Don't cap my benefits - BBC1

(265 Posts)
SoleSource Thu 10-Apr-14 21:53:39

Anybody watching?

Sleepyhoglet Thu 10-Apr-14 21:55:38

Anyone notice that woman's baby was wearing polarn clothes. Quite pricey aren't they? Just sayin...

cfc Thu 10-Apr-14 21:58:49

I am.

My husband made the point that we are moving 150 miles away from our current lovely, lovely location and house and friends for his job. Moving because you have to for the sake of your family is not new...

But I so get not wanting to move your family away from family and friends. It's heartbreaking for us to have to do it, but do it we must. Sob.

Also, I have to say, we're not able to afford to have more children so we're not going to - I believe people have to take responsibilities for their reproductive choices, surely that's not beyond the wit of man?!

Some of the stories are heartbreaking though.

usualsuspectt Thu 10-Apr-14 22:00:26

I hate this fucking government.

We have two children and would love another. Can't afford it though.

I think the man was spot on when he said if you choose to have 7 kids you can't afford to live in London. So true. They made their choice.

SoleSource Thu 10-Apr-14 22:02:53

I chose not to have any more children because I felt guilty enough as I survive on benefits. DS is profoundly disabled. I do not want to be further burden. I feel very guilty. sad

JaxTellerIsAllMine Thu 10-Apr-14 22:05:04

I watched this. Its an absolute shambles, this cap has been introduced and people didnt think it would affect them, then lo and behold it does, quite drastically.
I do feel that the government/housing authority have handled things badly while introducing this cap. But on the flip side; people need to take personal responsibility for their lifestyle choices, and that includes number of children in a family.

I do feel for people who have to move away from family, friends and schools but this isnt a new thing.

SoleSource Thu 10-Apr-14 22:05:07

I don't know how the benefits cap is worked out. Does seem very unfair.

AnnieMaybe Thu 10-Apr-14 22:05:32

really?

You do know these programmes are made to induce exactly what the government wants you to believe about 'people on benefits'

SoleSource Thu 10-Apr-14 22:07:35

My next door neighbour wants another baby as it will mean more benefits. She actually told me this.

cfc Thu 10-Apr-14 22:07:41

The system seems ridiculously complicated.

AnnieMaybe Thu 10-Apr-14 22:09:10

And the last words by David Cameron 'The purpose of Welfare is to help people into work'

NO DAVID it's to help and support those out of work

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Thu 10-Apr-14 22:09:23

So Annie tell me how it really is then?

From what I understand (am very prepared to be wrong) if you work a minimum of 16 hours the cap doesn't apply.

There is a life outside london, there are schools in more reasonably priced area's if someone doesn't/won't/can't work what is wrong with suggesting they should live in a more resonably priced area?

Equally why do people have 5 / 6 / 7 children with no job or means to support them??

Sprogstersmum Thu 10-Apr-14 22:09:48

While I did feel some people could make better life choices I appreciate not everyone has the education to appreciate that. The main thing that horrified me was the rents - it's not like the claimants get the money, it goes to the landlords. They all have an 'income' on pair with my husbands and he's a higher rate tax payer. Mind you we move out of London to an area where we knew no one because we couldn't afford the life we wanted in London. If Neither of us were working I like to think I would just be grateful to live in a country which would provide a roof over my head and finance to allow me and DCs not to starve.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Thu 10-Apr-14 22:10:29

I have also assumed (may be wrong) that if it is the case that you are unable to work due to disability that the cap doesn't apply?

SoleSource Thu 10-Apr-14 22:12:55

It doe not apply to us as DS is disabled. Thank God. I do feel for the families it has effected. I have to pay bedroom tax now. £12.00 per week. I do struggle financially but rules is rules.

Madasabox Thu 10-Apr-14 22:17:08

I don't live in London because I can't afford to. I don't see why other people should live there at the taxpayer's expense. I also find it hard to be sympathetic to people who have 7 or 9 children and then complain that they can't afford to house them. There are plenty of working people who deliberately don't have more children because they can't afford to. What about that Ethiopian British citizen who despite having children who were blatantly secondary school age had never worked in the 12 years she has been in Britain - how can that be right?
I did feel sorry for the children, but that woman who ended up in the hostel was just mad. They made it clear that if she worked 16 hours she could keep her house and be better off, but she refused to listen. She has time to volunteer. She must have childcare while at college, therefore in theory (without knowing the details) she should have time and childcare to enable her to work.

Whattodo3 Thu 10-Apr-14 22:18:24

Utterly amazing the amounts sone people are getting in benefits £800-£1000 a week!! You need to be earning a high salary to take that home.

As for the woman at college she could have helped herself and worked instead of volunteering but chose not to and now her kids are living in a hostel. Why would she make that choice?

Sherlockholmes221b Thu 10-Apr-14 22:19:55

There is something very wrong with a system where people in work can't afford to have more than two children but people claiming benefit get more money the more children they have.

specialsubject Thu 10-Apr-14 22:20:20

like all these programmes, i strongly suspect lack of the full story in some cases.

what happened to all the social housing? It got sold off.

the landlords are not renewing benefits tenancies because they can get more money from non-benefits tenants. This is because everyone wants to live in London. Before we al scream 'dirty landlords', what would YOU do if you ran a business and could make it more profitable?(or even profitable at all - thereby keeping YOUR family housed and fed)

the programme could not be made in other parts of the country where market forces work and rents are not limitless. I guess that the grand idea is to make London sensible like the rest of the country - but this is not the way to do it.

but I have NO sympathy for those refusing to move for financial reasons, nor for those who have had large families in circumstances where finance is very limited. Neither of these choices are afforded to those who fund themselves.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Thu 10-Apr-14 22:26:25

Does the government offer financial support for childcare if someone decided they did want to work the 16 hours?

justanuthermanicmumsday Thu 10-Apr-14 22:26:37

i saw the programme today. i felt like some of those benefits officers needed retraining on a bit of compassion, that emotion humans are supposed to have, a heart maybe? sure they are simply doing their jobs but they seemed aloof almost desensitized to human emotions. I thought it was normal when someone near by is crying and telling you of their dire situation to maybe put a hand over their shoulder. Say you are sorry even though it is not your fault, show you bloody care.

where are the men in these situations the dads? i saw several lone mothers with small children. one lady had 5 kids. now unless she went to a sperm bank there is a man out there responsble for these kids. why is the council not chasing them for money? im sure that would help these women to use that money on rent arrears and food instead?

also i think society has a problem with people having kids and people who have lots of kids are looked down upon as the scum of the earth. ie that man with 7 kids, people are sure to mention him. but one thing he was doing which all failed to mention is work. the other parents not one was working. he was commuting miles away with no money for the commute, and commuting kids to school. in the end his perseverance paid off didnt it, they rehoused him in the borough he wanted to be in.

the single mothers with small children were being hounded to work. one was told she was a tiny amount short of her rent each month? they said if she worked up to 16 hrs she would make the rent and have extra. but would she really? how would her childcare costs be covered? she had 3 small kids would government vouchers cover the costs or would she be forking out again hence in arrears with rent again?Again why is the father not paying for the upkeep of the kids im sure that would help her.

SoleSource Thu 10-Apr-14 22:31:03

Not for children over a certain age Never. Finding childcare for a disabled child ie child-minder is impossible.

exleodensian Thu 10-Apr-14 22:31:35

Having a Father in the Army meant I attended 13 Schools, the longest was for four years, and the shortest was for two weeks; so I have little sympathy for someone who has to move and their children change schools.
Anyone who has 7 children under the age of 9, who works and earns £150 a week and then receives £800 a week in benefits, who is moved to a house thirty miles away, should perhaps be thinking about contraception and a stair gate, rather than complain that the stairs at the new house are dangerous, (looked like a normal flight of stairs to me). It was interesting to see that he was driving his children back to their old school each day.
It was also interesting to see that most families featured, had young babies.
I've often said that benefit recipients should not get extra benefit for children born whilst the parents are on benefit. After all, I wouldn't get a pay rise at work if I had another child.

justanuthermanicmumsday Thu 10-Apr-14 22:39:50

your situation isnt the norm though is it most people dont move as much as you do, hence you lack the sympathy. i am sympathetic to their situation. i did think the guy with 7 kids was crazy but he was working and commuting to better their situation and in the end the benefits office helped find them property back in their original area.

to me its odd that some refused to work knowing theyd be kicked out and put in a hostel. id rather work and not see my babies than go in a hostel which i think is not a secure safe place for a lone woman and small kids.

justanuthermanicmumsday Thu 10-Apr-14 22:43:40

p.s those stairs are dangerous, not normal way too steep. in the first house i rented with husband we had similar stairs. i was not used to them and 2nd week i fell down had muscle pain for months. id hate to see a kid fall down those.

but would i complain about the stairs if ive got a roof over my head no, just supervise kids up the stairs get a gate, make the best of the situation.

Madasabox Thu 10-Apr-14 22:50:32

When I was young my parents got into financial difficulties and lost their house. We were moved multiple times through council accommodation, I went to 5 primary schools and the 7 of us (4 kids, my gran and my parents) spent 3 years living in a 2 bed council house (gran slept in the dining room cum kitchen) while my parents got back on their feet and paid off their debts. I have zero literally zero sympathy for any of the people shown on this programme tonight. The sense of entitlement is ridiculous.

Sleepyhoglet Thu 10-Apr-14 22:51:58

I'm shouting at the screen- you are not in the position to be picky. It's a dining/ living area. That is not unreasonable. Ffs.

umiaisha Thu 10-Apr-14 22:56:24

Infuriating viewing.

Voulunteering is quite simply that, not a replacement for a paid job. I really pity these chidlren with such irresponsible parents.

Madasabox Thu 10-Apr-14 22:56:35

oh god yes! It's a living diner and the floor looked new, the windows were new. What did she want? A palace?

stripedteatowel Thu 10-Apr-14 23:17:19

Mixed feelings about this. I'm on benefits in London but not affected by the cap as DS is disabled. I grew up here, have family here and I definitely understand the security of having family close by. But I also lived outside of London in my 20s, moving to a town where I knew no one. My parents also did the same when I was young. It's not the end of the world to move somewhere new and start afresh. Very many of my school friends have left London for cheaper areas in the country, most of them with jobs and mortgages.

And I've lived in plenty of places with a downstairs loo or mixed diner/lounge (in fact most of the expensive flats in London have open plan living areas). I think the house with stairs that were supposed to be too dangerous was similar to the house that I first moved in with DS.

Personally I think if I'd been hit by the cap I would probably try to set myself up as self-employed for 16 hours. I would rather do that than have to leave my home. I think that is the best advice if you're finding it hard to get a job, especially as you can fit it around DC and possibly work from home. But it does need a certain level of skill and there were clearly educational/language issues with most of the people on the programme.

salsmum Fri 11-Apr-14 01:23:01

I didn't know if I heard right that the chap with 7 kids was getting £800 a week shock (tax free of course). I have looked after my DD for 25 years who is severely disabled with Cerebral Palsy. I have worked albeit P.T. around my daughter and would love to go back to work F/T but with my local Borough only providing care for 5 hours a week that is just a pipe dream for now. I do wonder with the benefit capping exactly WHERE all these jobs are actually going to come from??? Very few people actually CHOSE to go on benefits in my experience because it's not 'The Good life' and with a severely disabled DD there are added costs of heating, electric (for her bed, lift and wheelchair) and the carers allowance is an absolute joke! Before you scream 'Where's the Father?' he passed away last year after a long separation! My partner of 7 years has only managed to get P/T work working from 4am, although it was stated that disabled people who have major adaptations to their bedroom would be exempt from the 40% bedroom tax DWP has now decided that will only be for 1 year and then you have to re-apply. The programme tonight reminded me of the old film 'Cathy Come Home' 2014 style. Maybe they are trying to get rid of more 'social housing' in the city to make way for hugely expensive redevelopment hmm. Their was a feeling with some of the people with larger families tonight that if they protested enough a large 'mansion style' property would suddenly appear on the housing officers screen wink.

SEmyarse Fri 11-Apr-14 07:19:15

Does anyone know how they decide where people are to be housed outside of their area? Don't all areas have housing shortages, although less though than London?

I have met 2 people recently who have been moved to my area from a London borough, one to private let, and one to a council house, both on housing benefit. This is still a very expensive area, although not a patch on some bits of London.

I waited 5 years for my council place, despite being in urgent need due to dh's disability (he had to live in residential care while waiting, so missed all of ds' preschool years). I know plenty of other people round here who are still on the housing waiting list round here, so how do they decide whether to tackle their own housing list, or take in others from crisis areas?

One of the ladies who I know has been given a 2 bed old style council house in a sussex village just for her and her husband, both in their 50s. They're over the moon. I asked how she managed to get a 2 bed place, and she said they could make stipulations like this as long as she agreed to move out of London. That seems wrong at the expense of the local housing need.

Madasabox Fri 11-Apr-14 07:32:12

You were right. He earned £150 per week and then received £800 in benefits. He was the one who didn't like the stairs and rammed the pushchair in the door without any regard for the door frame or the paintwork. As it turned out none of the people ended up being permanently housed outside of London apart from the woman with two teenage children who ended up in Luton and had finally to get a job after 12 years of not working.

peggyundercrackers Fri 11-Apr-14 07:55:00

i had mixed feelings about the program however it did raise lots of valid questions. It does seem wrong that people are moved miles and miles away from their families with no support around them however why are we paying people �1000 a week in benefits? whilst it was on we were speaking and couldnt believe how many people on the program had big families - surely you need to take responsibility for your own family planning - if you cant afford to have 5 or 7 kids then dont have them - keep your pants up! also wonder how people can come to this country as asylum seekers and not work at all and not contribute to society here yet it all gets paid for? why did all the people featured seem to be asylum seekers or single mothers - where are the fathers to all these single mothers kids? why are they not paying? why are these mothers having so many kids when there is obviously no responsible man about?

I think the program maker picked london to highlight the issues around the cap because the rent are so high that people are being affected however im not sure its the case that this is happening all over the country as rent here is nowhere near as expensive as london.

after watching the program we thought the govt. had absolutely done the right thing - it cannot be sustainable for taxpayers to keep handing over an endless amount of money to people who dont/wont contribute - people need to take responsibility for their own lives and need to realise money doesnt grow on trees.

fluffiphlox Fri 11-Apr-14 09:56:48

I felt some sympathy for the local government officers. I don't suppose they are are on a huge wage, may be coping as single parents themselves etc and yet having to face this sense of entitlement on a daily basis.

