Can anyone link to a rational explanation of bedroom tax from the right?(63 Posts)
I mean, something with numbers and, you know, evidence? I have seen lots of reasoned argument against it and so far, so unbelievably livid and enraged.
In the interests of balance, I'd like to see some (I repeat) reasoned and evidence-based comment from someone intelligent who thinks it's a good idea.
frees up larger houses, which are obviously scarce, for crowded families to use.
My MIL always goes on about the welfare state being based on need. People don't need multiple spare bedrooms, so why should they get funded by the working public.
public finances are in dire straight due to prolific spending by labour (amongst other things). some pruning at this stage will hopefully mean we don't get into the same state as countries such as greece where you can't even get healthcare/pensions etc
> frees up larger houses, which are obviously scarce, for crowded families to use.
Houses are scarce, however, the solution is to build more houses, not to try to (effectively) kick people out of their homes.
You should know that there isn't enough social housing with single rooms for all the people in social housing with double rooms. Assuming this 'tax' manages to kick people out of their homes, it will either make them homeless, or otherwise drive them into private rented accommodation. Private rented accommodation is more expensive to rent, so the housing bill will actually go up in these cases.
Furthermore, many of the 'spare rooms' are not spare rooms at all. They are being used by professional an family carers. That is why 2/3rds of the people who will be hit with this 'tax' are disabled people.
> My MIL always goes on about the welfare state being based on need. People don't need multiple spare bedrooms, so why should they get funded by the working public.
They don't get multiple spare bedrooms. These bedrooms are not 'spare' and in any case there are not enough single bedroom homes.
> public finances are in dire straight due to prolific spending by labour (amongst other things).
No, they're really not in dire straights due to prolific spending by labour. The deficit was at 3% before the financial crisis.
> some pruning at this stage will hopefully mean we don't get into the same state as countries such as greece where you can't even get healthcare/pensions etc
The 'Queen' just received a £5 million 'payrise', and MPs just spend £275,000 on Wine and Champagne. Unpaid tax (evasion and avoidance) costs the UK in the tens of billions per year.
Don't you think it would be better to address these issues before making disabled people homeless with a nasty, ineffectual tax?
I'd have thought you of all people Ttosca would fully understand that this is not a tax at all. To describe it as a bedroom tax is wholly inaccurate, misleading and something I'd expect from the Daily Mail rather than your good self.
A more accurate description is 'the removal of the spare room subsidy' but that I grant you does not roll of the tongue as easy. It also sounds much less unfair doesn't it?
So the left have repackaged it as a 'tax' and I admit have done a very good job of marketing a blatant untruth.
It's a policy that as a concept makes sense. If the state is paying for your housing it should only pay for the number of bedrooms your family need. Simple and straightforward...
Unfortunately there are huge problems woth how it is being implemented, as many people have pointed out. There isn't an unlimited supply of housing so people can't move to smaller houses because there aren't enough of them. Parents with non-resident kids will end up with nowhere for their kids to stay when they visit, which will damage their relationships and further alienate families. Families with disabled kids sometimes need an extra bedroom... I could go on.
OP I was going to post a very similar question. What I want to know is, can anyone link to any articles in which the Govt has explained how they can charge people extra for houses that are deemed too large for them when there are no smaller houses for them to move into?????
It sounds like a great plan, have everyone in social housing that fits their needs. But in reality IT DOES NOT WORK because we have practically no social housing that people can downsize to. So I really really want to see something in which Cameron. Clegg, Osbourne, IDS has managed to explain where all these people are supposed to move to??????????
It makes me so FUCKING angry, and it doesn't personally affect me at all.
Also I know someone who is in the process of downsizing, it was agreed with her HA ages ago, a house was identified and allocated to her (currently empty) and she was supposed to move 2 months ago. They have stalled and stalled, and as from now she is paying the bedroom tax. I totally and utterly despair.
> I'd have thought you of all people Ttosca would fully understand that this is not a tax at all. To describe it as a bedroom tax is wholly inaccurate, misleading and something I'd expect from the Daily Mail rather than your good self.
I put 'tax' in quotes, as it is only a 'tax' in the sense of being a penalty.
> A more accurate description is 'the removal of the spare room subsidy' but that I grant you does not roll of the tongue as easy. It also sounds much less unfair doesn't it?
