Are they not brave enough to target those who can fight back (namely bankers). The public inclusive of those on benefits did not cause the utter mess we're in, so why are the public paying. (in some cases even with their lives, as heard in the video. xx

SaucyJack Fri 30-Aug-13 10:00:22

He didn't slit his wrists properly for chrissakes.

Just a media stunt.

I'd like to give this country a good shake.

There is no more money.

There is no more money.

There is no more money.

Repeat to yourself as necessary until it sinks in.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 30-Aug-13 10:26:37

As well as there is no more money to fund spare rooms for people not paying their own rents its NOT a tax!

Reading the latest link, there is no mention of anything he has done to try and move, raise the extra rent or apply for help. It seems a publicity stunt more than anything.

Harryhairypig Fri 30-Aug-13 10:44:42

Some social landlords are removing walls in hard to let and therefore mostly under occupied properties to reduce the bedroom numbers, but the tenant can't do this without permission.

hagle Fri 30-Aug-13 10:48:25

Some people are just beyond help. They see benefits as "their right" and any kind of change is "cruel". These are the people that have suffered the most under the benefits system.

internationallove985 Fri 30-Aug-13 11:08:56

Hagle if people have paid into the system than as far as I'm concerned benefits are a right. and even those who have not paid into the system what do you suggest they should be left to starve. x

NicholasTeakozy Fri 30-Aug-13 11:31:54

I'd like to give this country a good shake.

There is no more money

In which case how was Cameron going to pay for his stupid war against Syria? Buttons? Scratching down the side of the sofa?

There's plenty of money. The Bank of England have printed oodles of it and given it to the banks, who instead of loaning it out just gave it back to the BOE to buy government bonds.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 30-Aug-13 11:47:28

You might find that one of the reasons MPs voted against taking action in Syria is because we actually don't have the money to do teh job properly.

We might have found the money to go in and do something, but we certainly don't have the money to equip or protect our forces properly, or compensate them adequately for what they and their families will lose if we attack Syria.

Of course the country has money available, it borrows shitloads from other people, and takes in plenty of tax. But it is very short sighted to say that we can afford to continue paying for people to have a spare bedroom that they don't need. And it's not just about the money, it about fairness to all of a country's citizens, including the ones that don't claim benefits.

Crowler Fri 30-Aug-13 13:35:04

I am curious; for those of you who oppose the bedroom tax because of the many practical issues noted here, would you support it if those issues were remediated i.e. disabled exemption, adequate access to smaller houses, etc?

noobieteacher Fri 30-Aug-13 13:54:02

Nickolas does that mean the banks are buying equity in Britain?

WillIEverBeFree Fri 30-Aug-13 13:58:15

SaucyJack

*He didn't slit his wrists properly for chrissakes.

Just a media stunt.*

That remark fucking stinks.

ShelleyGal Fri 30-Aug-13 14:49:48

YANBU.. I'm being bedroom taxed (whatever you want to call it, it's costing me 15.00 per week) my 2 yr old should be sharing with my 11 yr old according to the council.. Er no definitely not, 11yo has beads, makeup, biting hamster etc.. I can't afford it and now I owe rent. Won't be long before I sink but what do I matter, I'm just a single parent.

Callani Fri 30-Aug-13 14:52:32

I think it would be a fantastic idea if there were actually spare 1 and 2 bedroom houses for people to move into but there aren't any so it's ridiculous.

I do know a few people who have had lodgers move in, but I can't really see that as the ideal solution.

expatinscotland Fri 30-Aug-13 14:56:21

Taking in lodgers is also forbidden by many tenancy agreements.

Callani Fri 30-Aug-13 14:59:03

Good point expat - didn't really think about that. In our local area, social tenants in council properties are basically being told that if they can't afford the rent with the deduction they need to take in lodgers to make ends meet. It's definitely not ideal though and, as you said, a lot of private renters don't have that as an option either.

expatinscotland Fri 30-Aug-13 15:07:11

Many social tenancy agreements don't allow it, either. Ours doesn't.

