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Bedroom Tax: A Letter Everyone Should Read

(140 Posts)
SameDifference Sun 10-Feb-13 02:32:49


MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 16:19:50

Yes they will plum

I wish people would find out the facts before they start spouting 'unfair' on the internet.

The thing about this bedroom tax is that it will not solve any problems and it will create many.

But it appeals to the 'scrounging, entitled plebs' mindset that has been cultivated and encouraged by government and media propaganda.

Seemingly intelligent people have fallen for it hook line and sinker.

It does not make sense to force people out of homes when there are very few alternatives. There is a shortage of two bedroom and one bedroom properties and there will now be thousands more chasing them. There are almost no adapted properties in the smaller room category thus penalizing people with disabilities and their families more than any other group, the alternative is to rent privately which is more expensive leading to a larger HB bill.

plum100 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:21:12

Wish i was told about this when dh lost his job!!! it seems that They will help pay my motgage for 2 yrs? Good i always thought it made sense to give people a hand when they need it. They wont helpe forever though - and people shouldnt expect to get handouts/ benefits for ever. ( Im not saying evryone does) . There is not enough money in the pot to support the amount of people who need help its really very sad. I think the reason the country is in the way it is it insteas of the welfare state being there for those who need it , people think it has become 'their right' and because we are supporting all those people too we dont have enough for this who really need it- that includes giving our nhs resourses to health tourist etc

plum100 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:23:15

Mrs devere i do not understand why someone will b told to downsize for a few years until their dc are older and the will need a biger home again - is that not pointless/ waste of time? Is that really what will happen ?

zookeeper Mon 11-Feb-13 16:25:47

Agree completely with Mrs Devere. Stories like this will be just the tip of a very very large iceberg. Shame on the government

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 16:34:36

Yes Plum it will.
Plus..if you have an 'extra' room you will be required to move or find the money to pay for it. This is the case even if you have a severely disabled family member who cannot share a room, you need the space to store equipment (wheelchairs, suction, oxygen etc), you need a carer to stay frequently but not permanently.

The tax also applies to fostercarers. That means they cannot have a room set aside for prospective placements. They will have to pay for the privilege of keeping it free. Many boroughs require foster carers to have separate rooms for each foster child, even if they are siblings. This means that some carers will have to pay even more (you pay a % for each vacant room).

Some children cannot share a room. My DS for example cannot share with his brothers because he doesn't sleep well and can be aggressive. Other children have severe behaviour difficulties or medical needs which would make sharing a room impractical.

One of my families has made a sensory room from the box room for their severely disabled child. That will not be a good enough reason to make them exempt. A little box room, transformed to give a child with complex needs an enhanced quality of life. Now they will have to try and find the money to pay to keep it.

How is that Ok? How does that help anyone?

How can people with disabilities just pack up and go? It can take years to set up services and care packages, get into the right school, get to know carers and service providers. Get the funding for respite etc.

They cant just move to wherever there is a spare two bedroom bungalow.

It is a fucking awful plan.

peeriebear Mon 11-Feb-13 17:03:36

My friend has four children in a three bedroom house. She will be 'taxed' because the house has a dining room. I really don't understand the mentality of this legislation. If she was to move to a different three bed council house with no dining room, how would this benefit anybody? She would have exactly the same sleeping arrangements! Who would be deemed worthy of the house with the luxury of a dining room?

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 17:22:59

Any room apart from a bathroom can be classed as a sleeping area peerie.
When I lived in a two bedroom council flat my rent card said I could have 7 Adults living there. Children counted as half an adult and babies didn't count at all.

So I could have lived there with my OH and 10 kids and triplet newborns and not be overcrowded hmm

Weirdly, my upstairs neighbour had exactly the same flat as me, identical layout, and her rent card said 9 people could live in it!

plum100 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:25:27

Bugger just lost my long post.

Ok mrs devere- so you are saying that there is a shortage of one and two bed homes- so then where will all the people in their'big' homes move to? No where ? So they yake them to court for not paying the extra as they cant afordit and then they say we evict u but there is no where to evict them to ? How is that sensible? X

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 17:32:00

Well it isn't' sensible.
That is rather the point.
None of it makes sense.

It is playing to the gallery. 'Look at us, Decent Hard Working Families of Britain! We are rooting out the shirkers and scroungers, just like you want us to'.

Anyone who falls for it is a fool.

It is like cutting benefits for people without jobs when we have record rates of unemployment.
Redefining disability and removing benefits from people with prosthetic legs because they are no longer classed as having mobility problems.

People really need to wake up and admit what this elitist, detached government are doing. Everytime they sink to a new low people insist 'they won't do that!' and they do.

And our expectations are lowered until we reach the point of accepting that the poor and vulnerable are somehow like that because they just.don't.try.hard.enough.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 11-Feb-13 18:01:13

People won't move, they will pay the extra from somewhere. Harsh, but in many many cases, fair.

When I read the letter I initially felt the same as Saskia, because its not up to the taxpayer to fund someone's living in a more expensive place than they need just because they chose to leave a loved ones ashes there. But if she is disabled, she has a valid reason for needing to stay in her home.

In many cases though, I don't see what's wrong with making people pay for the luxury of having a bedroom or a dining room that they don't actually need. If people want those things, they need to pay for it.

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 18:09:21

Because they don't have a choice?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 11-Feb-13 18:28:42

But they will have choice. Maybe not desireable choices, especially if those choices are between paying the extra and moving away from an area where your are settled, but that's still choice that other people shouldn't have to pay for when their own choices are also limited.