No, that wouldn't be accurate either, as it's not a spare room subsidy. Firstly, the 'extra' room in many cases is not 'extra' at all, as it is being used by carers.
Secondly, calling it an 'extra' room implies a choice, where often there is none - as there is not enough social housing which has single rooms or a smaller number of rooms to fit smaller families.
Thirdly, it's just disingenuous to call it a 'subsidy'. If there were enough houses, these rooms wouldn't be an issue at all. We should assume - as everyone but the nasty coalition govt. seems to do - that families will more or less move in to houses which are of suitable size.
So no, it's not a 'subsidy' either.
So you do agree then that it's not really a tax correct?
Fairness is a relative concept. I'm sure it feels incredibly unfair to those who are affected. And understandably so. For the taxpayer who isn't in receipt of housing benefit and have to squeeze into whatever house they can afford. Or for those families in a small house because someone else is sat in a bigger house with a spare room, they are likely to feel the change is fair.
Any withdrawal of any benefit will always affect someone negatively. And there will always be someone who then complain's that it isn't fair.
But as mentioned before, unless you want to deny the obvious fact that we DO need to make cuts then someone must be affected. The age of magic wand politics is over. We are now in an era where we have to accept that even the government has limited powers.
' Parents with non-resident kids will end up with nowhere for their kids to stay when they visit, which will damage their relationships and further alienate families.'
I know plenty of families in all sorts of situations who don't have room to put up people who don't live with them on a day to day basis. They either bunk up on the sofa or in a sleeping bag or stay somewhere else.
Are you suggesting these relationships are so fragile that the government must pay for extra space in order to maintain them?
I really have heard it all now.
Everyone in social housing is not a benefit claimant. The majority work, do not claim benefits of any description and they too are taxpayers. Social housing is not subsidised. Social landlords are simply required to charge a fair market rent, with the emphasis on fair. It was always intended to house a mixture of people. If you eliminate the aspirational then there is no-one left to aspire to be and the immediate community and the wider community will suffer. It strikes me that the biggest gainers are private landlords charging unfair and unjustifiable rents off the back of housing benefit payments that their tenants (the majority of whom are actually employed) have to claim in order to have a roof over their heads.
'...we DO need to make cuts then someone must be affected...'
A somewhat illogical statement in the context of the bedroom 'tax'. It is not a cut ie a reduction in payment. It is putting in place an additional income stream.
This is a link to the DWP site on the subject of Housing Benefit and spare rooms. There is also a section on Under-occupation of Social Housing that you might find interesting. Unlike public housing, when claiming Housing Benefit for privately rented property, the number of rooms and the number of occupants is taken into account. So it seems only fair to apply the same size criteria to public housing.
Sorry, i don't understand. What additional income steam?
Disabled victims of bedroom tax granted urgent judicial review
Disabled people who are set to be hit by the governments controversial bedroom tax have won the right to an urgent judicial review of the new rules.
Thanks, feel more balanced now. Still think it's foolish if the smaller housing stock isn't out there. People will be pushed out to private landlords, benefit costs will go up. Savings may not materialise. If the net result, though, is that the social housing is better distributed that could be ok. I guess... (Not entirely convinced)
Initial estimates are that the majority won't move to smaller properties but stay put and take the reduced HB. However I think there will be big pressure on Housing Associations and councils to make a much better job of persuading tenants to downsize where appropriate, and to build suitable properties in general. Smaller accommodation for older people has to be a priority, for example, just because of the way the demographic is going i.e. we're all living longer and more of us are living solo...
<Firstly, the 'extra' room in many cases is not 'extra' at all, as it is being used by carers.>
I thought you didn't lose the subsidy if a carer needs the room?
The BBC website says:
"Disabled tenants will be allowed a bedroom for full-time live-in or overnight carers. If a full-time carer is a husband, wife or partner, then they will be expected to share a room. However, they can apply for a discretionary housing payment from their local authority if the disability means the partner needs to sleep in another room."
<But in reality IT DOES NOT WORK because we have practically no social housing that people can downsize to>
I thought there were 85,000 1 bedroom properties available? Once those have gone, then people can legitimately complain that there is nowhere smaller to move to.....
Or for those families in a small house because someone else is sat in a bigger house with a spare room, they are likely to feel the change is fair
Its not really like that though.
The majority of tenants [social] 'sat in' bigger houses with spare rooms getting housing benefit, are pensioners and they are excluded from the bedroom 'tax' ruling. so those under occupied bigger houses will continue to be under occupied.