Some questions occurred to me:

Where are the fathers in some of these cases?
Who the devil needs seven children?
Why allow those seven children to witness that performance in the council offices?
Is it a good idea to cart your baby around while handing out your CV?
If you can volunteer, then why can't you get a job, especially in the London area? Wembley is very central really.

creighton Fri 11-Apr-14 09:56:56

the housing officers do not show sympathy sometimes because they are sick of people getting more in benefits than they do in wages who then demand palaces to live in without making any effort. the woman who did not want to move to luton was strong enough to get to this country thousands of miles away from east Africa but then found 50 miles 'too much'. I almost laughed when I saw the luton housing officers faces when she appeared to turn down the house she was being shown.

the problem with these programmes is that they rarely show sympathetic claimants, they just show the lazy, cheeky entitled ones who have managed not to work for 12 years or who have 7,8,9 children. they never show older tenants or disabled tenants who may be getting the short end of the stick.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 11-Apr-14 10:40:20

Is it a good idea to cart your baby around while handing out your CV?

Yes, of course it is. What a strange question.

vickibee Fri 11-Apr-14 11:14:27

I did have some empathy with the families affected, however it is unrealistic that they should receive such a vast sum in benefits. In the real world most of us consider the implications of having large families and assess affordibility,we only have one DC and definitely couldn't afford 7 or 9.
The main problem is the lack of affordable housing, private rents take up all their benefit allowance, I can't belive it is �500 pw to rent a place in Wembley. It is that per month round here. In addition I would think that the employment market in London is better and getting a 16 hour a week job can't be that hard? or perhaps it is childcare that is the problem?
This is social cleansing and there will be no one left to do the menial low paid jobs? Only the rich can live in London

frumpity33higswash Fri 11-Apr-14 11:24:31

Tories Iain Duncan Smith and Cameron should be ashamed of themselves. Benefit not Reformed But DEFORMED Did Victoria Derbyshire do the programme this morning?

vickibee Fri 11-Apr-14 11:35:46

I watched a programme about a London Estate Agent and he was selling places for �30 million, his commission on this was �500,000. (how much is the stamp duty

I just don't get how a home can cost so much? This is the other side of the London coin, a city of divide?

salsmum Fri 11-Apr-14 11:53:35

* Is it a good idea to take your baby with you when handing out your C.V?* I think that in such a competitive employment market it probably wasn't the best move to take baby (and the purple hair that didn't reappear afterwards hmm). If I was an employer and someone came in for a job (with CVs) and she had a young baby with her it would say to me that she was unable to make provisions for childcare...this may then lead me to believe that childcare once she starts work could be a problem once employed further down the line. The purple hair did not give the best impression either. When you have sooo many people applying for VERY few work positions employers can afford to be really picky. The lady stated herself that she would be seeking work when the baby was older. Sorry but I think she was just applying for jobs on camera to prove (to the job centre) that she is 'actively seeking work' so as not to have her benefits cut. You have to make a real effort to look smart and presentable when handing out CVs to future employers or what is the point?. Before you ask yes I have cleaned toilets, worked on a market for 10 hours a day come rain or shine 6 days a week, I have worked on minimum wage and worked/work as a carer...as the saying goes beggars cannot be choosers and it puts food on the table. I know a lady/couple who have never worked a day since leaving school, are just about 30 and buy their (soon to be) EIGHT kids ipods/pads/x-boxes etc...for xmas and openly boast about it on F/B. Benefits are topped up with a bit of backstreet dog breeding every season the poor dog has which they then buy another pedigree dog off Gumtree to mate with breeding bitch and 6 months later they get rid of new pup and buy another!! apparently it's the larger families like this who will be capped the hardest. When I hear that some people last night will be £300+ worse off I just thought..does that mean they get £4/500 a week before the cuts shock we have @ £50 a week after paying bills etc. As stated previously I cannot work because I care full time for my daughter who is severely disabled.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 11-Apr-14 12:09:00

salsmum

Who wouldn't hand out a CV in order not to lose benefits when it is an actual requirement of the benefit that you do so? confused

Do you really think a prospective employer would make assumptions about someone's childcare arrangements without actually asking them first?

LetZygonsbeZygons Fri 11-Apr-14 12:09:13

im solesources twin!!! exactly same situation.

fluffiphlox Fri 11-Apr-14 12:50:54

SuburbanRhonda

*Is it a good idea to cart your baby around while handing out your CV?

Yes, of course it is. What a strange question*

Well I asked it and I don't think it's strange. If I was a prospective employer, it would make me think that the mother couldn't organise herself.
I would have similar misgivings about the half-purple hair (though it would depend on the job).

ThePearShapedToad Fri 11-Apr-14 13:20:05

Watching it now on catch up. And getting rather cross.

Firstly, the number of parents saying their children will be getting upset, or cross. Feel like shouting "you're the parent. Tell your children to get on with it."

Secondly, the Ethiopian lady. Where is the 12 year old staying??! And what is wrong with the lounge / dining room??

expatinscotland Fri 11-Apr-14 13:23:59

The teenager wound up staying with family in Brent as she didn't want to move.

ThePearShapedToad Fri 11-Apr-14 13:27:12

Ah, yes just got to the end and seen the updates.

But again- the mum can't be grumbling she doesn't see her daughter when a TWELVE year old has decided to stay behind. My mother would have clipped me round the head and told me I was bloody well doing as she said.

Feel sorry for those genuinely searching for work with no luck though, must be extremely tough being continuously told no time and time again sad

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 13:38:06

I had mixed feelings about the programme.
I felt sorry for children who were being displaced through no fault of their own.
I felt it was wrong to send these people to other areas because effectively you are just shifting the problem to other cities and increasing the rates of unemployed households in those areas.
I do feel that we shouldn't be paying for people to live in excessively expensive housing if there is a cheaper alternative available, but I don't think you should just be handing those people to another LA to cope with.
I feel that too many of the parents were not taking responsibility for the lives of themselves and their children. The benefit cap was not suddenly sprung on people, they had plenty of warning.
The single mum who was a student was quite adamant that she wouldn't work unless she was better off and even when it was pointed out to her that she would be £300 pw better off working she refused to accept it and look for a job. This is an attitude that is all too prevalent.
I felt sympathy for the children, but none for the adults.
And where were the fathers as the two single mums both had children under the age of 1.

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 13:42:54

I think I must have been watching a different programme from many of you!
1) None of these people are "earning" £x000 a month in benefits. Their landlords are - big difference
2) Moving away from family and friends is all very well if it is your choice and/or you have means to travel to see said family and friends once in a while. There is no comparison with a situation where a family is picked up and dumped in a completely unfamiliar place and left to get on with it.
3) In what kind of a world does it make sense for a family where someone works to be moved out to a location that means that person may have to give up work due to the commuting costs?
4) Why the hell was the woman who was studying not exempt from the cap? What long term benefit is there to society in forcing someone out of education and worthwhile work experience and into a dead end job?

Let's be clear here. None of this is the fault of the people who have found themselves living in fleapits for which greedy landlords are charging hundreds of pounds a week. This seems to be all about clearing the hoi polloi out of London and into newly formed ghettos, social engineering plain and simple (I wonder how Birmingham and Luton feel about it?) To hell with the lives they ruin and the massive false economies incurred in the process.

Tiredemma Fri 11-Apr-14 13:45:15

The single mum who was a student was quite adamant that she wouldn't work unless she was better off and even when it was pointed out to her that she would be £300 pw better off working she refused to accept it and look for a job.

I felt sorry for her up until this point- then I felt she was an idiot

BMW6 Fri 11-Apr-14 13:46:29

Pisses me off that people want the right to have as many children as they please, but don't accept that it is their responsibility to provide for them.
angry

InspirationFailed Fri 11-Apr-14 13:48:08

When ex left I had to claim benefits. I am looking forward to going back to work next year (when my baby is older) but I can understand why some people might chose to stay on benefits - I get a seemingly massive amount of money and would be hard pressed to get a job that will equal it, especially factoring in childcare.

BMW6 Fri 11-Apr-14 13:51:21

If you want to live in the most expensive area of a country, get a job that pays the rent/mortgage.

Otherwise, like the rest of the population, you live where you can afford to.

I'd love to live in a much better area or in a nicer house. We bought what we could afford.........

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 13:51:23

1) None of these people are "earning" £x000 a month in benefits. Their landlords are - big difference

But the people are being given £x000 every month in benefits to pay their landlords. If the money isn't coming from their own pocket then they shouldn't be able to live in expensive housing regardless of who is making the profit.

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 13:53:39

4) Why the hell was the woman who was studying not exempt from the cap? What long term benefit is there to society in forcing someone out of education and worthwhile work experience and into a dead end job?

Because if she wasn't exempt she would spend the rest of her life being a student. She had the time to do voluntary work so she had the time to get a paid job. She said it herself 'i will only work if I am better off ', but then decided that it wasn't worthwhile working to be £300 pw better off after all.

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 13:54:56

Any fool can see that the £300pw better off figure was utter fiction.

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 13:57:39

"If you want to live in the most expensive area of a country, get a job that pays the rent/mortgage."

No, I won't accept that. These are scummy areas of London where landlords are somehow getting away with daylight robbery, because there are enough idiots prepared to pay them out of choice. These people moved to London many years ago, probably before they yuppies spread out of Islington and into Hackney and other equally lovely areas. Who is going to do the essential work in London if nobody can afford to live there unless they're on a 6 figure salary?!

Contrarian78 Fri 11-Apr-14 14:04:19

Who is going to do the essential work in London if nobody can afford to live there unless they're on a 6 figure salary?!

And at that point, it becomes an even worse place to live; so the market adjusts accordingly. Who would want to live in an area where you couldn't get your kids educated, or your house burned down for want of a fireman?

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 14:07:06

Who is going to do the essential work in London if nobody can afford to live there unless they're on a 6 figure salary?!

Somebody on minimum wage working at least 24 hours per week will not be affected by the benefit cap, so will get housing benefit to enable them to stay living in London. The problem isn't with low paid workers, it's with people who are unemployed but want to live in an area where a flat costs £400pw to rent. The landlords can charge whatever they like, because that is how supply and demand works, but the govt can't afford to pay £400 pw in rent plus however much in other benefits just so that people can choose to live in expensive areas.

piscivorous Fri 11-Apr-14 14:10:49

One of the problems in other areas though is that large numbers of unemployed people are moved to cheaper housing, this can lead to "ghettoes" in other towns and cities.
I live in a seaside town and we are getting huge areas of town where hotels are converting to HMOs and filling up with people shipped in from other areas. There are no jobs here either so this is condemning those who would like to work to a dim future and the social problems are increasing due to the number coming in with mental health and other problems

stripedteatowel Fri 11-Apr-14 14:18:08

When I moved to a city outside of London it was not exactly a choice, nor was it for my parents when they did it. It was for economic reasons, just like those in the programme. And we didn't have money to visit friends and family. We left them behind and made new friends, it's often easy to make a new support network when you have dc.

And there are lots of workers in my council block who are on NMW, so I can't see a massive lack of workers willing to do those jobs, and they won't be affected by the cap with council rents. Also lots of key workers in shared ownership housing (which the teachers/firemen will qualify for) - I know a few people who have bought flats in zone 2 on brand new shared ownership developments.

SuburbanRhonda Fri 11-Apr-14 14:29:06

"Is it a good idea to cart your baby around while handing out your CV? Yes, of course it is. What a strange question."

Well I asked it and I don't think it's strange. If I was a prospective employer, it would make me think that the mother couldn't organise herself. I would have similar misgivings about the half-purple hair (though it would depend on the job).

So you're saying that if, for example, the woman in question went out to run some errands, taking her two children with her as she didn't have short-term childcare available on tap, and decided to hand out some CVs while she was at it, you would consider her disorganised? I would admire her for multi-tasking.

And having purple hair does not prevent you from being a good bar-maid. Things have moved on since the 1950s smile

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 14:32:24

Impatient, why are you falling for that rubbish? It is not the fault of these people that London prices have gone insane . All they need is a roof over their head. Why should they be kicked out simply so landlords can continue charging those crazy rents for such dreadful properties? Round here houses much nicer than those featured are �400 a month!

Contrarian78 Fri 11-Apr-14 14:36:09

gaelic Actually, it sort of is. The majority of the people featured on the show yesterday were immigrants. Immigrants are driving the ever-increasing demand in London (and always have done).

That sounds bad (I'm not BNP) but it's true.

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 14:58:03

Garlic sheep - those people are not being kicked out simply so the landlords can continue charging crazy rents. They are being kicked out because the govt has decided that unemployed families can no longer get in excess of £26k a year in benefits (unless a member of the household is disabled). If people earning 26k (after tax and NI) can't afford to live there then why should people who don't work?
Frankly I don't care what the landlords charge, I would be quite happy for all of their properties to be standing empty due to nobody being willing to pay the rental costs, however, I do object to non working families living in properties which are costing the public purse £400+ per week.

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 15:00:07

Round here houses much nicer than those featured are �400 a month!

They should all be rehoused near you then and the landlords in London will have to decrease their rents to cope with the decreased demand and the govt will save a huge fortune in housing benefit payments. win win.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 11-Apr-14 15:04:49

As someone from (and still in) the Midlands, I am wondering just how these houses in various other parts of the country are being found?

There are families already in Birmingham, homeless, in hostels etc. needing a house & being told that none are available. But there are some available if you currently live in London & accept the relocation? confused I am definitely concerned about the issue of social cleansing that seems to be going on too. Move all of the poorer people/out of work people to Birmingham, Luton, Manchester etc. etc. - yeah, that'll help hmm. Because none of those areas already have high levels of unemployment or homeless people do they?!

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 15:14:53

Landlords should be forced to rent to DSS tenants and should be taxed very heavily on excessive rents. If they refuse the house should be compulsorily purchased as social housing.

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 15:19:29

You cannot take somebodies house because they refuse to rent it to a social housing tenant. We don't live in a dictatorship.
People can choose to do as they wish with their own possessions. If a house is rented to a private full rent paying tenant do you suggest that the tenant should be turfed out in order to free up the house for a housing benefit tenant who will occupy it following a CPO? Because all those landlords will just fill their houses with tenants who pay their on rent.
If you really think that your plan is feasible then you need to have a rethink.

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 15:27:45

"You cannot take somebodies house because they refuse to rent it to a social housing tenant. We don't live in a dictatorship."