Overreactionoftheweek Mon 11-Feb-13 18:39:17

I live in a rented house because I can't afford to buy - at any time, my landlord could increase the rent or just decide he wants me out. I don't like it but I know I can't expect to live there forever. So why are council houses considered homes for life?

That's what I'm getting from this - that people believe they can stay in their home for as long as they want, even though they don't own it. That's just not how it works.

Heard a woman on my local radio station today, she lives alone in a 3 bedroom flat in Eton, she says she needs that space because her granddaughter stays over on most weekends hmm
unfortunately, cases like that make a lot of people agree with the bedroom tax

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 18:40:00

Hobsons choice for many.
Find the money from limited funds or find the money to move away and try and get services in a new area?
Take a child out of school where they have a statement and know the staff and move away and start the process all over again?

Where are these properties that they will move into?
How will thousands of families being uprooted benefit society?

How is it beneficial to the take payer to pay HB on a private rental that is smaller but three time the price of a social let?

Do you think private landlords are going to want to rent to families who can only pay what HB will allow?

We should be providing more social housing, not less.

Good, affordable housing benefits everyone.

Society is so blinded by the politics of envy it cannot see it.

If this was going to free up housing stock and save money I could understand but it's a punishment for not being totally independant of the welfare state.

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 18:41:56

No unfortunatley people use cases like that to justify the bedroom tax.
Particularly if the housing is in an area that isn't where they think Council should live.

Its heart breaking. And I really dont think she should be made to move.

But I honestly wouldnt have scattered my husbands ashes in the garden of a house that did not belong to me.

usualsuspect Mon 11-Feb-13 18:54:08

-This policy will create problems for so many people,It will not create more housing. But that's, ok they are only council house tenants.can't have them having something the mighty home owner hasn't got can we?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 11-Feb-13 18:57:50

I completely agree that we should be providing more housing, and making appropriate social housing available to many many more people.

Find the money from limited funds or find the money to move away and try and get services in a new area?

But this is the reality for many families who don't get social housing, don't get HB because they earn that little bit too much, don't get benefits and tax credits. Why should HB claimants be exempt from the realities of life?

Take a child out of school where they have a statement and know the staff and move away and start the process all over again?

I don't think we can base government policy for millions of HB claimants on the relatively small number of people who have children with statements. And families with disabilities need to be considered individually anyway, that doesn't mean the entire idea is flawed.

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 19:13:12

I think you are being naive clouds.

There are thousands and thousands of families with disabled members in this country and many of them live in social housing and/or claim HB.

Local government do not have the mechanisms in place to take each family's circumstances into consideration. They do not have the budget to fund the huge administration costs.

I work exclusively with families with disabled children. The letters have been going out for months now. None of the families have been offered exemptions.

As for claimants being exempt from the realities of life, I hardly think so. Their reality is that they are about to be forced into an untenable situation to sate the appetite of those who want those with little to have less.

For every one family living in a four bedroom in Eton with three spare rooms, there will be tens who are being forced to move for the sake of a box room in Dagenham.

If this policy produces a shiny new society of self reliance and over flowing Local Authority coffers I will eat my own head live on channel four.

plum100 Mon 11-Feb-13 19:14:35

I think the problem is each case needs to be dealt with individually, to weedle out the scroungers .if i choose to have a large family thats my choice and my responsibility- as a homeowner i will buy a larger house ir squidge up - whereas a relative is on her 8th child and has just moved to a larger social housing property , paid for totally by the gov and that seems to be MY responibilty too as a tax payer. NOtt all circumstances are the same thou

CloudsAndTrees Mon 11-Feb-13 19:34:53

It's not about wanting those to have little to have less at all.

It's about those who have little not wanting to pay for others who have little to have things that they themselves can't afford.

That is what is happening, although people don't like to admit it. It would be great if everyone who claimed to 'have no choice' got given the money to pay for a spare bedroom or a dining room, but as that's never going to happen, it shouldn't be given to anyone who doesn't have a very valid reason for needing it.

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 20:07:21

But if you could remove the dining room and it would save money that would make sense.

But you can't. So forcing someone to move because they have a dining room just smacks of revenge.

Don't forget that the majority of HB claimants are actually working. Being in social housing does not = jobless either.

expatinscotland Mon 11-Feb-13 20:11:21

'When I read the letter I initially felt the same as Saskia, because its not up to the taxpayer to fund someone's living in a more expensive place than they need just because they chose to leave a loved ones ashes there. But if she is disabled, she has a valid reason for needing to stay in her home.

In many cases though, I don't see what's wrong with making people pay for the luxury of having a bedroom or a dining room that they don't actually need. If people want those things, they need to pay for it.'

Here is what is wrong: because in many cases, the only way to downsize is to go for a privately rented home. And here's the kicker about that: even with LHA caps, the rent on a smaller, privately-rented home is higher. The mover then has to claim more housing benefit than they did in the socially rented home.

And here we go again, anyone age 61+ is completely exempt from this, no matter if they are still working part-time and claiming partial HB, have never worked, don't have kids living near them, etc.

expatinscotland Mon 11-Feb-13 20:18:45

So all these people who 'have less', and don't want to pay for others to have more than they, instead of directing ire at why they have so little for working so hard, at the real source of why - low wages in relation to the cost of living and, in particular, housing; increasing inflation; the insecurity and expense of the largely unregulated private-sector rental industry, including letting agents; decreasing social mobility - direct at people in . . . council houses.

Best example of Wag the Dog I've seen in a long time.

2old2beamum Mon 11-Feb-13 20:55:39

MrsDeVere you are so right. What I can't understand is why people seem to be so envious of people on HB, it is no fun and very few people enjoy being on benefits FFS I am sure they would rather be buying their home just like me. I am so lucky

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