Bedroom tax will be costly disaster, says housing chief

(1000 Posts)
vivizone Sun 31-Mar-13 06:51:02

I don't understand how they can implement it. When a council tenant signs the tenancy agreement, if bedroom tax is not mentioned, is it not illegal to implement it at a later date?

I don't see how it is enforceable. Let's say a tenant refuses to pay/can't pay. They then get evicted - wouldn't the council still be obliged to house them after eviction, especially if they have children?

The whole thing is a mess. Why so many changes all at the same time?!

Cost-cutting policy will push up benefit bill, cause social disruption and create widespread misery, say critics

Ministers came under new fire over benefit cuts last night as the independent body representing 1,200 English housing associations described the controversial bedroom tax as bad policy and bad economics that risks pushing up the £23bn annual housing benefit bill.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said the tax would harm the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. It comes into force this week alongside a range of other tax and benefit changes.

"The bedroom tax is one of these once-in-a-generation decisions that is wrong in every respect," he said. "It's bad policy, it's bad economics, it's bad for hundreds of thousands of ordinary people whose lives will be made difficult for no benefit – and I think it's about to become profoundly bad politics."

His intervention came as opponents launched nationwide protests against the tax, which will hit 660,000 households with each losing an estimated average of £14 a week.

Crowds gathered in London's Trafalgar Square yesterday to protest against the measure, and simultaneous protests were being held in towns and cities across the UK. One protester, Sue Carter, 58, from Waltham Forest, told the Observer: "I'm a working single parent with a tiny boxroom and now I'm faced with the choice between food, heat or paying the bedroom tax. People have looked after their homes, improved them – why should they be turfed out?"

Under the scheme, which is introduced tomorrow, people in social housing with one spare bedroom will have their housing benefit cut by 14%, while those with two or more unoccupied rooms will see it slashed by 25%.

Ministers say the tax, which David Cameron calls the "spare room subsidy", will encourage people to move to smaller properties and save around £480m a year from the spiralling housing benefit bill. But critics such as the National Housing Federation (NHF) argue that as well as causing social disruption, the move risks increasing costs to taxpayers because a shortage of smaller social housing properties may force many people to downsize into the more expensive private rented sector.

The federation's warnings came as charities said the combination of benefit cuts and tax rises coming in from this week will amount to a £2.3bn hit on family finances.

Labour said analysis of official figures showed average families would be £891 worse off in the new tax year as the changes – including those to tax credits and housing benefits – begin to bite.

Research by the NHF says that while there are currently 180,000 households that are "underoccupying two-bedroom homes", there are far fewer smaller properties in the social housing sector available to move into. Last year only 85,000 one-bedroom homes became available. The federation has calculated that if all those available places were taken up by people moving as a result of the "bedroom tax", the remaining 95,000 households would be faced with the choice of staying put and taking a cut in income, or renting a home in the private sector.

If all 95,000 moved into the private sector, it says the cost of housing benefit would increase by £143m, and by millions more if others among the remaining 480,000 affected chose to rent privately.

As well as the move on spare bedrooms, council tax benefit will be replaced from this week by a new system that will be run by English local authorities but on 10% less funding. Pensioners will be protected under the changes but, as a result, it is feared there will be a bigger burden on poor working-age adults. Restrictions on the uprating of a number of welfare payments will also hit millions of households, homelessness charity Crisis has warned.

Chief executive Leslie Morphy said: "Our poorest households face a bleak April as they struggle to budget for all these cuts coming at once. People are already cutting back on the essentials of food and heating but there is only so much they can do.

"The result will be misery – cold rooms, longer queues at food banks, broken families, missed rent payments and yet more people facing homelessness – devastating for those directly affected, but bad for us all."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "Our welfare reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities, with universal credit simplifying the complex myriad of benefits and making three million people better off. And by next year, we will have taken two million of the lowest earners out of paying tax altogether."

Crisis argues that homelessness is set to rise dramatically. This winter has already seen a rise of 31% in the numbers of rough sleepers across the country and a 20% rise in people seeking help with homelessness from their local authority in the past two years, according to Crisis.

ChartiesCharities are also concerned that the government-funded network of homelessness advisers in England is to be scrapped. The team of regional advisers and rough sleeper and youth specialists which have provided councils with expert guidance on meeting statutory homelessness duties since 2007 will be disbanded just as the bedroom tax comes in. Also being scrapped are the crisis loans and community care grants which provided a lifeline for people in financial crisis who needed essentials when moving to a new home.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: "This is the week when the whole country will see whose side David Cameron and George Osborne are really on and who is paying the price for their economic failure."

vivizone Sun 31-Mar-13 06:57:35

I have c&p this:

Look at the NHF statement. It says that there are 1800,000 households that will need to downsize from 2 to 1 bed properties. It then says that 85,000 one beds became available. It then deduces that this will leave 95,000 families without anywhere to downsize to, blatantly ignoring the fact that a huge number of 1 beds will be freed up when the occupiers move into larger houses.

vivizone Sun 31-Mar-13 06:59:17

I am also wondering are pensioners exempt from the bedroom tax? if they're not exempt, wouldn't the Tories be worried of losing their vote?

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 07:30:31

It isn't the rent that is changing, it is the level of Hosuing benefit received which a government can vary.

But you're right, it is an ideologically driven dim-witted policy.

The fact it will cost the taxpayer more simply so the Tories can have the satisfaction of disrupting the lives of the poor is so galling. But yes, pensioners exempt as they vote Tory.

I personally want a government to invest in social housing, not spend money kicking the poor.

Angry doesn't cover how I feel about the changes. And not a single one affects me personally. But I believe in compassion and I think the casual way people look down on those who need help from our welfare state is really sad.

wonderingsoul Sun 31-Mar-13 07:38:20

its stupied. where are they expecting people to go? they cant all down size, so you will leave people struggling for some thign that the council allowed them to have. its not fair.
it would make more sense to implent a new rule. our little town has all ways had the same rules as the goverment are trying to implent (as in how many rooms you are allowwed)but if i go out of my town i could have got a 3 bedroom even though its just me and two young boys.

they should implent the new ruling, with out it effecting people all ready in these houses.

all exempting the elderly is really pointless as its them that hold most of the big family houses. (tough i dont agree they should have to pay, i just dont see why they decided they where exempt)

vivizone Sun 31-Mar-13 07:48:27

I completely agree Yellow. So what was the reason given for pensioners to be exempt? I think The Mirror said pensioners were also included in the bedroom tax.

None of the changes affects me but I too have compassion by the bucket load. Also it would only take losing my job to be in the same boat as those who are on welfare support.

I have never known a time as now where there is so much hatred for benefit claimants. It just shows you the power of the media.People are like sheep, they follow anything. It is easy to see how Hitler was able to control people to the extent that he did.

LornMowa Sun 31-Mar-13 07:48:36

One way to avoid the reduction in benefit would be to allow someone to move into the spare room.

aufaniae Sun 31-Mar-13 07:49:23

YANBU, it will be a disaster. I just hope people wake up enough to vote them out at the next election!

This, along with the benefits cap, will cause terrible disruption to so many people, including children, for no good reason and will make society poorer for us all as a result.

The maths doesn't even add up! These policies will cost money. Who do they think will pick up the bill of terrible havock to people's lives they're creating? It'll be all of us, as taxpayers and members of this society.

It's so nonsensical it makes me despair. sad

vivizone Sun 31-Mar-13 07:53:19

Do the people have the power to say NO? it seems the government just does not NOT care at all and does what it wants.

How can the ordinary man and woman make their voices heard in parliament? is there any point in voting? they just do what they want to do it seems. To be so voiceless is the most depressing thing ever. It's like you just don't matter. At all.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 07:54:04

I just quickly looked and if ony one half of a couple is a pensioner whenuniversal credit comes in then hey will be affected.

AThingInYourLife Sun 31-Mar-13 07:54:13

Cruel, expensive idiocy.

They are wasting public money on this bullshit.

Mrsdavidcaruso Sun 31-Mar-13 08:03:40

You are wrong about all pensioners voting tory my Dad is a pensioner and votes labour, in fact I think its more likely that a working class pensioner who had never been able to to afford to buy their own home (thats why they live in council and HA properties) are more likely to be labour voters.

armani Sun 31-Mar-13 08:05:51

The bedroom tax makes me laugh! It will end up costing the tax payers more. I work in a homeless hostel and the future is looking very bleak for the poorest in society.
For example a male living in a two bedroom property claiming hb will be 14% worse off a week. If he can't afford to cover this from his £70 a week benefit, eventually he will be evicted. If he then gets placed into a homeless hostel like ours, it will cost £820 pcm in hb. This will be covered by hb. We will then try to find him appropriate accommodation, but because all 1 bed council flats are occupied with people from downsizing, the accommodation we find will be from the private market. Costing significantly more in hb. It's a shambles.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 08:19:18

LornMowa - would you want a lodger? What about those on Introductory Tenancies? They are not allowed to have a lodger. Also, think about the practicalities. Many 3 bedroom council houses are 2 bedrooms and a box room, say 8ft by 6ft. Who could reasonably "live" in a room that size? Not to mention areas where there is low demand for lodgings, for example rural areas.

Euphemia Sun 31-Mar-13 08:31:06

SNP-run councils in Scotland have said they will not evict people as a result of the bedroom tax. Pundits are now predicting tenants will stop paying their rent, as they think they won't be evicted.

The whole thing is bonkers.

These rich Tories attacking the poor make my blood boil.

George Osborne earns £134,565 and has 15% stake in family wallpaper business which is worth an estimated £4million.

He's never wanted for anything in his life, and he just doesn't care about people who are badly off. Ditto Cameron.

stella1w Sun 31-Mar-13 08:34:26

Also, i think the rules dictate that people have to share, so if you have two kids they have to share a room even if it makes more sense to put them in separate rooms for sleep/privacy reasons. Ditto couples where one is disabled. If there are not enough smaller houses to go round the the bedroom tax is just cynical

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Sun 31-Mar-13 08:34:27

I have to say it confuses me.

If you rent privately you can only apply for housing benefit for the amount of bedrooms you need, according to the lha? Yes?

So why should it he any different if you are in social housing?

So confused!

manticlimactic Sun 31-Mar-13 08:42:48

If you took in a lodger then your benefit would down as they'll class the money as income on your benefit claim, so you'd get less. So getting in a lodger wouldn't really work I don't think.

I'm sure when I was thinking about swapping years ago for a 3 bed I was told I would only receive benefit for the amount of bedrooms I needed, which was 2). But I was working part time so maybe they only paid full rent if you were on full benefits

manticlimactic Sun 31-Mar-13 08:45:05

Oh and my sister is in a 3 bed. Hasn't worked for years (a whole other thread there). She's trying to get a one bed flat and swap hers for it but she can't get anything.

zwischenzug Sun 31-Mar-13 08:45:12

Pensioners are exempt I believe because most of them vote tory they are considered vulnerable. I don't object to the principle of the bedroom tax (although the implementation is wrong) but to exclude exactly the demographic that is blocking most of the desperately needed family housing in farcical.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 08:45:29

armani that's exactly what makes the whole thing unworkable. You will see it first hand sad

aufaniae Sun 31-Mar-13 08:52:32

Yes, it's not as if the "spare" rooms are all genuinely spare. The government had decreed that same sex DCs should share until they're 16, and opposite sex until they're 10. Until very recently disabled DCs were not exempt from this but this seems to have been changed now.

Disabled adults are not exempt from this IIRC. So if one partner needs to sleep on a specially designed bed supplied by the NHS, for example if they have MS, and there is not enough room to fit this in the same bedroom as the other partner's bed then the family will be subject to bedroom tax. There was a poster her in exactly that position. (The NHS do not make double beds!)

How does penalising a couple in this position make sense?

And this is just one example. There are many more that are so obviously unjust.

lotsofdogshere Sun 31-Mar-13 08:57:41

The bedroom tax is part of an ideologically driven assault on people who are poor and often suffer ill health or disability. The comment that pensioners are exempt "because they vote tory" is another unnecessary attack on older people. There are simply no one bedroom flats/houses for people to move into. Parents who until now have been able to share the care of their children and have what is now called a spare bedroom, will be financially squeezed even harder than they currently are. Adults who care for a disabled partner will have to uproot themselves from a home that was allocated to them in recognition of their particular needs. It is cruel and unusual and reminds me of the 80's, - although I do believe it's worse now as we the government appear to have had considerable success in setting a Dickensian deserving and undeserving poor agenda.

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 08:57:56

This is all 've err

christinarossetti Sun 31-Mar-13 08:58:25

OP, people who are evicted as a result of the bedroom tax (including those who for example use a spare bedroom to store medical equipment) or the poverty caused by universal credit won't be entitled to any further support with their housing.

Because they will be classes as having made themselves intentionally homeless.

Yes, that's right. Intentionally homeless.

So if you're unable to pay your rent because your HB allowance has been cut and there's nowhere to downsize, and because you now have to pay a significant proportion of your council tax, your disability benefits stop and you can't work out how to claim under the new system or you don't have a computer in order to do so, then yes, the system says that it's your fault.

Oh, and don't think about going to CAB for advice as millions have done over the years - the Coalition are practically going to destroy that too.

Poly Toynbee article

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 08:58:29

Ignore. Mistaken fat finger syndrome

christinarossetti Sun 31-Mar-13 09:00:20

I agree that this is much, much worse than the '80s. The majority of cuts have yet to happen.

It's more like the Victorian times pre-reforms.

LornMowa Sun 31-Mar-13 09:01:46

BumpingFugly As it happens when we were first married we did have a lodger who moved out about a month before our first child was born.

I'll acknowledge that it may not be ideal for those with a young family but its an option for empty nesters. It's an option which I personally would find preferable to rent arrears and eviction.

It's also another person to share the costs of utilities so the fact that benefits are affected may not be so onerous.

sashh Sun 31-Mar-13 09:02:53

So why should it he any different if you are in social housing?

Because social housing is based on need. My HA bungalow was built specifically for someone with mobility needs, something you do not get in the private sector.

If I have to move out it will be to a private landlord, but the council will have to pay for adapting that property for my needs, when I say council I obviously mean the tax payer. Also the increase in rent will be covered by taxpayer

Where I live most flats, certainly the high rise flats are for adults only, some are for 35+ only.

But they are all two or three bedroomed.

Breezy1985 Sun 31-Mar-13 09:05:32

I've got a just turned 9yo dd and an almost 8yo ds, so I've been affected, there advice was to move for a year or take in a lodger, both the kids bedrooms are box rooms, and my ds has sleep problems and on melatonin which doesn't always work and he would never sleep sharing a room, have already tried it, this has been our home for 5.5 years and there is no 2 beds in this area so if i did move they would have to change schools, i know of 3 single pensioners on my street who don't have to pay but i use both bedrooms and have to, suppose I'm luckier then some though as it is just a year.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 09:11:05

I find it ridiculous that a large proportion of these "under-occupied" properties are lived in by pensioners - the very people who are exempt. Not saying they shouldn't be exempt, though.

It's not a tax on top of your rent, the amount of rent for your property is the same.
The government are saying social housing is available and housing benefit is available to help people on low income but why should they pay for you to have more bedrooms than you need if you can't afford them yourselves.
People need to be gratefull they have a roof over their heads and if people want to complain about 'the bedroom tax' maybe they should read up on it and understand it first.
If you rent in the private sector you can only get housing benefit for the amount of bedrooms you need so now it's the same for social housing which is fair.

I will need to pay more rent now because I'm considered to have one extra bedroom. I weighed out the pros and cons about downsizing or paying and have decided to Pay because i want the extra space.

I know some people have low wages or benefits through no choice of their own but this isn't a free world. People need to be grateful things they have and if people want more then they need to pay for it.

Brighton council has promised that no tenants will be evicted over this. hopefully more will follow

MyOtherNameIsFunnier Sun 31-Mar-13 09:18:02

Grateful for a roof over their heads?


Bring back the workhouses. that'll learn em.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 09:20:02

Milk if you were originally allocated a property that was too big because that was what was available, why should you be penalised now? Or put your kids in a room together and rent the other one out?

Breezy1985 Sun 31-Mar-13 09:20:26

But I was given this house because it was deemed what I need, they wouldn't put me on the waiting list for a 2 bedroom as it would of been over occupied with a boy and a girl sharing, it's not fair to do a u turn really. I am going to stay and pay rather then move for a year, my children are happy here and in a brilliant school, we'll just have to cut down on other stuff

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 09:21:35

Milk - sorry, that is not the right way to view this. People need their homes. Some of these people are unable to work due to disability. Kicking them out saves no money for the taxpayer, their HB is going to have to rise to pay for private rental anyway. No money saved at all and higher bills forthe taxpayer, Just a whole lot of upset for no improvement to anyone's lives.

sashh Sun 31-Mar-13 09:23:47

If you rent in the private sector you can only get housing benefit for the amount of bedrooms you need so now it's the same for social housing which is fair.

But property like the one I am in does not exist in the private sector.

I challenge you to fine a 1 bedroomed wheelchair accessible property in the UK.

Go on, google.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 09:24:58

Yes the unthinking Victorian attitudes I hear over and over on these issues really get me down. People need homes. We have 3m unemployed and low wage economy where even when you do get a job it doesn't pay enough to really provide for your family.

Why does everyone kick the person doing a bit worse?

I have never claimed benefits, I can happily say that currently these changes affect me not be bit (but things can change) - but I can still see they are morally wrong and also economically and socially shortsighted.

MyOtherNameIsFunnier Sun 31-Mar-13 09:25:30

I know a couple who both work, earning arund £70k between them. They live in a three bed HA house that the wife was allocated back when she was a LP. Her children have now moved out, married and had their own children.

They pay a ridiculously small amount of rent compared to local market rents. They could easily afford to rent privately or buy a house.

THESE are the people who should be penalised for taking up social housing uneccessarily. But weirdly they arent'. The bedroom tax only applies to benefit claimants.

They should tax the people who can afford it, rather than going after the poorest. It's fucking scary actually.

diddl Sun 31-Mar-13 09:28:04

Sounds good in theory if for example there are singles/couples in housing that could be used for a family.

But I'm sure a simple tot-up would show the disparity between the housing type available iyswim & what is needed.

twofingerstoGideon Sun 31-Mar-13 09:28:26

LornMowa One way to avoid the reduction in benefit would be to allow someone to move into the spare room.

I take lodgers in my house to help pay the mortgage. I've often experienced non-payment of rent, I've had bailiffs knocking at the door for their debts (and persisting for YEARS after lodger left), I've had people damage my possessions, etc. etc.

Also, why would anyone - except the desperate (me!) - want to have a stranger living in their house, especially when they have children?

Perhaps you should look at the bigger picture before coming out with such a simplistic 'solution'.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 09:28:58

their HB is going to have to rise to pay for private rental anyway

flatpackhamster Sun 31-Mar-13 09:29:06

Yet another rather sad attempt to drive up hits to the Guardian's website.

twofingerstoGideon Sun 31-Mar-13 09:33:19

It's also another person to share the costs of utilities so the fact that benefits are affected may not be so onerous.
Lodgers do not usually pay a share of the utilities. Rents are usually fully inclusive, which is a good thing when they decide to give you one-day's notice of their departure.
Don't forget, renting a room is not like renting any other property - there is no 'lease', no fixed period of notice etc. You can agree whatever you want, but if your lodger wants to leave there's not much mileage in insisting they stay and give proper notice. You are sharing your personal living space with these people and if they're not happy they can make your life pretty miserable.

sashh Sun 31-Mar-13 09:34:00


Good point. Maybe social housing should charge rent as a % of the household income?

twofingerstoGideon Sun 31-Mar-13 09:34:51

Yet another rather sad attempt to drive up hits to the Guardian's website.

this is for you, flatpack biscuit

Isabeller Sun 31-Mar-13 09:36:25

Within this is there any definition of what sized space is designated as a bedroom ie at what size does a cupboard become a room? Is 8ft x 6ft a bedroom under these regulations when HMO single bedroom size is around 8ft x 8.5 ft?

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 09:42:31

Isabeller, 50 sq ft or less is classified as not a bedroom, for the purposes of defining overcrowding, but this classification does not apply to the bedroom tax. It is going to be "discretionary" as to how social landlords classify the property, as far as I understand.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 09:44:35

flatpack would you prefer a Daily Mail link? grin

You can't expect people to leave their family home because of how much they earn. They must of needed social housing once to get their home in the first place.

Although it would be ideal if people on higher incomes moved out of social housing it may stop some people from wanting to find work In fear that the more they earn the higher the rent will be or in fear they will lose their home because they work.

The bedroom tax is not a tax it is a benefit cut!
I don't believe in kicking people whilst they are down and benefits should be available to those who need them but i also think some people think expect too much.

Binkybix Sun 31-Mar-13 09:51:36

I'm not for this at all for many reasons - seems poorly thought through in many ways and like its going to cause huge problems to many, especially as being brought in alongside a lot of other changes.

However, in terms of total cost I was wondering if some people have to move to private rents, then would others who are currently being paid for by other means (eg hostel as one poster mentioned earlier) be able to access HA places, therefore reducing another part of 'the bill' , so impact on total bill less than this report suggests? Doesn't seem as though that has been included in calculation.