Really? What do you call what's going on then?

salsmum Fri 11-Apr-14 15:31:17

Impatient unemployed families can no longer get £26k a year benefits unless a member of the household is disabled PLEASE DO NOT assume that this is the case ALWAYS folks, as stated before when you care for a member of the household who is disabled although it's a 24 hour a day task to do so we also have a REAL problem making ends meet...we have not had a holiday for a number of years (never been abroad) do not drink, socialise very often (hardly ever) and have to survive on whatever the Government sees fit to throw at us (which is NO WAY near £24k) when I was able to work (while my daughter was a at school/college I also worked as a carer (as many of us do) so £6-£7 an hour in a job that because of cuts means that the work load is extremely higher than what it used to be. I would love to hear from MNs from areas that these people have been relocated to.

stripedteatowel Fri 11-Apr-14 15:45:48

Quite right salsmum I have my DS who is disabled and I also get DLA for myself, so our benefits income is actually quite close to the cap, if I had more dc it would probably take it over. But we have a higher than average costs of raising a child, it costs about 3 times more to raise a disabled child. Normal public transport often isn't possible, you have to replace items more often, pay for special diets and equipment. And the time taken to look after a disabled child means that you often have to pay more for things out of convenience. I can't work even when DS is in school as I might get called out at any time to collect him, plus that is the only time in the week that I'd have to do chores/errands without him in tow. We have had holidays as a disabled family though - Family Fund pays for us to go each year (albeit in the UK). It is worth searching for charities which fund that kind of thing, there are a few different charities which offer it and an application is likely to be awarded when on benefits.

Southeastdweller Fri 11-Apr-14 15:48:16

The lady from Ethiopia annoyed me when she turned up her nose at the house in Luton - what the hell was she expecting?! And why couldn't she get a job in somewhere like Pret?! They're always looking for staff. Sorry if that sounds glib but you get my drift.

Tracey and her 'I'm not working minimum wage cleaning toilets full time because it would set a bad example to my kids' needs someone to talk some bloody sense into her. I thought there was much more to her story in particular, which her landlord hinted at.

The chap who chose to have seven kids while he had a job and his partner didn't - what kind of lifestyle does he expect to provide for his kids, even before the benefit cap was introduced?

Nobody has the right to live in one particular place, which is what some of the deluded individuals on the programme fail to understand.

salsmum Fri 11-Apr-14 15:51:01

Thank you stripedteatowel my DD is 25 so any charity that help families with children stop at 16-19 that includes holiday, laundry equipment etc...we have recently had to apply for a 'hardship payment' which just about paid some off my overdraft (which we live in). MAYBE if I had 8 kids......instead of the 2 which we could afford then...

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 16:01:54

Southeastdweller - these types of programmes are always edited in a certain way. I quite deliberately closed my eyes and ears to the attempts to make me think badly of the people concerned by means of selected editing. Who can blame them for being pretty negative about their new "homes"? The whole situation would cause anyone to be extremely negative and depressed.

I simply cannot agree that individuals should be paying the price for the greed of other Londoners. Change the policies for future claimants, fine, but don't force people out of their homes to the detriment of them, their children and our society as a whole.

Southeastdweller Fri 11-Apr-14 16:05:52

Yes thanks, I do realise that, Gaelic. That's partly why I avoided Benefits Street. Watched this as my mother encouraged me to. And I don't think the attitudes displayed in the programme are typical of what most benefit claimants think.

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 16:09:29

I have a disabled child and get benefits (carers for myself and high rate DLA for my disabled child) and if my husband wasn't working and we were renting we would be close to (or even over) the benefit cap. However, it wouldn't be capped because we are outside of the capping rule due to the disability.

As for the issue about dictatorship. Moving somebody to a cheaper area because they rely on the state to pay for their house is Very different from enforcing a CPO because the landlord doesn't want to rent to housing benefit tenants at a rate which the govt says is reasonable. The landlord is allowed to rent just to privately paying tenants if he wishes (and as many do) because it is his house and he can set the rules about what he does with his house. The problem with extortionate rental prices has been fuelled by the right to buy scheme which has seen shrinking numbers of social housing properties. Another factor has been people clamouring to live in certain areas. If you look at any capital city in Europe you will see that rental prices are much higher than prices further out. If people are not willing to pay those rent levels then the properties would be empty. Perhaps you should lobby for the councils to build more social housing which will see tenants able to get an affordable home with a secured tenancy and will see the landlords with a shrinking market and therefore reducing their prices accordingly.
Councils can't just force CPO's onto landlords because we have a law which governs CPO's and fair prices and the govt simply can't afford to buy a mass of London based properties at market prices.

Supply and demand applies to most things that we pay for: holidays, housing, cars, clothing. If lots of people want something then the owner / seller can charge more for it.

I had mixed feelings too but the Ethiopian woman made me cross as I know the street that they gave her. Its not in a bad area of Luton and is really close to the shops and the railway/bus stations. When I was single I used to live literally around the corner and it was a really easy and cheap commute to London on the coach.

I didn't understand how the woman who was studying would avoid the cap if she worked 16 hours yet the guy who worked in the greengrocers was still capped.

wordfactory Fri 11-Apr-14 16:17:32

I am very uncomfortable with the idea of London being available for only the rich.

If it is to remain the business/cultural power house it is, we need working class families to be able to live there.

However whilst I fully support helping working class families to live in Lopndon, there has to be some degree of helping yourself and it seemed that quite a few of those in the programme had no intention of even trying to maximise their independence!

How on earth could a family where only one adult works part time think ti a good idea to have seven children?!?!?! Even if there were copious amounts of social housing, how many would have enoguh bedrooms? How on earth did this family ever think they would earn enough to support themselves, given neither adult had any skills?

whatadrama Fri 11-Apr-14 16:17:42

Just out of interest does anyone know if Luton and Birmingham have a massive surplus of housing and school places/amenities going?

I know where we live there is very little opportunity to get a private Landlord willing to accept HB and council properties are very few and far between.

I'm in the sleepy part of the SW which struggles to accommodate the locals let alone anyone else confused

stripedteatowel Fri 11-Apr-14 16:17:58

Oh, I didn't realise how old your DD was salsmum. Yes, that is a worry for the future, as so much depends on having a younger child with disabilities, yet DS is likely to be dependent on me for years (forever?) once he's over 19. At the moment child tax credits help a lot, but I wouldn't get that once he leaves school.

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 16:18:18

The guy in the green grocers was part of a couple so between them they needed to work 24 hours. He was earning £150 per week so I'm not sure if he was working enough hours. The woman is a single person so needs to work 16 hours.

stripedteatowel Fri 11-Apr-14 16:22:38

mileysorearse I think it was because the woman was a single mum (so only has to work 16 hours) but the man in the greengrocers would have had to work more hours to avoid the cap if not a lone parent (24?). (Though I think another family were working and wrongly capped (as the council didn't believe they were working), so I wouldn't be surprised if the cap is being incorrectly applied in some cases).

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 16:26:54

Just out of interest does anyone know if Luton and Birmingham have a massive surplus of housing and school places/amenities going?

I don't know about Luton, but Birmingham has a lot of homeless families living in temporary accommodation so they don't have a surplus.
What sometimes happens is this:
Brent council can't afford to house people in London (even in temp accommodation as it is to expensive in London) but they have a duty of care to families with children. So they approach landlords in cheaper areas and reach agreement with them to find tenants. The council agree to fund a deposit and guarantee a minimum level of rent and sometimes they agree to oversee the tenancy and manage the property. It isn't cheap, but it is a hell of a lot cheaper than housing somebody in London (where housing benefit wouldn't cover the rent anyway and the tenant would get evicted).
There isn't anything stopping Birmingham council from undertaking a similar scheme to get people of out temporary accommodation. I don't know why they are not doing it.
It isn't nice to displace people, but the council are not the people to blame. The benefit cap simply doesn't allow for London private rental prices. The council didn't set the benefit cap.

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 16:28:24

Yes stripedteatowel I do agree that it isn't always correctly applied. I know that sometimes people are affected because they haven't claimed everything that they are entitled to claim (usually working tax credits).

Thanks for the explanations, I wasn't clear on the rules. Luton has got a lot more expensive since I lived there. 15 years ago you could get a house like they showed for around £40k. I guess a lot were bought by private landlords as there are lots of rental properties. It's still a lot cheaper than anywhere else along the same train line though so young commuters like it, or parts of it.

whatadrama Fri 11-Apr-14 16:41:55

Thanks for explaining impatient, I couldnt understand how it would work.

I'm glad i dont live in either area as i would have thought the long term repercussions will mean that rents there will now shoot up there in time so people will be forced even further out when they fall into the benefits cap trap hmm

OddBoots Fri 11-Apr-14 16:49:53

The trend for population in Luton is increasing by over 1500 per year but building is not keeping up with that, housing is getting squeezed so prices will be going up quickly here too. It's not going to be a long term option.

Supermam72 Fri 11-Apr-14 20:44:14

Just watched this. As a full time working mum with two jobs, Msc part time student, three kids one of which is disabled I find it unbelievable a woman wasn't prepared to work 16 hours for the minimum wage to keep her home. What's wrong with people? We would all love to be at home BUT that's not reality. I like the fact I've taught my kids a good work ethos.

As for having 5-7 kids and expecting it to be ok to have £800 a week benefits well really? It's not. Can't afford the kids then don't have them, apply family planning like the rest of us.

Moving people away from their homes is wrong and I do sympathise BUT I also pay nearly £1000 deductions a month so that's my contribution. No tax credits for us and when my kids go to uni it will be full fees for us - unless they pop out children before the age of 25 then it's free, but that is another discussion.......

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 20:57:38

The point that is so often missed is that these children already exist. They can't be undone, however much the Government might wish that was the case. Therefore they need providing for, and the thing that got to me most last night was the fact that these "reforms" are, in some cases, working against the very thing they claim to try to achieve.

I say, once again, it is not these people's fault that they have found themselves in one of the most insane cities in the Western world. Yes it's all very easy to be wise after the event, and to preach to people who have arrived here with nothing from the developing world, but none of us is perfect.

It is not enough simply to stand by and say, oh well it's sad for the families but if they'd done this or hadn't done that (implication, as I did/didn't because I'm so much more sensible) then they wouldn't be in this mess. That's no good, it doesn't solve anything. By all means reform the system, I'm sure it does need reforming (and yes, such reforms should include placing more responsibilities onto private landlords who are currently raking it in), but don't pull the rug out from under people's feet with a few short months notice. It is cruel, and heartless, and not the behaviour of a civilised country that cares about its citizens.

And impatient of course it isn't currently legal to force landlords to take DSS tenants, but the Government makes new laws every day, and extremely punitive ones at that. There are many things that this Government has implemented that any sane person would say go against the very roots of our society, but implement them they do. Once someone owns more than a couple of properties they should cease to be treated as a private individual and their property portfolio should be seen for what it is: a highly profitable business making easy money from vulnerable people and the taxpayer with little or no responsibility in return. Well, in my opinion that needs to change.

Sleepyhoglet Fri 11-Apr-14 21:45:03

Gaelic - I'm just more disgusted at his ungrateful the families were and their sense of entitlement.

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 21:55:08

Once someone owns more than a couple of properties they should cease to be treated as a private individual and their property portfolio should be seen for what it is: a highly profitable business making easy money from vulnerable people and the taxpayer with little or no responsibility in return. Well, in my opinion that needs to change.

What is to stop landlords who own multiple properties from 'gifting' houses over the excess level to family members and drawing up an agreement with a solicitor to state that the properties are an invested gift and cannot be sold. There will always be a loophole. What you are suggesting is neither practical nor workable.

elahrairahforprimeminister Fri 11-Apr-14 22:27:07

The lady from Ethiopia annoyed me when she turned up her nose at the house in Luton - what the hell was she expecting?!

She was barking.

She had been living in one room with her daughters in a hostel for 18 months (?), sleeping on a mattress and keeping her plates and food on the floor because otherwise it would get stolen.

And she complains because she hasn't got a 'proper' living room.

confused

She's been given a free house. Fucking take it! Buy some sodding room dividers!!

Impatientismymiddlename Fri 11-Apr-14 23:17:51

I think the Ethiopian woman's attitude came across badly but her real issue probably wasn't the house but the fact that her daughter had not come with her and she felt her family was being torn apart.

fayrae Fri 11-Apr-14 23:32:40

"I simply cannot agree that individuals should be paying the price for the greed of other Londoners."
Who is "paying the price now"?

The whole problem is government created in the first place. The housing boom has largely been a result of government policy. Then we needed more government policy so that people could afford to live there on low wages. Now we are seeing the end result of that. Get rid of the all the legislation and let things sort themselves out. You can't have a city where the bins are overflowing and toliets not being cleaned because no-one will do the job for the wages on offer. Wages will rise and rents will lower until they are sustainable.

And the whole "they aren't getting the money, the landlord is" argument is ridiculous. Do people who work (without being on benefits) to pay their rent argue that they don't earn x amount of money, but a lower amount, because their rent money goes straight to the landlord?

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 23:54:16

Now I understand why the Tories won the election, and will keep on winning. :-(

fayrae Fri 11-Apr-14 23:57:25

But do Labour understand that? OR are they going to keep on thinking they are right and that people ar wrong for disagreeing with them and voting Tory (or at least not voting Labour). Are Labour prepared to change in order to get elected or would they rather remain true to their principles and be an opposition party of protest? Isn't it better to be in power and doing SOME of the things you want to do than being out of power and doing NONE of them?

gaelicsheep Fri 11-Apr-14 23:58:53

So we just move all the poor and average income people out of the south east then, do we? I can't wait to watch all the rich left behind having to do their own dirty work because there are no more people left to step on.

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 00:00:55

Fayrae - I must say I see very very little difference between the two parties these days. Luckily I have a vote in September and will be voting to be rid of all of them for good. I feel sorry for those who don't have the choice.

fayrae Sat 12-Apr-14 00:17:27

I think you are misguided Gaelic if you think Scottish independence will make Scotland into some kind of utopia. It will have all the same problems it currently does, people will just have other politicians to blame.

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 00:24:59

This thread isn't about Scottish independence, but I am sick and tired of living in a state that only looks after the rich who live in one particular region of one of its four countries.

balenciaga Sat 12-Apr-14 00:41:41

Damn missed this confused

Impatientismymiddlename Sat 12-Apr-14 07:38:08

Now I understand why the Tories won the election, and will keep on winning. :-(

The Tories didn't win the election, nobody won, that's why we have a coalition.

nkf Sat 12-Apr-14 07:48:48

The rents in Brent were eye watering. Absolutely shockingly high. I had no idea and I'm glad that I watched this programme. Those people aren't getting squillions in benefits. Huge amounts of public money is being paid to private landlords. That's what is going on. It's like a terrible clash of ideologies happened. The free market (the landlords) and the welfare state (supporting people who can't help themselves.) And between them, they created thjs situation. It's all very well telling people they can't afford to live in London. Up until a year ago, they could.

frumpity33higswash Sat 12-Apr-14 11:31:06

rather callous suggestion me thinks. A Tory I presume

Nancy66 Sat 12-Apr-14 13:28:48

there would be absolutely no logic in sending someone like Tanya to live in Birmingham. As she said, her entire support network was in London. When she goes to work I would imagine she is going to rely on mum/gran/ for childcare. Move her to a city where she doesn't know a soul and straight away her chances of ever working are greatly diminished.