It won't make any difference to people who are over crowded now and as ttosca says, those being hit by this need the 'extra' room.
If a full-time carer is a husband, wife or partner, then they will be expected to share a room. However, they can apply for a discretionary housing payment from their local authority if the disability means the partner needs to sleep in another room
Thing is thought that generally speaking people are allocated social housing based on need - so, you won't usually be allowed to rent a HA/council property that is significantly bigger than you need.
The two main exceptions to this (I know there will be other specific circumstances but these are IME that main exceptions)....
A) people who have been allocated bigger properties because there are insufficient smaller ones available locally. For example single people given 2 bed properties because the property is, despite being family sized is not family suitable (ie high rise flats) Or families allocated a 3 bed property when they have two children under 10 who could share a room.
B) people whose housing needs have changed significantly since they were allocated their property - this is mainly older people whose children have left home but continue to occupy the 3/4 bed house they have lived in for years
Group B are not affected anyway - the 'bedroom tax' doesn't apply to pensioners who make up most of that group.
Group A, well, fuck 'em [shrug] They can move into more expensive private rented accomodation or cough up. Its a choice, see, and we all have to face hard choices in these times
unless we are millionaires eh
The thing which hurts is knowing that people have the feeling they are being forced out of their homes. They may have lived there for donkeys' years, they've got their friends and neighbours nearby, they've put down roots - it's just not right. You don't treat people like that.
BUT there would be nothing unethical, I think, in offering decent pay-offs to get people to volunteer to move out of too-large flats and houses... That's what private landlords in London used to do, if they wanted to sell on, without the nuisance of tenants in situ. And local authorities did the same thing if they wanted to redevelop an area.
Why not offer a reduction in rent and first claim on one of the revamped accommodation units in their old home to people coming forward whose house or large flat could be converted into two properties?
But just saying 'your flat's too big so we're going to relieve you of some of your housing benefit you plutocrat....well, that just plain stinks.
If a full-time carer is a husband, wife or partner, then they will be expected to share a room. However, they can apply for a discretionary housing payment from their local authority if the disability means the partner needs to sleep in another room
That seems fairly sensible to me. I don't see why a carer who is also the spouse should automatically be entitled to a spare room. Surely common sense dictates that the assumption should be that a couple sleep in the same bedroom unless there is a good medical reason why not. And therefore a discretionary award sounds reasonable.
Labour took the magic money tree away when they left and now we have to choose how best to spend what little money we have. So expecting husbands and wives to share as the default seems reasonable.
> Labour took the magic money tree away when they left and now we have to choose how best to spend what little money we have. So expecting husbands and wives to share as the default seems reasonable.
There was never any 'magic money tree'. The deficit was caused by the financial crisis - which is global in nature. It wasn't caused by spending too much on schools and hospitals.
Have you learned the difference between the debt and deficit, yet?
After a double-dip and potentially triple-dip recession, have you come to realise understand that counter Keynesian bloodletting during a recession usually increases, not decreases the deficit, due to decreased tax revenue and rising unemployment costs?
I'll accept your apology.
Here, try and memorize this:
Mythbusters: "Britain is broke - we can't afford to invest"
nef and the Tax Justice Network have paired up top economists and journalists to write a series of guides exploring the truth behind common economic myths. This first mythbuster, prepared by Howard Reed and Tom Clark, addresses the question: is Britain really broke?
I know its the telegraph, but I thought this was interesting.
The deficit was caused by the financial crisis - which is global in nature. It wasn't caused by spending too much on schools and hospitals.
Sorry but that is just factually incorrect.
For every year that Gordon Brown was chancellor he increased government spending on the basis that future tax receipts would rise to balance it. But for every single year that Labour were in power, actual income fell short of his predictions.
But rather than cut back spending to match what was coming in, Broon kept spending faster and faster - especially once he became prime minister (which was AFTER the financial merry go round had come to a shuddering halt).
Broon merrily borrowed from our children to give our parents nice treats.
That has to be undone.