Anifrangapani Sun 31-Mar-13 10:00:02

Isabeller they are the ones outlined in the housing corporation housing quality indicators. They can be found on the homes and communites website under housing quality standards.
All houses are given a room and number of people catagory eg 2 bed 4 person dependent on size.

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 10:08:22

All very emotive,I grew up in a council house with poor working single was our home not a transient lodging. But, can we as a country afford to pay or underwrite people to have spare rooms? I appreciate disabled families are as special case due to specific needs but for others maybe lodgers or kids sharing will have to be the future.I know a neighbour in their own mortgages home has taken lodgers due to redundancy.we live in straightened times

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 10:28:36

Milk have you read the bits about disabled people losing their homes?
Have you read the bit about those with disabled children losing their homes?

Flatpack how many times do you need to be redirected to the Daily Mail site?

Altinkum Sun 31-Mar-13 10:38:19

My mum is on benefits, (notnsure what benefit, but she is unable to work) now her benefits are the basic she can live on, according to the government, so out of her 100 a week she has to pay £17 out of thr for having a 2 extra room that the housing gave her as there is NONE one bedroom housing in the whole if her area. Her living room is be counted as a bedroom.

Its absurd.

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 10:43:43

Can't she rent extra room to lodger for some cash?

AThingInYourLife Sun 31-Mar-13 10:53:25

"I challenge you to fine a 1 bedroomed wheelchair accessible property in the UK."

Why not just get your lodger to pay his way by carrying you up the stairs?

twofingerstoGideon Sun 31-Mar-13 11:15:53


Aah... lodgers. The new 'answer to everything.' I can assure you they're not.

Viviennemary Sun 31-Mar-13 11:20:29

Firstly it isn't a tax. It's the reduction of a benefit or subsidy if people have a spare room. It's nothing to do with council tenancies. If people have a spare room and are paying the rent themselves then there will be no change. There is only change if people are claiming housing benefit. I am not sure whether I think this is a good thing or not.

I think the whole issue of council tenancies needs to be looked at. People in council houses who can well afford to buy their own house need to buy there own house and free up houses for people who need them.

Laquitar Sun 31-Mar-13 11:32:00

I think the option of taking in lodgers is okish in cities but in some areas it wont be so easy to find one. And has to be one that is willing to share house with children. And one that you feel comfortable with. Etc.etc. (i'm not even going to menion that we live in a society where you are scared to take a photograph of your children in a playground if other children are nearby because of the paranoia but its cool to take in lodgers...Hmmm. Double standards).

The Tories hit the poor and disabled people from right and left. Its not just money, imo it is the psychological factor, the 'its your fault' , 'you are a shame' etc feeling. The messages they pass and the sickening propaganda. I fear that we will have an increase in mental illness and alcoholism. Which will cost more money anyway. Unless they commit suicide. Just like the Victorian times.

And just like Yellow it doesn't affect me either but i cannot fucking watch it.

TraineeBabyCatcher Sun 31-Mar-13 11:33:55

I was under the impression that this 'bedroom tax' was to free up under occupied houses. As far as I can see all it does it reduce the benefits claiments supposidely liveable income.

Surely if we want to free up these under occupied houses then its more than the benefit claimers that need hitting.

I don't agree with the way its being done, I agree with the principle idea though.

AThingInYourLife Sun 31-Mar-13 11:37:21

The thing that so frequently gets lost in this discussion is that people who have a spare bedroom in their home are bastards.

We can't do anything about the wealthy people with spares rooms, or spare houses, but we sure as fuck can do something about poor people getting away with this outrageous crime against space.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 31-Mar-13 11:39:47

Its not a tax, simpply a reduction in benefit.

We have become a nation of moaners, lifes not fair as i now dont get x, y and z paid for be it extra bedrooms or childcare for people that dont work etc.

Welfare should pay for the bare minimum, otherwise there is no incentive to work. Indeed, many choose not to already hence why we need a party strong enough to break the cycle.

Those who pay their own rents and mortgages have to restrict the area and size of their house and ensure they only have the number of children they can provide for. Whilst thier taxes pay for others to have as many children as they like, live where they like or extra rooms laying empty.

Its not everyones ideal to have a lodger or live in certain areas but whilst the state is paying for their living costs then choices will be restricted.

dawndonna I do believe I said benefits should be available to those who need them. There are a lot of people who need housing benefit to financially survive and they should receive it and I understand that some people need extra rooms for health reasons and they should have them.

There are also a lot of people who have much bigger houses then they need and expect it payed for them which isn't right in my opinion.

People that want to be downsized should be helped finding places and more homes for these should be built.
The whole housing system and benefit system is very wrong in this country and it probably always will be now.

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 11:42:00

Apologies milk.
I agree the system is a mess. I also agree with those who say that if you can afford to buy, you should. However, job guarantees are not good in this market.

I would love to buy my own home but I can not afford it and I know to well a job cannot be guaranteed in this market. Everyone assumes if you are a couple and you work then you have money but In this day and age everyone is struggling.

AThingInYourLife Sun 31-Mar-13 11:49:59

"hence why we need a party strong enough to break the cycle."


You mean a party without a majority in a coalition government?

There are a lot of adjectives that come to mind when I think of the current Tories, but "strong" is not among them.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 31-Mar-13 11:51:14

How can the ordinary man and woman make their voices heard in parliament? is there any point in voting? they just do what they want to do it seems. To be so voiceless is the most depressing thing ever. It's like you just don't matter. At all.

But the people did vote and their voices ARE being listened to. People voted Tory because they were sick and tired of the benefits issue and wanted it addressing which the Tories are now doing. Perhaps now more people will get out there and vote instead of just complaining when changes happen. I say this because I know many many people who support labour but just 'couldn't be bothered voting cos it won't change anything anyway'.

And now, if these changes actually work and bring down the countries debts and spending I can guarantee you Labour won't change a thing if they get in. Their new moto will be 'if it ain't broken don't try and fix it'.

Tailtwister Sun 31-Mar-13 11:52:20

I don't see how it's going to work on a practical level. Where are all these smaller homes people can move into? As far as I can see, all it's going to do is to make vulnerable and poor people even worse off. Yet another poorly thought out idea.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 11:53:12

I'm going to talk about Scotland so sorry if England is different.

But the main reason for giving people secure tenancys was so that they had a home of their own which could not be taken away from them (as long as they met conditions eg paying rent if required).

On an ideological basis I don't see why people should be punished and made to leave their home or feel unsafe there just because they can't afford to buy. Especially at a time when we are sitting at the end of a long period of government policy focusing on getting social landlords to build larger family homes and not one bedroomed as they were viewed as undesirable and. Not suitable for demand BY THE GOVERNMENT.

Implementation of this policy is likely to cost more than any savings made.

A scenario which hasn't been raised on this thread yet is where seperate parents have shared custody or a parent has their children staing at weekends. Only the parent who claims child benefit is entitled to a room for the children. So parent in one bed flat has to put their three children where?

Tory policy is supposed to be about supporting families but this policy alone is likely to make it much harder for nonresident parents to have meaningful contact with their children in some cases.

And what about where people are in the low pay/no pay work cycle and go from paying rent to claiming HB on a regular basis (eg seasonal workers ).

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 11:54:12

Hoho I think you will find benefits were not the reason people didn't vote labour. And please note the toys do not have a majority in parliament. No one voted these policies in.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 31-Mar-13 11:55:21

When I first heard if this policy I though 'fair enough'. Having considered it more I now think it is twatty and very cruel. Hitting those who can least afford it and classing people in hard and despairing situations as sub human not worthy of recieving kindness or understanding. I want this government out so very fucking much.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 31-Mar-13 11:57:45

hoho I think you will find benefits were not the reason people didn't vote labour

So you can speak personally for everyone who voted and why they voted the way they did. hmm

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 11:58:37

As much as you can, yes.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 12:00:14

Thats the thing nightmare - it does seem reasonable on face value, like many of these policy changes. In principle, who could object?

Then, you actually think the implications through...(if you are the thinking type that is)

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 31-Mar-13 12:00:39

Then you voted Tory then.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 12:03:12

I actually don't care if this gets deleted...

Are you drunk????

Viviennemary Sun 31-Mar-13 12:06:52

I voted labour but probably won't be again. They don't have any answers to this country's problems. But do the Tories. We shall see.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 31-Mar-13 12:07:06

Yes Rhonda I must be. I've spent all my benefit money to buy alcohol for breakfast whist browsing The Mail. hmm

Everyone is entitled to an opinion and doesn't deserve insults as you have given just because you didn't like my response. No need to get so heated.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 31-Mar-13 12:12:50

Exactly, RJ. You think it through and you realise the unfairness and the prejudice. To take £50 a month or thereabouts off a single mum with one child (and a tiny food budget) living in a small council owned property is really, really going to hurt. Add council tax to that and you have totally fucked that single mum over.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 12:14:53

All this claptrap about "Those that can afford to buy, should buy" what a load of old tosh. How about I tell everyone that if you have a driving license you should have a car.

People rent and in particular for lots of reasons, one would be because they do not want the responsibility or the cost of looking after a house. Another would be that they never intend leaving a house as an inheritance, a third and my last would be that, having witnessed the huge housing bubble created by and predicated on the need for international banks to "loan" money to people who cannot afford it. People who rent have rightly worked out that mortgages are a gamble and that they neither want to gamble or can afford to gamble.

Those that argue for people who can afford it, to buy and give up social housing, need to ask themselves at what point do they give up the right to spend the money they have earned in the way that they choose.

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 12:17:04

Just a thought...where is the single mum's ex?can't he be pursued?housing Ben bills are sky high and thus allow inflated private sector rents...there should be more sophisticated targeting of cuts...using scalpel and not this apparently hammer which is causing massive collateral damage to the vulnerable.why exclude pensioners for example?

Altinkum Sun 31-Mar-13 12:18:05

Where do people have the choice tho? Where are all these 1 bedroom accommodation, my mum has been on the list for over 2 years, for one.... Yet the local council gave her a 2 bedrooms house, and now she is penalised for it.

No she can't have a lodger as their income would affect my mums benefits, and her tenancy agreement states no lodgers aloud.

FasterStronger Sun 31-Mar-13 12:20:20

The change should lead to a better use of social housing stock over a period of time and a shift of the wrong type of housing for the local population to private landlords which is also a good thing.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 12:21:20

Vivien, exactly what are you waiting to see? This thread alone tells you that they do not. 3 years they and their libdem chums have been screwing the poor, how much longer to you want to wait for?

Most of their policies are in a state of collapse with even Ian Duncan "Ratbag" Smith admitting that welfare cuts are not achievable and his flagship universal credit is a leaning tower of shame that stigmatises the working poor, the self employed, and even the lower reaches of the middle class. But since it will never come in to being as it is so badly flawed it is undeliverable that's ok. Except it's not as the intention was there wasn't it!

NicholasTeakozy Sun 31-Mar-13 12:21:55

Welfare should pay for the bare minimum, otherwise there is no incentive to work. Indeed, many choose not to already hence why we need a party strong enough to break the cycle.

You do realise that JSA is a massive £71pw? That is for food, heating, lighting, water etc. And for transport to get to interviews. As for there being no incentive to work, what a crock of shit. There are over 2.5m people unemployed in this country and around 450k vacancies. Also, those on the Mandatory Work Activity are not counted as unemployed, even though they receive JSA.

There are so many things this government is doing that are wrong and stupid, but it's deliberate. They aim to destroy the welfare state and replace it with in insurance based for profit scheme similar to that in the US. They know this is going to cost more, but that's ok because their corporate friends will make money out of poverty.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 12:22:45

Oh I'm not het up - its just that you are making no sense.

Nightmare, coupled with the change to monthly payments and the direct payments system later in the year, it's a disaster waiting to happen.

I am very, very worried.

TraineeBabyCatcher Sun 31-Mar-13 12:22:58

Are you even allowed lodgers in council houses?

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 12:24:35

Faster I genuinely don't understand your post? Can you explain?

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 12:25:22

Would it be better to phase it in,say in 3 years' time to allow planning,along with an appeals system?or would that cost more than would save?

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 31-Mar-13 12:26:38

Then I speak as much sense as you RJ

Trainee I believe you would have to get permission to sublet.

But who would people allow in as a lodger? If I had children I wouldn't feel comfortable with a virtual stranger sleeping in the next bedroom!

Viviennemary Sun 31-Mar-13 12:26:57

Labour had a mighty long time in which to mess things up. Which only came to light after the election. And sorry but why should people in private housing be subject to different rules re housing benefit as to those in council housing. I think the welfare state should exist for those in genuine need. But it has got distorted. People should ask themselves why Labour did not get in with a huge majority. If they have the answers then they should have. JSA was the same under Labour. So you can't blame the Tories for that.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 12:28:02

Faster, explain to us then how that will work, how will being a tennent of a private landlord be better for people? What exactly do you mean by better use of social housing?
Explain what you think will need to happen to make sure that social housing is never under occupied, or used badly. Lastly what do you mean by the wrong type of housing.

Do not come on here and just let your thoughts spill out back them up.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 31-Mar-13 12:30:48

Has this shit been challenged legally yet? Surely it will get taken to the ECHR? Retrospective sanctions breaching right to a private family life etc.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 12:31:01

Viv, you did not answer the question, but thanks for the insight in to your loathing for the poor though.

So how long do YOU want to give them, and at what point will it be long enough?

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 12:34:43

I'm not advocating any party here.l.

There is no way to actually make this fair and workable.

Letting policies up til now often allowed potential tenants to request one more room than they needed. Even if policies are changed, what happens when tenants circumstances change? Why should people not be entitled to a home which is theirs?

The real issue is actually a long term lack of investment in social housing by consecutive governments, coupled with poor policy direction re building requirements, followed on by this poorly thought through knee jerk reaction of a new policy.

If its genuinely bout encouraging people to move, why not have a policy similar to jsa? Where you show you are looking for more "suitable" accomodation?

And all this nonsense about saving money - this is going to cost more to implement than it could ever save. Plus as others have pointed out, real housing costs will go up for many people who get forced into private let's and hostel accomodation.

Viviennemary Sun 31-Mar-13 12:34:52

Universal Credit hasn't even happened yet. Why assume I loathe the poor. This emotive stuff just doesn't work with me any more I'm afraid. Yes there are genuine people in need and often they are the ones the benefit system fails while others milk the system for all it's worth.

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 12:38:11

Why should people not be entitled to a home that is theirs?but the trouble is. The taxpayer is paying fir it. So the person will inevitably have less choice than someone who is a free agent.another reason why they call it being trapped on benefits

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 12:42:31

Viv the point that universal credit will never happen IS THE BLOODY POINT. You said "I voted labour but probably won't be again. They don't have any answers to this country's problems. But do the Tories. We shall see."

So having spent billions of pounds on finding out that everyone and their dug who said that it was not possible or even desirable to bring out universal credit was right all along.

Plus as we head in to a triple dip recession purely and totally engineered by Osborne, you want to wait til when exactly? What is it that would be the final straw?

I am glads your immune to emotive language4, fortunately I am not so you can be non emotive about me telling you that the number of "milkers" is so small that they cost you personally virtually nothing out of your tax. And that the many who are in need are only so due to the policies that you seem to support. If that does not show loathing for the poor my apologies, I would say you lack empathy but you have kinda admitted that already.

AThingInYourLife Sun 31-Mar-13 12:42:49

"And now, if these changes actually work and bring down the countries debts and spending"

You mean the opposite result of this government's policies since they came into office?

Raum Sun 31-Mar-13 12:44:58

Council housing stock is poorly utilised and I agree with taking steps to improve it but the current policy is poorly thought out. The problem is how do we get people living on their own in two or three bed houses to agree to move? The system is abused as it is.

If I want another bed room in a house I buy I need to pay for it, families on in council houses who don't need that bed room should have to move so someone who does can make use. A blanket defence of claiming the tories are just cunts and against the poor is rather feeble though.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 12:45:21

They already have that less choice though hw. I can choose to sell up and buy wherever I want. (kinda but you get the point!)

So when given a home, should people be allowed to make it their home or should it just be a roof as long as they meet loads of requirements?

You already see the misery caused by being in private let's all over the boards. People on six month tenancies, given contracts etc.

Still when you are busily preoccupied with keeping a roof vet your head and feeding your kids you don't have time to look at the bigger picture eh! Call me a cynic.

I have first hand experience of the impacts in that I'm on the board of an ha an I know how much we are already spending trying to help tenants with this and our projected impacts financially over the next few years, which will impact the service we can provide ALL tenants including those in suitable accomodation or paying full rent.

Also economically, where people are having to pay more out of their very limits benefits for rent, there is less to spend locally on other things (food etc) and spending slows up, shops will close etc. I cannot see how that will have a positive impact on the overall economy. And no it won't shrink the deficit ffs! The savings are minimal and the implementation costs exceed them.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 31-Mar-13 12:46:21

I understand people are scared by the whole Universal credit and monthly payment aspect but as far as the gov are concerned this is your notice to prepare. I suspect they expect you to start putting a little bit of cash away each week so you will be able to cope with the initial change.

And before anyone asks, I don't have a clue either where people who are already strapped for cash will magic up the 'extra' to put away.

But, I do agree with monthly payments and that in the long term it will work out better for most (not all) to receive benefits that way.

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 12:47:44

And now, if these changes actually work and bring down the countries debts and spending I can guarantee you Labour won't change a thing if they get in. Their new moto will be 'if it ain't broken don't try and fix it'.
But it's been proven time and again that it isn't saving any money, it's costing more.

As for milking the system Viv benefit fraud is actually very low.

Leith I don't believe in forcing people to buy when they can afford it. I guess that though, is a discussion for another time.

JaquelineHyde Sun 31-Mar-13 12:48:02

Aaah yet again another thread turns into a benefit bashing free for all, it warms the heart.

So avoiding the poor sods on benefits what about those who work for the housing associations that are going to lose there jobs when the HAs suddenly see a massive reduction in income and have to start cutting jobs to cover the short fall? Around 70% of a HA's income is made up from the households that are being hit the hardest.

More people having to claim benefits possibly? hmm Yes, yes this well thought out plan is really going to work isn't it.

Viviennemary Sun 31-Mar-13 12:49:15

Nobody knows whether or not UC will be abandoned. Not even Gideon himself I wouldn't be surprised. I just wish Labour had a better person in charge than Milliband. They need another John Smith.

There is a big campaign across Liverpool\Merseyside urging people not to pay. It is what we (in Liverpool) did with the Poll Tax and that was successful. The tax doesn't effect me, but I've joined in the various protests. The campaign needs to go National and we need this tax to be abolished, it can be done. This Tory government doesn't have the stronghold that Thatcher and her government did and they had to do a re-think because of the will of the people. Luckily this government has shown its true colours straight off, we need immediate action before the country and our people are thrown into poverty, as it was in the Thatcher years.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 12:50:12

Benefit fraud is massive outsized by unclaimed benefit.

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 12:51:54

Tory policies never save the money country, that it is not opinion, that is fact, read social policy books, rather than listen to opinions. What they do, do is make the rich. Richer (especially their personal friends and family) and cut the living standards of those on the bottom rungs of society's ladder.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 12:55:42

Could not agree more Dawn, but it was already brought up by someone else so I was answering it. No surprise that I also completely agree with your point re benefit fraud.

Jaqu: I again wholeheartedly agree with you, the laws of unintended consequences are indeed at play, but then since what the con dems want is another housing bubble to prop up the banks and to keep house prices artificially high I am not certain that it is an unintended consequence.

The one thing I would say about HA's though and I am not saying this is you or your employer, but from my experience HA's are doing a good job of sitting in the middle and doing lots of pathetic handwringing, bleating on about "How it's not fair", where as to my mind this is the time that they should be putting the good of their tenants first and saying that the changes will hurt people and also hurt the HA's

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 12:57:04

Another point.

The majority of HB goes to people in work.

If you are under occupied by the new rules, you don't lose 17% plus of your HB. You lose that from the total cost of rent.

Let me explain.

Rent is £100 a week. You get £15 HB and have one extra room.

You would lose £17 a week so the whole £15 is wiped out.

So it won't just hit the "benefit sroungers", it will hit those working in low paid jobs as well.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 31-Mar-13 12:57:26

I quite like the last para in that article re the bankers smile.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 12:57:51

Is it Rhonda?
Do you have some stats?

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 12:58:45

Leith, the sfha are doing a lot of research and campaigning around welfare reform.

Like I said, not too clued up on the English system though sorry.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 13:01:41

Yes moondog.

Unclaimed benefits are 12-16 billion per year.

Top estimates for benefit fraud are 5.5 billion per year.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 13:02:31

Have you got a reference for that Rhonda?