WanderingAway Sat 12-Apr-14 13:29:44

I think private rents need to be capped. 500 pounds a week is a crazy amount for a house.

That woman who moved to luton annoyed me too. What kind of house did she want?

There was an article in the DM today about 'Maggie's dream' of home ownership and right to buy. No mention of the money wasted paying private landlords because there isn't enough affordable housing available to rent as the money wasn't re-invested in new housing stock.

PhoebeNPenny Sat 12-Apr-14 15:43:10

Some people should be grateful they got a bloody house. 7 kids and wants to live in London - tough. I have one DD and I know me & OH could not afford to live there. The entitlement of some people is beyond stupid. Surely if you loved your kids and wanted what was best for them you would accept a house (no matter how far away) and make a fresh start? Seeing how distressed those kids were was horrible.

Impatientismymiddlename Sat 12-Apr-14 16:18:01

It's all very well telling people they can't afford to live in London. Up until a year ago, they could.

No they couldn't afford to live in London a year ago. Up until a year ago the govt was paying for people to live in very expensive rental properties in London with borrowed money. If somebody can afford something then they don't need to rely on handouts from another person/ group and they don't need to borrow money indefinetley. Neither the tenants nor the govt could afford it.

nkf Sat 12-Apr-14 16:35:05

Up until a year ago they did might have bern a more accurate way of putting it.

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 16:36:22

I would love to know which groups of society can afford rent of £2000+ a month without any kind of handout! Certainly not Mr & Mrs Average, that's for sure. Impatient - you seem to be seriously suggesting that social cleansing of London is acceptable!

Once again, people are just choosing to ignore so many aspects of this. So people seemed to be moaning - consider that they might be seriously depressed, unable to see the wood for the trees, been kicked so many times they can't get up again, desperately trying to find a reason - any reason - that might mean they can stay in their home city? Plus some of these people have only ever lived in London since coming to this country, with a limited social circle and limited opportunities. Why presume that they realised that they were being screwed over for years?

Absolutely yes, private rents should be capped to protect people from exploitation. Anyone who chooses to pay £2,000 a month in rent needs their head examining, so I have to presume that anyone in that position is there because they have no viable alternative.

Yes the welfare state has allowed this situation to happen, but there is no defensible reason for suddenly changing the rules to the detriment of individual families who have made their choices in good faith.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sat 12-Apr-14 17:00:10

At the point that you put a cap on rents landlords WILL refuse to rent to HB tenants.

I have HB tenants in at the moment. The full amount is covered by the council. if the amount I need to rent out my house was not covered and I had to accept less I would take private renters who could and can afford it.

I am not a charity. I have bills to pay like everyone else.

I don't think there is any easy answer tbh. Surely a rent cap would mean that fewer landlords would be prepared to rent to benefits recipients? This would mean that there were even fewer houses available.

nkf Sat 12-Apr-14 17:06:56

Yes, but there you have it. Your busines model requires top ups from the public purse. If there were more houses for private renters, prices in the private sector would have to fall. Everything to do with houses is kept artificially high. It's neither regulated by the state nor allowed to find its level in a free market. The worst of both worlds.

nkf Sat 12-Apr-14 17:07:36

You are not a charity indeed. Personally, I would rather social housing was run by not for profit organisations.

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 17:38:00

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood - if you need to charge a figure like £2,000 for an extremely average house, like those in the programme, in order to cover your bills, then I would suggest you can't really afford to be a landlord.

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 17:38:58

I find it quite amazing that people on this thread are condoning draconian restrictions on individuals while in the same breath arguing that landlords should be allowed to do whatever the hell they like, at the public's expense.

Sicaq Sat 12-Apr-14 17:47:06

At the point that you put a cap on rents landlords WILL refuse to rent to HB tenants.

Virtually all landlords already refuse to let to HB tenants. I would vote for a cap. I would also vote for a ban on discriminating against HB tenants - I am aware this is mainly the mortgage companies, not the landlords.

It is an outrage that something as essential as housing has come to this; this stupid economic merry-go-round of high rent = high HB = HB caps = social cleansing = high rent now gets paid by private tenants = rents get even higher. And so on.

I am not saying that landlords should be able to charge whatever they like but there would be less need for landlords if more LA housing had been built when the right to buy scheme was introduced. Various governments need to take their share of the blame in this. What is interesting is that I had a quick look at private rental on Rightmove in Wembley, which is in Brent, and the average nice 3 bedroom house is £1600 per month. I bet they are not available to those on benefits though. I don't know what the answer if but moving people wholesale to places were there aren't many jobs seems a bit barmy.

Fwiw I wouldn't class some of the places that featured on the program as really in London, it's greater London not anywhere near the centre.

nkf Sat 12-Apr-14 17:52:03

And the ones that do rent to HB tennants are the ones that can afford properties outright. So likely to be lower grade properties. It's all wrong. The tenants in the programme were hopeless and helpless. Like rabbits in the face of an oncoming juggernaut. How it got to this state I don't know and I can see it has to stop. But there will be pain along the way.

EllaJayne123 Sat 12-Apr-14 18:10:40

It's spot on how it was showed! It's my job to help those affected by the cap and it doesn't apply to you if your working more than 16 hours and with housing benefit child care is disregarded from your income so people have no excuse. It only affects you when your income is over 26k on benefits which is more than the average working household. 10 families in the uk were receiving more than 100k per year just in housing benefits dismissing all the other tax credits, income based allowances and child benefit. Some people do want to work and are not claiming benefit out of choice but you see them a lot less than those who want it all. In the year I've worked in the job I have only ever once heard the words 'I appriciate what I'm getting but..' And while I am not a racist In any shape or form one of the people affected by this who was particularly rude to me had lived in the uk and claimed job seekers allowance for 14 years could not speak a word of English and cost the tax payer £500 to use a language line to complain about his benefis. What sort of sociaty are we in where someone can be 'seeking a job' for 14 years without speaking a word of English and while doing this was receiving more in benefits than the average working household? Makes no sense. Ran over thanks!!

EllaJayne123 Sat 12-Apr-14 18:11:57

* rant over

Impatientismymiddlename Sat 12-Apr-14 19:03:29

Gaelicsheep Ordinary People would never have been priced out of London if Thatcher had not brought in right to buy. Part of the reason prices are so overinflated in London is that a lot of the social housing has been sold off and there is no affordable land to build masses of new social housing. Because there is less property available to rent prices have risen (that's how supply and demand works).
If a landlord buys a property for £500k he isn't going to rent it out for £400 per month, that isn't feasible. Most landlords have buy to let mortgages and have an average yield of 6%, which has to cover the maintenance and interest payments on the property. They are not going to rent at a price which makes them a loss. The country can no longer afford to pay sufficient housing benefits for these properties either as the country's finances are in a mess.
I rented a property to a housing benefit tenant a decade ago, I charged £80 per week which didn't make me any profit, it just covered the overheads of the property. The local housing allowance at the time only paid £70 per week and the tenant had to pay the other £10, but they refused to pay as they said that I was being greedy. I sold the property to another landlord who put the rent up to £110. I wasn't prepared to make a loss and neither will other landlords regardless of how expensive the rent is.

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 19:16:12

Impatient - I'm well aware of all that, my point is that individuals should not be suffering. My problem with this is moving the goalposts on people who are already in this situation. They could have implemented this in such a way that they refuse new claims but honour existing ones. That would be much fairer.

Also I would add that a very good way of driving down house prices would be to restrict the rents that could be charged.

If you drive down house prices then it may force people into negative equity and raise repossesions, meaning more demand for social housing.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 12-Apr-14 19:46:35

The single mum (Tracy?) was an entitled mare. Saying she wasn't going to clean toilets, well ya know, someone has to!

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 19:46:42

I seriously doubt that people who have recently been able to buy a house in the south east would be forced into the position of needing social housing.

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 19:50:17

If, as nkfsuggests, the houses being rented to HB tenants are those bought outright, then the only thing keeping those rents so high is greed, plain and simple.

EllaJayne123 Sat 12-Apr-14 19:53:21

Why is it a landlords responsibility to accommodate those who want a house out of there affordable means? If someone is homeless they will be put in social housing with an affordable rent. A landlord has a right not to accept dss and if they do should not be forced to accept what the benefit agency decides the allowance for that area is? If someone cannot afford the rent it is there own responsibility to look for somewhere they can. Many places are within the allowances but as we saw on the beneft cap show people are not happy with these places and want something better. I would love to be able to afford some rental fees but even though I work full time I can't afford it - why should those not working be given a privilidge that many tax payers can't?

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 19:58:25

I think choosing to be a landlord should bring responsibilities. The only reason working people cannot afford average rents in some areas is because landlords and property vendors are downright greedy.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sat 12-Apr-14 20:01:55

The other difficulty about talking about the sell off of the council owned houses is that it HAS happened it is too late.

So I totally understand about the fact that these families are here and children have been born. so is there something that the government can do like they did with the married persons allowance and say that from X date the rules will apply to new applicants. I know this makes a 2 tier system but it already is surely so maybe this is the way to go?

Children number 5+ will be supported financially if they are already here but if you currently have 4 children and have a 5th then it will not? God that sounds awful written down.. What is the solution it is all so awful.

FWIW the house that I let out to HB tenants is small and of minimal rent (£450 a month) but not in London.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sat 12-Apr-14 20:03:38

gaelic, you can not blame the whole problem on greedy landlords.
it really really isn't the problem. We live in a free market economy. there are lots and lots of things that are more expensive than they used to be.

EllaJayne123 Sat 12-Apr-14 20:06:42

So choosing to be a landlord should mean taking responsibility of those who had children they could not afford? I agree rental prices are high and some are greedy but anyone can rent out a property - they are not responsible for any one else's financial issues and if they put rent cheaper than there mortgage no one would ever do it and people would not have anywhere to rent!

Viviennemary Sat 12-Apr-14 20:07:29

Landlords are there to make money. If they didn't make money there wouldn't be a lot of point in being a landlord. So all this landlord bashing is a bit mad. I do feel sorry for the people who have to move out of their areas. The situation should never have been allowed to get as crazy as it is. With people on £800 a week benefit. Have they any idea of what gross salary they would have to earn to get that amount net.

EllaJayne123 Sat 12-Apr-14 20:10:34

And in the area I work the max we pay is £1225 per month for housing benefit alone, don't think that's such a small amount to adhere to?

Being a landlord is a business like any other. I am not one but I recognise, as NeverKnowingly says, that it is a free market economy. I can remember the last time that house prices dropped considerably in the early 90's, leading to mass repossession/people chucking their keys back. This is what happens when prices plummet. I bought a house in this market and it was grim looking round dozens of empty houses that used to be homes. Guess who bought the most repo's? Here's a clue, it wasn't families.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 12-Apr-14 20:18:58

Landlords get bashed to shit on MN and are often told that they have a social responsibility to not charge sky high prices, yet you'll get called names for daring to suggest that people like those who appeared in the programme don't seem to be considering their personal social responsibility.

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 20:22:44

So you charge more than twice the average mortgage payment on a similar property and you get punitively taxed. What's wrong with that? I am a landlord by the way.

Sicaq Sat 12-Apr-14 20:22:57

I have had some excellent landlords, and also a few crooks. But I'm starting to wonder whether our need for a home and shelter should ever be turned into a business run for individual profit. In theory I would be all for full state control of rental properties.

Having said that, states can be as crooked as individuals, so who knows ...

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 20:23:58

Imo social responsibilty starts with those who can well afford it.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 12-Apr-14 20:31:08

gaelic I disagree, we should all be socially responsible. What a sad attitude. You don't need to have money to be a part of the community.

gaelicsheep Sat 12-Apr-14 20:44:32

And obviously I was not referring to being part of a community, that is a different issue. I was saying that it is not down to those in need of the welfare state to worry about the wider economic implications. These are the victims of this perverse system we live in, not the perpetuators of it.

Can I join in? I just watched after reading this thread and it made my blood boil, but not for the obvious reasons. Of the families shown, two were working and all the others were single parent families. All single women struggling to cope. Where were the fathers? This government has shafted those most at need whilst awarding themselves an 11% pay rise. In 15-20 years time when the children have grown up, we are going to be faced with an entirely different problem. I agree people should be encouraged to work and it shouldn't be a something for nothing attitude BUT to beat down the worse off in our society is wrong and smacks of injustice to me.
Sorry. Rant over!

nkf Sat 12-Apr-14 21:17:22

When you are a landlord letting to tenants on housing benefit, you are not operating in the free market. You are in receipt of benefits.

You can't expect people to say no to money. A landlord won't. Neither will a single mother who doesn't want to work. I bet most of us claim and spend our child benefit. So, what we seem to have here is a system that makes it really easy to receive money in benefits. You give people things. They come to expect it. That's human nature probably. But now, it's gone. This government has rewritten the rules. And most of those people on the programme seemed ill equipped to cope with any changes.

WanderingAway Sat 12-Apr-14 21:29:09

A lot of things need to change. People need to take respondibility for themselves and not be entitled shits and people should not be allowed to buy up whole streets of new builds and rent them out for thousands of pounds a month. Not allowing people to buy a home and live in it.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 12-Apr-14 21:54:44

WanderingAway It doesn't make any difference to me if a developer buys a whole street, I still can't afford the deposit or the mortgage.

fedupinbucks Sun 13-Apr-14 12:14:03

I was stunned by the programme.

It showed very clearly that a single Mum with three young kids who worked just 16 hours a week wouldn't have her benefits capped and would receive a net £811 per week in benefits.

Take a look at your own paypacket or your partners and work out how much you'd have to earn in similar circumstances as the woman featured to have a net income of £811 per week. I'll save you the trouble - it's around £55,000 per annum.

The government is capping benefits for thoise who don't work but still handing out massive cash benefits to those who work a minimum of 16 hours per week.

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 12:51:06

If you follow that to its logical conclusion, you are accepting in principle that people on low incomes should be forcibly concentrated in areas with the cheapest rents. Can you see the serious flaws in that?