The methods being used by Cameroon and Gideon are crass and iniquitous, but the structural deficit HAS to be sorted out somehow.
niceguy. In my job as an OT I work with lots of families where one spouse has such a severe disability that it's not feasible at all for their partner to slept in the same bedroom, and that same partner is the full time carer. Often in these situations the property will have been adapted, at the councils expense, to suit the resident. So they will get a discretionary grant. But for how long? And the discretionary pot is finite, so once it's gone, it's gone, and it may not be enough to cover all these special cases. Please understand that some people's lives are not as straightforward as you think, and that many of those people are currently terrified.
Sorry, but you are incorrect.
Government spending may have increased year on year during Gordon Brown's time in power, but that was not the cause of the financial crisis. Deregulation and casino banking was the cause of the financial crisis.
The deficit before the financial crisis was just under 3%. After the financial crisis occurred, the deficit increased to over 11% in just one year.
You will note that the 2008 crisis was global in nature. If it were merely UK government spending which was the cause, then it would not have been global in nature.
What happened was that the financial crisis costs the government billions in bailout money. Most importantly, though, it caused a recession. The recession meant that tax receipts dropped dramatically, and the welfare bill shot up due to unemployment. Of course, under these conditions the deficit will increase - government revenue has dropped dramatically.
The recession also means that more unemployed people. Apart from the welfare bill, it means fewer people have money to spend, and there is less job security, so there is less demand in the economy.
>The methods being used by Cameroon and Gideon are crass and iniquitous, but the structural deficit HAS to be sorted out somehow.
They're not just 'crass and iniquitous', and they're not just immoral, but they're actually counter-productive. That is, they are actually making the economic situation worse.
The UK has experienced no growth since 2008 and has performed worse on average than many of our european neighbours in terms of growth. We may even be heading for a triple-dip recession. Today, once again, the IMF warned that the austerity policies are harming growth and told Osbourne to let up on the bloodletting.
So the austerity measures are not just cruel and immoral, but they're making the situation far far worse.
Other countries which have taken a more Keynesian approach of public investment have seen their economies improve. The UK, on the other hand, is spiraling down in to depression.
Yes it stinks that people who have been bought up in an area and have made friends have to move. BUT people who rent in the private sector or buy have been doing that for years.
I was bought up in a council house but when I got married because we had no DCs and OH and I were earning reasonable wages we are not entitled to a council place we could not afford to rent in the area so we had to move away from our families, community and friends. After years of paying rent and saving for a deposit on our own place we decided to buy, yet again we had to move from the area we loved and the friends we made as we could not afford house prices in the area.
So thats TWICE we had to move whilst at the same time friends who were earning less or who had DCs were allocated Council houses in the area we grew up in and where my parents still live. Well that's not fair is it?
To say 'you don't treat people like this' infers that council house dwellers are being asked to do something others don't have to, when in fact they are being told they may have to do something that 1000s of other people
have to do as a matter or course.
I agree that there are problems with smaller properties and I agree that disabled people and the elderly should not have to move from the communities which offer them support.
But I do not agree that it is unfair to move the vast majority of council house dwellers just because 'they have always lived there'
Where are they going to move to when there aren't enough houses with fewer rooms, Mrsdavidcaruso?
As I have said in my post ttosca I agree there are problems, with smaller properties but the general consensus of opinion that social housing tenants should not be required to move just because they have lived in an area all their lives is wrong considering people who do not get social housing and who rent and buy without HB have to do so.
There's got to be scope for setting up a house-swapping scheme if it doesn't exist already. People with spare rooms on the one hand and those who are overcrowded on the other.
> As I have said in my post ttosca I agree there are problems, with smaller properties but the general consensus of opinion that social housing tenants should not be required to move just because they have lived in an area all their lives is wrong considering people who do not get social housing and who rent and buy without HB have to do so.
These are not 'minor' points. They are central to the issue.
Firstly, where are they going to move if there are no suitable houses? What do you expect to happen when they can't find a house? Are you OK with making families homeless?
Secondly, the policy is in effect punishing people for actions for which they had little or no choice in the first place. Remember, if there are no houses to move in to now, how could they make the choice to move in to a 'suitable' house in the first place?
So how are they - anyone, as a point of principle - morally culpable for actions for which they have no or almost no choice?
> There's got to be scope for setting up a house-swapping scheme if it doesn't exist already. People with spare rooms on the one hand and those who are overcrowded on the other.
Well, that's the thing. There are thousands of empty unused homes out there which are only occupied for a weeks or a couple of months every year.
Instead of doing more to discourage second homes or empty homes, the govt. instead chooses to attack the most vulnerable, those in social housing claiming benefit.