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 13:02:32

Good point well made Rhonda, let me add to it by saying that a fair number of those low waged will be self employed people. Nail technicians, had dressers, plumbers, child minders, nannies, ebay sellers. In fact loads of people who will positively baulk at the idea that they are benefit scroungers. But since that is all we hear about that is what they will be forced to conclude they are. That will almost certainly stick in their minds the next time they are in the polling station.

itsallyourownfault Sun 31-Mar-13 13:03:36

You moaners make me feel sick. You never want to pay for anything, contribute to your own living costs, be responsible for your own lives. Get off your backsides, fill one of the many thousands of vacant posts advertised today and pay for yourselves (and the hoards of kids you can't afford to support either). Why should you get to live in a house bigger than you need for free? This country is full of such entitled, lazy beggars.

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 13:04:41

April fools day is tomorrow, dear.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 13:05:17

Rhonda funnily enough it is Scotland I was thinking about, I am a tenant of one HA I have friends who are tenants of others. We have all got the same view that whilst campaigners are on the ground some, I grant you I cannot say all. HA's are sitting back and looking out for themselves.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 13:05:32

All from bbc moondog. All on public record.

The governments actual estimate on benefit fraud is 1.2 billion so I gave the figures the benefit bashing campaigns use, that's the very top number I've ever seen for it.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 31-Mar-13 13:05:45

Has a bridge dweller just entered the room?

AThingInYourLife Sun 31-Mar-13 13:07:14

Ha ha!

Good one, itsall.

You capture the idiotic cuntiness really well there. Nice touch with the misuse of "hoard" - it's a common mistake amongst the badly educated, spiteful morons who support this kind of policy.

Nice work grin

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 13:07:24

Ah the careing face of conservatism, or is it the true face of ukip, do tell us all your, who it is that you wish was imposing workhouses on us poor feckless people.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 13:07:46

A proper reference is needed otherwise it's just an opinion.

It's a massively tricky area.
I can't see it is right that people need to rely on a raft of public assistance even when they are working.
House prices are insane in this country.
They say that is due to obsession with owning and that continentals don't usually own their housing.
#If that is the case, who the hell does?

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 13:08:11

Leith there is an element of political manoeuvring - not biting the hand that feeds you etc.

Plus the problem with being monitored by the Scottish government and trying to influence uk policy.

The snp don't like has as it is.

However there are campaigns, and there are a lot of things happening at local level to try to mitigate effects on their own tenants by has.

pedrohedges Sun 31-Mar-13 13:10:29

Out of 20 odd HA homes in my street i am only 1 of 2 houses that actually have a family.
The rest are pensioners and couples in huge 3 bed homes. The couples all work and obviously the pensioners are exempt. This bedroom tax is hitting the wrong people!

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 13:11:03

Check ons for benefit fraud figures moondog.

It's all there.

OloeufiaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 31-Mar-13 13:12:12

We have moved this to our news topic

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 13:13:54

I posted a link to this report a few weeks back - its itneresting reading.

Page 21 for discussion on benefit fraud...

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 13:14:18

Rhonda I would very much like to pm you about this as I agree with all you say and I think the political element is the key. However it is the political element that the grass roots are managing to cut through. I speak as an activist and someone involved in campaigning. I would like if possible to see where the stuff you are talking about and what I am doing can join up. Is it ok to pm you?

Moondog go and google, use the bbd as rhonda has said, try looking at the Rowntree foundation or Inclusion Scotland. The resources are massive, if a link was supplied you could always argue that it is partial, instead think fer yersel

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 13:15:33

And here is your dwp link for official take up of means tested benefits only (ie not DLA etc)

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 13:16:46

Please do leith. I don't know how much help I can be, and I need to go do some stuff like bath a child! But I'd be very interested in talking to you.

chris481 Sun 31-Mar-13 13:19:49

I am a bit mystified about the argument that there's nowhere for people downsizing to go and that lots of people will end up homeless. How can having fewer empty bedrooms in the country as a whole cause a greater overall shortage of bedrooms? Think there's lots of one-eyed special pleading going on.

I think talking about cutting the "spare room subsidy" rather than imposing a "bedroom tax" is more honest. In this instance, the right-wing spin is more accurate than the left. However the left have already won that battle.

That costs may go up if people are forced into smaller but more expensive private properties does not bother me, that tells me that the council rents are wrong in the first place and should go up, so that we have an accurate view of the level of subsidy being provided. To put it another way, people should only be explicitly subsidised by housing benefit, if eligible. No-one should be subsidised by below-market social rents, such subsidies go to both housing benefit claimants and relatively well-off people. Artificially low rents cause a lack of transparency about levels of subsidies and who they go to. (Of course the left may prefer that lack of transparency.)

I personally would prefer social housing to be abolished, but a more secure form of tenure to be made available in the private sector at the same time. Alternatively, secure tenancies should be offered to whoever is willing to pay the highest rent, which would ensure they are let at a market price. This would not necessarily lock people on benefits out of such housing, as the (presumably higher) rents would be paid by housing benefit anyway.

I do understand this policy will be horrible for some people who have to move. Equally, it will be nice for some people who will now get the size of home they need. There will be more winners than losers, but that's no comfort to the losers.

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 13:25:06

Again, it has been demonstrated that there will definitely be more losers than winners. Pensioners are exempt. Much of the larger local authority housing is three bedroomed and occupied by people of pensionable age, ergo, a lack of housing is created.
As for more secure tenancies, the Tories put paid to that with the 1989 housing act, that was the one in which Thatcher said if you live on a council estate, you're a criminal.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 13:27:11

Thanks Rhonda.
Interesting reading on that link.

birdsgottafly it is not a tax it's a change in benefit entitlement.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 13:31:30

LornMowa - lots of Social Housing tenancies have a clause stating that if you rent out a spare room, you are in breach of your tenancy agreement and will be evicted.

Lots of Social Housing tenants don't have that option, or they will lose their home anyway.

My Housing Association for one, and three others that my friends rent from, have ALL said that they will not be changing their tenancy agreements to allow the tenant to take in a lodger to fill a spare room, as it is classed as Subletting, and they WILL go to court to gain a Notice of Seeking Possession - in other words, all four HA's WILL evict anyone found to be subletting a room.

AND they do unannounced spot checks too. All four of them.

AThingInYourLife Sun 31-Mar-13 13:32:27

"No-one should be subsidised by below-market social rents, such subsidies go to both housing benefit claimants and relatively well-off people."

Or more accurately, social rents reduce the massive transfer of public money to private landlords.

If we're going to be "honest" and talk about subsidies, then all subsidies have to be on the table.

bochead Sun 31-Mar-13 13:34:24

bank fraud has cost this nation a LOT more than 1.2b since 2008!

It's a perfect storm for many on low fixed incomes (no employers are not giving pay rises in the main right now!)

1. Council tax increases for many (eg those on IS/JSA)
2. HB reductions = more money to pay out of a tiny income every week
3. NHS cuts - longer waiting times, increased therapy costs etc, etc.
4. Utilities increases during the longest winter we've had for years. people are already DYING every week due to the impact of fuel poverty.
5. Increased food costs - the cost of basic food items like eggs, flour, rice has risen dramatically over the last few years hitting those who ALREADY meal plan, cook from scratch etc, etc.
6. The deepest recession for 100 years - the well paid jobs just aren't out there in the numbers needed!

If you have the misfortune to BE or have a family member with a disability the cuts to both benefits AND service provision are coming thicker, and faster than it's possible to keep up with. This is the group that CANNOT get on their bikes or just work longer hours to keep up with it all.

There's a lack of general awareness amongst the public that for many disabled people the benefits they receive such as DLA or housing benefit are the lifeline that actually enable them to work.

Part of my last paid employment post was to help disabled people select appropriate assistive technologies to go to work, whether that was a voice recognition typing package, or an adapted car, or a hearing aid. I met many, many inspirational people making a real go of being productive members of society despite massive barriers. I am so angry that some of the proud hard working individuals I had the honor to meet are now being reduced to the status of beggars through no fault of their own.

I'm disgusted that the housing benefit cuts do not take into account the very real needs of the disabled. Equipment etc takes up space and I can't see paid or familial carers sleeping on the floor or in the bath tub on a regular basis.

The lack of available social housing at affordable rents has been a well recognised issue for decades. In parts of London the low paid & hard working already sleep 10 to a room or rent back garden sheds.

The feral scum of the earth will just continue to fund their wide screen TV's and BMW's with their usual income stream of drug dealing & mugging old ladies etc. These coming changes won't affect the "Shameless" section of society in the slightst - but instead will instead push many individuals and families who are just coping over the edge. When people have nothing left to lose, they lose it!

I'm not witnessing a jot of Vision or inspiration for digging our nation out of the financial quagmire from either the current leadership or the opposition. It's scary as I think the nation's adults are sleepwalking our children into a nightmarish future. Generations to come are unlikely to forgive us.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 13:36:13

Ok Chris lets take this one bit at a time, although I appreciate at least your being honest and saying what you believe not just coming out with claptrap.

So your first point: We have a general shortage of housing of all kinds. Most notably in the south east. In fact in other parts of the country, north west for example. Housed lie empty. This shortage has made both land and the cost of housing very high. Coupled with that several governments have pushed policies of home ownership rather than social housing. Most of these new homes being built by the private sector have been small one two bedrooms types. this is important because as a condition of planning permission many schemes have to include some social housing element, normally purchased by housing associations.

So A lack of new housing stock is the result. Councils and Housing associations have in general a small number of 1 bedroom flats. Those families with two or oner adult who want to downsize have little scope to do so. Many people either single or in families who have an impairment have either physicle adaptations to their houses, or live where they do as it offers them some support to mitigate their conditions. Being close to public transport, not on a hill, close to health centre etc. For them the choice of moving is non existent for obvious reasons.

Their are other issues that limit the availability such as nimbyism and planning controls, but for now you should start to get the picture that no one is saying the people are refusing to move. In fact people would move if a suitable alternative was their. But more often that not, it is not their.

Orwellian Sun 31-Mar-13 13:45:01

It isn't a tax, it is a reduction in benefit for a spare room that is not needed so that a family who is desperately in need of a bigger home can get one.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 13:53:28

FasterStronger - over a period of time, maybe. But what about the poverty experienced by many on the meantime? Does that not matter? Are they to be made homeless etc 'for the greater good', and because 'it will all work out in the end' ?!

In the meantime, REAL people, REAL children will be made homeless.

And once they are evicted for non-payment of rent, those families then DO NOT get housed, even in a hostel, by their Council, as their Council has NO 'duty to house' them, as they are classed as having made themselves 'INTENTIONALLY HOMELESS'.

Look up the rules surrounding intentional homelessness. It's often FAR from intentional, but still leaves people having to try to source housing from the Private Rented sector.

Lots of BTL LL's have mortgages that expressedly prevent them from renting to ANYONE on HB, be that full HB due to unemployment or part HB due to working for low wages.

So that limits the amount of properties available in the Private Rented sector to downsize into for those receiving HB.

THEN you have the fact that lots more Private Sector LL's choose to only rent to those in FT employment.

Which limits the properties available to downsize into in the Private Rented sector even further, as many people claiming benefits like WTC can only work PT due to things like childcare issues or Caring responsibilities.

THEN you have the fact that lots of Private Sector LL's won't rent to anyone with DC's.

Which limits availability of properties to downsize into in the Private Rented Sector yet further.

Then you get into the issue that MOST Private Rented Sector LL's will refuse to allow their properties to be adapted for wheelchairs or other necessary disability aids like grab rails, stairlifts etc.

Which limits the availability of properties to downsize into in the Private Rented Sector EVEN MORE for those families where there is a member of the family with disabilities.

Where exactly are these people meant to GO?!

JakeBullet Sun 31-Mar-13 14:02:19

Orwellian, do you HONESTLY believe that this bedroom tax will free up homes for families who need them? If you do then you need to take a reality check in some way. There are a shortage of two bedroom properties in this area for example so SOME folk will have been placed in three bedroom properties regardless. The fact that this cut in HB has come in does not increase the two bedroom properties out there.....the family in the three bedroom house will be highly unlikely to find a two bedroom place because they are just not out there.....alll that will happen is that they will be plunged further into poverty.
I predict riots and unrest as this bites becuase it WILL cause real difficukties for those who can least afford it.
I am lucky, I am in a two bedroom house but if I had been inmy old place (a three bedroom flat on a slum estate) it WOULD affect me. Let me tell you I would be less than pleased at having to find money I dont have for the pleasure of living with antisocial neighbours in slum conditions.
Ironically the people who are most likely to underoccupy....the elderly...will not be affecrted. This is an ideological cut to welfare for the poorest....nothuing else.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 14:02:48

Couthy as usual!

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 14:03:56

Orwellian define for me, if you will not needed?

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 14:05:25

Jake I do not think I have had the opportunity to say that I am an admirer of your work, please continue.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 14:14:48

It's worrying that even Frank Field has spoken out about this and called it 'Stalinesque'.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 14:17:42

Frank Field and Liam Byrne would both be better of in the tory party. Brick up doors and knock down walls indeed, snort!

montmartre Sun 31-Mar-13 14:17:53

moony- apparently the home ownership percentage being higher in UK is all a myth, and that the %age of home owners in other countries with similar economies are very similar, if not higher.
What is different in the UK is ppeople expecting (I.e. feeling it's their right) to make a profit from their home, rather than merely being something you onw to use and live in, hence the house price situation we find ourselves in.

I suppose you'd like a link... my source was DH, so likely either telegraph, lrb, or private eye! grin

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 14:25:06

Interesting Mont.
I read those too but can't find anything about it.
Have family in France and have lived there myself so now about renting situation.
Im no economist but surely these rents and house prices can't continue?
It's also immoral to expect tax payers to fund buy to let landlords.
It's downright obscene in fact and that must stop.

Viviennemary Sun 31-Mar-13 14:32:09

I agree with moondog. Time for the ridiculous subisidies to private landlords to stop. People earning £12,000 a year paying tax to subsidise people in rented property that costs more than that in rent. It is just not on. And I notice not a word mentioned about the new pension rules coming in where the very low paid will be forced to join a pension scheme and that will be taken out of their salaries.

infamouspoo Sun 31-Mar-13 14:35:31

If you're made homeless, do you lose your kids?

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 14:37:13

infamous the Council has a duty to house only the children, not the adults. Make of that what you will.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 14:46:01

You will not lose children ONLY as a result of being homeless. However if you are already known to SS or the children are on the at risk register. They could be fostered.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 31-Mar-13 14:46:39

Shit, so this could all be angled towards 'legitimately' removing kids from the poor who will no longer be able to afford to feed them because of all the various cuts?!! [fucking absolutely horrified]

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 14:48:00

It's highly unlikely though, as a SW friend explained to me. But possible sad

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 31-Mar-13 14:49:52

I hope to God people can hang on until 2015 when this nasty lot will be dust sad

montmartre Sun 31-Mar-13 14:49:55

moony he says it was a piece in the telegraph by a housing expert. We discussed it thurs I think, so poss tues or weds.
When we lived in france we owned, not rented, though many people did rent. The controls over tenancy are so strong though- people actually have rights, as opposed to UK system where people are completely at the whim of agents, and sometimes LLs. For example, it is not lawful to evict tenants between November and March (presumably so they don't die of cold!)

There have been vast house price rises in Paris though (where we were)... tbh we made an extremely healthy profit from our purchase, and subsequent sale. There are tax structures in place though to prevent/reduce speculation- when you sell, you pay ttax on a tapered scale according to how long you've owned the property... this begins at 100%, so people cannot buy, do a place up then sell for an huge profit, as they'd lose the lot to taxation.

Hai1988 Sun 31-Mar-13 14:51:01

Hi sorry haven't read the entire thread but tbh my view on it is that its a good thing.
my family are currently in a 2 bed flat and need to upgrade to a 3 bed as i already have a 8 year old boy and know i am expecting a girl soon.

its helped us out because people with bigger houses are now being encouraged to downsize because of the bedroom tax so i personally think its good.

its only right that people who no longer need big houses give them up for people who do.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 14:51:28

I read it every day.
Willgo through old copies.
Interesting about tax on selling new places in France. Didn't know that althoguh family there.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 31-Mar-13 14:53:38

Hai, your view is shortsighted at best....

'And then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me'

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 14:53:53


You would be well advised to read the whole thread. Really.

montmartre Sun 31-Mar-13 14:54:31

it makes absolutely no sense to remove people's children to fostercare! It costs far more to support children in cqre than it would to pay a family's hb even for a large london property.

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 14:54:51

Hai What about in areas where there is nowhere for these people to go. There are huge numbers of people who need two bedroomed accommodation, are in three bedroomed, are unable to find two bedroomed accommodation and are therefore being penalised because their council or housing authority cannot help with the relevant to circumstances accommodation. You're 'I'm alright, Jack' attitude is not a pleasant one.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 15:00:05

Hai you won't be entitled to a larger house till your son is 10.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 15:02:47

Hal are you receiving housing benefit?

Hai1988 Sun 31-Mar-13 15:03:24

I am doing an exchange rhonda i know the housing assosiation won't rehouse me as yet, and tbh if i was staying where i was i doubt they wud fo anything when he turns 10 they are arses!

Hai1988 Sun 31-Mar-13 15:05:00

Yes i am leith

So won't you still have to pay this as you'll be considered as over-occupying until your DS is 10?

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 15:13:29

Then Hai you will lose out. You are only entitled to two bedrooms.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 31-Mar-13 15:15:21

This Government are NOT looking out for you, Hai. I promise you that sad

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 15:15:57

Yes you will, up until he turns 10.

seriouslychocolatey Sun 31-Mar-13 15:29:54

there are lots of very, very, very wrong things about this new rule and i completely agree that foster carers and those with disabilities that need the extra room should be exempt BUT I am a single mum of one DC who rents private accomodation, I work and get some housing benefit to cover my income shortfall. I have a 2 bedroom flat, my bedroom is tiny, a box room, DC's is decent size double . We come under LHA ruling. When DD leaves home fully- she's currently at Uni, I will no longer be eligible for the LHA rate for a 2 bedroom property, my choices are to top up from my income (clearly almost impossible as I get benefits therefore am on a very low income), rent my DCs room out (pointless as that pushes up my income and Dcs room will be unavailable for her when she wants to visit me or if she splits up with future partner, can't find job after uni etc etc) or move somewhere smaller. Same choices as those in social housing are now facing. We've lived here 10 years, its our home just as much as someone who lives in a council or housing association property feels its their home too. Why should my friend, who was lucky enough to get a council property by manipulating and exploiting the rules , be allowed to stay in her 3 bedroom house, with its lovely large garden when her 2 sons leave home? at tax payers expense . How is that fair? I would love to stay here, to keep DDs bedroom as hers forever so she knows she can stay when things are tough but its very unlikely I will ever be able to do that. Yes it makes me very sad. Two wrongs don't make a right but the current system in clearly unfair for many.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 15:31:49

As others have pointed out Hal, your in danger of casting stones in glass houses. But my point is more about where you think those that are down sizing will end up. Since your doing an exchange thats all right and good, it is a mutual agreement. Those who are forced to move, those on housing benefit just like you will be at risk from many different things. Debt, uncaring and bad landlords, moving away from family, having to move to an an suitable house.

If everyone were to do a mutual exchange then people like me would not be complaining as much, but the numbers do not lie so we know that cannot happen. So it means no fluffy sweet happy endings, it means for those families that get a larger place, the chances are of a single person or a couple having had their lives made a whole lot worse.

seriouslychocolatey Sun 31-Mar-13 15:35:25

and the biggest problem of all is the lack of social housing , the ridiculous price of property in this country and the un-regulation of the private rental sector. But that's something no one seems to want to tackle. No one wants house prices to come down and push people /voters into negative equity and the Tories certainly don't want to regulate private rent , so once again the poorest and most vulnerable are those who have to suffer.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 15:37:30

But aren't the Tories regulating rent by refusing to pay greedy private landlords over a certain amount for their tenants each month? I can't see how that is considered to be a bad thing.

JakeBullet Sun 31-Mar-13 15:37:54

seriously she will then be subject to the bedroom tax if she claims any housing benefit.

It won't get YOU social housing though.

So you would be happy for her to suffer? A simple yes or no!

Its not fair to you but making her life hard won't make your life any easier or fairer.

Fact is that she might decide to downsize if she is affected ....if there is anywhere to downsize to. Currently the demand outstrips the supply. THAT is the reality and your life won't be any better for it. You will still be in your privately rented place and your friend will still be in social housing.

And if you ARE a friend I would be disappointed in you for being glad that your friend might well suffer just because she was deemed in need of social housing.

JakeBullet Sun 31-Mar-13 15:39:37

....and I agree with you about the lack of social housing too. So so wrong.

No investment in social housing, just an attempt to make things harder for people

seriouslychocolatey Sun 31-Mar-13 15:44:45

jake WTF where did i say i was glad? I was simply comparing 2 single mums as many people don't seem to understand that this rule has been the reality for many years for those of us who live in private rental accomodation. It sucks, I think i've made that clear. I don't want social housing for myself. If i did I would have done what my friend did to get it.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 15:44:47

Hai, you will need to pay this 'bedroom tax' if you move into this 3 bed place, right up until your older DC turns 10.

If you stay in a 2-bed until your DS is 10yo, you won't have to pay it.

If you move before his 10th Birthday, you WILL.