Crowler Fri 30-Aug-13 18:36:49

YANBU.. I'm being bedroom taxed (whatever you want to call it, it's costing me 15.00 per week) my 2 yr old should be sharing with my 11 yr old according to the council.. Er no definitely not, 11yo has beads, makeup, biting hamster etc.. I can't afford it and now I owe rent. Won't be long before I sink but what do I matter, I'm just a single parent.

Where in the UK are you? (are you in the UK?) I know a lot of people in London who have kids with ridiculous age gaps (and boys/girls) sharing.

I can empathize more with this position if you're not in the SE.

Misspixietrix Fri 30-Aug-13 20:56:35

Crowler so does the Over 10 rule Only work if the DCs are opposite sex? ~

Misspixietrix Fri 30-Aug-13 20:58:11

Precisely expat It's an Immediate Eviction Breach of Tenancy in the LA's agreements here ~

Crowler Fri 30-Aug-13 21:30:21

Yes, but I know that only from the boards here. I may be wrong.

Misspixietrix Fri 30-Aug-13 21:44:26

No you probably aren't I've heard similar stories but it's not the same iyswim? Where are you by the way? North or South? ~

Nottalotta Fri 30-Aug-13 22:46:46

Yabu. I work in housing. I see the overcrowded/homeless families in need of a 3 bed property.....i see the single older woman whose children have all left home, still living in her 3 bed council house and thinking she should still get ALL of the rent paid by the council.

The travesty is that if she were of pensionable age the 'bedroom tax' would not apply. There are huge amounts of pensioners under occupying. There are lots of sheltered housing bungalows/flats that are liw in demand. They won't move to free up bigger properties for families with children.

Ella your friends story does not add up. The bedroom tax does not apply to private rented. Your single friend will get the Local Housibg Allowance rate for a one bed property. If it is £450 pcm thats what he gets whether he has 1, 2 or 7 bedrooms.

Misspixietrix Fri 30-Aug-13 22:55:58

That's what a few of us were saying earlier Nottalotta before the thread got derailed (not even going to give the slit wrists comment a Biscuit by the way!). That it's flawed as the very people who probably are underoccupying are exempt. The only New houses being built in my City are Private ~

Crowler Fri 30-Aug-13 23:43:55

Misspixletrix I'm not sure if your question was for me but I'm in the south.

I'm frankly just not sympathetic to this idea that it's inconvenient for kids of a certain disparity in age or boys/girls to share rooms because that's the reality for a lot (most? I don't know) people in the south. Again, as I've said upstream not everyone living in an expensive one or two bedroom flat in central London or beyond is there by inheritance, and they are subsidizing the rents on the social housing in expensive post-codes.

Tortington Fri 30-Aug-13 23:51:29

the focus shouldnt really be on whether someone is considered to have a 'spare' room or not but the disparity between rich and poor, by you spending any effort at all in trying to reconcile this as being good or bad you are missing the point completely.

this is no more that the govt playing on stupid 'Sun' [newspaper] mentality by turning you and i against each other - we aren't looking at where the real crimes are taking place.

please google the amount of invetment the govt is making in building new properties - its pennies in comparison

the demonisation of the poor is headline news - and i despise with my whole being the stupd fucks who subscribe to it

ShelleyGal Sat 31-Aug-13 00:11:15

Hi crowler, I am in the south east.. I think it's entirely unfair that boys can't share with girls when there is such a huge age gap but girls can share.. I took it up with my MP before the tax was introduced and he agreed he didn't understand the reasoning behind it either. I wouldn't mind if it affected people like my parents who happily live in a 3 bed even though all us kids have left home. But they both work so it doesn't! Just seems another way to target the unfortunate.