Again you have missed my point I was addressing another poster who was saying its UNFAIR to move people from communities where they have lived all their lives because they are on HB
Quite rightly you have said that there are problems with smaller accommodation and quite rightly I agree with you.
BUT that was NOT the issue I was addressing as you can read from the rest of the post you copied ( and ignored)
I am saying that it is NOT unfair that people on HB may have to move from their communities if that's is the only way they can downsize so in fact I was talking about the PRINCIPLE of moving.
I will throw a question to the general forum
If its is unfair that a family has to move from a 3 bed property into a 2 bed property (IF one is available ttosca) because it would mean any DCs would have to change school or Gran isn't around the corner to babysit, would you equally say its would be unfair to move a family with 3 dcs from a cramped 2 bed flat into a large 3 bed house with a garden, if the location of that house also means moving a child from their school or moving away from general family support and the community they grew up in.
I voted for the idiots, but I cant explain such an unfair illogical policy.
As the poster above says it just doesn't work.
The hamlet I live in has one council house, you could easily be asking people to move 15 miles to the nearest city for a smaller one.
God alone knows how people sort schools, getting to work, family support etc if you do that. There certainly isn't any public transport.
Also as families have more children, different gender DCs get to old to share and then the oldest leave home, you can see families being eligible for several sizes of houses over the years.
It's quite bonkers!!!
Well those of us who are not entitled and do not receive housing benefit believe it or not may actually have to move as much as 15 miles - can you imagine it! in order to find work, keep our families. We may have to move away from family hundreds of miles to find work to keep our children. I do not see why those claiming housing benefit should not have to do so just because their particular hamlet just has one council house.
If we can persuade people not to claim housing benefit at all and view state support as something of which to be ashamed, that they have failed by not being able to support their own families that would be a good thing. We are no where near getting anywhere near that as people think they can continue to take take take when the cupboards are bare because they have "rights".
> If we can persuade people not to claim housing benefit at all and view state support as something of which to be ashamed, that they have failed by not being able to support their own families that would be a good thing. We are no where near getting anywhere near that as people think they can continue to take take take when the cupboards are bare because they have "rights".
God you're nasty. The majority of people who receive state benefits are in full-time work. Many of these people are middle-class families.
In the case of the poor, we have reached a situation where companies don't even pay a living wage, and the state is having to subsidise the workforce in order for them to having enough money for food an rent.
We should all be ashamed that we've allowed things to get this bad. That we've allowed neo-liberalism to completely screw over the majority of working men and women in society.
The only people who 'take and take from the cupboards' are the wealthy elite; many major corporations are paying little or no corporate tax, and wealth inequality has reached levels not seen since the early half of the 20th Century.
You should be ashamed of yourself that you continue attacking people who are trying to make their way and work hard instead of addressing the systemic problems almost everyone faces in society today.
Xenia You think that people who may need to claim housing benefit have failed? You do realise that most people claiming housing benefit are in work? It is hardly their fault if they are in employment but their job doesn't pay them enough to cover life's basic necessities. You really think that 5 million people in this country are failures?
I hope, for your own sake, that you never need to rely on some of our state services, like a life-saving operation from the NHS, since being unable to cover the private health care fees abroad would make you a failure, by your logic.
My comment is by the way the traditional English view. It still is of a lot of the elderly - any state help is shaming and your principal responsiblity is to kpee your own children and not claim housing benefit whilst you are in work even if you need it or are entitled to it. The fact it is regarded as a shocking view illustrates how much work will be needed if we seek to change the mentality of most British people back to the idea they support their own and the state does not.
Labour made it worse by making benefits claimants of so many of the middle classes with tax credits.
What about another equally shocking idea Xenia,
Corporates and businesses pay their taxes, that employers pay everyone a living wage. That wages rise in line with profits and productivity.
I agree that everyone should be accorded the dignity of providing for themselves without state help where possible (there are exceptions)
Years ago we didn't have a welfare state, capitalists must pay wages that allow the worker to reproduce himself on a daily basis, with food, shelter etc, but reproduce the next generation of workers for future wage slavery.
The reason we have huge state subsidy of the above process is because of the greed of the capitalist, who refuses to pay living wages.
If you have a problem with state welfare........go talk to the people that created that need.
You can not fill empty bellies on pride.
Oh, and for the record you aren't nasty Xenia, you are deluded.