And the rules for bedroom allowances are changing nationally to the ones my area has already had for 15 years - that DC's of opposite sexes have to share a room until they are 10yo, TWO children of the same sex have to share a room until the oldest is 16yo, and NO bedroom allowance for NRP's DC's.

I guess this tax will not hit half as hard here as these are rules we have had for 15 years, so it's no change for us in our Council area, but I know that in other areas, it will be a massive change.

I have no idea why these have been the rules here for so long - shortage of Social Housing probably. I didn't realise it was different in other areas until one of my friends moved from here to Newcastle.

Our Council will actually leave families waiting for Social Housing in a single room (for the entire family) in B&B, often in other towns 30+ miles away (away from their DC's schools too, necessitating a change of school and then ANOTHER change of school when they GET permanent housing) for up to TWO YEARS rather than give them a property larger than they are 'entitled' to.

They have actually been fined or admonished for this every year for the last 12 years at least...

Still happens though. Housing list has 60,000 people on it (in a small town), available houses each year only around 400. And that's houses of ALL sizes, from studio flats to 4 bed houses. Our area has NO 5 bed houses. I know a Catholic lady with 10 DC's, 7 still live at home, in a 4 bed house. And she is classed as LUCKY in my area to get one of the one to five 4 beds that come up in a year.

This year there has been TWO one bed places so far, and THREE 4 bed places - and two of those were new build 4 beds.

The housing at EITHER end just isn't being invested in.

And this Government have REMOVED the requirement for new build estates to have a certain percentage of Social Housing on them too - it's down to the discretion of the Company that is building the houses.

Which is going to limit movement in Social Housing too. As is the fact that anyone over the age of 60/65 will be exempt from this. If I won't be classed as a pensioner until I'm 70, why should those under 70 be exempt from this rule?!

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 15:46:22

Why do people say 'social housing' anyway?
It's all bloody social.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 31-Mar-13 15:50:13

I love how its all the governments fault, never the person who choose to have x number of children or work part time and claim the rest of the income from the state etc. There has to be an element of personal responsibility.

The new ruling seems to put all renters claiming HB on an equal footing, that seems fair. People with spare rooms have the choice of paying for that luxury or downsizing to a house the correct size for their needs.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 15:51:17

I am doing an exchange rhonda i know the housing assosiation won't rehouse me as yet, and tbh if i was staying where i was i doubt they wud fo anything when he turns 10 they are arses!

Good luck with doing an exchange, seen as they are how no longer allowed to approve ANY exchanges that result in under occupancy and you will be under occupying until your son is 10 even if they do you will still be subject to the 'room tax'

Oh and for the people on the thread who for what ever reason are delighting in saying its not a room tax its a benefit reduction yes it may be but the room tax is the name that even housing officers are using to describe it as are the media and loads of people. Its how people are referring towards it that's all.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 15:52:18

Who said they are working part time happy?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 15:55:13

But seriouslychocolatey - why make the rules that harsh for Social Housing Tenants when they could have put Rent Controls in place (like in many countries on the Continent) that prevent the LL's charging so much to YOU that you are over your LHA allowance?

Rather than make the situation just as bad for those in Social Housing, Rent Controls would make things better for Private Rented tenants.

The Government had a choice. They could either choose to pass the pain of the cuts onto the LL's, some of whom would not be able to pay their current mortgage, and would lose those houses AND have the side effect of lowering rents due to increased availability of housing...

Or they could choose to pass on the pain of the cuts to the poorest people in the country, regardless of the fact that these people are already living at or below the minimum they need to survive, leaving hoards of them homeless / living in tents.

Guess what they chose?

It wasn't going to be Rent Controls that hurt LL's when the majority of politicians have substantial rental property portfolio's, was it? That would be like a Turkey voting for Christmas.

I think it is a massive conflict of interest that people who stand to lose out if Rent Controls were put in place are the very people deciding whether to put Rent Controls in place or to cut welfare help to the poorest in Society.

You know those tent cities in America? They are heading here. You will see them on any open spaces near you within the next two years.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 15:58:27

Even those who do a mutual exchange will be subject to the 'bedroom tax' as they will have CHOSEN to rent a property larger than their needs.

The LHA will still only be paid for the TWO bedrooms that Hali is currently entitled to. Future entitlement will not change your current liability for payment of the bedroom tax if you are in a property larger than you need, as per the new rules that come into force nationally tomorrow.

williaminajetfighter Sun 31-Mar-13 15:59:47

Sorry I am in favor of this in premise, but the way it's articulated and put in action doesn't seem to be working obviously from the various anecdotes on here and in the news.

I do think the government has to cut their bill somehow.

I don't think everyone living in social housing or in council housing is the most deprived or disabled or unable to get by but this thread talks about them like they are children who need to be mollycoddled and looked after from cradle to grave by the government. People are already given housing at a completely reduced rate not akin to private sector or market prices.

I do think we have to look after our most disadvantaged but HB covers many more than the most disadvantaged.

I am not from the UK originally and honestly baffled at the amount of government involvement in housing and the amount of money the government provides to subsidize housing. The bill is enormous. It never even dawned on me to head to my local authority when I left home to get a council house and that's not because I'm rich, because I'm not, but because it wasn't even on my radar nor offered where I am from.

I just would prefer less government involvement because, for one thing, when so much of one's life involves relying on local government one can get easily f***d over by government policies.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 15:59:51

Moondog - it's a bad thing because the people that can't afford the top up will have nowhere to move to. THAT'S the bad thing.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 16:00:51

Actually those who private rent and use LHA have for many years also had access to DHF so those who have legit reasons for needing a larger room can claim that. However those in social housing who had the extra room allocated due to need and still need it are subject to slightly different criteria on the DHF so many things that would be considered for a private rent tenant will not be for a social tenant.

But some things will mean a DHF payment.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 16:06:53

In my area, the DHF payment is VERY conditional, AND will be reassessed every month. So you could get the top up one month, but not for the next four months, say.

And towards the end of the financial year, the DHF will be 'empty', because expected demand in my area FAR outstrips actual NEED, therefore there will be many, many people who get no top up from around January onwards.

This is direct from my Local Councillor, who is disabled and in social housing himself, in an adapted property WITH AN ADDITIONAL BEDROOM as due to his electric wheelchair, special bed etc. his wife needs an additional room as his NHS bed, as before mentioned, is NOT a double, and with his wheelchair in the room, there is no room for a bed for his wife.

He may have enough income to pay his rent without recourse to HB, but he fully understands the plight awaiting those that don't!

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:08:54

Happymumofone - that is a silly silly comment, can you really not understand that some people have bad luck, like being hit by a car, AFTER having their children, so then they can't work?

Honestly, life is not a fairy tale where good people who work hard get their just rewards. Shit happens. That is why we have a welfare state.

FasterStronger Sun 31-Mar-13 16:09:40

My comment prevously about shifting the wrong sort of housing stock private landlords was about the effects of better utilising social housing. E.g
if there are too many social 3 bed and not enough social 1 bed, by better utilising the housing stock as a whole, private landlords, should have to be more competitive to house the remaining hb tenants, particularly if their property is not right for the local populations needs, too large or small.

It does shift more risk to lls, rather than the state.

if all hb is paid directly to tenants, will it make no hb clauses harder to enforce? Would a LL know where their tenants' rent came from?

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:15:11

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the concept of taking 'personal responsibility' for bad luck.

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 16:17:18

I love how its all the governments fault, never the person who choose to have x number of children or work part time and claim the rest of the income from the state etc. There has to be an element of personal responsibility.

The new ruling seems to put all renters claiming HB on an equal footing, that seems fair. People with spare rooms have the choice of paying for that luxury or downsizing to a house the correct size for their needs.

In amongst your sweeping statement on every benefits thread, perhaps you'd care to explain where the correct housing is going to come from. The rest of us would love to know, as would many, many housing associations and local authorities.
You do come onto every thread, state your opinion and bugger off. Where are your facts and figures, how does the 'equal footing' work? If those with spare rooms are of pensionable age and are refusing to give up their homes (in many cases with good reason), where is the available housing?

Viviennemary Sun 31-Mar-13 16:21:14

This thread is really annoying me. What about families in over-crowded conditions that are suffering because some people think it is their right to be housed somewhere that is deemed to large for them. I'd like to see social housing being for a set period of time. And when your circumstances change then you should move and let somebody else take advantage of this priviledge. The I'm all right Jack and who cares about other people who have been on the waiting list for years as long as I don't have to pay a single penny extra for a spare room. I'm afraid I think that is incredibly entitled and selfish.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 16:22:29

Couthy, a lot of people have to move when they can't afford housing.
I have to choose where I live based on my income. I don't see that as being intrinsically unfair. If there isn't the demand at the outrageous levels private landlords demand, rents will fall and that will benefit everyone.

Willamina, you are so right here
'I just would prefer less government involvement because, for one thing, when so much of one's life involves relying on local government one can get easily f***d over by government policies.'

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:25:37

Vivienne - you shouldn't attack the few people fortunate enough to have secure housing because successive governments have deliberately ignored housing needs of many other people.

Do you get angry with people who have food to eat because they are not starving like some others? No.

It should not be a race to the bottom.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 16:26:52

People with spare rooms have the choice of paying for that luxury or downsizing to a house the correct size for their needs.

Something of a Hobson's Choice. What if they don't HAVE the extra money or there isn't a house available to downsize to? Rather the whole point of the thread HappyMummy.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:28:59

Moondog - house prices both rental and purchase are not going to drop as a result of this policy.

Also, it is very hard to move when disabled or needing care etc.

I have also moved through choice to cut costs or seek work but that is NOT THE SAME as being forced out of your home for no good reason.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 31-Mar-13 16:29:36

Yellow, yes some will have had a change in circumstances and need help for a short while whilst they re-adjust but thousands wont have.

You can read on here alone about having a child and not wanting to use childcare so they did so knowing the state would pay, people on benefits being encouraged to have another child even though they cant support it as "babies cost little" according to MN and posts asking what is the best number of hours to work to maximise benefits etc. Thats just on here alone so imagine the true number. The fact is many on benefits are on them by choice, its their entitlement as they see it as thats what Labour had them to believe.

Those who pay their own way in life have to live where they can afford and have the number of children they can afford. That most certainly also needs to apply to those on benefits. Contraception has never been so readily available and different methods can be used together to ensure no "accidents". Workers dont get handed a bigger house or a payrise every time they have a child so unfair that those that have children without the means to support them do.

You can see the sense of entitlement coming out in people more and more as time goes on, more moaning that their benefits are being capped to £26k (despite that being the equivalent of a £32k salary beng handed to them) or that they havent yet been given a huge home as how can they expect their 3/4/5/6 children to live in a small home. Thats why so many didnt vote labour at the last elections, many wanted an end to the constant handouts to those that choose to claim.

montmartre Sun 31-Mar-13 16:31:06

Moony- it was from March 21st, Home Truths about the Housing Market by Alex Morton

Viviennemary Sun 31-Mar-13 16:31:11

I get annoyed with people whining about this when there are families who can only dream of the accommodation they are lucky enough to have.

infamouspoo Sun 31-Mar-13 16:31:27

''I love how its all the governments fault, never the person who choose to have x number of children or work part time and claim the rest of the income from the state etc. There has to be an element of personal responsibility.

The new ruling seems to put all renters claiming HB on an equal footing, that seems fair. People with spare rooms have the choice of paying for that luxury or downsizing to a house the correct size for their needs.'

You are aware this hits disabled people and those with disabled kids HappyMummy? Clearly hose people didnt make that 'lifestyle choice' and the 'luxury' of needing a room with medical equipment and a wheelchair.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 16:34:20

Right so we should get annoyed with the people who have managed to get housing when the actual problem is that there isnt enough housing?l

Wow people get suckered in by the rhetoric don't they, which I suppose is what is wanted as it stops actual questions regarding allocation of resources.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:34:49

Happymumofone - because I am a caring person, if you, who begrudge a little to anyone else, get ill I would wish you to cared for to my standards not yours.

You are utterly wrong and your views are basically simplistic nonsense but I wish you happiness anyway.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 16:36:24

<applauds yellow>

There are many of us who will not (at present ) be personally effected by the changes because we do not receive any benefits/ own our homes but can still see what is happening.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:37:27

Oh Vivienne, can you hear how mean you sound? Surely there should be a hme for everyone, not jealous squabbling because there is a shortage.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 16:40:32

You can read on here alone about having a child and not wanting to use childcare so they did so knowing the state would pay, people on benefits being encouraged to have another child even though they cant support it as "babies cost little" according to MN and posts asking what is the best number of hours to work to maximise benefits etc. Thats just on here alone so imagine the true number. The fact is many on benefits are on them by choice, its their entitlement as they see it as thats what Labour had them to believe.

Can you link to such posts?

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 16:40:58

Thanks Mont.
Still trying to find it online.

Yellow, regarding this comment, I'm not sure what you mean. My dh moved to work in another country because otherwise we wouldn't be able to afford the lifestyle we want so in that sense, and by your defnition he was forced out of the land of his birth. Neither of us see it as anything but responding to circumstance.

'I have also moved through choice to cut costs or seek work but that is NOT THE SAME as being forced out of your home for no good reason. '

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 16:41:43

Couthy I know that but my post was aimed at those who think ohhh I'm in private and we have to do xyz so fuck you for being in council.

Out of interest did you know that more money than this charge will save has been ear marked for DHF so it won't even save money.


Viviennemary Sun 31-Mar-13 16:42:29

I'm truly sorry if I sounded mean. But there was a thread not long ago about somebody with a baby and toddler in a second floor flat and no lift dreading the summer Now that person should have priority over the person who wants a spare room when their family visit. There isn't enough to go round. So changes need to be made. People in private rental are only on a six month lease. They are the ones who deserve sympathy. In my opinion in any case.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:44:13

But you CHOSE it didn't you.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 16:46:13

Er no
If there's no work theres no work.
You go somewhere else to find it.


IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 16:47:20

The ones who fucking well want a spare room for when their bloody family visit are mostly sodding exempt from the stupid bloody rule.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:48:54

Vivienne, you need to look into the real, overarching issues. This is systematic long term refusal to care about ALL people struggling at the lower end of the housing market.

Six mnth rentals, crap landlords, not enough council/social housing, over inflated house prices, buy to let landlords - the whole bloody lot is part of the same problem. Stop squabbling over the crumbs and find a way to get a decent and just slice of the cake.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:50:51

Well I have done that and don't consider myself in at all the same boat as someone who is permanently disabled being kicked out of their home.

Do you really think it is the same?

FasterStronger Sun 31-Mar-13 16:52:05

We are a small island with a high population. There will always be a housing shortage. We are all going to live longer.

We rely on other countries now for food and energy. We cannot keep building.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 16:53:05

That was to Monndog btw.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 16:59:20

Using emotive language muddies the argument and weakens your stance Yellow.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 17:03:12

Nothing emotive about my language IMO, I suppose I can switch 'kicked out' for the blander but essentially identical 'evicted' and ask again:

Well I have done that and don't consider myself in at all the same boat as someone who is permanently disabled being evicted from their home.

Do you really think it is the same?

MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 17:03:37

seriouslychocolatey, it is not the fault of people in social housing, it is the fault of successive governments failing to build social housing.

The reason for no social housing is because pushing home ownership lines the pockets of bankers and their wealthy friends the developers. The whole thing is based on debt. Debt encumbered home owners never demand better pay, never down tools even if they have to they'll eat worms.

I live in the south east where a lot of families are in private rentals, low wages and in receipt of HB sitting alongside under occupied HA housing stock. Elderly people taking up 3/4 bed HA properties. These are the houses required to move the over occupied families into but the elderly are exempt.

However I see retirement flats being built which are for private ownership which is of no consequence because elderly home owners can choose where to live and whether to downsize. These flats are hugely expensive and out of the question for those taking up much needed 3/4 bed HA homes.

Why? again because house building exclusively for home ownership sups up capital surpluses/investment and creates profits for the developer/investor nexus. The same people we repeatedly bail out, the same people that tap us for subsidies.

In principle moving people on to smaller properties so that families can be moved out of tax payer subsidised private properties makes sense but whilst this game of musical homes is played out, many people will be made homeless costing the tax payer more money. But then cutting the deficit/debt is not the name of the game is it? the name of the game is neo-liberalism, the rules are get rich at the expense of the workers, the poor and the tax payer.

infamouspoo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:03:49

why is stating facts 'emotive'. Disabled people are going to be made homeless. We should feel emotion over this. Anger and shame mostly.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 17:08:10

What is your definition of 'disabled'?

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 17:12:44

Oh. My. Word.

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 17:14:39

Ah, Mont, found it and yes, I did read it. Duh! Thanks. smile
An intersting read

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 17:17:27


MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 17:18:51

Do we all now have to define what disability is? nah.

I would suggest that shelter is a necessity, like food, water, warmth. Why should we have to justify why people need to be housed. How strange that anyone should think housing is a luxury.

MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 17:22:17


I have heard that the East is the up and coming place for work. Living standards are on the rise............I'll even chip in a few quid for your ticket smile

moondog Sun 31-Mar-13 17:23:45

Of course you do.
How else do you decide who needs help and who doesn't.
It's standard practice.
And who is to say that I or another member of my family is not disabled?
Disabled people don't have to be treated like idiots and patronised and petted and protected like pets. I know that-having worked with them for years.
It's so irritating, this faux outrage on MN-people falling over themselves to prove their caring credentials. It stifles measured debate.
I'm off to enjoy my roast.
Keep bleating.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 17:27:22

VivienneMary - I AM severely overcrowded. And WON'T be affected by this bedroom tax, as due to the ages of my DC's, I will still be left on the waiting list for a 4-bed.

Doesn't mean that I can't empathise with those that WILL be affected, or see the perfect shitstorm of homelessness that is coming to the UK.

I'm NOT 'alright Jack'. Even though this particular benefit change will not affect me for a number of years, by which time I will happily downsize.

This policy is STILL wrong without either Rent Controls on Private LL's put in place simultaneously, and/or a MASSIVE Social Housing building programme that identifies which types of properties are lacking in any given area, and building enough of them.

infamouspoo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:28:14

My definition isnt important. Its defined by law in the UK which you can easily look up.
Many disabled people are also classed as 'vunerable' (also lookeable upeable) and in need of care, equipment, adaptations etc. Yet onto the street with them. Many will be in work as we know 80% of housing benefit claiments actually work.
The reason I mentioned disabled people was because from tomorrow they will be hit by multiple cuts will will lead them to be more likely to be able to find that extra money to pay the housing benefit cut and thus more likely to end up homeless. As a disabled or vunerable person many will be less able to change their work/home/life circumstances than a same age peer in order to cope or pay.
Yet unlike pensioners, they will not be exempt. The reason pensioners are exempt is often cited that they are on a fixed income and unable to change their circumstances. Ahem.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 31-Mar-13 17:28:49

Moondog, rents may fall over time, but where does that leave the REAL PEOPLE involved in this situation until that point?

Either in poverty, having to choose between food, heat or rent...or homeless.

infamouspoo Sun 31-Mar-13 17:29:23

But Mini is right. Housing shouldnt be considered a luxury. Is it really acceptable to see families living on the streets like you do in Mumbai or Nairobi? Is that ok?

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 17:31:59

Yeah, cos we're the horrible ones for giving a toss about other people.

It is not faux outrage, and you know it.

It is absolutely not patronising to care about other humans. If charities representing those affected are campaigning on this issue, I am patronising no one by supporting their cause.

Dawndonna Sun 31-Mar-13 17:33:28

Moondog Do come and live here and look after the disabled people in this house. On second thoughts, I don't like your attitude and it's not one I would want presented to my dcs.
Whilst there are many disabled people capable of working, there are many who aren't. What is your point, because as far as I can see, you are bleating and are yet to make some sort of valid point.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 17:34:37

Gosh I am so glad that as a person with an impairment cos like you know disability is a social construct, it is what society does to people not the medical related issues that they have, I would probably have had to kill you moondog.

It is not that you are patronising far from it, you just do not see the person. Your spot on any number of your family may have a physical impairment, or a learning disability, and in fact with rates of mental ill health at around 1 in four of the population it is very likely a member of your family has a "disability" That does not mean they all require adapted houses, but it sure as hell means they will have more issues with getting a job, working through the forms and the bureaucracy, more or less need for space, more need to live in a certain area. You know what moondog I don't need to tell you all this because you work with the disabled.

MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 17:36:28

Actually something has just occurred to me, thanks CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs smile

The reason money can be found to subsidise the private developers by government underwriting mortgages (Osborne the budget) is because the tax payer shovels money into the economy on the basis that the net winners are banks/developers. The government could invest in building social housing and shovel investment in that would kick start the economy but it won't. So the reason must surely be that any tax payer money used for investment into growth is always made on the basis that, the profits are privatised.

They simply won't invest when the result is a rise in GDP and tax receipts and wealth creation in the real economy, only where the profits can be privatised. ie hang the poor and the tax payer out to dry whilst lining their mates pockets.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 17:47:30

Ok so because some people are utter twats can we accept that for the reasons of this thread and this thread alone that the disabled people we are talking about are those who have disabilities that require them to have additional space what ever that disability may be.