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 12:56:08

And fwiw there is no amount of money that would tempt me to go and live in some dive in a crappy part of London, and hand over most of the money to a corrupt landlord. It's hardly a lifestyle choice, merely an accident of someone's birthplace.

nkf Sun 13-Apr-14 12:59:18

It wasn't her income though. A lot of that money was the landlord's income.

vickibee Sun 13-Apr-14 13:11:02

What about the local people in Birmingham or Luton on the wait list they are being displaced be people with no local rights. These areas will become overcrowded and stretched for services. This is social cleansing really, who will be left to do the menial jobs in rich places.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 13-Apr-14 13:15:06

"Landlords get bashed to shit on MN and are often told that they have a social responsibility to not charge sky high prices, yet you'll get called names for daring to suggest that people like those who appeared in the programme don't seem to be considering their personal social responsibility."

Its always landlords or the governments faults on MN. Very few agree people should take personal responsibility. Its easier to blame others.

Those not on benefits have to live where they can afford and have the number of children they can support. Therefore, so should those on benefits. Its not unreasonable to not have as many choices in life if you are not paying your way. Benefits should provide a basic lifestyle, enough for shelter, heat, food and clothes. Medical is already covered under the NHS and schooling is free. The house may not be in the perfect area or preferred town but surely thats an incentive to come off benefits. If trylu in need of benefits rather than choosing them as a lifestyle choice you would just be grateful for the support.

The cap is simply ridiculous, far too high at £26k and too many exclusions from it. Makes a mockery of people who have to work many hours for the same amount of money. Makes no difference if HB is included, those not on benefits dont deduct their rent from their salary and quote it net.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 13-Apr-14 15:27:50

"What about the local people in Birmingham or Luton on the wait list they are being displaced be people with no local rights. These areas will become overcrowded and stretched for services. This is social cleansing really, who will be left to do the menial jobs in rich places."

I agree with this. People who had informal support in London will be more reliant on formal services if they are moved miles away from the support networks they have worked hard to establish.

piscivorous Sun 13-Apr-14 15:51:23

This is how these sorts of policies impact on the towns people are shipped out to.

It is horribly sad for those affected but, equally, we can't keep paying out large sums of money to everyone who wants it. In Blackpool we have a tremendous problem with working people living in poverty (due to a high level of unskilled jobs, seasonal work and zero hours contracts) and life on benefits is often more stable financially and more lucrative.

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 17:36:18

Oh God, I can't read this cr*p any more. Sooo depressing. You get the Government you deserve at the end of the day, this thread proves this more than any other I've read recently. Very sad.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 13-Apr-14 17:44:39

"You get the Government you deserve at the end of the day"

Eh? I certainly didn't vote for this government.

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 17:52:52

Maybe not candy but it sounds like many others on this thread surely did, or wouldn't mind if they were re-elected. Those of you who are envious of people receiving hundreds of pounds in benefits a week to allow them to keep some kind of roof over their head in a pretty horrible place, why don't you swap places? You know, offer your nice reasonably priced rental property in a nice area in return for the flea ridden hovels being rented at thousands of pounds a month. You'd be happier surely, you'd be quids-in wouldn't you if you managed to claim HB? Oh wait, no your landlord with. All you'd get out of it is the black mould, the damp and the crime. Sounds like a good deal to me...

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 17:53:17

your landlord would

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 13-Apr-14 18:04:07

You know though, the people in this programme didn't do themselves any favours; the single mum would get far more money if she worked 16 hours a week but didn't want to clean toilets. Apparently, it's beneath her! I'm very pro-welfare state and seen the effects of cuts every day in my job but some people are lazy, entitled sods.

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 18:06:42

And I should think that is exactly how the programme set out to portray them. In the main what I saw were some seriously depressed and downtrodden people, who had run out of options and didn't know where to turn. Although for my money it was one of the better and more balanced programmes I've seen on benefits, and certainly exposed the reforms for the farce they really are.

EllaJayne123 Sun 13-Apr-14 18:19:10

Only 1 in 10 people have started working since the cap has come about. Firstly 1 in 10 didn't start working until they're benefits lowered - meaning before this they were perfectly happy. And that 9 in 10 probably do have the attitude of the single mother on the show. A programme can only lie to portray people badly for so long, people need to stop blaming the media and the government and whoever else and realise that individual people are responsible for there own fate. Just my opinion but I see these people everyday as you can sugar coat it as much as you want but allot of them don't want to work. I get paid less money monthly for them to shout and complain about not wanting to work than they do from sitting on there asses. Very frustrating to see it happen everyday. That doesn't go for everyone but it's ok to blame the tv when you don't want to accept what is going on around you.

eddiemairswife Sun 13-Apr-14 18:38:43

I live in an authority where some London boroughs house people who have suffered from the benefit cap. They get put in areas where there is a lot of cheap, rented accommodation, but no primary school places. Consequently we are seeing more and more in-year appeals. You have to feel for people who have been dumped in an area they don't know with no support from family or friends, and where they can't afford bus fares to take their small children to and from school.

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 19:34:00

EllaJayne - in this era of dismantling the welfare state and vilifying the sick and disabled, I sometimes wonder how people in jobs like yours sleep at night.

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 19:37:12

Perhaps there are only realistic jobs for 1 in 10 of those people? And the 9 in 10 sure aren't going to find work after being picked up and dumped in the back end of nowhere.

MiaowTheCat Sun 13-Apr-14 19:40:37

Actually there are people living in the areas with the lowest rents concentrated based on it being what they can afford... it's those working earning a modest income who just have to live where they can afford to live.

No one bangs the drum about the social injustice of that though do they? But be a benefit claimant and god fucking forbid you have to live in a 2 bed house in the middle of the East Midlands for £450 a month... oh you work? Oh you can fucking slum it with whatever you can get then - sod off.

Just for once in this godforsaken craphole of a country I'd like someone to stop bleeding their heart for poor ickle benefit claimants being told expecting people to pay out for them to have rent at £500 a week is unreasonable - and to actually look out for the "just getting by" people who come in just above the line for fucking everything and get sod all - but often live in shittier conditions by far.

I have fuck all issue with areas being more or less expensive to live in - the south east is expensive... we couldn't afford to live there - so we don't. I'm bloody sick of uncapped benefits whacking private rental prices on a whole through the roof though and shitting on those who don't claim who can't afford them because they've gone so bonkers as the state's been subsidising the whole happy snowball. I'm fucking sick of the lot of it - sick of the hysterical "woooo you must be a Tory and read the Daily Mail cos it's all evil evil evil you evil capitalist don't you care in your little palace" shite that gets thrown about on here as well. If it got the whole fucking mess sorted out - I'd vote for the bloody Naked Stripping Elvis Party in a heartbeat and read the fucking Beano on a daily basis.

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 19:53:37

Miaow - no one is saying that the system is not totally perverse. I know it from bitter personal experience. But that same bitter personal experience has taught me not to judge a book by its cover and never ever to judge people based on how their circumstances appear on the surface.

My point throughout this thread is that it has taken the Tories nigh on twenty years to wake up to the mess that they created, and they are dealing with it in the way they do best. By picking off the weakest who can't fight back, and who have no one prepared to fight for them.

I have no problem with the welfare system being reformed if it is done in a considered and just way, keeping sight of its founding principles. But I will always disagree with sweeping changes visited on vulnerable people in the name of austerity, but in reality an easy vote winner, especially where children are involved.

I also have no problem with trying to address the whole problem of private rentals, both the shocking rents and the shockingly poor conditions, including for those who are not eligible to claim housing benefits. But that particular issue couldn't be further away from this Government's consciousness. God forbid that these shady property tycoons should ever have to take some responsibility, and perhaps a hit on their profits, within a system that is making them a mint.

This Government is the worst example of a bunch of cowardly bullies, picking on the weakest knowing that their mates, and those too scared or self-centred to fight back, will cheer them on.

fedupinbucks Sun 13-Apr-14 19:55:55

Dismantling the welfare state???

This dismantled welfare state pays a single mum with three kids who works just 16 hours a week a net £711 in benefits. This gave her £811 NET per week when added to the 16 hours pay on mimimum wage.

A single wage earner, working FULL-TIME with a partner and three kids would have to earn in excess of £55,000 to have the same net income!!

I agree the single Mum has to pay rent but so would a couple with three kids earning £55,000 per year. Yes I agree rents are high in London but that's the same for a couple earning £55,000 .

They could always do what my kids and countless others did did - move out of London!! Even if the mum in the programme lost all her housing benefit when she moved out she would still have a net income in excess of £600 per week.

Not bad for a dismantled welfare state!!

The two fundamental requirements of any welfare system are that it is sustainable and seen to be fair to everyone including those who fund it. Our welfare system fails on both counts.

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 20:00:07

You can't seriously be jealous?

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 20:01:22

You do understand that the landlord gets the housing benefit money, don't you? I'm not quite sure why that is so difficult for people to grasp.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 13-Apr-14 20:12:01

I wouldnt class an unemployed person as weak or vunerable. Most know how to play the system to gain the most from it and many abuse it with no intentions to come off benefits.

We dont have a true welfare state, we have a system that needs heavily cracking down on so that it once again what it is intended for. There to catch those in need short term whilst they get on there feet again or for those too disabled or too sick to tackle any type of work. It should never have allowed people to choose not to work, to live in a place they cant afford or to have children they dont intend to support.

Miaow is right, those that dont claim and pay taxes have to just get on with it and live within their means. Why should those that dont work or work little have choices that self supporting people dont? Where is the fairness in that? Thats what the government is trying to tackle, the changes needed to be far harsher but at least they have made a start.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Sun 13-Apr-14 20:23:25

Don't think that the money always goes to the Landlord.

A relative of mine with 5 DCs works exactly the right number of hours to maximise their TC entitlements and gets nearly £2k pm in a combination of Council tax benefit, CTC, CB and WTC. They own their own home and arrange their working hours so they don't need to pay any rent or childcare.

When adding in the ~£10k that they earn from part time employment, their income is higher than another relative where the DH works long hours in a professional job and the DW works part time to accomodate school hours etc.

As well as paying massive HB to people who live in expensive areas, the other issue is uncapped CTC for people with large families.

Viviennemary Sun 13-Apr-14 20:42:11

I just simply do not understand this argument about the perils of concentrating people with the poorest incomes in certain areas. We are all bound by our incomes. And must live our lives accordingly. I agree with the benefits cap on the whole. I think all housing benefit should be capped no matter whether the recipients are in work or not.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 13-Apr-14 20:47:06

I am not jealous because I've been a jealous person before and it's like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die BUT I can see why some people are envious of the security of tenancy CH/HA tenants have.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 13-Apr-14 20:51:12

OnI, there are thousands who do the same. Cover the bare minimum hours they need to gain tax credits and dont do anymore. Lots just have the one adult working to keep the household under the income band for them. Then many go on to have more children knowing they get more money.

But of course its all the landlords/governmens fault and they are just victims hmm

EllaJayne123 Sun 13-Apr-14 21:02:49

I don't know what you mean by that comment? Clearly you know nothing, everything new that comes into place does not effect elderly and disabled and the only people I see affected by the benefit cap in my area are people with more than 5 children who do not work. Yes it is a strugle and I appriciate that, but haven't 5 kids is bloody hard and well thought out by people who do work let alone those who don't - why should they get the handouts? I also receive some housing benefits so am not sitting on my high horse judging but never in my wildest dreams would I go on to have 5,6,7 kids not working and relying on hand outs from the government since the first one popped out? And as for your comment on how people like me sleep at night- very well, because I help those who need and deserve it, I often wonder how people like you continue to argue a point you clearly know nothing about.

gaelicsheep Sun 13-Apr-14 21:05:34

Or maybe just the one parent works because that is the best solution for their family? Good luck to a couple who manages to arrange their working hours to need no childcare, that is unrealistic for many. And of course people only have children to get the tax credits. hmm. It's really sad to assume that people make choices based solely on their entitlements. I'll say something for this Government, they do have this country sussed. The divide and rule strategy is working perfectly for them.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 13-Apr-14 21:23:40

Realistic not sad re people making choices based on their entitlements. Do you really believe the couple earning £10k with five children OnI mentions would still work just those few hours if there were no tax credits or other benefits. Of course they wouldnt and i doubt they would have had five children either.

People on MN often admit to not working and being a SAHP as they can claim tax credits rather than go out and earn a wage. Likewise not taking extra hours or overtime. Lots encourage people to have children the person cant afford etc.

Tax credits were the worst thing ever introduced. Investing in childcare would have been much better.

balenciaga Sun 13-Apr-14 21:29:54

I'm almost certain HappyMummy is a bot sent from the daily mail, or maybe direct from David Cameron's office grin

munchkinmaster Mon 14-Apr-14 00:10:45

I didn't see the whole programme but my take on the problem is this. It's not greedy landlords but a ridiculous and unsustainable level of house prices fuelled deliberately by all the main parties. House prices are far too high in this country. People on decent incomes can't afford to buy or rent a decent place (and that trickles down to hb).

The government is terrified of the discontentment of negative equity and the impact on the baby boomers who 'feel' rich sitting on their equity. At some point we need to take the hit. Yes one generation will get stuck in neg equity but how long can this go on for? Everyone is struggling at the moment.

Instead all the tax credit top ups feed the problem and hide the fact that normal people cannot afford basic living costs in the uk. Then there's schemes like the govt underwriting first time buyer loans which just blow more hot air into the bubble.

As for the poster pages ago who said it's all immigrants who are inflating house prices in London. You are actually almost right (a bit too far right though eh!). It's not immigrants but foreign investors buying property in the nicest areas as they see this as a rock solid investment when the markets are a bit rough. They don't even let them, just leave them empty. This of course leads to trickle down to even the poorest areas.

For example I rented in London and paid 1600 for a 2 bed. Three years later rent was £2500 and downstairs (2 beds, cubby hole kitchen in the lounge --the woman on the tv would not have liked it--) sold to Russian investor to lie empty for best part of a million.

You couldn't make this stuff up...

fedupinbucks Mon 14-Apr-14 00:12:52

So you think its right that a single person with three kids who works just 16 hours a week has the same net income as someone with three kids who works full time and earns £55000?

Incidentally only 10% of tax payers earn that much!!

balenciaga Mon 14-Apr-14 00:19:03

Yy to everything munchkin master said

munchkinmaster Mon 14-Apr-14 00:27:59

Was that to me fedupinbucks.