Xenia, I didn't claim housing benefit while in work....even though I was entitled to it. It would have been £17 a week....but here's a shocker.....had I realised I most certainly WOULD have claimed because life was dreadfully hard. It's even harder now I am out of work. Only someone who absolutely does not have to worry about where the next penny is coming from could have the arrogant view that NOT claiming what you are entitled to is somehow a virtue!
I am a volunteer now and I make sure people KNOW what they are entitled to claim. Just relieving the pressure and stress that a lack of money brings can make the difference between a family sinking or swimming....those that sink could end up costing the tax payer far more.
You are SO out of touch that you actually do not belong on any thread where benefits are discussed, you don't claim them, never have and never will. Good for you....the rest of us are just trying to get through life and do the best we can with sometime limited resources. Asking for a bit of help when we need it is not a crime.
I'm with you, Mrsdavid - totally understand the point you are making.
We are one of those families that cannot afford to live where we are and are looking at areas hundreds - yes, hundreds - of miles from where we currently are. We are living on a family income which is only just above the 'poverty line' - google it if you need to - and do not live in social housing (bought a tiny house some years ago before dc when I worked full-time in a fairly well paid job, but now I only work part-time - through choice - want to be there for dc - and dh is minimum wage, but we still have a mortgage to pay), so having looked at all the options, the only thing we can think of is to move. Like 1000s of others.
In fact, we would have liked another child, but we can't afford one because we are already two to a bedroom.
This whole bedroom thing is based on what is, in comparison with the rest of the world, a very wealthy society. Dh is Greek. His mother, father, older sister and two brothers all lived all their growing up lives in a 2 bedroomed apartment. As did most of his friends with similar sized families. The parents had one bedroom, the sister had the other, and the three boys used to bed down on the sofas every night. This is normal there. I understand it's normal in a lot of other countries too.
Let's get some perspective here, ladies.
It does not matter who is right or wrong, the money has run out, we are not likely to move the UK into ascendancy again. We are on the wane and are likely to move out of the cycle which started with the Industrial Revolution which saw our country rise in effect to the top. SO although those on benefits would like more money there are not enough people who earn a lot available to fund those at the bottom in the style to which they became accustomed.
Given most people in surveys support benefits cutting whether Labour or Tory voters I don't think having my views on threads about benefits should be a problem. It lets those minority who do not want cuts hear the views of the majority. I am not a single lone voice in the UK. Every study has found that the middle earners want benefits cut and are fed up with the burden they have had to come to bear.
Um, I think "who is right or wrong" does matter, Xenia. That's a really odd thing to say.
You also say that yours is the "traditional English view". What do you mean by traditional? Are you thinking of late 19th and 20th century debates about the deserving and undeserving poor? Have you looked at Mayhew's journalism? Rowantree's research?
Or a bit further back still - so you want this country to go back to the conditions people experiences during the Industrial Revolution? Do you think Britain was swarming with benevolent capitalists who treated their workers fairly and safely and gave them a decent standard of life? If you think that a return to the conditions of the Industrial Revolution is going to bring about a better standard of living for ordinary people then, my god, you need a history lesson.
And as to the idea that this country is suddenly, uniquely bust - it needs to be restates that our national debt isn't even historically high. It was much higher after the Second World War, and yet the government of the time managed to usher in huge changes that improved living conditions for ordinary people enormously. And blaming the current national deficit on public spending is simply disingenuous. This year the national deficit ran to £120.6 billion. For everything. To put that into context - Do you know how much bailing out the banks cost the country in 2008/9? At least £134.5 billion - and that was just for immediate interventions. At least another £781.2 was pledged just to prop the banking system up temporarily. How much did we spend on housing benefit this year? £16.94 billion. Yes, this country has financial problems (though they are not historically severe). But the poorest people in the country did not cause them, and they are not going to be fixed by cutting their already meagre benefits even more.
I just meant we won't solve that on this thread (although I am obviously right - people are most helped by helping themselves not paying them to be dependent on the state) but whoever is right money is short and the middle classes (not the rich) have got sick of bailing out those who cannot support themselves. So there has been a sea change in public attitudes about this issue with most people of all parties supporting the benefits changes.
Most British people are ignorant about who receives what benefits, how much, and the scale of benefit fraud.