You know all those ones who are not exempt from this rule.

Ad FYI those with disabled children are not exempt they will still have the deduction but can be made exempt at the LA's discretion or can claim a none guaranteed additional 'make up' the short fall payment from the DHF.

Leithlurker Sun 31-Mar-13 17:48:21

If you wanted a slightly more jaundice view mini, you could cut that down and just say that only investment that provides wealth for private individuals and corporations is allowed. Plus of course anything that helps to prop up the broke international banking and finance industries.

MoreBeta Sun 31-Mar-13 17:53:14

Govt policy on housing in this country is an utter mess.

We are giving subsidies to developers in the last budget so young people can afford to buy a house but meanwhile too politically cowardly to ask old people in social housing to move to smaller more suitable accomodation so a family can move in.

My Grandmother lived in a council house for 40 years. Grandad died and she eventually went into a home. My Aunt immediatley moved in to my Grandmothers council house with her partner (ie she had a key and just moved in without permission) and will live there until she dies.

That is a two bed council house suitable for a young family that will be blocked for 75 years by two childless couples.

Sorry but old people need to be forced to move out of family sized social houses before we penalise other people.


MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 17:59:30

and thank you moondog confused from your link

"What is more unique about Britain is that we expect rising housing costs to power our economy...........The entire British economy became built around servicing ever-rising housing costs. By early 2008, another £20 billion each month went on mortgage lending, while of the £10 billion lent for corporate “investment”, much was tied up in property speculation. At least 66 per cent of our lending was going to a large lending bubble. The real figure was probably more than 80 per cent"

Of course those huge figures speak only of the lending not of the total debt. So it would be fair to say that no investment into job creation and a huge debt overhang and burden of debt whilst the banks simply hoover money up. Well that was their plan but of course we all know it failed when we had to bail them out.

I wonder how the economy would have looked if the figures were reversed and jobs had been created. And I wonder how it would look if the investment had been made into social housing......maybe we wouldn't be here discussing this economic depression???????

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 18:01:28

How is forcing old people out of their homes any where near compassionate? The way this is going, people in social housing will be playing musical houses every few years.

As others are saying, the solution is to invest more in social housing, not kick people out of their homes. Note the word "home".

I hope this never happens to you or any of your loved ones MoreBeta

yup few year down line when my dc older and they hit me with it .im just going say yes downsize me

but here sting it will cost a lot to fully adapt a house for me

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 18:06:11

More beta, there is obviously more to that story than you know as people aren't just allowed to circumvent the waiting lists like that.

Even where people have lived with a parent who has died, there are still processes to decided whether they can be granted the tenancy.

You cannot simply let yourself in because you have the key and decide to stay on.

oh and officially im overcrowded to by thier calculations i should have 5 bedroom not 3 and i can still sympathise

before anyone jumps up and down about senses of entitlement .i was working and paying rent private and married then ds3 was born with sn then my marriage failed and then had accident

signs up for goat

Darkesteyes Sun 31-Mar-13 18:08:59

My DH is partially disabled arthritis and advanced ischemic heart disease with breathing problems.
We live in a one bedroom flat and he sleeps in the living room.
I think by the sounds of things we may be affected when Universal Credit comes in (he is 63 and i am approaching 40.) we are on Pension Credit. So im guessing with us the UC will also be replacing the Pension Credit as well as the HB.

MoreBeta Sun 31-Mar-13 18:10:59

Bumping - sorry but this is my Aunt we are talking about.

She and her partner do not NEED two bedrooms and neither did my Grandparents. It is social housing which in my book means you move when your children leave home. You should not be allowed to 'grow old' in housing that is far too big for your NEED and expect tax payers to pay while other people who have serious NEED have to live in overcrowded accomodation.

It is not about lack of compassion. Where is the compassion for people with young children living in crowded flats while one old man my MIL lives near rattles around in a 3 bed council house on his own? It is totally unsuitable for his physical needs and yet he just likes living there. He should have moved out of it 40 years ago when his children left home.

Tortington Sun 31-Mar-13 18:11:11

the people who need to move - who are ocupying the larger houses are older people

they are not affected because they vote - I want to say 'and they die more easily which would be bad press.' but google 'callums list' and you will see that deaths with a contributable factor being the change in welfare are on the rise and no one gives a shit.

tories sold off social housing

now they are punishing FUCKING PUNISHING those who are in social housing by announcing that suddenly there are 'spare' rooms.

then those who can't get a council house (because of afforementioned tory policies) suddenly buy into the tory spin "yeah spare rooms yeah i can't get a house becuase of all the people lounging around in their spare rooms"


There is no social housing becuase

1) the tories sold it off
2) New Labour sold their working class roots, turned into tories and didn't regulate the banks (the tories also did not want regulation - remember that the next time their spouting at labour MPs on question time)
3) both parties have allowed big developers to sit on land until the economy picks up

4) Both parties cut investment into building social housing (loans for building etc)

5) no building

and so the poor fight against the working poor and no one notices things like council tax hikes and the backdoor privatisation of the NHS happening at the same time.

Please do not buy into this rhetoric, instead of thinking i i i, think - what will be left for your children - no nhs, no pension, no social housing should your children lose their homes in the a boom bust cycle in 20 years.

there is a myth that people on benefits are squandering resources sat on their arses all day.

the truth is rich people and rich politicians are screwing everyone.

If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.

Tortington Sun 31-Mar-13 18:12:28

btw there is no where to move to in most cases. there just isn't the 1 & 2 bed stock which means that you have to find the 14 %

MoreBeta Sun 31-Mar-13 18:15:59

rhonda - believe me that is exactly what she did. Just moved in and established her home there. In effect she just squatted there and eventually was allowed to stay.

She didnt live there until Grandmother went into a home. She may have gone through some procedures to formally apply for it but she still should not be living there in that house that she does not truely NEED.

When will people get it through their heads - you are not entitled to live in a house of your choice paid for by the state. You may need housing and you should not be on the street and you should not be in overcrowded unsuitable housing but there the obligation of the state and your entitlement ends.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 18:18:43

Morebeta - what year did your aunt acquire the tenancy?

MoreBeta Sun 31-Mar-13 18:20:04

It was about 10 years ago.

MoreBeta Sun 31-Mar-13 18:24:42

Incidentally, my children share a bedroom in our private rented house age 11 and 13 (both are boys). I dont see the problem. It is not a big bedroom either.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 18:25:01


To succeed a LA tenancy you have to have lived in it for at least 6 months prior to the actual named tenant dying or going into hospital/care.

You have to be able to prove this with things like bills council tax and benefit claim evidence or hmrc formal evidence.

You have to be able to be gov traceable to that property.

Also a tenancy cannot be succeeded more than once so in the case of a joint tenancy changing to a single tenancy due to death or separation that's classed as ONE succession so that tenancy cannot be succeeded again ever.

So your either telling a big whopper to back up your viewpoint on the subject or your aunt has committed fraud.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 18:26:55

Beta from many years of experience in housing I can assure you she would not be able to secure a tenancy on a house which did not at that point meet her current needs as established by their letting policy.

That may have changed over time and you may not fully be aware of all the circumstances, but I can categorically assure you it would not happen. The sheer amount of complaints that would be lodged by others on the list for a start, regardless of the legislation and individual policy, would be unbelievable. I've worked in places where similar things were percieved to have happened without people knowing the full circumstances and if you are waitingn for a house, you are not shy to complain about percieved injustices.

Catapult, remember to make sure the goat is HD. And preferably 3d now.

Tortington Sun 31-Mar-13 18:27:27

"So your either telling a big whopper to back up your viewpoint on the subject or your aunt has committed fraud."


MoreBeta Sun 31-Mar-13 18:28:15

Hmm... well I obviously am not going to accuse my Aunt of fraud but the plain fact is she lives there with her partner in a two bed house she does not NEED. She did suceed my Grandmother and lived there while my Grandmother was in a home and not before.

The local Council know she is there.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sun 31-Mar-13 18:28:28

Ok. That sounds like maybe the area didn't have a fair allocations policy. I can't see it happening today but am not convinced it sounds legal for ten years ago.

But the issue is that people who currently really need their homes and where there is nowhere suitable to move out to, face paying more or being evicted whilst other people (pensioners) with large homes are not. Whoever is or isn't able to stay, there is just not enough correctly sized accommodation to improve the situation across the country.

We can't fix the national housing crisis by picking up on the few anomalies like Beta's aunt. We need more houses and we need many of them to be social housing. There is a massive shortage of smaller properties for pensioners to move into.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 18:40:01

Its was not legal 10 years ago.

To do it legally even back then she would have had to move in at least 6 months before your GM left and not been traceable to any other address.the LA would have to have been aware of her being there.

Its also likely she would have to have been named as a joint tenant given that your GM and GD where most likely joint tenants so when he died your GM would have succeeded the tenancy as a sole tenant.

Because as weird as it sounds a severed joint tenancy is classed as succeeded but if the LA allow that sole tenant to later add another tenant thus becoming a joint tenant again they couldn't then boot out the newer tenant when the other dies or goes into a home.even if it had already been succeeded. But they can and do refuse any future succession without a joint tenancy.

Its been common practice and the rules since the early 80's

MoreBeta Sun 31-Mar-13 19:10:20

Sockreturn - ".....but if the LA allow that sole tenant to later add another tenant thus becoming a joint tenant again they couldn't then boot out the newer tenant when the other dies or goes into a home."

Now that sounds a lot like what actually happened. My Grandmother added her to the tenancy and she physically moved in full time (she stayed occassionally before that) after Grandmother physically moved out.

She still does not NEED the 2 bed house.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 19:14:21

No, but the letting policy at the time would have allowed (possibly actively encouraged if there was a shortage of smaller properties at the time) her to have a two bedroom house.

She did nothing wrong by accepting it.

I have known of cases where teenage children have had to move out of their home when their mother died because it would then be too large for the tenancy they would be allowed. Harsh to lose your mother and your home in one fell swoop, eh?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 19:17:11

For that to happen it would have had to be her main residence for at least 6 months possibly 12 months. As its not quite as easy as most people think to get them to add a joint tenant especially if its likely the existing tenant is not going to remain there for much longer due to ohh fuck I can't think of a tactful way to say this but what I mean is about to peg it or go off to a home.


note i pointed out this house is fully adapted for my needs and by fully i mean not just lip service to a bedroom and a sort of bathroom .i mean bedrooms a fully adapted bathroom a kitchen i can use , enough room that i can actually turn my wheelchair around ,access front and back which is rare as normally your only allowed to have one adapted access

when my kids leave home i would happily move to a smaller fully adapted property but they are very rare only ever partial adaptation so to adapt your looking even nowadays at least £30 k upwards

oh and my dc do share but erm i cant put a 10 year old girl in with 18 and 16 year old boys and ds3 cant share due to sn
pst 3d goat no good gives me headache

MajaBiene Sun 31-Mar-13 19:18:49

I know two people affected by the bedroom tax who live in specially adapted houses due to disability - how ridiculous that they should have benefits reduced because of that! They can hardly "downsize" if they need adapted homes.

MoreBeta Sun 31-Mar-13 19:21:25

rhonda - I dont think she did anything wrong/illegal but the plain fact was she lived in private accomodation before and just 'inherited' a council house she doesn't actually need.

That surely has to stop and a lot of old people (ie 65 yr olds like my Aunt) did inherit council houses from parents or just stayed in them after their children left. It is one ofthe reasons there is such a shortage. They need to move. Govt olicy shouls address that problem before coming down hard on youing people.

Of course they won't because old people vote in bigger numbers than young people.

and i know i am not only one caught i have friend with disabled child and they had adaptation done bedroom built downstairs for their child to access and a bathroom they could use .As bedroom upstairs was no way could be adapted for access and child to big to lift anymore

turning from a 2 bed to a 3 bed and guess what they hit with bedroom tax as they have a empty bedroom .Fact there child can not use that room apparently not matter

Maja yup because by law we need a minimum amount of floor space we often end up in slightly bigger houses .

for example i downsize in future to a 2 bed i still need same amount of space downstairs i have now which do not exist so means a 2 bed would need extension and how that save money who knows

MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 19:34:49


I'm sure a read somewhere that LAs can assess people on an individual basis. Will that happen in practice and could you ask if they would assess your circs ?

MajaBiene Sun 31-Mar-13 19:45:30

There is a discretionary fund that your can apply for Mini but it is limited, so not everyone will get it, and some authorities are going to make people reapply every few months. I think the hope is probably that people won't have the time/resources or won't understand the system.


to be fiar right now i am ok .if anything I am over crowded but we mange as house perfect other ways


is right here they will only allow maximum of 6 months you are expected to move .quite move where i like to know .Here even normal 2 beds are very few and far between .18 new H/A houses built in 8 years and 3 of them 2 beds rest 3 bed who knows how many sold

so problem is not just people with disability but where do you go ? when nowhere to go and move area can not happen as you have to live somewhere at least 12 months before considered for housing .let alone schools and letting peole grow up be part of a community

because you loose that community feeling then estates become places no one wants to live because people know they going be moved so stop caring .

i know my neighbours i know people on my estate, people help each other out watch out for each other .So its an area people want to live because its retained feeling of community

stephrick Sun 31-Mar-13 20:29:37

more housing is the answer, more 1 bed flats so people can move on and let families have family housing. It makes no sense that a person on their own should be living in 2 or 3 bed housing when there is a shortage and kids are bought up in b&b, but the government MUST provide smaller accomadation, I don't agree that they should be evicted without anywhere to go. Sort the housing problem out then implement the scheme, they are doing it arse backwards.

MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 20:36:36

So you can apply and get help for six months, where are these smaller homes going to come from in just six months.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 20:38:02

Just remember, ANYONE can apply for a council/HA property. Under the original terms and conditions, just like a private letting. Whether working or not, claiming HB or not. If you got your council house on particular terms 20 years ago, why should those terms change?

Oh yeah, let's demonise the elderly who are OUTRAGEOUSLY occupying family homes (that they have lived in for years raising FUCKING TAXPAYERS) and turf them out if they won't (can't) pay up.

Council houses were built. Lots of them. Then they got sold off. Now there aren't enough. It's that simple. Spin the bottle and point at the nearest scapegoat. Shall we have pensioners, low income families, single parents or just goats?

Take your pick.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 20:39:47

MoreBeta - Council homes are not "paid for" by the state. The state is the landlord. You pay your rent to them.

also not lets forget people hit by bedroom tax due to disability also now t by paying council tax to and on extra big houses as if they had extension to house adaptions that then increases value of house and council tax

MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 21:07:37

When I mentioned the elderly and under occupation up thread I also pointed out the absurdity of all these private schemes being built that only private property owners could afford. You know...warden assisted, indoor therapy pools, meals, extra care etc.

There are hundreds if not thousands of elderly people living on their own, under occupying houses, private as well as HS/Council. Some turn the heat off in fear and die of the cold, many are cripplingly lonely and receive no care. Others are depressed and are struggling with basic living tasks alone.


The whole thing is absurd. I'm sure many of these elderly people hold on to their homes, all their memories, there whole lives are now behind them, no company, nothing to look forward to. The only thing they have is this four walls full of memories.


I question whether leaving elderly people in large houses too big to heat, rattling around with no company and no care is actually very good for them.

I don't see the government investing in any social houses let alone social housing schemes that would give elderly people the kind of care/environment they need. NO that's reserved for private buyers.

It would cost too much so I guess it makes better economic sense to attack people with disabilities, working poor and the unemployed.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 21:26:09

Interesting points Mini

Makes me realise just how many areas this spills over into: Universal credit, utilities costs, adult social care, food bills, family support... the list is endless. Far too much for me to analyse and deal with.

Oh, wait. That's what the Government is supposed to do, isn't it? grin

Not a dig at you Mini

discrete Sun 31-Mar-13 21:31:36

Possibly a stupid question, but what is to stop someone from knocking through the wall between two bedrooms and making it one to avoid the tax?

I would assume that many landlords with two bedroom properties in areas where there is a huge shortage of one beds will be willing to do this rather than lose their tenant.

BumpingFuglies Sun 31-Mar-13 21:33:27

You are not allowed to knock down walls without permission in a council property as it affects its classification, discrete

discrete Sun 31-Mar-13 21:35:41

but doesn't this apply to housing benefit on private lets too?

float62 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:35:52

I think that it's wrong that only working age HB claimants are liable for this 'tax', I think all HA/Council tenants should have it with exceptions made for various disabilities, foster carers, etc. AND a suitable property needs to be offered before a tenant can be 'taxed' (have their HB reduced). In my area, there are 1-bed, over-55 properties available for older tenants but absolutely no compulsion for them to move out of their, often 3-bed, homes. And there still isn't. I know some very elderly, single ladies (widows) who don't even get up the stairs to their 3/4 bedrooms but still refuse to move. This 'tax' doesn't affect me but over my road a lovely family with 3 kids desperate for another bedroom managed to swap to one with a couple (he disabled so they were allowed a 2-bed without penalty) so there are some plus sides to it. Also, just to note, most people in private rented find that HB doesn't cover all the rent and they have to top up out of their benefits or other low income. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have an HA home at all.

montmartre Sun 31-Mar-13 21:39:13

No discrete- a LL with a 2 bed would just get in 2 sharers. As tenancies are only for 6mo anyway, it's not as if they care about people having stable housing, is it?

MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 21:48:49

I think a lot of elderly people would find the extra money and turn off the heat. Scameron knows this and doesn't want blood on his hands.

Change takes time, if people are allowed to get used to ideas then it may be possible in years to come for people to see the benefit to moving when their homes don't meet the needs.

However how can this be squared with this obsession with home for live. When people buy, its their home for life, no nazi council official turns up and turfs you out because you have an extra room. People are always going to make comparisons. ie the poor working class unable to put down roots whilst those more lucky can, often only so they can pass the property on to sons/daughters as an asset.

montmartre Sun 31-Mar-13 22:07:07

Mini- not many people who buy remain in that house their entire life- most have to move to scale-up or scale-down as their family size/finances dictate.

I have to confess I do not understand why people in council housing/HA housing do not move into private rentals if they will be in receipt of HB anyway? I thought this benefit cut only applied to those in council/HA housing?

Obviously if you have a specially adapted home, then that is different. However, I think people that are not able-bodied, and have adapted homes, should be completely exempt from this change anyway.

expatinscotland Sun 31-Mar-13 22:13:19

Anyone age 61+ is exempted from this policy, so not necessarily 'old' at all.

As for taking in lodgers, many HA/council tenancies forbid it.

expatinscotland Sun 31-Mar-13 22:16:31

'I have to confess I do not understand why people in council housing/HA housing do not move into private rentals if they will be in receipt of HB anyway? I thought this benefit cut only applied to those in council/HA housing?'

LOL! Ever tried finding a private landlord who will take HB, even partial, especially in this, a landlord's market as fewer and fewer are able to buy their own home. Then, you're on these 6-months leases, which, after 4 months, the LL can serve you notice to quit. So you're looking at the expense of moving very often and trying to find a LL who will take your LHA/HB.

What you get in private lets is an LHA/HB cap, so if you can find a place with more bedrooms than you so-called need and it's under or at the cap, you have no reduction of benefit.

Bumbdeal Sun 31-Mar-13 22:17:54

I do not think it unfair.
There are 4 pensioners in my family that have had to sell the family home and downsize as they could not afford the up keep on a three bed house. Should they need care they will have to sell up again to pay for it unlike council tenents who will get their care free!

Mrsdavidcaruso Sun 31-Mar-13 22:18:35

Mini well you my say my old Dad is under occupying as since mum died he is on his own in a 3 bed HA house However he gets no benefits apart from his pension (which he has more than paid for after working for over 60 years) in fact at the age of 82 he still works AND pays tax on both his earnings and his pension he does not get HB or any help towards his rent he pays it in full.

So should he be forced to move and leave the house he has lived in for 30 years, and the garden that he still works every day on, should he be made to move into a 1 bed flat where his family cant visit and where he will have to give up his dogs, for what? so some family on the all the benefits that they can get can move in.

In a word NO why should he?

expatinscotland Sun 31-Mar-13 22:20:14

'There are 4 pensioners in my family that have had to sell the family home and downsize as they could not afford the up keep on a three bed house.'

Anyone age 61 or over is exempted from this. They can stay in that property they are under-occupying as they wish with no reduction.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 22:22:36

The knocking room thing wouldn't work anyway as the rule is applied on the amount of bedrooms on the original house rather than how many it has.

0netwothree Sun 31-Mar-13 22:25:18

Expatinscotland - Unfair isn't it!

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 31-Mar-13 22:25:49

So a person who had their box room converted to a lift to give them access to upstairs would still have that room counted as a bedroom.

And people are also forgetting that some of these rooms wouldn't even count as bedrooms due to the size under over crowding rules I've been in houses with bedrooms only just big enough for a normal sized cot not even a single bed. Off the top of my head I have over 10 clients with bedrooms like that who will get the benefit deduction.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 22:37:04

Lol sock thought you were suggesting something completely different with the knocking room grin

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 22:37:51

Sorry I know it's not a joking matter, I just did have to read it twice.

MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 22:48:43


I'm not suggesting he should. I am just batting about ideas. You see I don't believe that anyone should be forced to give up their home. Change should not be "done" to people change should be something that people "do"

If there were good alternatives for elderly people and it was a free choice, then that would help ease some of the shortage of family homes.

The other point I am making is why should people who pay rent have preferential treatment over people who "can't" (forget the word don't) the word is usually "can't" in making choices over their lives.

Finally I think we need to break with this ridiculous idea that home ownership is the be all and end all. Yes people sell up to pay for their care but that is because their "home" has become a commodity. An asset with financial value. But who really benefits from building new houses and offering mortgages? it isn't aunty Maud when she pops off, she can't take it with her.

charlearose Sun 31-Mar-13 22:50:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stella1w Sun 31-Mar-13 22:54:50

If we agree that more housing needs to be built, isn,t it almost the same costs in terms of land/buding costs to build a two bed which gives councils/has needed flexibility in catering for a shifting demgraphic and so saves money longterm (but not with a bedroom tax)
also to all those who say move... If i moved, that would screw up schools, childcare and informal networks of neigjhbours that allow me to work on a pittance and pay tax.
So much for big society, so much for the need for children to have stability and continuity.
Sure, if smaller homes are available in two mile radius and someone refuses to move, tax them. But not otherwise

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 23:01:36

I'm not saying it doesn't happen Charlea.

But in each instance you gave, the person moved in and made it their primary residence/ home.

I have no problem with that.

I have a problem with a lack of investment in affordable housing along with the wholesale sell off of more desirable properties, which has brought us to here.

MiniTheMinx Sun 31-Mar-13 23:08:44

The problem the torries have with social housing is that investing in building would put ordinary people into work and no money in the hands of their friends at the bank.

charlearose Sun 31-Mar-13 23:31:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rhondajean Sun 31-Mar-13 23:39:55


One person on their own would not have been able to take a three bed tenancy for years now.

Many has and las actively promoted people taking two beds due to the lack of one beds.

If your cousins son was allowed a three bed tenancy there could not have been excessive demand at that time for a three bed tenancy.

It may seem to you people waltz in and out of tenancies but I can assure you it's far more complicated than that.

If your mil has a social rented property and is not living there,report her.they will remove her from the tenancy quickly enough if it's an aband.

If it is her home, then she was classed as in more need of the house than others. So what it took her 6 months.

charlearose Mon 01-Apr-13 00:12:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jojo2013 Mon 01-Apr-13 00:59:41

There was a program on the TV recently called rich and on benefits, it followed OAP,s and what benefits they get and half didn't even know what they were getting!
Peter Stringfellow ( multi-millionaire ) tried to send his back once and it took the DWP 3months just to reply, one rather well heeled elder statesman said they ( those dishing the hardship out).....the government would never have a go at the Blue rinse brigade for a fear of the loss of support for the coalition
You will all have your say in 2015........ Mum,s unite

jojo2013 Mon 01-Apr-13 01:08:23

Sorry forgot to say the bedroom tax is another disguise for Mrs Thatcher,s [dredded POLL TAX,only called a different name by a different mob, same party more of the same assault upon assault upon us mums and the poorest in society.
We need more social housing across the whole spectrum 1-4 bed properties, time we invested in housing and not some bonkers nuclear submarines!! angry

DHPWontSolveMuch Mon 01-Apr-13 02:02:25

I work in Housing Benefit, and for the last five years have been administering DHP (Discretionary Housing Payments) for a major local authority.

This year we have been given enough money to pay approximately 10% of the social housing cases. It is absolutely heartbreaking work.

We are prioritising adapted properties. If a room has had a lift put in, we are sending staff out to see if it can still be considered a room. If we don't think it can, we ask the HA to consider reducing the number of rooms they count. This means that they can charge less rent, so they don't like doing it, but it is possible.

If you need an overnight carer, and that overnight carer does not live with you, then you are entitled to one extra room under the HB regulations. (nothing to do with DHP, and you will get in on an ongoing basis) The care must be regular and ongoing. The definition of this seems to vary wildly. If you think you are entitled to that extra room, contact your Local Authority now and tell them so.

Next we are going to prioritise families with children who will become 10 or 16, and be entitled to an extra room in the next six months. We will pay these to prevent them from losing a tenancy in the short-term. We are also protecting almost pensioners. If you think you are in this position, I would make a request for DHP. If you are refused speak to your Housing Association and see if they will agree for you to pay an amount (say £5 a week) towards the shortfall, so that your arrears don't build up too much, and you can pay the rest off later.

The cases that we see are almost all heartbreaking. There are disabled adults; disabled children; people who have lost children, but preserved their bedroom as a shrine; people whose children have been taken into care, and without a stable home they will never get them back; people who are dying; who are caring for the sick and the dying (so can't go and get a job); people who have fled domestic abuse and taken the first property they were offered while they tried to rebuild their lives; cases where sexual abuse carried out by a sibling, so the children cannot possibly share a room, and more sad, sad stories.

We have to pick through these and choose the 10% we think are the most deserving, while the government bangs on about how they have increased DHP, and that will make everything ok.

It's not ok.

And for the people saying that benefits paid monthly is a good idea, the major software systems are not capable of doing this at the moment, as they can't cope with the months being different lengths (so they pay out less in 28 day Feb than they would in 31 day March). They won't get that sorted in a rush.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 03:29:18

Who ever said this was a bedroom "tax". Despite a lot of things being called "tax" these days, you can only really be taxed if you have some sort of income you earned for yourself. Anything else is a freebie... and as they say, it seems hard to get used to a life without freebies once you were able to enjoy them!!

I understand people having accidents, and people with SERIOUS disabilities. They should be supported. However, why on Earth does someone on benefits have more kids without knowing how to afford them? I think about that constantly, and not being on benefits, you HAVE to. Why on Earth should I pay for the upkeep of a non-working single mum on benefits with 3 kids from several dads?

And if happymumofone is right, and there are people on MN telling those who can't afford more children to have them because one more isn't really that bad on the wallet... whoever those people are should be ashamed of themselves.

It is obvious New Labour mollycuddled a big part of the population. That party was good for nothing but kiss people's arses - whether it be a certain segment of the country's population or George W. Bush. It was New Labour that got us into this terrible economic mess. The Tories/LibDems just inherited the crap, and it is rumoured that Labour were not that disappointed sitting this one out - as they are essentially making the other parties clean up after them. We now still have to live with the consequences of that party's actions.

Oh, and whoever complained about the Tories not turning the economy around in the few years they've been in power - that person obviously does not know much about economics. It takes a LONG time for economic policies to bear fruit. One of the problems they have in the Third World is that much-needed new economic policies are not popular, and should it be a democracy, the public may just vote for another party before the policies can deliver. This goes back and forth, and eventually not much is achieved. Of course, lack of education and thus, not being able to wait for long-term rewards also plays a role.

The welfare system as it is is unsustainable. Who should pay for it? Does the Bank of England grow money trees? Some people are trying to be so politically correct, and yet, all they do is moan without offering a solution at all...

aufaniae Mon 01-Apr-13 06:56:06

DHPWontSolveMuch thank you for posting, it's very useful to get an insight from the front line. I don't envy you your job right now, it must be terribly hard to be in the position you find yourself in.

Tasmania have you read the post directly above yours?

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 09:06:23

DHP - I am not quite sure I understand your post: do you mean there is not enough DHP so to cover all disabled people with adapted houses?

MoreBeta Mon 01-Apr-13 09:07:09

What I had not realised is that this reform is not being introduced to the whole country. Only certain areas at first as an experiment.

It is going to be chaos trying to run two different systems in different areas.

Leithlurker Mon 01-Apr-13 09:25:45

Faster tronger that IS exactly what DHP is saying. It is what has been said for months by many, many others. DHP is also a one time only deal. If you get it, you can only get it for a time limited period, and when the DHP pot is gone, it will never be topped up.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 09:31:42

Leith - I am not so sure as she then says 'Next we are going to prioritise families with children who will become 10 or 16'.

which is why I asked.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 01-Apr-13 09:31:56

Thing is, certainly in lots of the SE, this passing the Tenancy if a home on just CAN'T happen any more. The majority of Social Housing here is now rented from Housing Associations. Who don't allow for succession of tenancies, in most cases.

So that's an aside here to the true discussion about bedroom tax, surely?

Leithlurker Mon 01-Apr-13 10:00:37

I will not speak for DHP, but I imagine she was referring to the fact that, unlike child benefit their is no automatic entitlement. So The process is not to go through all those already known to the councils, it IS that people need to make a claim. The problem is, that the government have spent virtually nothing on advertising the DHP and the councils have spent about the same. It is also not the case that once you find out that the DHP exists and then apply that you then get it.
Councils and the people like DHP are using a means test, a pretty harsh and unforgiven means test, which from my knowledge forces someone to list every single expenditure to justify how poor they are. This means that some of the DHP will be left toy roll on to other categories such as people with children.

Leithlurker Mon 01-Apr-13 10:01:31

Sorry I meant to address the last to Faster.

williaminajetfighter Mon 01-Apr-13 10:02:37

this thread is getting so whingey! I really think people have to go back to basics and ask, why should the government provide or subsidize housing for anyone aside from the MOST at risk? Why do people assume the government should build houses for people and charge far less than market rates to rent properties. Why? Is that what a government is really supposed to do?

Listening to people on here and the tone of entitlement is baffling. In most countries adults have to find their way and not rely on government to provide for some of the basic elements of living.

The amount people are willing to be in the pocket of government here is absurd. I know - why don't people work part-time for a local authority, then live in local authority housing, use local authority day care for when they're working, get housing benefit, tax credits, other benefits and on their day off go to some local authority funded council project day out. Can you say communism??! Honestly, the mind baffles. I cannot say that we are in any way encouraging a culture of independence.

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 10:13:08

1) Thatcher put a tax on benefits.
2) Your definition of serious disability may not be anothers. Are you a Doctor?
3) Despite being in a similar position, Germany and France are not heading for a triple dip recession. I do know a bit about economics and Osbourne has got it wrong, as every banker, business and economist is telling him at the moment.
4) Why pick on the welfare. The rich are getting rich, the poor, poorer as is usual with Tory governments. The same cuts are not happening across the board, eg why the fuck are we paying for trident when people, yep, real people, many with disabilites, are being forced into homelessness?
5) Read the post above you.

The government wouldn't allow a culture of independence, but I imagine a bit of independent thinking will result in riots in the not too distant future. Oh, and as pointed out to others without empathy, the Daily Mail website is that way>>>

Leithlurker Mon 01-Apr-13 10:15:03

Ok Willie lets go back to the start. Thousands of men and women died, in fact volunteered to die in fighting for a better fairer world. That is the context that beverage was working on.

Before that guess what, many thousands of men and women died of poverty and lack of health care. Liberals in 1910 changed the "let the poor die" outlook by bringing in the for runner of the welfare state because that is what a civilised country does it looks after people.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Mon 01-Apr-13 10:19:04

William, yeah, IMO that is what a government is supposed to do, because I want my government to spend taxes raising living standards and cutting inequality, because societies that do that are nicer places to live, with lower crime, higher life expectancy and better prospects for their citizens. In short, I prefer a good society.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 10:21:43

Leith people need to apply for disability benefits because (1) they need to identify as needing them (2) the govt IT systems cannot identify them so I don't think the CB analogy works

oh and Disability ie DLa is not handed out by filling a form i had to provide reports and they contacted my Dr to check everything .Thought lets get that out before people say easy to get

people mix up incapacity which yes gp can sign easy and DLa which not easy

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 10:35:51

' I really think people have to go back to basics and ask, why should the government provide or subsidize housing for anyone aside from the MOST at risk? Why do people assume the government should build houses for people and charge far less than market rates to rent properties. Why? Is that what a government is really supposed to do?'

Exactly! So why is this government subsidising people to buy new-build houses slapped up by their mates in development? Why did their policies allow the cost of housing to rise so high they have been lining the pockets of BTL landlords for years, effectively buying those people a free house courtesy of the taxpayer? The system of private renting here, too, encouraged many to over-stretch themselves financially to banks so they could 'buy' a home and not risk being moved on every six months.

Why, why prey tell has the expenses system also purchased homes for MPs, and still does, at the expense of the taxpayer?

And why, most of all, are so many sheeple instead turning their ire at poor people in council homes instead of at those who are truly the root of the problem?

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 10:50:12

why should the government provide or subsidize housing for anyone aside from the MOST at risk? Why do people assume the government should build houses for people and charge far less than market rates to rent properties. Why? Is that what a government is really supposed to do?

No, but there are things the government can do to help people help themselves, but they refuse to do anything other than push through Tory ideology.

Making long term private renting more secure and affordable would mean less need for social housing.

Raise the NMW so people can afford to live without claiming.

Its easier to blame the poor though rather than look at the circumstances that trap people.

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 11:02:55

Thatcher messed up the rent system with the 1989 housing act. The tories at that point felt that the landlords didn't have enough protection.
Thatcher messed up the local authority housing by selling it off and only allowing the L.A. to keep 28% of the capital receipts, so, no money available to purchase land or build more social housing.
Why should we have social housing?
Because it's the sign of a civilised society, the sign of a society that looks after folk and ensures that they are safe, warm etc.
Making long term private renting more secure and affordable would mean that all those lovely rich, Tory landlords would complain, ergo, ain't going to happen!

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 11:12:42

retro Making long term private renting more secure and affordable would mean less need for social housing.

how do you make LL want long term lets for less money?

Raise the NMW so people can afford to live without claiming.

which will lead to inflation and/or higher unemployment.

there are not simple solutions.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 11:14:27

actually politicians never say 'we don't have much control over what happens in the UK' which is probably closer to the truth than most things they say.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 11:18:43

'how do you make LL want long term lets for less money?'

The landlords in Europe seem to cope OK. Long term lets are standard there.

As far as the NMW wages goes, you are either going to have to top wages up through the benefit system (CTC, WTC) or you are going to tell business to pay a fair wage.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 11:18:55

Sex offenders are exempt (and, again, this government is so clueless they think everyone can take in a lodger when many councils and HA forbid this practice of their tenants).


retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 11:22:09

At the moment the benefit system is propping up an economy where LL's get rich from over priced rents and a NMW which people cannot live off.

This is what isn't sustainable.

Most people want to go work and pay their rent without claiming penny. There is something very wrong with the economy when this isn't possible.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 11:32:48

'Who ever said this was a bedroom "tax". Despite a lot of things being called "tax" these days, you can only really be taxed if you have some sort of income you earned for yourself.'

Rubbish - everyone pays 20% VAT, everyone has to pay road tax.

momma39 Mon 01-Apr-13 11:35:36

if you HAVE to move will the council help with moving costs I dont think so.
Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do why should this be inflicted on people who are most likely settled near family and friends, schools etc.
my heart goes out to everyone who is forced to move, I for one think this tax is bloody stupid, remember the people tax when each adult living in the house had to pay the local council tax ha ha that didnt last long.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 11:41:08

I am sick of hearing Tory MPs on the radio saying this bedroom tax is in the interest of fairness so that people can have houses suited to their means when they are doing nothing to help people move into a smaller house or swap with someone who needs a bigger house. The reality is that if you live in social housing with more rooms than you need you can't just move to protect yourself because there isn't anywhere to move to.

So all that is happening is that these people suddenly don't have enough money to eat or heat their homes because their HB has been cut.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 11:43:28

There will be a lot of homes up for exchange in the near future I should imagine.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Apr-13 11:45:58


It gets me as well. Because they can only define need by sex and amount of people as well as age and that's it.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 11:46:07

'Why, why prey tell has the expenses system also purchased homes for MPs, and still does, at the expense of the taxpayer?'

Exactly, oh it's fine for MPs to cream off thousands for things they don't actually need but for not for poor people to expect help in what is supposed to be a civilised society? I really do not understand the way some people think. Or why they are so sure that they themselves are immune to needing state support.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Apr-13 11:47:44

There are already thousands up for exchange but its rare to find one that you can downsize to.

That's been the case for years.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 11:49:00

That's true Sock. And even less people will be looking for swap their smaller homes for bigger ones now.

infamouspoo Mon 01-Apr-13 12:00:55

'Is that what a government is really supposed to do?'

What IS a Govt meant to do? I always thought we voted in representatives for ourselves so all 50 million of us didnt have to have a big debate. They debated for us on how we'd like the country run so we had a civillised functioning society, as opposed to, say, a dictatorship or medieval serf system. So technically the Govt is US.
So we all pay into a pot, via taxation, to make this society run smoothly, via roads, education, healthcare etc. Our representatives debate ourwishes and off it goes.
What we seem to have though, is a bunch of self interested knob ends bribed by corporations and banks, ignoring people. People hating on people and not wanting to pay tax for safety nets and a civilised society and claiming it isnt the Govt's job to help. Yes it is. Thats why we voted 650 people to represent the 50 million in the 'tribe' because we can no longer sit down on a tribal level and work out whats best for the tribe. When you forget about people you end up with poverty, more crime, lawlessness and back to the Lords in the manor and the serfs. We didnt like that the first time.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 12:13:43

'Fewer people will be looking to swap their smaller homes for bigger one'? Yes I am sure there are just loads of people trying to get into a house with rooms they don't need that they can't afford to heat(!)

retroria, what exactly is your point? The people this cut will affect are those whose children have moved out leaving them with rooms they don't need. Or people who do need an extra bedroom but suddenly that's ignored - like a man talking about his experience in my local news. He has shared residency of his dd and she lives with him 14 days a month, but now he apparently isn't entitled to a 2 bedroom flat.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 12:18:36

I was following on from Socks point that its rare you can find a home to downsize to.

My point was that now it will be even harder as less people will want to exchange their 2 bed for a 3 bed.

My point is, where are all these smaller homes going to come from?

Read the thread. Try to understand the posts before jumping down peoples throat eh lottie?

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 12:19:56

'The people this cut will affect are those whose children have moved out leaving them with rooms they don't need.'

No, those people are more than likely not affected because anyone age 61 or over is exempt from this policy. And yet, they are the greatest proportion of under-occupiers. So there will be no glut of houses up for exchange, because a) the most significant group of under-occupiers are exempt b) there is nowhere to downsize to.

Newcastle has thousands affected by this policy and only 50 1-bed homes available.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 12:24:01

I'm not jumping down anyone's throat. I feel it's most unlikely that someone struggling to make ends meet would want a house with more rooms than they need because this affects the costs of running that home.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 12:24:40

surely more people wanted to swap up than down?

because before the bedroom tax there was no incentive to downsize?

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 12:25:04

expat - I agree but there are still people in their 40s and 50s whose children will have grown up and moved out.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 12:29:48

I don't understand your post Faster?

In the past, a family with two children under ten may have to looked to exchange a two bed for a three bed so the dc could have a room of their own. Now they won't do this as they will have to pay for the extra room.

In my area you have always been paid for downsizing. My MIL received money from the council for exchanging her 3 bed for a 2 bed.

So the situation is worse now. Those with two beds will sit tight and where do the people with 3 beds that now need 2 beds go?

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 12:30:03

'surely more people wanted to swap up than down?'

Um, no, because many in those 1 and 2 bed homes are disabled and have had the property modified, or they are older or single.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 12:31:08

expat - but in Newcastle there are lots of private 1 bed properties to rent. I just checked on Rightmove

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 12:31:31

'In the past, a family with two children under ten may have to looked to exchange a two bed for a three bed so the dc could have a room of their own. Now they won't do this as they will have to pay for the extra room.'

And now, too, the HA and council will not approve such exchanges.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 12:32:20

'expat - but in Newcastle there are lots of private 1 bed properties to rent. I just checked on Rightmove'

And they are all willing to take DSS tenants, Faster, surely.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 12:36:28

Yes That's the biggest barrier for people on HB - even those in work struggle to find somewhere to live because of the no DSS rule.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 12:37:02

A person in a private let also needs to make sure it falls under or at the LHA cap, too. Plenty of those, surely.

Neil and Airdrie councillor Michael Coyle were horrified when they were told of the loophole.

The DWP man told them sex offenders with large houses would not have their housing benefit cut because they couldn’t let a room out to a lodger and are almost impossible to rehouse.

Child abusers and rapists freed from prison would still be housed in larger homes and not penalised as it is hard to find them suitable accommodation.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 12:39:01

expat - the ones I spot checked did not mention no DSS.

and as many people claiming HB will be in work, they can top up their LHA cap.

the upside is, that other, larger families will be able to move into vacated the properties.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 12:39:23

Unfuckingbelivable shock

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 12:40:37

Faster many letting agents do not accept DSS so looking on Rightmove is a daft idea in the first place.

Try Gumtree. Or word of mouth. That's how most people on HB find a place to live.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 12:41:12

I really don't think it is in anyone's interest for registered sex offenders to move, as they may go off radar.

if you think beyond the knee jerk....

yuoexactly they kept that one very quiet

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 12:43:25

I am astounded to see someone upthread trying to argue that actually disabled people are not that vulnerable - they can take care of themselves in this climate of cuts and more cuts. WTAF?