Misspixietrix Sat 31-Aug-13 00:40:42

Crowler yes it was. I'm in the North. Ds's Teacher moved up here last year. 2bed Flat = £800.00 a Month down south. Up North = now paying £400.00 a Month for a 2bed flat here so I'm more than aware of the difference. Like I said previously before the goaders started I was moved in a Hurry and I grew up in a 2bed sharing my bedroom with my Dsis for most of my teenagehood. We get on...now! grin

Misspixietrix Sat 31-Aug-13 00:42:21

Tortington Agree. P.s The Sun isn't allowed in my house smile

Misspixietrix Sat 31-Aug-13 00:46:27

I agree with BoffinMum earlier though. The 5year lease was a good Idea to review your Tenancy ~

expatinscotland Sat 31-Aug-13 02:03:47

That is why it is stupid and doesn't work! The greatest percentage of under-occupiers are age 61+. They are all exempted, even though many that age might possibly be still in work. And, on top of that, in a great number of councils, the lack of places for them to move.

And the suggestion that they go to private housing. LOL. That's going to save money? Even with caps, the housing benefit bill rises, it already has. Because the problem isn't entirely under-occupying. It is that the buy-to-let and system of buying property here has over-inflated housing prices and consequently, rents, on top of the 'No DSS, no children, etc.'

You move a 60-year-old still in work, not claiming housing benefit on his under-occupied 3-bed council flat to a 1-bed private let flat and he needs to claim housing benefit, even though working. And this is assuming he can get a private let as he needs 'DSS'.

The whole thing is such a stupid exercise in putting a cart before a horse and bolting a stable door after the horse has left it's a cruel joke on those in the worst of situations.

But of course, you'd actually have to have knowledge of how things really are.

We can't expect that of people who can't be arsed to figure out who gasses children to death in their beds, can we?

noobieteacher Sat 31-Aug-13 02:17:20

I think a sliding scale of rents is fair, it should be linked with income and property size as well if it is underoccupied.

But you can't force a very elderly person to move out of the home they have been in for decades.

A different kind of tenancy - perhaps 7 years with a proper review on underoccupancy (or overcrowding) at the end of that term would be better.

social tenants in council properties are basically being told that if they can't afford the rent with the deduction they need to take in lodgers to make ends meet

But this ^ is surely not the solution.

BoffinMum Sat 31-Aug-13 05:14:52

Why are we treating comparatively middle aged people as elderly and unable to move? By 80 it is pretty difficult but surely people in their 60s are comparatively able bodied in most cases? My parents are in their 70s and about to move, btw.

Crowler Sat 31-Aug-13 08:39:00

FYI: I don't read the Sun. Is that the way you see the world, people who agree with you and people who read the Sun?

I don't agree that 61+ should be exempt, that's ridiculous. I don't agree that you can't force an "elderly" person to move from a house they've lived in all their lives if the house is nearly empty, if the house belongs to the taxpayer, and the rent is paid for by the taxpayer. This happens to elderly people in the private sector all the time, it's not the governments role to insulate elderly people from sadness (I'm not saying this to be trite - it sounds to me that this is actually what you've proposed here).

I agree that the bank bailouts were a bloody travesty, but I don't think it follows that you can't also think that the benefits system in this country is out of whack.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 31-Aug-13 10:02:21

I've seen several comments of not forcing the elderly to move which I 100% agree with but this policy is forcing disabled people to move. That is what fucks me off. sad

Misspixietrix Sat 31-Aug-13 10:16:02

no it Isnt how I see the world at all! It was a joke aimed at Tortington! Just like in RL there will be people who disagree with you strongly and.those who wont. Jesus Im not that sheltered! If the 61+ comment was aimed at me I'm not sure what you are getting at because I actually agree! smile

noobieteacher Sat 31-Aug-13 10:32:34

Disabled people who need an extra room are exempt.

Boffinmum - I think moving is healthy, but the 'safe' age limit would vary from person to person. With a long term tenancy (instead of a lifelong tenancy) people would be more prepared that they won't be there forever.