Voters 'brainwashed by Tory welfare myths', shows new poll
Survey shows public ignorance of the level of benefits and who gets them
Ministers were accused of demonising benefits claimants in an attempt to justify their controversial decision to increase most state handouts by less than inflation.
Polling commissioned by the Trades Union Congress suggests that a campaign by Tory ministers is turning voters against claimants but only because the public is being fed "myths" about those who rely on benefits.
TUC poll finds that support for benefit cuts depends on misconceptions
'It is not surprising that voters want to get tough on welfare. They think the system is much more generous than it is in reality, is riddled with fraud and is heavily skewed towards helping the unemployed, who they think are far more likely to stay on the dole than is actually the case. Indeed if what the average voter thinks was true, I'd want tough action too.
The TUC poll reveals many misconceptions about welfare and benefit spending including:
- On average people think that 41 per cent of the entire welfare budget goes on benefits to unemployed people, while the true figure is 3 per cent.
- On average people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently, while the government's own figure is 0.7 per cent.
- On average people think that almost half the people (48 per cent) who claim Jobseeker's Allowance go on to claim it for more than a year, while the true figure is just under 30 per cent (27.8 per cent).
- On average people think that an unemployed couple with two school-age children would get £147 in Jobseeker's Allowance - more than 30 per cent higher than the £111.45 they would actually receive - a £35 over-calculation.
- Only 21 per cent of people think that this family with two school-age children would be better off if one of the unemployed parents got a 30 hour a week minimum wage job, even though they would actually end up £138 a week better off. Even those who thought they would be better off only thought on average they would gain by £59.
A lot of the attitudes towards social security are based on ignorance and myths, perpetuated by the likes of the Daily Fail and other reactionaries who knowingly spread these myths in order enact their ideological agenda.
> whoever is right money is short and the middle classes (not the rich) have got sick of bailing out those who cannot support themselves.
Banks? Corporations? MPs? The Royal Family?
Pampered MPs are sitting on a taxpayer-backed war chest of nearly £6million that can be used if they fall on hard times.
The Treasury pays thousands of pounds a year into the hardship fund, which gives financial help to former members and their families down on their luck.
But while MPs have this to fall back on, some of the most hard-pressed families in Britain have lost similar support because of the Governments cuts.
The Department for Work and Pensions this month axed the discretionary social fund, which provided emergency support to people living in poverty.
The £800million pot has been wound up and responsibility handed to councils for loans and grants to those in need.
The Government admits the money given to councils is not ring-fenced and could go on other things. Documents reveal the House of Commons Members Fund has assets of £5.7million and spent £160,000 last year to help 58 ex-MPs.
Accounts show the fund got £148,000 from the taxpayer last year and £15,479 from members, who pay an annual subscription of £24 each.
The fund spent nearly £22,000 on salaries for administration, £14,476 on actuarial fees, £12,800 on auditors, and Capita was paid £6,000 to act as custodian for the assets.
The pot, set up in 1939, is overseen by a board of trustees headed by former Tory Cabinet minister Peter Lilley.
The Members Fund can claim up to £215,000 a year in support from the Treasury.
Since 2007, it has received more than £1million of taxpayers money.
Attempts by MPs to make the fund no longer reliant on the Treasury have been blocked by ministers, who refuse to grant parliamentary time for such a debate.
Former Labour MP Joe Ashton recently argued the fund was essential and said many former MPs descended into alcoholism and poverty
There are more than 1,000 former MPs, some in their 90s.
But MPs may find it difficult to get sympathy. They went off this week on a two-week break.
Parliament will sit for only about 150 days this year, compared to 190 days in school for teachers.
Matthew Sinclair, of the TaxPayers Alliance, said: Helping those who fall on tough times is a worthy aim, but it is bizarre that ex-MPs have exclusive access to a taxpayer-funded hardship fund.
Voice of the Mirror: MPs out of touch
Our MPs certainly know how to make themselves unpopular.
We reveal today that, having spent the last legislative session axing benefits for the disabled and vulnerable, they are sitting on their own hardship fund of almost £6million.
Most of this money has come from the taxpayer, with the Treasury paying more than £1million into it over the past six years.
Nobody doubts there will be former politicians who need support when they fall on hard times
What many will find galling, not to say hypocritical, is that MPs are feathering their own nest while withdrawing exactly the same help for the rest of us.
On April 1 the Government axed the discretionary social fund which offered emergency grants and loans to those most in need.