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 12:45:05

I really don't think it is in anyone's interest for disabled people or the most vulnerable people in our society to be forced to move.

If you think beyond the knee jerk of saving a pittance ....

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 12:46:09

'expat - the ones I spot checked did not mention no DSS.

and as many people claiming HB will be in work, they can top up their LHA cap.'

I found 39 that are even close to the LHA cap for Newcastle, which is £55/week.

The majority of LLs cannot or will not, however, take DSS tenants, in work or not. Many are forbidden to do so by their mortgage lender or their insurance.

There will be no mass of people downsizing, because a) if you're in work in your council/HA property and don't claim HB, then you don't have to move b) NO ONE is going to move to go to a private let with that whole 6-months short-assured tenancy crap, IF they even find someone who will take the DSS.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 12:47:32

'I really don't think it is in anyone's interest for registered sex offenders to move, as they may go off radar.

if you think beyond the knee jerk.... '

So it's okay for those people to be exempted from this and not disabled children? For real? PMSL!

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 12:48:58

*No, but there are things the government can do to help people help themselves, but they refuse to do anything other than push through Tory ideology.

Making long term private renting more secure and affordable would mean less need for social housing.

Raise the NMW so people can afford to live without claiming.

Its easier to blame the poor though rather than look at the circumstances that trap people.*

And in 13 years in power did Labour tackle any of this?

Changebagsandgladrags Mon 01-Apr-13 12:52:31

Well I would have normally agreed with this policy.

We own (mortgage) and have two children sharing a bedroom. So, I don't see an own bedroom for same sex children as a necessity. It is a nice to have.

However, it's the total disregard for individual circumstances that I don't agree with. The fact that it won't save that much money. That the demand for smaller properties outweighs supply. That pensioners are exempt.

Wanting an extra bedroom and needing an extra bedroom are different things.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 01-Apr-13 12:52:52

This is the situation my friend's cousin 'Fred' finds himself in...

Fred was born and raised in small village in a shire county. The village is popular with second homers and London commuters (it's about one hour from London by train). This has pushed house prices (and private rents) up to beyond any born and bred local.

Housing association homes were built in the village two years ago (despite the second homers and "outsiders" fighting against it), for local people like Fred, who have been priced out of the market.

Despite doing a survey, to find out what needs there were, the silly muppets didn't build enough 1-bedroom flats, yet had plenty of 2-beds.

That meant that some single people, who only needed 1-bed, were allocated 2-bed flats. Fred was one of them.

Fred didn't mind that much, as Fred was working at the time, and had money to cover the rent.

Eight months ago, Fred was made redundant, and has been having help with his rent.

Because of the new rules AND the fact he has a spare bedroom, Fred will now have to stump up the cash from his minimal JSA to pay for the spare room. This is despite the fact, he was allocated a 2-bedroom flat (he didn't ASK for one!) because someone had got their sums wrong.

Utter madness.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 01-Apr-13 12:54:36

NB: Fred's options at the time were, take the 2-bed flat or risk not getting a place at all, as there weren't enough 1-beds to go round. At 26, he wanted to move out of home, so he took what he was offered!

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 12:55:48

And Fred's tenancy agreement probably forbids taking in a lodger, most new HA tenancies forbid this practice and/or subletting.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 12:56:09

'And in 13 years in power did Labour tackle any of this?'

I don't remember them forcing people into a situation where they suddenly had to find £80 plus a week they didn't have and suddenly have to choose between eating and paying the rent when there is nowhere for them to move to.

Labour may not have been perfect by any stretch but life was so much more civilised under their administration and now it's apparently ok to call disabled people benefit scroungers.....

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 12:59:29

FreedomOfTheTess's story is an example of the Tory's 'let them eat cake' mentality.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 01-Apr-13 13:00:31

Spot on expat, so he either has to suck it up, or give up his flat and move back in with mum and dad (and after two years on his own, he doesn't obviously want that).

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:00:50

No Lottie, they didn't tackle any of this just threw money at the wrong situations.

All the ridiculous name calling , " rich tories" and " tory LL" makes me laugh!
Most of the Labour party are as rich if not richer and landlords come in all political guises. In fact, I know more Labour LL than Tory.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:02:56

Can he not take in a lodger?

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 13:03:05

Er, you can be rich and still believe in collective responsibility. Or you can be on any amount of money and begrudge helping those who need it.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 13:03:12

And what if Fred has no parents to move in with?

Disregarding this stupid Labour/Tory thing, this is NOW.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 13:03:43

Of course he can't take in a lodger - that is against housing association rules.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 13:04:28

'Can he not take in a lodger?'

Have you read the thread? Many HAs and council forbid taking in lodgers! Ours does. It is a breach of your tenancy agreement.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 13:05:07

David Cameron seems to think that everyone has parents who have a big house their children can live in for however long and also that everyone's parents are willing to let their children do this.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 13:06:36

'David Cameron seems to think that everyone has parents who have a big house their children can live in for however long and also that everyone's parents are willing to let their children do this. '

Of course he does! The man has never had to live off his own graft in his entire life!

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 13:07:59


this link shows a room rate of £55pw and a 1 bed rate of £86pw.

so isn't the £55pw for under 35s (shared house) and the £86pw for over 35s?

which is quite different than a total cap of £55pw for all single people.

or do you have a better link?

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:09:14

Bit like Tony Bliar then, Expat? Or Ed Millionaireband. Anyone who thinks Labour are the party of the poor and disenfranchised needs their bumps felt.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 01-Apr-13 13:10:58

Fred's HA are very strict on the lodger thing.

He did inquire if there was some way they could make an exception for him, if there was a process he could go through, and they said no.

Horrible situation.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 13:12:35

on the story of Fred - most people know have had to move to find work, live with parents, stay on friends floors etc.

nondisabled 26 year olds need to be able to look after themselves, otherwise, we, as a country, are completely screwed.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:14:48

We had lodgers for the first ten years of our married lives, as did many of our friends. It was the only way to make ends meet when interest rates were at 15 % ish.

Mrsdavidcaruso Mon 01-Apr-13 13:14:59

And what if Fred decided to get another job therefore being able to pay rent and come off HB or at 26 being young and presumably not disabled ( or poster would have mentioned it) moving to where the job are.

Plenty of people do that its no use saying he wants to live where his family are of course he does - so did I but had to move away to be able to afford to buy a home, also due to a football club affiliation I have dozens of friends from Cornwall and Devon who have had to leave the area to find work.

Viviennemary Mon 01-Apr-13 13:15:21

I agree with skinnywitch. Milliband has no more of a clue about ordinary folk than Cameron has. That is why he always sounds so insincere. In my opinion anyway.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:18:01

We do need real politicians on all political sides who are from all walks of life. Most are now high;y educated career politicians and no more.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:20:01

Agreed mrsdavid .Most of our professional friends have moved many miles several times. It's perfectly normal in some circles to have to move away from home. It seems that it really is only the poor who have enjoyed the privilege of not having to do so until now.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:25:06

What I struggle to sympathise with is that some people have been protected for many years from the realities of life for the rest of us.

Most of us have children who share rooms.

Most of us have to pay council tax of at least £80 -£200 a month .

Most of us have to move to find work.

Most of us have NO spare bedrooms.

Most of us have to budget from one months end to the next.

Most of us have had to pay stamp duty which is THOUSANDS of pounds in one lump.

Most of us have to pay hundreds of pounds a month for our homes by OURSELVES.

Most of us are continually hit for tax and NI and do not enjoy free anything bar NHS and education.

In fact, writing all this down makes you wonder who are really the hard done by!

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 13:25:07

Dawndonna - You did not get your economics right, I'm afraid. I can tell that by you assuming that Germany is in a similar position to the UK. Seriously? Compared to Germany, the UK is a second-rate European economy. Germany is the economic powerhouse of the EU. Almost every single country getting into trouble seems to expect Germany to bail it out!

I do know quite a bit about Germany, considering one of my passports says I sort of belong to that country, too. Germany has a sound economic foundation these days, and have quality products due to good engineering, etc. which the UK lacks. People there are also more prudent - are likely to save rather than spend, and monthly rolling credit cards are not the norm there... people tend to to pay them off each month. This prudent attitude also resulted in the German banking system not being hit quite as hard as others by the Lehman fiasco (they made a big deal about the few small banks that made terrible mistakes - but those mistakes where nowhere near as bad as the ones seen here in the UK), and hence, the German government did not have to spend as much money as the UK to bail out German banks.

What people often seem to forget when comparing the UK to Germany is that Germany went through a rough economic period in the 90s and the first half of the 2000s - partly due to the reunification. The unemployment rate shot through the roof (over 10%), and apart from a few fluctuations, it remained there for a good decade. For the past two decades, the UK unemployment rate seems to have had a negative correlation with that of Germany - while unemployment in Germany rose, it dropped over here, and when UK unemployment began to rise, it dropped dramatically in Germany. Whenever I visited Germany over the last few years, it felt like it was completely detached from the UK (which I guess, geographically, it is) - news reporters over here talked about rising unemployment, and in Germany, they had the lowest unemployment rates for nearly two decades. It was a very odd feeling.

Anyway, apart from its economic power, and all those other things the UK does not have, Germany fares better than the UK at the moment because it already went through a period of austerity well before this whole crisis even happened (due to what has been mentioned in the above paragraph). The German economic recovery relied heavily on strong wage moderation, and unit labour cost fell by around 20% since the mid-90s compared to its major trading partners.

However, the rising cost of social security contributions and other welfare benefits still impacted industry a lot, which responded by underinvesting, making more people redundant, and even relocating operations overseas. In view of low wage rises, fear of unemployment and doubts about the sustainability of the welfare system, domestic consumers who were already naturally prudent simply did not want to spend. With industry and consumers both disinclined to kick-start a demand-led recovery, the economy remained stuck in a low-growth-low expectations trap until well into 2005 – despite labour being competitively priced.

As a consequence, the government deficit rose above the ‘3% of GDP’ ceiling set in the Stability and Growth Pact, meaning Germany was placed in the ‘excessive deficit procedure’ for four consecutive years (2002-2005). The government ended up cutting back spending (as we are now doing in the UK).

In 2003-2005 the German government implemented social security reforms, designed to strengthen incentives for hiring and taking up work. Does that sound familiar?

As you can see... having done all these changes BEFORE the financial crisis happened, resulted in Germany being a lot better positioned than other countries, and the UK is just arriving late to the game. Germans were complaining about these measures previously, too, but obviously, some of it seems to have helped...

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 13:27:31

No labour didn't provide affordable long term tennancies or a NMW that people could on.

I don't see the point of the question though.

Just because previous governments have failed to do this doesn't mean we should stop talking about it and offering it as a sensible solution.

And just because Labour didn't do these things, doesn't mean the tories are right for making these cuts.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 13:27:53

Excuse typos - typing fast on phone.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 13:28:54

Personally, I like Merkel - she is not as flamboyant grin as UK politicians, but she has common sense, and her ego is in the right place!

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 13:31:47

skinnywitch, your argument seems to be that you have to be poor yourself to believe in collective responsibility. Which makes no sense. Tony Blair was a socialist at university - being privileged does not render you incapable of understanding that not everyone is as fortunate as you. Not everyone has YOUR set of circumstances.

Whatever you say, Labour never shat on the most vulnerable people in society from a great height, leaving them with nowhere to turn. Or do you have evidence to the contrary?

If you are in a position to support yourself entirely as you say, then good for you. But are you really so shortsighted that you cannot see that some people are not able to get jobs, are not able to get work because they are disabled or having caring responsibilities?? Life is not black and white.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:32:19

8retrorita* then why all the banging on about " rich" tories etc? They are all the same! Except that the coalition is the only Govt. with the guts to tackle the bloated and out of control welfare state.

Anyway, it all begins today so we will all simply have to wait and see how it all pans out, won't we?

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 13:36:10

The welfare state has never been 'bloated' and out of control. Have you ever lived on benefits yourself? It is certainly not easy.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 13:38:48

round 1 begins today. note the welfare bill is still increasing. so there will be more waves of cuts.

if I were dependent on state support, I would do anything I could (and I appreciate that disability can prevent this) to not rely on the state. it is a very vulnerable place to be & I would not waste my efforts trying to swim against the tide.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 13:39:58

I never mentioned 'rich tories' in any of my posts skinnywitch.

I mentioned landlords getting rich off the back of housing benefit. But I don't think all these landlords are Tories. I don't think I even implied that.

And the government isn't tackling the problems of the welfare state. It's simply creating problems for the future. As is being pointed out by so many different organisations.

And the changes they are bringing about will save such a small amount of money that after the money has been spent to implement them (new computer systems etc) its hardly likely to save any money at all.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:40:13

So you reckon £200 bn a year which is more than the entire income tax take up is not bloated? shock

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 13:40:45

I agree with skinnywitch.

Most people who work and NEED a job will move to find one, even if that means moving countries! Kids sharing rooms is not a BAD THING. Whoever complained about one of her kids having insomnia or what not - well, what would that person do, if she HAD to earn her living, and can't afford anything but a 2-bed flat?!? Seriously, someone with that sort of "issue" obviously does not know how the working population just has to cope...

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:43:37

If I were dependent on state support, I would do anything I could (and I appreciate that disability can prevent this) to not rely on the state. it is a very vulnerable place to be & I would not waste my efforts trying to swim against the tide.

chrismse Mon 01-Apr-13 13:44:31

I fall into this trap and my council has no one bedroom flats for me to move into. It makes no sense because if I moved to a more expensive private one bed flat they would pay that rent???

lottieandmia Mon 01-Apr-13 13:44:45

skinnywitch - most welfare payments go on pensions

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 13:47:49

"if I were dependent on state support, I would do anything I could (and I appreciate that disability can prevent this) to not rely on the state."

Honestly, what world do you live in?

If a person currently claiming JSA and Housing benefit, with no qualifications, got a job tomorrow - do you think that job would pay enough so they could pay all their rent without having to rely on the state?

Do you think they are just going to walk into a job that pays enough for them to give up benefits do you?

And that example doesn't even take into account single parent families where childcare becomes an extra issue.

Do you really think these people are choosing to rely on the state. They are not wasting their efforts swimming against the tide. There is very few options for some people in this world. They have been failed by their parents, by the education system and now they are trapped.

You cannot address these issues by telling them to pay for their spare room or capping their benefits.

All the support they would have been given, access to adult education for example, is being cut, what do you propose these people do?

chrismse Mon 01-Apr-13 13:50:59

Should have written more before people think I just live on benefits. I work part-time and have a son with schizophrenia who lives independently but needs my support to do so. I therefore need some housing benefit and a spare room. I didn`t choose to live in a council flat I had a mortgage but house repossed after redundancy and divorce.

FreedomOfTheTess Mon 01-Apr-13 13:51:36

Some people seem to be missing the point about Fred.

The point is, he only has a spare bedroom, because that's what he was offered. He didn't want a 2-bed flat, it's what he was OFFERED, as they hadn't built enough 1-bed places.

Furthermore, he had a job locally, so that was his main reason for wanting to stay in the area. Now he has lost that job due to redundancy.

Do you think he wants to be unemployed? No he doesn't. He's applied for over 100 jobs (some of them further away), and he's even "over qualified" or "under qualified", he isn't sitting back and expecting state handouts.

The point of my original post, was to point out, he is being penalised through no fault of his own. He isn't "bedroom blocking" - it was the property he was GIVEN!

Not rocket science to understand that surely?!

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:52:41

Oh god, not the old, failed by the system baloney again!
Education in this country is FREE and of a standard millions worldwide would walk tens of miles a day for and still, STILL, thousands choose not to avail themselves of it, piss about and ruin the chances they are blessed with and then moan they can't get a job!

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 13:56:00

retrorita The question is - how COULD someone end up with NO QUALIFICATIONS despite years and years of FREE education?!?

It's either schools are not good enough or the person was just p*ssing around (if so, why?). Either way - someone is at fault, and that has to be corrected.

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 13:56:16

Now we are dividing the working class into the: working population and the non-working population. oh dear. You really have fallen for neo-liberal spiel.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 13:56:22

Skinny you think everyone has had a very simple life.

Bought up in 2.4 houselhold, with regular meals, bedtimes and appropriate parenting.

You simply don't the understand the world I know.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 13:56:46

Cross posted there tasmania!

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 13:57:17

retro - the same one as you. take where my DM lives. she is an old widow and needs help with the garden

Gardeners can earn £20ph. she does not need someone with skills. just lawn mowing, weeding.

Except no one wants the work. she has tried for years to find someone reliable.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 13:58:13

chrismse - Did you not have Mortgage Protection (whereby they will pay for you, if you get made redundant)? There are many ways to not end up in that situation...

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 13:59:39

Education in this country is FREE

At the moment but it will be privatised, the groundwork was put in place by the last labour government.

We have a political class over run with corporate puppets all dancing to the same tune and a two tier education system. Because one class is educated to rule and the others to be indoctrinated so that they accept this situation.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:03:06

Tas - maybe because that person when they were 12/13 and didn't want to go to school (like all of us never) and simply chose not to go.

And then maybe the parents didn't give a shit if that child didn't go. Because they were drunk/high/bad parents/had mental health problems.

And the school, in that deprived area, twenty years ago, couldn't be arsed to chase the 'drop out' kid.

Or maybe the kid was stuck at home looking after a sick parent.
Or maybe the kid was dyslexic and no one picked up on it so she couldn't do well in the exams
Or maybe no one simply told the kid the importance of work, of doing well in school. And maybe the parents told the kid to ignore the 'busybody' teachers.

Or maybe gangs or teenage pregnancy ..

Who fucking knows.

But what we do know, is that there are people out there who are not qualified to earn above NMW and NMW isn't enough to live off without benefit top ups.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 14:03:13

retro - what is stopping someone bought up in the type of household you are referring to working as a gardener?

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:03:57

"piss about and ruin the chances they are blessed with and then moan they can't get a job"

Childhood is getting longer and therefore children stay in education much longer, first until they were 12 then 14 now 18....... because modern technological advances in production requires fewer workers and different skills. State education teaches people not to be self reliant, instead it teaches people to be docile and accept wage labour, not because selling your labour is the root to freedom but because the capitalist class make money from your labour.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:04:14

*Skinny you think everyone has had a very simple life.

Bought up in 2.4 houselhold, with regular meals, bedtimes and appropriate parenting.

You simply don't the understand the world I know.*

You know nothing about me or my background.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 14:05:02

You simply don't the understand the world I know.

Retrorita - Considering that my life is not as simple as most people may think (it took years for me to tell other people that my life wasn't as rosy as it seems to most - an image I seem to have perpetuated as defense mechanism), I am flabbergasted each time I hear of someone being hard done by.

Most of time, nothing major happened in their life (no murders, etc.)! More likely everything had to do with peer pressure...

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 14:09:02

There really are some deeply unpleasant, uncaring and unthinking people around here.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:09:07

But what we do know, is that there are people out there who are not qualified to earn above NMW and NMW isn't enough to live off without benefit top ups.

I don't know anyone who minds helping those who help themselves or those who can't.

It's those that WON'T that are the concern.

Xenia Mon 01-Apr-13 14:09:09

There is huge support for this measure. If you have more bed rooms than you need do not expect the state to support you in that. Those who work often do not have the luxury of spare rooms so why should those depending on state benefits? Most tax payers support this change. Social housing subsidised by hard working mothers and fathers needs to go to those who need it, not to fund extra studies and spare rooms.

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:10:53

Under capitalism which has monopoly tendencies, where banks only lend to large enterprise and established business, where working class people have to compete for fewer and fewer jobs, they can only compete against each other.

Just look at the changes to welfare that will effect thousands of self employed people. When UC is introduced it will discourage people from creating their own employment.

The system is rigged to create dependency and increase welfare. And yet those of you who love it so much think it is the fault of individuals not to thrive.

Maggie said "There is now no such thing as society, just individuals" and she was right, by implementing neo-liberal economic policies she succeeded in changing the way people think.

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 14:11:29

Do you mean extra studies as in a place to study, Xenia?

As for huge support, where, other than the Tory Party? The church is against it, the housing and homeless charities are against it, the local authorities are against it.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:11:34

There really are some deeply unpleasant, uncaring and unthinking people around here.

And Bingo!

Was waiting for the usual, " you're all soooo nasty" namecalling that inevitably crops up when anyone dares to suggest that people try and improve their own situations rather than rely on everyone else's taxes.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 14:14:12

FasterStronger - my parents are amazed by a 15yo kid who does exactly that (and more) who is a first generation immigrant (together with his parents). Up for all the hard, handy work. Apparently, he is known to cry if he can't find work. I can tell that kid will be fine in later life, but I think some of it is driven by his blighted past.

Some seem let their past taint them really badly, while others use it as a fuel to do well once given a chance. Often, the former didn't suffer from much, but the latter had to struggle through wars, etc.

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:15:03

Yes Xenia because those who work increasingly have less and less...... rooms, money, food, holidays, savings........because wages have been stagnating for the last 30 years whilst productivity doubled.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:15:45

Maggie said "There is now no such thing as society, just individuals" and she was right, by implementing neo-liberal economic policies she succeeded in changing the way people think.