What I think is that it's awful that you need 55k to support a fairly meagre life style in our capital city and pissing about with housing benefit, tax credits and shipping folk off to Birmingham is such a sticking plaster solution it's laughable.

I'm actually not that bothered one way or the other but I am tearing my hair out that the main parties don't even want to think about the real issues.

NakedFlame Mon 14-Apr-14 04:39:51

We just bought a house an hours commute into London. We pay top rate tax. Why should we pay for others to live in the centre with 7 kids when they are not even working?

We have 2 children and have decided that we cannot afford to have any more. Why should some of the people on that show feel free to have as many as they like and not have to worry about it?

We pay the highest rate of tax. It sickens me to see that some of this is being spent on ungrateful people who take advantage of our country.

It's not right.

On one hand we got ourselves into this situation in the first place. We should have had much strickter benefits rules up front. It does need major reform but it is difficult to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted. The fairest way would be to draw a line under it now and set a future date for changes to come in. For example they could bring in a law that says you can only claim CB for 3 children (3 is very fair as hardly anyone has 3 now) in a years time so that no one is affected now. This gives time to decide is you want a 4th or not. It is not fair to change peoples situations but you can give people fair warning for future rules and that gives them choices.

I agree in the main with munchkinmaster but I disagree about one generation taking the hit. One generation already has. In the early 90's, interest rates went through the roof and house prices plummeted. This was under the Tories btw. As I said before, I bought a house at the time and it was horrible to see all these empty properties that were previously homes. They were mostly bought as buy-to-let to rent back to the people who had defaulted on their mortgages or had just given in and threw their keys back. Its a vicious cycle and it needs to be broken, but I have no idea how.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 14-Apr-14 10:13:24

Naked, they could simply give notice in stages. Theres nothing to stop them bolting the door now, they didnt open it Labour did.

Its the perfect time to start making changes whilst UC is in its first stages. It would be much better to just have a set rate and not base it on the number of children. No increase per child so encouraging personal responsibility.

Strict controls on how long they job seek for before they are expected to take on work experience (charities/communities would benefit if people dont want tescos too) and all non working adults expected to job seek bar any period of maternity leave. This then gives a level playing field to everyone rather than some mums going back to work whilst others get paid to stay home for an extra four years on top of maternity.

Any top ups for workers ideally would be in the form of childcare. If thats too way out there, then simply higher the number of hours needed to claim. Its very realistic to expect 30 hours min from each adult.

The system is too easy to abuse, its not about protecting those who need a helping hand anymore but how to gain the most from doing the least. The government need to get brave and tackle it properly.

Rather than the draconian methods of you are advocating how about making zero hours contracts illegal and actually tackling how employers get away with treating the lower paid? You might find that people are actually more keen to work then.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 14-Apr-14 10:26:47

Zero hour contracts suit many though. Students, second earners in families that dont claim benefits etc.

They are just blamed for people not working. Lots of people are on these contracts and work many hours a week and are happy.

It just comes back to blaming others. Its never the persons fault. Scrapping zero hour contracts wont make those on benefits want to work, if they did they would already be working. Taking away the choice to live on benefits when physically able to work is the only way to get them to self support.

gaelicsheep Mon 14-Apr-14 10:27:25

I don't see that SAHPs get paid to stay home either. That is a myth in the main. My husband stays at home currently and we pay handsomely for that with the loss of his tax free personal allowance.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 14-Apr-14 10:40:23

SAHPs on benefits do get paid to stay home. Those whose spouse provides the only income do not. Hardly sends out the right message does it? Hence UC expects both adults to work if the income is under a certain threashold. Much better than what we have now but could go further.

If its a myth, lets just stop IS/tax credits to lone parents and couples where only one adult works as it wouldnt make a difference hmm

You dont lose a tax allowance by staying home, it can still be used for savings. Even if you did lose it, you can hardly complain that you are not getting the first x of earnings tax free if not actually working!

PeachyTheSanctiMoanyArse Mon 14-Apr-14 10:43:44

They do suit many, it's my only option as a Carer for work, however a friend lost her custody case as her zero hour contract left her very vulnerable- every time her work stopped coming in, the benefits would take 3 months to process anew- and she eventually lost her home and she ended up in a bedsit with her son. Sadly dad lives outside Europe and she has not been able to afford to visit son for over a year.

It's the places that ONLY employ on zero hours that are in the wrong tbh, they are deliberately manipulating people's need for employment. As they said on TV this morning, if you are on zero and bullied, harassed, asked to work in unsafe conditions would you dare complain?

' It would be much better to just have a set rate and not base it on the number of children. No increase per child so encouraging personal responsibility.' Hmm, after our family was complete I had to become a Carer and then DH was made redundant. For a brief time we dropped overnight from £65000 to £0. Dh is now self employed so it's levelled off around £20k PA all in I guess and climbing, but I don't think that at any time we have been irresponsible. Also, consider the societal effects of extremely low income which include low health outcomes and increased NHS costs, low educational attainment, and indeed the feeling that society simply does not care about your welfare, with potential disaffectation. Are these worth the cost? personally I think not. They may not be immediate costs that show in the benefits system but they are very real, very large, and not easy to avoid when you are housed inadequately, under constant financial stress, unable to heat or feed well etc.

I don't believe the old benefits system was great and I agree it needed reform, for example it needs to reflect the needs of people on zero hour contracts etc, but I don't agree UC is right either. I am not in any way subject to any benefits cap thank goodness, but I have immense sympathy for those who are. I spent time working with families before DS4 that had ended up in homeless accommodation or seriously overcrowded housing, often through no fault of their own (an extreme case that jumps to mind is the family whose private landlord sold up then had them forcibly evicted without warning by heavies, family had 2 kids and a baby on way, Dad worked nights but ended up unemployed as the place they had to live in waiting to be housed was a single room and you can't sleep in the day in a single room with 2 small kids and your wife about you all day).

PeachyTheSanctiMoanyArse Mon 14-Apr-14 10:53:32

' Those whose spouse provides the only income do not. Hardly sends out the right message does it? Hence UC expects both adults to work if the income is under a certain threashold'

But it does not respond to circumstances.

For example, if your industry is one where the income comes in over a short time and then you have a few quiet months- say tourism- UC won't reflect that variability. You might well spend the quiet months painting / doing admin / redeveloping the property but in UC terms for several months a year you are too well off to need help, and then the remainder you will be on conditionality and potentially made to do workfare even though you need to be doing the stuff that makes you able to earn over the whole year. So someone who needs say £50 PW top up ends up unemployed and on welfare. Fab.

DH's industry is like this; if his income was (random figure) £25k PA, that would all be earned over about 3 month's actual on site work, but the rest of the time is spent in his premises on maintenance, planning, selling, drawing up CAD designs, health and safety work etc. All things he could not do if doing workfare. It would mean the business became unviable, when he hopes to start employing an apprentice and maybe admin support in the next two years. Whilst we try to save, we also need to invest and the work comes before the paycheques. For example, he is staging a large show this weekend, but has already spent 100 hours doing planning and CAD, and £200 on kit. plus basics such as rent, insurance. He gets to keep the kit for future hires of course, but the no income time HAS to precede the wages. if he's on workfare, there is no hope for the wages.

Which is hardly in any way useful to the nation long term, because we need those jobs, especially in the region I happen to live in.

PeachyTheSanctiMoanyArse Mon 14-Apr-14 10:57:44

But absolutely, as a Carer I suspect zero hours / self employment is my only possible route into work as we juggle 4 schools (2 MS 2 special) and I have to be on call for appointments, meetings etc and would be a PITA for any employer.

The difference is that it would be my choice, whereas someone whose industry only uses zero hours has no choice remaining.

LuisSuarezTeeth Mon 14-Apr-14 11:07:40

Peachy - you're right about having the choice. I'm a carer and you CANNOT get guaranteed hours round here. It's a huge problem with tax credits as well as they just don't seem to understand that your income is variable.

Zero hours contracts are fine if it suits the employee as well as the employer. But there are now large sectors where it's the only option.

AwfulMaureen Mon 14-Apr-14 11:38:41

I am late to the thread. I have just moved to my first Housing Association house...out of a private rental. I wasn't offered a house in my own area and to be honest I was bloody happy to have the chance....then at the last minute, a flat came up in my own town and I grabbed it. BUT I would have been happy with the one in the town which was far from home but affordable....people need to expect less...they're not owed an affordable home and if they must move then they must.

NakedFlame Mon 14-Apr-14 12:46:15

I moved from the NW to north London to work, then to Surrey, then to 4 other countries to work. I am now moving to Essex for work. Most people I know move around with their work to be able to support themselves. Why should those on benefits be any different?

NakedFlame Mon 14-Apr-14 12:49:27

Gosh please interchange the word "work" with jobs, employment, careers etc.

tracymcc Tue 15-Apr-14 03:19:11

well said, i couldnt have put it better myself!

tracymcc Tue 15-Apr-14 03:29:01

i would just like to reply to you as i saw what you wrote about me on mums net.
i have only been claiming benefit for 3 years and yes 3 years is too long but i am nearly half way through a 2 year college course to enable me to work full time. i had no choice but to move out of the house that i was in because as the landlord clearly stated in the documentary he does not want to let ANY of his properties out to people on benefit again ( might i also add because of the benefit cap). i also have a 16yo that did not want to be filmed, but i have brought her up as a full time working parent.
circumstances beyond my control that i am not willing to discuss with strangers put me in the position that i am in today, so please dont judge me on what little pieces of my life you have seen.
oh an the job center pay for my childcare while i attend college and my voluntery work because i went to them and asked them to help me get back into work, and this is what they offered me! and believe me if i was offered a job and i was walk out of it with £300pw i would have jumped at the chance but what the documentry failed to add was the bills ie chilcare that i would have to pay out of that!

thank you
tracy mccarthy

NakedFlame Tue 15-Apr-14 05:37:47

Why can't Job Centres regularly receive temporary jobs to be allocated to those able to work? If a temp agency can do it, why can't a job centre? I am not talking about jobs in Tesco's but work that would benefit the local council, charities and communities. This would give experience and also give something back to the system. It should be the case that when you sign on, you have to pick up a P/T assignment. Of course some people may find this hard with childcare, but not everyone has very young children. You may think this is pie in the sky but I worked as a recruiter on a temp desk for 5 years when I was younger and it is very easy to coordinate.

I haven't read the entire thread but I'm a UK citizen who has lived abroad. I have a disability and was told I didn't qualify for benefits since I "don't have residency"

If I had the possibility of living at one of the residential facilities offered to visually impaired to learn life skills and had free transport, I would be a lot more independent.

I speak 7 languages so could find work, even if I had to volunteer first. I WANT to be useful and I love to do things.

NakedFlame, there is supported work for blind but in order to get work you have to be on benefits, which I apparently "don't qualify for."

PeachyTheSanctiMoanyArse Tue 15-Apr-14 07:04:02

The move if they must thing isn't that easy if you are disabled and reliant on a Carer though is it?

hellokitty lots of people with a disability want to be independent and it's fab that increasingly they can, I have a friend with CP causing him to be unable to use 3 hands who cannot work. Increasingly, with technology, it will be possible for the majority of disabled people to work (sadly independence is limited by the closing of the ILF). But for some, like my ds3 who has autism, severe speech delays and associated issues, it will be an achievement to be able to head to the local shop alone, let alone hold down a job.

balenciaga Tue 15-Apr-14 10:07:10

Hi Tracy, I didn't see the programme but well done you for coming on here and fighting your corner against to many judgey posts, I wish you well x

PeachyTheSanctiMoanyArse Tue 15-Apr-14 10:49:37

'I moved from the NW to north London to work, then to Surrey, then to 4 other countries to work. I am now moving to Essex for work. Most people I know move around with their work to be able to support themselves. Why should those on benefits be any different?'

That's what I meant in my post above, sorry.

And yes we moved from England to Wales for work; subsequently the boys were diagnosed with autism. We are too settled for work to move and Dh would not find any work back home, but it is hellish coping without family support so far away from them. They don't drive, I can't afford to drive to them often, so I find myself unable to do pretty much anything. A neighbour recently asked why nobody saw me for the first five years we were here; that's why, complete isolation and coping with disabled kids.

Now we are not capped as we have the boys and DH is employed, but nonetheless I would not wish the isolation of the past decade on anyone, and not having a disabled family member now does not mean you never will. The resultant depression almost cost me my life 3 times, and as DH is self employed and no work equals no pay in that situation, I was alone to cope with that.

Viviennemary Tue 15-Apr-14 11:32:01

I am not judging individuals. They are not at fault but the system should never have been allowed to develop in the first place. But people cannot expect the taxpayer to subsidise those massive rents. Some people can't even afford to leave home and yet they are paying income tax and contributing towards people who are given multiple times their salary in benefits. The system is unbalanced.

PeachyTheSanctiMoanyArse Tue 15-Apr-14 11:49:56

Massive rents are not the norm though, and even low rents are capped by bedroom tax. And massive rents arose because of competition- something that could be prevented by building social housing.

Also: I live in a cheap area. We are cheap for a reason, low employment. Why do people think our area can absorb all the people considered too expensive to house in London? We already have silly competition for jobs, massive housing waiting lists of our own (poor area = low rent but also low incomes so more housing need), all the extra demands on health and social services that poverty brings. All a large influx of people would do to our area is cause extreme deprivation and make it harder for the people working here to cope with housing, health,, school places etc and the needy here to turn their lives around. What special right does the SE have to being naice that it thinks it is OK to do this to us? instead of us having to lose our places on waiting lists for newcomers and the like, why can't the SE build social housing?

I am not in the Welsh Valleys but not far either, do people really think that areas like that need a big influx of deprived people? That they can cope? Why do people think those areas ARE less expensive anyway? Because wages are lower and jobs more scarce. Meaning there is already plenty of competition for often scant resources.

I don't think people should be entitled to expensive prime estate of course, but I do think LAs should have a responsibility to support their own people or areas like mine become a ghetto, a dumping ground. We work, but don't earn masses- why is it OK to use our taxes to support people but SE residents don't want their council tax used for it?

I am happy for our taxes to help people who live here, I don't want to have to subsidise an influx of poor homeless sods who have no links with this area and will likely suffer deprivation because of being moved on top of the already needy people here, the 20% unemployed for example, or the disabled people forced out of our better off areas into the estates. I don't see why ds3 should for example lose some disability support because of people sent here from the SE needing extra help, which they will as poor often equals most vulnerable, or kids already fighting for a 1/10 chance of a place at ds1's SN School see that chance reduced to 1 / 15 or worse.