And unlike MPs, people who relied on this money did not have the luxury of a decent pension or subsidised bars and restaurants.
*you mean they drink themselves into poverty, should we not be asking whether they are the DESERVING POOR!
* and shouldn't those who fall on hard times be subject to the same scrutiny and have to make claims for means tested benefits just like everyone else.
On average people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently, while the government's own figure is 0.7 per cent.
Whilst i would not agree that its 27% I would bet its a hell of a lot more then 0.7%. Fraudsters by their very nature are liars and cheats, they will ensure they don't get caught they want the money, therefore IMO the Government actually have NO idea how much they really are losing in fraud.
Dotnet - "The thing which hurts is knowing that people have the feeling they are being forced out of their homes. They may have lived there for donkeys' years, they've got their friends and neighbours nearby, they've put down roots - it's just not right. You don't treat people like that.
BUT there would be nothing unethical, I think, in offering decent pay-offs to get people to volunteer to move out of too-large flats and houses... "
I don't understand this argument. Owner occupiers and those in private rentals have to move all the time if they can no longer afford the rent/mortgage or they lose their jobs. Even if they have lived there for years and have friends and kids at local schools. Those in social housing always have the choice to buy their home (under the very generous "right to buy" policy) if they really want to stay locally. Why should they be protected from decisions that owner occupiers or those in private rentals have to make all the time and have very little choice over?
Also, the thing I disagree with about this policy is that it does not affect pensioners when it is pensioners who are most likely to be occupying homes that have too many bedrooms.
If the Tories really believe in bringing fairness to this issue and reduce the number of those on the waiting list for larger homes, they would be including homes occupied by pensioners too.
And where are you going to move pensioners to? Its not a case of moving them into smaller property, it would have to be ground floor, near shops and bus routes.
BTW my Dad lives in a HA 3 bed house he pays full tent no HB still pays
tax on his wages and pensions, why should he move for a family on all the benefits God sends
All of these wonderful human qualities are undermined by too much state help. People need to, as far as possible, rely on their own resources, not on those of the state. This frees up resources for those who cannot help themselves.
Why not move? I did. My father moved every 2 years with his job, taking us with him. People move all the time. Only those who have had the self reliance bred out of them would expect to remain living in a house that is too big.
I am in favour of all LA / Council properties being reassessed regularly and for them only to be for those in need. No more fat union officials living in social housing while drawing £100k salaries.
Mrsdavidcaruso - Yes, he should move. He has more rooms than he needs and it is not his home, it belongs to the housing association that he will have been paying his subsidised rent to. There will be thousands of families who actually need a 3 bed house, whereas your dad probably needed it 20 years ago and since then things will have changed. People not in social homes have to move/downsize all the time if they lose their job or their landlord wants them out. Why should people in social homes be treated specially, they are already lucky enough to have subsidised housing without the added bonus of extra rooms for free.
And these families will also be paying a subsidised rent, the same rent as my Dad pays and they will most likely be on HB which my Dad doesn't get.
Now as a home owner I would agree that people who buy or rent in the private sector have to move to afford to live where they want, BUT my Dad can afford it his rent because at the age of 82 HE STILL WORKS if he had been on HB I might agree that the housing tax should kick in ( I would pay it for him) Sorry but why should it be OK to ask an 82 year old man to move from the home he has lived in for 30 years to give a family a larger house and at the same time talk about social cleansing when smaller families are being asked to move to downsize due to the bedroom tax.
Revealed: Big lie behind the bedroom tax as families trapped with nowhere to move so cannot avoid new penalty for having spare room
96% of benefit claimants who want to downsize cannot be rehoused
The Governments justification for its controversial bedroom tax has been debunked by new figures showing that up to 96 per cent of those affected have, in effect, nowhere to move.
The figures published today in The Independent expose the false argument behind ministerial attempts to spin the move as ending the spare-room subsidy, and confirm campaigners claims that it merely penalises poor people.
The problem with the "bedroom tax" is that the biggest group of people rattling around in social homes that are too big for them are pensioners and they are exempt from the bedroom tax since they tend to vote Tory.
Although I don't think people should be paid with taxpayer cash for spare bedrooms they don't need, I don't think the Tories are being honest about it saving money (it won't) or the moral reasons for why they are doing it (to free up social housing) since if that was the case they wouldn't exempt pensioners.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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