No. She didn't. Why do so many people get that quote wrong? This is the full context of what she says :

*And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation"

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:17:28


So your nan pays him £20 for cutting grass? Because round here, it's £5 to cut the grass.

So I guess she needs more thna grass cutting done. You need to clarify: how many hours pay does £20 cover? How much an hour is that? After tax and NI?

And I presume you mean a FT gardener with their own business? So this person needs to be able to fill in tax return forms etc.

And they would presumably need a van to transport the equipment (petrol, car tax MOT, driving licence) Unless they were lucky enough to find a very big street that all needed their gardens doing so he could walk back and forth between the gardens? And they would need to buy the equipment unless someone was providing it for free? For them to use all day, everyday on other peoples property as well.

And then what happens in the winter? Gardening is seasonal. And you can't just hop on and off benefits as you please. So how does this person earn money in winter?

You can't just wave £20 in someones face and say 'now you don't need to claim benefits'.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 14:18:02

Dawndonna - have you read my long post to you?

First you compare the UK to Germany, thinking something is wrong with the UK if we are heading to the kind of recession Germany isn't getting into. Then, if people think it is right to do the kind of things Germany did to get into the position they are in now (austerity measures, i.e. cutting benefits, etc.)... all you come up with is the "you're all being mean and nasty" comment?

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:19:46


So right. Why try and help yourself indeed when the taxpayer can do it all for you?

It is precisely your defeatist attitude that is so depressingly familiar to those of us who HAVE dragged ourselves up by our bootstraps.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 14:21:18

retrorita - gardening in the summer, handiwork in winter. If people on lower salaries cannot pay rent, etc. then the government should really start doing rent control (I am all for that!). It's obviously better for people to work and pay a low rent than for people to do nothing, and get accommodation for free.

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 14:21:35

skinny I own my house. It doesn't affect me.

Tas You nor anyone else can tell how an upset in life is going to affect somebody, so your judgement of 'the former didn't suffer from much' is invalid.

Skinny Is that why she threw all the mentally ill people onto the streets without support?

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:22:22

skinnywitch and Tasmania,

you are not discussing economics or politics instead you are here to gloat and patronise and make out that your "success" is just down to being somehow superior.

I suspect that the miners thought they were superior in the 30/40s when they earned twice what farm labourers earned in Sussex. In Sussex people thought the miners were driving cars. But look what happened to them.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:22:33

It's not deafeastist, its reality.

Not your reality. So of course you can't see it. What with the blinkers on and that.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 14:23:59

You nor anyone else can tell how an upset in life is going to affect somebody.

Well, I am sorry but I'd say some people should toughen up a bit. If things affect you so easily, you've obviously been mollycoddled a bit.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:25:50

Fucking handiwork in winter!!!!


So you would pay someone to come and bash up your house who wasn't a skilled carpenter?

And you think Gardening in summer and handiwork ( confused )in winter is a reliable enough employment for someone not trained in either?

Do you think you could support a family, put food on the table, that way?

Am I talking to 15 year olds here or grown adults?

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:28:15

My cleaner is paid £10 an hour. She has a waiting list. She turns down two or three people a week and takes ironing home too. She is slick, professional and very thorough.

She is doing so well she is now employing someone.

She left school with nothing.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:29:04

I think handiwork in winter will make me chuckle for the rest of the day.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 14:29:25


There is a very well-known biology paper that starts with the following:

"I would be willing to wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions."

This whole thread just makes me think that might be true. No, we are not superior. The people long time ago were - but they sort of had to learn and work for a living...

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:29:41

Do you think you could support a family, put food on the table, that way?

God yes. I know several gardeners who have very good lifestyles.

But hey, far better not to take the risk when Joe Taxpayer will fund you, eh?

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:30:49

And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation"

Neo-liberal ideology, pure and simple. And now we have a situation where working class people are pitted against each other like dogs. Compete for jobs, compete for the crumbs from the table of our pay masters, that's if we are lucky enough for them to invest in job creation.

Your position in life relies not upon your ingenuity but upon your competitive docility. Whether you are prepared to sell your neighbours up the river and sell your labour always for less than the value it creates.

If the water is up over the heads of the poor, trust me, it will be washing round your knees sometime soon.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:31:25

Laughing even harder now that those who don't choose to rely on the state are somehow superior shock

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:32:46

What bollocks are you spouting minitheminx? grin
And it won't be washing around my knees, thank you, I've worked damn hard to ensure that doesn't happen.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:33:43

Do they have a driving licence skinny?
A van?
Car tax?
The ability to register a business?
The ability to fill in tax returns?

Do you really think everyone can go and start their own business?

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:34:55


I agree, I am very interested in history.

I am also very interested in economic history and if you read anything other than the spiel we are taught in schools, you will quickly realise that this economic system actually creates welfare need. It takes the means of producing wealth out of the hands of working people and concentrates it into the hands of fewer and fewer people.

Think about it, why do we have a welfare state. I would suggest going back to the history books.

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 14:35:14

You really aren't very pleasant Tasmania.
You don't have any idea what people go through, but let's give you an example.
I am one very tough cookie. I am considering taking medication for anxiety. I am not mollycoddled. I do however look after a dh who is unable to walk, is in constant pain and needs lifting in the night. The government took away our respite care so I cannot work. I also look after three children with ASDs. I work on average an eighteen hour day and my sleep is broken every single night, either by a young adult that needs turning due to psoriasis and other problems, a young adult whose processing skills have let them down so that they are having a panic, or a man who needs the lavatory.
We were both lecturers Tasmania . I'd like to toughen up a bit more, but it would probably involve being banned from here on a permanent basis because answering all the assholes would involve being extraordinarily rude and aggressive, although most importantly, right.

Tasmania Mon 01-Apr-13 14:35:43

retrorita - in other countries, that's what they do, and yes, they can support a family. And as skinny showed, her cleaner can do it, so why not others?!? In the US, there are workers who do gardening, pool cleaning, dog poo picking... you name it! And no one - you included - should put up their noses at such jobs. I admire the above people for making something out of their lives!!!

Do you think people are really that the UK population has really reached that level of stupidness that they can't even do basic things??

Also - skilled carpenter in the UK... he/she had to start somewhere, too - sometimes by doing things for friends and family prior to being "skilled"!

JustinBsMum Mon 01-Apr-13 14:37:34

The health/ welfare/ benefits bill is unsustainable - why can't people get that.

Before we are finished pensioners, everyone will be worse off, the wealthy will be taxed more (including pensioners as they are such a huge part of the population and growing), the benefit receivers will get less. We might even have to pay for some health care.

Get real folks.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:37:37

Do you really think everyone can go and start their own business?

Yes. If you want it badly enough.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:37:38

If you are on benefits and you have small children to support. Do you really think jacking in the benefits starting up your own small business(where profit is almost non existent in the first few years) is a sensible suggestion?

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 14:37:45

retro - £20ph = £20 per hour

they could start off only working for people with their own equipment and charge less. Say £15 per hour.

my cleaner pays someone to complete tax returns etc. & she charges £10-15 ph.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 14:39:00

we started off talking about a 26 yo non disabled person....

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:39:14


I run a business, I know all about hard work cheers smile

Go read about neo-liberal economic theory, where it came from and its effects, pls, you seem like a bright and industrious person. Harvey is good, a brief history of neo-liberalism.

Welfare didn't exist in Rome, or under feudalism? because it wasn't needed.

Capitalism creates welfare. Again go read your history books, what was the first form of state welfare? education and when did that happen? and why?

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 14:39:49

where profit is almost non existent in the first few years

what are your expenses for self employed gardener/cleaner?

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:40:21

Tas - I don't think the US system is something we want to aim for hmm

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:41:22

I've just run through the expenses Faster. Read the thread.

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:42:30

>Do you really think everyone can go and start their own business?
Yes. If you want it badly enough.

No you can't, it isn't that easy.

Over time we have seen a situation where capital is accumulated into fewer and fewer hands. Finance capital and corporate capital work together to create monopolies.

Look at the hight street, what is taking over? which coffee shops do you have on your hight street?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Apr-13 14:43:55

All of this is actually fuck all to do with the under occupancy rule.

We are not talking about if people should receive any benefit or if they should et social housing or if they have a job or not.

All we are trying to talk about is the vulnerable people who will now have to fund more towards housing because they were allocated the house with good reason and don't have the option to downsize because its not available or can't downsize because it would result in a none usable house or a child no longer having decent contact or even going into care due to changes in house size.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 14:43:56
MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:44:19

high street, sorry typing too fast, need to get back to work grin

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 14:46:39

children going into care because of the HB changes? how does that work?

twofingerstoGideon Mon 01-Apr-13 14:47:15

Most people who work and NEED a job will move to find one, even if that means moving countries! Kids sharing rooms is not a BAD THING. Whoever complained about one of her kids having insomnia or what not - well, what would that person do, if she HAD to earn her living, and can't afford anything but a 2-bed flat?!? Seriously, someone with that sort of "issue" obviously does not know how the working population just has to cope...

You are aware, I suppose, that many of those affected are 'the working population'?

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 14:47:22

Except skinny, it has not taken into account the amount of people going to appeal, those who have died etc.
The Acne and Blisters claim are outright lies by the dm. The forms are over forty pages long and have to be supported by consultants.
My dh was turned down for dla. We had to go to appeal. The judge laughed when she saw him, a pitying laugh. How can a man unable to dress himself, toilet himself, or even get himself a glass of water be passed as fit for work. But he was. We appealed, we won and the dwp were not given live to appeal the decision. This is common.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:47:50

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

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Apr-13 14:48:08

Do you have any idea how they work out the figures for withdrawn claims? I do,that's why people spouting crap like that tend to make me giggle and think they must be a bit silly.

Either way it is nothing to do with a conversation to do with under occupancy.

What's your understanding of the under occupancy rules?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Apr-13 14:49:37

Children who have siblings where child protection issues would be caused by sharing.

Several of my clients had larger housing as a goal in care plans.

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 14:49:52
MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 14:49:56


I agree but these right wing "up their own bum couldn't happen to me" nupties seem to think that people in need are somehow a different species to themselves. They are too clever, too bright, too hard working to ever be in receipt of any form of welfare.

What do you want, their pitty so that people continue to live lives on welfare? continue to be treated as lacking value under this system that only confers value to workers who create value to employers. Or do you want everyone to have value?

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 14:50:23
retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:51:06

If nothing else, we have learnt that everyone facing cuts in their HB can just start their own business.

Easy as that.

Someone should let Dave know we've sold the welfare problems.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 14:52:37

sick - do you mean that a child abusing another child in the same family?

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 14:52:55

sorry sock. terrible tpying

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Apr-13 14:53:10

Emmmmm not sure why you have asked me that. I clearly don't buy into any of those views nor do I require any pity

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 14:54:39

retro - not saying its would be easy. just better than the alternative.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Apr-13 14:55:17

Faster, no, I mean where one child's difficulties or issues could cause a problem for a child forced to share.

That could be health problems or anything.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 14:56:33

Its not even a fucking possibility for most people Faster. You make it sound as if there is a choice.

This is worse than listening to IDS claim he can off £53 a week or Gregg telling us his boys share.

VestaCurry Mon 01-Apr-13 14:58:50

'Some people should toughen up a bit' says Tasmania hmm.

I'll tell that to a friend who is dying of motor neurone disease. The stress of battling for benefits (having worked for 30 years and been a higher rate tax layer for 25 of them) will probably push her into an early grave. I have come to the conclusion that the government is banking on this. It's horrific.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 14:59:08

sock - I agree with you people with seriously disabilities are getting treated badly. but I don't think they will get a better deal until we move away from the benefits culture created in the last decade or so.

welfare needs focussing on a smaller number of people. until then I don't think there will be a public will for the welfare system itself.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 15:03:05

There is a public will for a welfare state.

You only to have at the outrage and concern these changes are causing.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 01-Apr-13 15:12:11

I marched in London on Saturday. Made it onto channel 4 news an' all... But I digress.

The reason I marched is because despite us getting a reprieve two weeks ago via the severely disabled child criteria (we don't actually have a spare room, they have one each for medical reasons) and being able to sleep at night for the first time in nearly a year, my disabled children will grow up to be disabled adults.

Now, despite the Minister Against Disabled People asserting that disabilities heal nowadays my kids will not 'heal'. It's permanent and incurable

When they become adults the protection is removed and all kinds of complexities come into play.

Also I know several disabled adults affected by this who could become homeless. They couldn't actually get out and march so I did it for them, and I did it for my kids' futures, despite the difficulties presented travelling to London with two kids in wheelchairs.

Oh, and if I ever find out Moondog has had contact with my children in a professional capacity I will be ensuring it doesn't happen again. That's the problem with the anonymity aspect here, I can't protect my kids from attitudes like that, sadly.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 15:13:39

I don't see outrange and concern.

&#9702;36% of the British public say that the amount of benefits a family can receive should be capped at under £20,000
&#9702;19% say that £26,000 is an acceptable cap
&#9702;9% say that there should be no limit

(its a year old but I cannot find any recent yougov reports on benefits but I guess some will be out in the next few weeks and months)

Dawndonna Mon 01-Apr-13 15:15:40

and every time they will support the government.
What is interesting about these surveys of the Great British Public is, when pinned down with 'this will have a significant impact on the lives of children, the disabled, carers, they withdraw their initial answers. I have things to do but will look out some figures later.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 01-Apr-13 15:19:32

Yeah, cos one £20 job for an hour a month is a regular job, isn't it?!

And where does the person on benefits find the money to set themselves up as a gardener?

They would need (under UC rules that are coming soon...) to be earning a MINIMUM of 35hrs @ £6.19 in order to not receive SANCTIONS.

And 35 X £6.19 = £216.65 BEFORE TAX & NI.

If this person has a family, how is that meant to cover, say, £130 / wk rent and all their bills? And that £130 is the weekly rent for a 2-bed HA house around here. A private rented one would be £160+ a week. What if they are a single parent? You then need to add in childcare costs too...

It's just not as clear cut as all that.

Nobody is going to currently take unsafe work, like a single gardening job, to get off benefits, as the time it takes to sort out benefits if that insecure job ends causes them to lose their homes. And also, how are they meant to afford to advertise as a new gardening service when their JSA is just £71 a week?!

I can't see how you think that someone could just come and do a gardening job for £20 here and there - unless they had found enough work for every week of every month, that certainly isn't enough to live on.

On top of that, you aren't allowed to work cash in hand without declaring it to the DWP, or you are committing benefit fraud. And they only allow you to keep £20 a week MAXIMUM, then you lose the rest from your benefits.

If you lose the rest in benefits, then any work you do that pays you anything over that £20 a week you are doing for FREE.

Would you all work for free?!

And before you say "oh but they get their housing paid for, and an allowance for food and clothing", look up the dictionary definition of 'indentured slavery'.

pollypandemonium Mon 01-Apr-13 15:23:05

It's a feeble excuse to bash the poor (again) in the hope that the fantasy tory dream will come true where only the truly decent hardworking people work 3 jobs and leave their kids home alone and say 'have a nice day' at the end of it. All others are scum and scroungers of course.

Bedroom tax is nasty because it ONLY affects the poorest that are getting housing benefit. It won't free up housing at all. Fact is there are no jobs, wages haven't gone up in decades and people need help to keep their spirits up, not be forced into further destitution than they already are.

This is a repeat of the early 1980s when government believed that closing down massive nationalised industries (coal etc) would be a career opportunity rather than the reality, which was a life condemned to benefits. Tebbit told them to get on their bikes but the reality is there IS NO WORK and all they will get is a payday loan. And now the tories are closing in on the loan sharks there will be no hope at all.

If there are not enough council properties I think they should be means tested. It's absurd that a £100k per year barrister can live in a £100 a week flat in central London just because they were lucky on the list years before. And council property should NEVER be sold. Charge more rent, but don't sell them for people to make a profit. I don't think you should move people out but they should have to pay market rents if they can afford to.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 01-Apr-13 15:24:55

Do some people not realise that life happens whilst you're concentrating on making plans?

As a former higher rate taxpayer, former home owner now in social housing on benefits?

I didn't actually choose any of this. And if you think mortgage payment protection insurance or indeed any insurance could have prevented this you're deeply deluded.

My educational level is also not low.

I don't actually fit any 'benefit claimant mould' that many of you have created.

I'm wondering if by braying about lifestyle choices you think it offers you some protection from bad things happening to you?

Bad things happen to 'good' people too. Even strivers.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 15:25:20

I wasn't suggesting 1 hour work per week.... I was thinking 30+ hours. most people will want 3+ hours work in one ago. 2 clients per day.

the "indentured slavery" thing is just rubbish of the lowest order.

anyway "Budget makes no difference"

more people still trust the tories to run the country than labour.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 15:26:14

Couthy you explain it a lot better than me. But they are not listening. I think some people think you just turn up at the job centre and hold your hand out.

Some people clearly don't know how long it takes to receive benefits and what happens is you have been deemed to have willingly given up work (esp under UC)

The thought that a drop in hb is easily solved by taking up handiwork for winter is beyond ridiculous.

VestaCurry Mon 01-Apr-13 15:28:09

Exactly Penelo.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 01-Apr-13 15:28:36

Does anyone remember the wording of that survey?

It was laughable and worded so you practically had to agree

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 01-Apr-13 15:29:29

Is gardening and handiwork going to be enough to provide jobs for the millions that are unemployed? How many gardeners and handiworkers does one town need?

Especially as there are only something like XX,000 available jobs and YY,000,000 people unemployed...

(I can't remember the exact figures but they are on any number if similar threads - maybe someone could find those figures for me...)

Plus, not every unemployed person with no qualifications happens to be 'good with their hands' or other such stupid platitudes.

Sometimes, a person just DOESN'T have any skills to offer, despite turning up at school every day, despite working as hard as THEIR ability allowed. They STILL don't have anything specific that will help them find a job.

What about these people?

Maybe they take a NMW cleaning job, and try their best, but get made redundant when their employer shuts. Where do they go if no cleaning jobs are available, and got every other job they are up against 199 others that HAVE qualifications, that HAVE experience for that type of job, that HAVE specific skills to offer?!

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 15:31:53

Not many of you did march, though, it was a pretty poor show to be honest.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 15:32:08

Even if they take a NMW job, they will probably need HB and be affected by these changes.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 15:33:35

I get sick of the , " There are no jobs" constant bleat on here.

Ther ARE jobs. Yes, you may have to travel, yes, they may not be your dream job but THERE ARE BLOODY JOBS!!!!!!

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 15:34:14

And also, how are they meant to afford to advertise as a new gardening service when their JSA is just £71 a week?!

you can get 250 business cards printed for £3.50

I am not saying everyone can help themselves but we seem very far away from this being the default for people without a disability.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 01-Apr-13 15:36:52

Have you any idea of the challenges of even getting to the marches with some disabilities?

Clearly not. You keep swallowing the rhetoric. Lets hope one day you're not choked by self same rhetoric, that you or a close family member doesn't become so sick or disabled that you lose everything.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 15:37:21

Agree faster, very well put.

It seems to me that the easier it has been for people to rely on the state to provide everything for them, the less likely they have become to attempt to help themselves.

Can people not see that part of the Tory ideology is to encourage people to help themselves by reinstating the Welfare State in it's founding principles?

pollypandemonium Mon 01-Apr-13 15:37:53

skinny there are 400,000 jobs available and 2.8M unemployed ready-to-work jobseekers. Sorry you are wrong.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 15:38:26

There are no FT jobs with permanent contracts skinny.

PT jobs/zero hours contracts are no good to people on benefits.

You can't come off benefits to take a temp position as it takes too long to set benefits up again, during which period you and your dc are starving and made homeless because you have no money coming in.

jollygoose Mon 01-Apr-13 15:38:35

whilst this does not affect me I feel very sorry for people who have spent a lot of money decorating homes and perhaps haing expensive fixtures and fittings and also possibly a lot of time and effort in the garden, where are they supposed to go?

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 15:39:45

So, that's 400 000 jobs then. Hardly NO jobs! And that is a ratio of one job to every seven unemployed so pretty good odds, wouldn't you say?

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 15:39:53

Yep, because that's all you need to start your own business - cards.

Nothing else. Just cards.

retrorita Mon 01-Apr-13 15:40:51

But not jobs which people on benefits can take Skinny

<<bangs on table>>

How hard can this be to understand?!

FasterStronger Mon 01-Apr-13 15:41:19

yes skinny. and in the boom years, many EU citizens came here and worked. but UK nationals remained unemployed.

skinnywitch Mon 01-Apr-13 15:41:41

There are no FT jobs with permanent contracts skinny.

Could you please tell that to several friends of mine who have moved jobs in the last year, please?

I mean really, when you talk in hyperbole like that you weaken any argument you might have had.

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Apr-13 15:41:56

So Bevan intended that the NHS should be sold to American companies did he?

The Torries might very well intend that people become self sufficient, even start up small businesses but as I said up thread, those with money have a strangle hold. The hight street is dead, what is left on the high street is not small businesses. The reason for this is that financ