If people come of their own choice or to seek a new future fine, that's what we did and it worked- but this sort of mass displacement policy just works against normal, hard working people in poorer areas. as well as directly harming the chances of those moved on, and placing them at all sorts of risks.

I remember when benefit changes came in, the state booked out thousands of B&B places in Maidstone and Hastings for homeless people. I pitied anyone already there trying to get any kind of services!


Build social housing. It's the only way. but they won't as so many BTL landlords vote Tory, and rather like being at the head of a market where there are far more people than properties. Trouble is, it's the same here- 30k council waiting list.

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 15-Apr-14 14:31:30

Gaelic sheep - if the govt decided that you could only let your rental property to a HB tenant and that your rental income was going to be reduced by 35% of what you currently charge would you be happy with that? Would you be glad that the govt was being sensible and reducing the rent? Or is it only okay to do that to people who rent houses in areas where the property has cost a lot to buy?

gaelicsheep Tue 15-Apr-14 15:48:32

The Government implements many laws I don't personally agree with. I wouldn't be too chuffed if I was one of the people being made homeless just now! Since we are charging a perfectly reasonable rent in any case there would be no case for it being reduced, but if that was the case then so be it. My points were really aimed at landlords who have multiple rental properties, not people temporarily renting out their home.

gaelicsheep Tue 15-Apr-14 16:01:14

I have never viewed our house rental as a money making thing anyway. It pays the mortgage and we set the rest aside for property related expenses until we can move back. Unless you own a house outright I can't see that you can/should make a profit out of letting a house, unless you skimp on maintenance and other expenses (which, of course, many landlords do).

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 15-Apr-14 19:03:20

But the point is that even with extortionate London rents most landlords don't make much profit on a day to day basis because their initial purchase price is eye wateringly high and their mortgage is high. Only those who own the property outright are making huge profits. All landlords, like yourself, profit from the increased property value.
If you had paid 500k for your house you wouldn't be charging £450pm in rent, would you?
Just like I was able to charge £70pw a decade ago.

expatinscotland Tue 15-Apr-14 19:16:40

Sorry, but that whole not wanting to scrub toilets thing. It's not a job anyone wants to do but it's a job and some find it beneath them, but want a house in London paid for whilst they are 'in college', God forbid that do some menial job, too good for that!

Nope, not a jot of sympathy from me.

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 15-Apr-14 19:42:39

And most landlords, even those with many rental properties don't own them outright. They have portfolios of houses all on BTL mortgages.
Gaelicsheep - will you feel bad when you give your tenants their notice to quit because you want to move back into your house? Will you be displacing a family?

gaelicsheep Tue 15-Apr-14 20:53:06

Nope, not at all. It's pointless trying to tie me down on this. Our circumstances are very particular and the question hasn't arisen. We can plan to move back precisely because we've taken tenants who want the property relatively short term. And property values in our area have not risen at all so we are not profiting in the least. I take it you live in the south east?

I frankly don't care about whether landlords can afford to keep their BTL properties. It was great for us that it worked out to rent out the house, but if we'd had to sell it then we would have sold it. If landlords have to charge an arm and a leg to keep their heads above water, then their letting business isn't viable. They should certainly not be kept afloat by the benefit system. BUT, the people suffering should NOT be their tenants.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 15-Apr-14 20:53:46

Exactly what expat said re: the toilet cleaning. Besides, as I said up thread, someone has to clean toilets and tidy the trolleys in Tesco, we can't all be high fliers and every small part counts.

gaelicsheep Tue 15-Apr-14 20:56:43

You don't think that perhaps the poor woman was taken out of context, or a slip of the tongue out of sheer frustration was given much more prominence than was actually justified? Give her a break for goodness sake. She has come on here and tried to give her side of the story. The benefits team encouraged her to go on the course. It is just not on to move the goalposts when she's halfway through. It helps nobody, not her, not her kids and not the tax payer.

LilyBolero Tue 15-Apr-14 21:22:34

This thread us entirely indicative of the, frankly evil, divide and rule mentality they have fostered.

A few facts; typically those families receiving high levels of benefits incur them largely through housing benefit. Did you know that following the right to buy policy, when large swathes of the country's social housing stock was sold off cheap, almost half the council houses bought in this way in London are now owned by landlords?

Put it another way; the taxpayer paid to build social housing, which can be rented at low rents to poor families. The Tories sold them off cheap to tenants, some of whom sold on, others were evicted when they couldn't meet mortgage payments. Others sold later at a massive profit to the lucky purchasers. So having already paid for social housing to be built, the taxpayers now must fund a massively increased housing bill because essentially, social housing was privatised. But this is somehow the fault of the tenants??

I totally totally agree that people need to be encouraged into work. But possibly even more vital is that their (often multiple) children be given the best possible start, to hopefully enable them to lead economically active lives in the future. Is it really in these children's interests to be transplanted across the country, away from their communities, schools and extended families? Don't punish the kids for the parents' failings, or the cycle is repeated, at extra cost to the country.

It is also naive to suggest that London can function without the people on minimum wage jobs, which is where this policy ultimately leads. The programme showed clearly that even those who worked were indirectly affected by the cap, by the landlords raising rents and evicting HB recipients.

Surely the solution is to properly rebuild the social housing stock, in every area of London, and reclaim the ownership of providing homes for the poor. A building programme would boost GDP through extra employment, and would reduce the HB bill far more effectively and humanely.

Don't fall for the Tory divide and rule; it's the game they play. They did the same on child benefit - sector off a group and then it doesn't matter if it's unfair, because enough people aren't affected to mind. But that is not the way to run a civilised society, and the combination of the benefit cap and the bedroom tax is a toxic and horrifying attack on the most vulnerable in society, and their children, who have done nothing to deserve this.

LilyBolero Tue 15-Apr-14 21:38:39

Sorry for typo at start, should say 'this thread is' not 'this thread us'

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 15-Apr-14 22:13:50

No, I live in the north, we have seen property prices rise by 20% in the last 2 years,

Impatientismymiddlename Tue 15-Apr-14 22:16:20

Surely the solution is to properly rebuild the social housing stock, in every area of London,

Where is this land to build on?

LilyBolero Tue 15-Apr-14 22:23:04

Brown field sites are a good start; I know it's hideously difficult in London but as a country we simply cannot abandon our responsibilities to house the poor and vulnerable, and if housing benefit in private properties is impossible then social housing must be the answer.

LilyBolero Tue 15-Apr-14 22:25:15

I am not in London, but another city with pressure on land and high private rents. However there are many derelict properties which have been falling down for decades; abandoned offices/hotels/petrol stations etc. That would be a good place to start establishing some social housing builds.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Tue 15-Apr-14 22:37:29

But who pays for the redevelopment of brownfield sites and petrol stations?

Lots of them are contaminated with chemicals and radioactive materials from the early 20th century when waste was simply buried on site and they cannot be redeveloped without the contamination being removed and properly disposed of, which is very expensive.

Sometimes the economics only stack up when redevelopig sites that will be sold for a lot of money.

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 16-Apr-14 07:59:43

There isn't many derelict properties in the expensive areas of London. Property ripe for redevelopment gets snapped up quickly in London.
Developing and building on brownfield land isn't, in my opinion, a good idea as the health risks are too great. I think it is better to move somebody to a new area than to build on brownfield land. Methane and other gasses can be released during development of brownfield land and it can have health implications for nearby residents and we don't know what health risks there are long term for those living on developed brown field land. Additionally there isn't the money to build on brownfield land due to the additional costs that it requires.

PeachyTheSanctiMoanyArse Wed 16-Apr-14 09:31:26

DH paid for me to go to college (we,, rent bills etc) and I worked for some of it too but I think educated people pay far more tax back into the system as a rule than toilet cleaners and TEND to have better outcomes for their family long term.

But I'd like to see universities provide far more family accommodation so that would be covered better anyway.

Toilet cleaning etc DOES need to be done absolutely, and I for one would do it now if I was offered (even that seems to need a specific NVQ rather than degrees and post grads), but it's not as if there's a shortage of under qualified people anywhere.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 09:31:36

Tbh, I know it is difficult, and some imaginative solutions may need to be found. BUT it is imperative that this is done, shipping people out of London is NOT sustainable, and is ducking our responsibilities imo.

I don't suppose it was 'easy' to set up the NHS. Or 'easy' to build the London Underground. But somehow these big projects were possible in the past. And my personal opinion is that this is a major problem of our time that we need to address now, both for economic and social reasons.

So instead of just going along with the Tory line of 'these skivers need flushing out of London' let's have some imaginative and long term solutions that actually help the innocent parties in this, who must be the children. Get it right for those children and they can flourish, get it wrong and we potentially then have to pay benefits for those children and thenTHEIR children etc etc.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 09:34:54

One possible solution is to look at wasted spaces, that may not be derelict, but nevertheless are ground acreage. These can be redeveloped, with private developers given rights to build on some of it, which covers a lot of the costs, then social housing can be built alongside. This is happening in our city - people are looking at roundabouts, at car parks, at dual carriageways. And that has the benefit of mixing private housing and social housing which is a MUCH better plan.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 09:36:00

(obviously when I say 'looking at roundabout's I'm not implying building all over a roundabout, rather being really imaginative about what the best use of the total land under the roads/roundabouts/carparks is, and exploring loads of options).

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 16-Apr-14 14:45:25

Land suitable for building on in London is very scarce, you really can't compare London with the rest of the Uk.
The NHS and the underground were built way before the capital became overcrowded as were most of the social housing that we currently have.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 19:44:39

But the answer isn't to shift large numbers of people out, in a temporary sticking plaster fix.

I am absolutely convinced that imaginative solutions MUST be explored, to create a housing capacity fit for today and the future, that will not bankrupt the treasury.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 19:48:18

For example, local authorities could buy up every plot with a rundown small house on it that came on the market, bulldoze it, and replace with modern purpose built flats, possibly housing 3 or 4 families where there was 1 house; they would then be in permanent control of the housing benefit bill for those families. It would require initial investment but this has got to be a long term solution.

Yes, the NHS was developed before the capital was overcrowded, but the country's finances were in a terrible state post-WW2, but politicians were braver in those days and dared to make a difference.

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 16-Apr-14 19:54:53

I do agree that moving people and displacing families is not a good solution. I also agree that we need a more permanent solution. However, I don't currently see what that solution could be at a cost which will not put the public purse under enormous pressure.
I think that working people, particularly those in low paid jobs should be the priority for financial help with housing in London. I think that those who don't work and haven't worked for more than two years (with the exception of elderly and disabled people) should be moved to cheaper areas. It isn't ideal, but I think that we need to prioritise.
I don't think it is workable to force landlords to rent their properties below market rates as we live in a free market and I think forcing landlords to rent at a loss will result in fewer rental properties being available and a black market being created for rentals within a 'private' sector.
I don't think the health risks of building on brownfield sites are worth the risk or financial expense.

So I suppose I agree with the cap in as much as those meeting the working hours criteria currently get financial help without a cap and those who don't work or work very very few hours don't get excessive financial help. The only part that I think should be reviewed is a timeframe so that people out of work short term get enough financial hell to remain in their current homes.

Let's remember; if a person living in a property that they have a mortgage on becomes unemployed they don't get unlimited financial help to stay in their home and sometimes they have to move if they don't secure employment quite quickly. So homeowners have faced sanctions on their homes for decades, why should we not have a similar system for renters?

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 20:24:11

I do agree with a lot of what you have written, and for sure it is a difficult problem!

I suppose my thinking is less about the current generation of tenants, and more about the next, because I cannot see that for children of vulnerable families, it can possibly be in their interests to be moved away from families/schools etc, and may jeopardise their schooling, which then repeats the cycle over another generation. And whilst, yes, people who own houses are at the mercy of the mortgage companies, I think (generalising hugely), those people are often in a better position to support their children through that change (I know that is a huge generalisation, but that's all we can work in really).

It's just too easy to say 'ship them all out to Birmingham' - that isn't going to solve the problem at all.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 20:26:53

Thinking back to the programme, a lot of the families shown were dysfunctional at best. Now what if a family like that happened to live near a grandparent who really was a good support to the child (I'm thinking from the experience as a parent at school, there are many families like that). Removing that good input is directly harming the child's life chances, and therefore directly increasing the potential drain on the country's finances.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 20:29:56

One other solution might be to only allow planning permission for multiple dwellings if a set proportion is built as social housing, to be sold to the council.

So if a developer puts in a proposal for, say, 20 dwellings (property developers are very good at finding land to build on that government is not), why not say that 20% (ie 4) have to be social housing, of a fixed number of bedrooms, to be purchased by the council at cost price. The developer still gets a good return, isn't out of pocket, but the council doesn't need the hassle of cleansing a brown field site.

I think some councils do this. IIRC when an old hospital near here was developed the council insisted on 10% of the build being social housing.

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 16-Apr-14 20:48:26

Sometimes moving away from extended family can be a good thing. Breaking ties and starting afresh for some families can be as beneficial as being close to families is for other families. It's very simplistic to think that families are a great support network for dysfunctional families.

With regard to the building programme suggestion: lots of developments only get permission granted on the basis that a percentage of homes will be 'affordable homes', unfortunately not much is being built in the areas with the most need so the affordable percentage is a percentage of nothing.

stripedteatowel Wed 16-Apr-14 20:48:55

I am in central London and there is a huge amount of building work going on in my area - the skyline is full of cranes building tall residential buildings. A lot of these developments were on former car parks or old industrial buildings - London actually has more empty plots than you'd think, even in zone 1. But they are expensive to finance, and it's hard to get planning permission, so they are being built by private firms who are marketing most of the flats to overseas investors. There is already a target for a percentage of these to be social housing. The aim I think is 50% but realistically it's usually less than that, as if it was as high as 50% the development wouldn't be financially viable. E.g. this 42 storey tower in Islington will have 144 affordable homes, plus 170 for joint ownership.

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 16-Apr-14 20:53:47

What constitutes an affordable home though, can somebody on the average wage (£27k) afford to live in one without govt help?

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 20:54:08

There is a big difference between affordable/shared ownership housing and social housing.

I would like to see these development all containing a proportion of housing which would be bought at cost price by the local authorities, and which would stay in council ownership, to start rebuilding our much reduced social housing stock.