I think the bedroom tax will weed these people out anyway because as people's nest empties they will be charged for their extra room and that will happen in their 40s and 50s.

The absurd thing to me is that they sell council homes to tenants - this has caused the shortage in the first place and should be addressed first.

noobieteacher Sat 31-Aug-13 10:41:56

This happens to elderly people in the private sector all the time, it's not the governments role to insulate elderly people from sadness (I'm not saying this to be trite - it sounds to me that this is actually what you've proposed here).

The point is a deal was struck for a lifelong tenancy. If people know in advance that they will have to move out when their family size reduces they would be more prepared. With private rental you know what to expect, you sign the contract and it remains the same - this is effectively changing the contract halfway along.

BrokenSunglasses Sat 31-Aug-13 10:50:35

It does happen to elderly people in the private sector, but it can be very disruptive and distressing for some older people.

I think the cut off age of 61 is quite young, as the majority of people at that are really aren't what you would call elderly, but at the same time people who are 60+ don't tend to have much time left to increase their earning potential to make up a shortfall in HB. That is what makes it acceptable to me to leave the over sixties alone in this, it's not fair to change the goalposts so drastically at that stage in someone's life.

There's no point in expecting the reduction in HB to have the desired effect overnight, it was always going to take years for the situation to sort itself out. But eventually, as older people die and move into sheltered housing, and as people move as soon as their children have left home, the problem of under occupancy will improve.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 31-Aug-13 15:13:42

Disabled people are not exempt, only in very specific circumstances.

SlobAtHome Sat 31-Aug-13 15:25:04

I was receiving help for rent... Did any of you even realise that people on housing benefit used to get MORE than the cost of rent and council tax? It was given for no reason what so ever. It was not given to cover anything, just as extra money.

MistressDeeCee Sat 31-Aug-13 16:28:28

I live in HA property. My neighbour is 67 and has 4 bedrooms. He isnt working, so is on HB. Now, he's lived there for many years so it probably wouldnt be nice for him to move home..upheaval, etc. But for those who think the bedroom tax is wonderful...is the idea that this is fair? I mean..thats a lot of space for 1 person. In fact come to think of it, on my side of the road most of my neighbours are elderly and the properties here are huge.

This bedroom tax is massively unfair..its open season on people of working age in a time when social housing is hardly available. Councils/HA dont deal with underoccupation anyway so what are we all supposed to do about it? Take the responsibility onto our own backs and build extra properties with our bare hands?

Council properties should never have been sold off in the 1st place. It shouldnt be the remit of working classes to suffer for the mistakes made with this.

Mumom0 Sat 31-Aug-13 16:53:48

My friend was telling me the other day how worried she is about the bedroom tax, her child is going to uni so she will lose child benefit and have to pay for the spare room at the same time. I felt terrible for her, asking if she can move to a flat. She said they are too expensive privately, so I asked how much she paid in rent for her 3 bed home , she said £90 per week. I am afraid I lost sympathy then, there is any number of people who would be grateful to have such a low rent ( privately here that would cost at least £200 pw)

To pay £15pw to have a spare room is a bargain, most I know in private rented pay at least £25 pw top up to make up the rent to get a decent place. Also with short hold tenancies people end up moving every year or so, with costs running into thousands.

Those with mortgages cannot even claim HB however their circumstances change, with liability for costs much much higher . They just have to get on with it.

dirtyface Sat 31-Aug-13 21:16:42

This bedroom tax is massively unfair..its open season on people of working age in a time when social housing is hardly available. Councils/HA dont deal with underoccupation anyway so what are we all supposed to do about it? ........Council properties should never have been sold off in the 1st place. It shouldnt be the remit of working classes to suffer for the mistakes made with this.

^^ this. exactly this

noobieteacher Sun 01-Sep-13 00:02:05

If disabled people need a room to ensure their care, they do not pay. If they don't need it they have to pay.

But money should be raised through a sliding scale rent , closer to market rates.

noobieteacher Sun 01-Sep-13 00:04:06

An additional room where I live adds at least £75 a week to rents.

JakeBullet Sun 01-Sep-13 00:09:36

Mumof0, if you friend pays her own rent then she will be unaffected by this. It isn't a tax but a cut in housing benefit to those under occupying, people not claiming housing benefit are not affected.

deakymom Sun 01-Sep-13 00:31:55

yes the policys needed to change but telling someone to downsize where there is no where to downsize too is pointless and creates victims we have a HA who spent thousands kitting out a house for a lady with a disabled child then she has to move to a two bed now she wouldn't mind her daughters are young enough to share (and the two beds are quite big bedroomed) BUT they all have tight hallways and bad back access she cant get the wheelchair in so she is stuck plus of course the HA has to spend thousands again kitting out her new house to make it suitable for the child so what can she do?
the thing that really bugs me is grannys and grandads are exempt and they are the main culprits for tying up the housing stock in my area they live in three bed houses sleep downstairs (leaving three beds empty) use a commode (and throw the contents down the outside drain) and strip wash its a waste of a house that a family could use and i know im going against the grain but they should be given property's they can handle or buy a house personally when my kids leave (if i haven't bought a house by then) im downsizing why have more than you need unless you own it? unpopular idea i know but..............

expatinscotland Sun 01-Sep-13 00:56:15

'If disabled people need a room to ensure their care, they do not pay. '

That is untrue.

JakeBullet Sun 01-Sep-13 07:55:02

Agree with expat. Totally untrue.

Most councils can give help financially for a limited period of time but after that the family are on their own. It has caused terrible hardship for many disabled people.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 01-Sep-13 10:24:16

There are lots of reasons why a disabled person might need a spare room apart from a place for an overnight carer to sleep. Also, social care funding is so stringent that even those who need it don't have an overnight carer, so that small subsection of society is very small indeed.

noobieteacher Sun 01-Sep-13 13:10:16

From the Shelter website:

How many bedrooms can you claim housing benefit for?

From April 2013, new rules on 'under occupancy' mean that you can only claim housing benefit for:

one bedroom for a couple
one bedroom for a person aged 16 or over
one bedroom for two children aged under 16 of the same sex
one bedroom for two children aged under 10 (boys and girls are expected to share a room)
one bedroom for any other child
one extra bedroom if you or your partner needs an overnight carer to stay.
Children who don’t normally live with you are not included in the calculation of the number of bedrooms. If you share the care of a child, the child is counted as living in the home of the person who gets child benefit for them.

A severely disabled child who needs a room of their own won't be required to share a room. The council will make a decision on if an extra room is needed. The council should take into account the severity of a child's disability (including medical evidence and if an award of disability living allowance has been made) and how regularly another child's sleep would be disturbed if they shared a room.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 01-Sep-13 15:59:43

I don't know why you posted that, we've all acknowledged that people with overnight carers are allowed an extra room. I am telling you that due to social care cuts, very few disabled people are eligible for that type of care even with very high needs. Also, I was saying that there are other reasons why a disabled person may need an extra room.

noobieteacher Mon 02-Sep-13 00:17:28

I posted it because it is very unclear.

Yes there are other reasons why a disabled person may need an extra room and council will make a decision on if an extra room is needed. That's a crafty trick by the government - 'OK we'll make the rules but you can enforce the really nasty rules and do the dirty work'.

We have all been completely misled because the government have devolved so many decisions to the councils. This results in opposition being unclear and weak because the effect of the legislation varies from one area to another. And it is very hard to fight your own council - we depend on them too much, they have direct power over our future.

Devolving decisions to councils means that your entitlement to support is a dependent on your postcode.

JakeBullet Mon 02-Sep-13 07:22:17

It has impacted upon people who can least afford it. Worse still the Govt couldn't give a stuff.

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