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 16-Apr-14 20:57:26

Lily; I agree with you about some of those homes being for social housing. Affordable homes are not affordable for many.
Another thing though: who wants to love on the 42nd floor with children? These tower block developments are not suitable for all families.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 21:02:10

True, but then we need to ask serious questions about what people's specific needs are. Otoh, some of my family coped very well with children on much higher floors living in the Far East, and it was regarded as normal, not as something undesirable; with today's rules on accessibility and H&S I don't think it's the issue it was, and many high rises have their own outdoor space - thinking of the flats in our city, many of which are social housing, and the remainder of which USED to be, there is a large quadrangle, a big lawn area, a basketball court, so the kids there are not deprived of outdoor space.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 21:04:40

(Sensible allocations would in an ideal world ensure that people who NEEDED a dedicated house, eg those with disabilities, would find that one was available, those for whom a flat was ok would also be able to be allocated a flat).

I think the problem is that solving this problem requires quite radical solutions, and I don't think any of today's politicians are prepared to be brave and creative, they prefer the 'radical' solution of moving people out, people who are not in a position to help themselves, or to argue their corner.

BMW6 Wed 16-Apr-14 22:02:26

*Just for once in this godforsaken craphole of a country I'd like someone to stop bleeding their heart for poor ickle benefit claimants being told expecting people to pay out for them to have rent at £500 a week is unreasonable - and to actually look out for the "just getting by" people who come in just above the line for fucking everything and get sod all - but often live in shittier conditions by far.

I have fuck all issue with areas being more or less expensive to live in - the south east is expensive... we couldn't afford to live there - so we don't. I'm bloody sick of uncapped benefits whacking private rental prices on a whole through the roof though and shitting on those who don't claim who can't afford them because they've gone so bonkers as the state's been subsidising the whole happy snowball. I'm fucking sick of the lot of it - sick of the hysterical "woooo you must be a Tory and read the Daily Mail cos it's all evil evil evil you evil capitalist don't you care in your little palace" shite that gets thrown about on here as well. If it got the whole fucking mess sorted out - I'd vote for the bloody Naked Stripping Elvis Party in a heartbeat and read the fucking Beano on a daily basis.*

Applauds miaowthecat - exactly !!flowers

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 22:08:05

It's really tough for so many people, I know.

But tbh, building more social housing would help people in work as well as out of work, because housing is the biggest drain on most people's budgets, and it was never ever meant to be like that. It shouldn't take almost all of people's wages to pay for a roof over their heads.

And it is shortsighted to say 'they are scroungers, stuff them', because they may well be, but kick them when they are down, and we continue to have to pay for them, and probably their children as well.

Imagine the scenario where benefits claimants were all as the man on the show, with 7 children. If none of those children work, then we have 7 times the problem to pay for in the next generation.

Far far better to retain state control of housing for the poor, invest in education and try and ensure those children go on to be economically active contributors, so that the problem is not exacerbated many times.

stripedteatowel Wed 16-Apr-14 22:10:03

The top floor flats probably won't be affordable - usually they penthouses and the most expensive in the whole building. I don't think most of these flats will be as high as that anyway, it's just a recent example I linked to but there are many low-rise flats being built as well. Apartment living is really common in London (I grew up in one) and is not such an issue for families here, especially in the inner boroughs and in social housing.

limeades Wed 16-Apr-14 22:19:19

I have sympathy for those who've fallen on hard times.

I don't think anyone who has had SEVEN children deserves uncapped benefits though. What a piss take.

ssd Wed 16-Apr-14 22:43:54

I havent seen the programme so could be talking shite here, but surely the person who had 7 kids was one in a million? what about everyone else, instead of focusing on one very unusual situation?

BuggersMuddle Wed 16-Apr-14 22:45:59

There are clearly hard cases, but there is also a problem that needs to be addressed.

I am a higher rate tax payer, wouldn't be eligible for CB etc. If I was the sole income earner in our household, we could not afford 400pw rent.

I'm not saying 'shove out the poor' and for that matter I'm not in London, but there is clearly an issue with a market where poor people on benefit can live in a house that an earner in the top 10% couldn't afford to rent. That is one skewed market. Who lives in South London - 6 figure earners and the very poor? Where the hell do the middle go?

Something has to be done to readdress this for the sake of both the poor and the middle, otherwise we end up with gated houses surrounded by ghettos.

LilyBolero Wed 16-Apr-14 22:52:59

Ssd, yy absolutely.

I return to my first point, this is divide & rule politics. Anyone who says 'I have no sympathy' based on a few snapshots, or what the politicians choose to feed us needs to consider what happens when they are the group picked on. Who will feel sympathy for them?

Only one thing has happened in this country over the last few years; the rich are richer, everyone else is poorer. When the Tories say 'the rich are contributing a greater share of the income tax take, that is because THEIR INCOMES HAVE RISEN.

It was not the fault of the poor that the banks behaved so irresponsibly, the poor did not cause the global financial crisis, but those who caused it are far better off now than they were then.

The housing market is broken. Just as the energy market is broken. The Tory mantra of 'market forces' no longer applies, because these markets no longer function.

unlucky83 Thu 17-Apr-14 01:00:15

I've just watched this on catch up...and I agree with a lot of what has been said about entitlement etc. I thought I'd feel some sympathy - and I'm aware of editing etc - but I felt absolutely zero. Just lots of dependent people thinking that the state should look after them. I'm actually shocked.

And what about the fathers?
Tracey - on benefits for 3 years - youngest is a year or so old - so had one of those children while on benefits...same goes from the woman with the purple hair (Tanya?) a less than one year old - moved into the flat in Notting Hill 3 yrs ago and had to leave her job ... and the woman who didn't want to do Avon - said something about you wanted me to do that when I had 3 children and it didn't work - how on earth do you expect me to do it with 5? I understand accidents happen - but all three single mothers, no mention of father, had children whilst on benefits...is it only me that sees that as absolutely messed up?
Actually the same with the Ethiopia woman - unless the husband/father died/disappeared -obviously had both children in the UK, not worked for 12 yrs ...where is the father?

Not going to go to the 7/9 children - FGS - speechless...interesting how one guy suddenly DID have a job - wondering if he was working on the sly before and went 'legit' cos it was in his best interests??? Or just was forced to get his act together and get a job?

Secondly - market demands etc - if the council stop paying the ridiculous rents, the landlords are going to have to find someone who can pay...and as low paid working people are going to struggle to find that kind of money eventually market forces should drive the rents down...and moving people out will also free up properties and also (hopefully) drive rents down...
(Remember years ago on homes under the hammer a woman bought a buy to let (not in London) , can't remember exact figures but estate agents were saying rent of £400 pm but she'd already got a contract with council paying £500 pm...and the presenter was congratulating her!! Same with a young single mother in Yorkshire (not about housing at all) but was paying £600pm for a 1 bed flat in a not nice area - did wonder if she was paying/earning if she'd have been prepared to /able to pay that)

God it was depressing - and shocking ...and worrying...sad

Impatientismymiddlename Thu 17-Apr-14 09:34:32

I havent seen the programme so could be talking shite here, but surely the person who had 7 kids was one in a million? what about everyone else, instead of focusing on one very unusual situation?

I personally know two families affected by the benefit cap and neither live in the south east and one of them lives in a council house. The reason they have been affected by the benefit cap is that one has eight children (the one in the council house) and the other has five children (in a not too ridiculously priced private rental property).

These people are not one in a million. The programme only focused on families in the SE with very high rent, but large families elsewhere in the country are affected too. I do think that London is exceptional because of the cost of housing and perhaps a slightly bigger allowance was needed there, but £500 benefits is more than sufficient for the cap in most areas of the country.

Preciousbane Thu 17-Apr-14 09:46:14

Well I just watched on catch up and I cannot understand and I am the child of a large family as there are six of us is why anyone has huge amounts of dc, working or not. Even if you work and have a really decent job anything can happen. Our circumstances have changed due to my ill health and our income has dropped by 25%. I never saw this coming, you don't tend to.

I only had two dc so all very manageable, of the five sisters one has 3 dc, two 2 and two have 1. We are unsure how many dc my brother has 3 or 4 as he is one of those feckless twats that leaves women after they have dc.

That was the thing that struck me, how shit absent Fathers are. I hope the man whose dc ended up living in a hostel is ashamed of himself.

Where I live new developments have a social/ affordable housing quota.

unlucky83 Thu 17-Apr-14 11:17:39

precious we live in an area where we are supposedly getting lots of new housing (increasing population by 25%+ in less than 20yrs - I think too much in such a short space of time but that's another story! )
We live in a naice area - a 'sought after location'.
Most new housing here so far has been gap filling and high end 4-5 en suite bedroom type houses - nothing affordable.
And no bungalows for older people to move into and free up larger houses for families (lots of old big Victorian houses with one older person living there - their choice is either move to another village to get a bungalow or sheltered housing flats/care home.)
With the new housing 20% has to be affordable and the developers have to pay for improvement to the infrastructure (roads and water/drainage) - which sounds great...except...the developers can pay (off?) the council money to build the affordable housing elsewhere...
And I strongly suspect that is what will happen here - also we are being bribed to 'allow' the increase because the railway station that has been closed for years will be reopened ...which would be good - except that would give people an easier commute to the (expensive) city...and so make the new houses more attractive to wealthier people sad

LilyBolero Thu 17-Apr-14 11:27:13

Affordable housing is all well and good but there needs to be social housing in the mix too. Affordable housing will not be available to anyone shown on the programme. Both are desperately needed.

unlucky83 Thu 17-Apr-14 11:38:05

Agree Lily - but actually affordable housing should free up rental properties, thus drive down rents and make landlord either have to sell on - or accept cheaper rents/HB tenants...
(And actually I thought 'affordable housing' could be social housing too...housing associations etc)

LilyBolero Thu 17-Apr-14 11:49:18

Tbh I am v sceptical about market pressure having any effect on London prices; i think the market is v broken though.

But I do agree that housing at all levels needs to be looked at really, it is mad ATM. And even out of London it is impossible; we could not afford to buy our house now, and one could we afford to move because to buy a property anywhere in our city with anything like enough space would incur massive stamp duty (10s of thousands). But I recognise we were lucky to buy when we did.

LilyBolero Thu 17-Apr-14 11:50:02

(Nor could we afford not 'one could we afford'. Can't type!)

Fulham14 Sun 20-Apr-14 01:25:16

Hi Tracy (tracymcc), I've been trying to make contact. Please accept a PM. Thank you.

Deathraystare Fri 25-Apr-14 15:26:45

I was shocked by that programme abot the poor not being able to afford tolive in Tower hamlets. Tower hamlets ffs! Another bloody place seemingly being done up. The poor have got to live somewhere!!!! Rents are appalling at the moment. I have had to move in with my mum as the nearest town has a uni so any cheap rent means sharing. With students. I am too old for all that!

I feel sorry for the mentally ill who are being told to move and so leave behind not only family but their whole support network which may have taken ages to set up and for them to feel comfy with.

LilyBolero Sat 26-Apr-14 19:25:28

Deathraystare, the attitude of the government, and an awful lot of people on here and elsewhere in the UK is 'Why should you be able to afford to live in London if you are on benefits, never mind if you work in the city, and would lose your job, if someone NOT on housing benefit can't afford to live there, why should someone ON housing benefit?'

Totally misses the point tbh, which is that there is a massive housing problem, especially in the South East, but also in the South West, and NOTHING is being done, shipping people out to 'cheaper' but also jobless areas is NOT a solution and will make the problem far FAR worse long term.

The ONLY solution is to reclaim social housing as a state service, not give housing benefit to private landlords.

40% of the housing benefit bill goes direct to private landlords who then jack up the rents. Essentially, the taxpayer is paying their mortgages for them. We HAVE to make social housing a priority, in London and elsewhere, otherwise this problem will get worse and worse.

socialservicesrscum Sun 29-Jun-14 16:52:33

Hiya people I'm new to mumsnet I wanted to jump in on the convo the situation we are now facing was made by local goverment and they have been planning it for a while,the situation that you can't find a private rental my side of london(nw lon) is due to the fact that now the rents are being paid to the tenant now instead of to the landlord,also due to universal cock up being so widely publicised landlords are worried that people will indeed pay their rent but then won't have enough to pay gas and elecy and then start running into the red.And yes it is social cleansing and no it's not acceptable and I will tell you why britain is on it's knees as far as school placements are concerned my child was being racially bullied at the school they did nothing to help I spoke to them for over a year then my child was held down by three thugs(aged seven) in the playground and they stamped all over my little one nearly breaking his leg,I immediately pulled him out of school only to find myself being harassed by educational welfare when I couldn't find him a school placement cos there just aren't any school places and waiting lists are running out of control and no it's not a london thing it's a nationwide problem,it took me nearly five months to get my child back into school(and that was with the great help of my childs after school club and the links they had with a local school).I was threatened by educational welfare of being dragged to court and fined as my child was out of school.You can not have families and children being moved around the country at the mere whimsy of housing authorities there are already enough kids on waiting lists just in my borough at this mo in time 2000 kids are out of school due to lack of placements.I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT HOUSING PROTOCOL TAKES PRESIDENT OVER CHILD AND FAMILY WELFARE I DON'T ACCEPT THAT.
You can't have a whole generation of kids being constantly moved around being pulled from one school to another and being pulled from one dwelling to another kids need stability we all know that these constant changes for them are emotionally detrimental to them and we musn't let our councils get away with it please people if the council is trying to bounce you out of London or wherever you live you must resist otherwise the councils will carry on,kids need to feel safe and they need routine anything else just isn't good enough and if you are having housing issues please please get a solicitor on the case.Many boroughs are making up stories to put you down as intentionally homeless to rid their obligation and care of duty for housing just to bounce you to other boroughs to ask for housing under homeless applications.I am one of the unlucky ones I have been left homeless with my child due to the corrupt spin of my council filing me as intentionally homeless just to run from their obligation I have been sofa surfing with friends since the end of march I have gone public over my case my local newspaper covered my story and other local journalists are running with my story which I'm hoping to take nationwide,I have also created a google plus page dealing with the topic of illegal eviction and social services I have named and shamed everyone concerned in my case,and yes there is an unholy relationship between housing and social services be warned the two work in complete partnership we have all been set up where being moved out of London and surrounding it was carefully planned over a number of years being done step by step to make sure private rental became impossible in London on housing benefit and the media isn't helping making out like if you are a tenant on benefits that you are somehow a lesser person and not worthy of private rental and the story deepens as many boroughs have shut down all their hostels I will just give one as an example Barnet is one.We are set to see an era here where there will be families living on the streets and no social services won't help and don't their run of the mill answer has always been "WE HAVE NO POWERS OF HOUSING" But they will threaten to take your kids costing the state and the tax payer far more money then just helping you out with getting you housed.If you want to view my google plus page go to google plus and type in solly sheridan and if you need one on one advice my contact can be found on my google.

socialservicesrscum Sun 29-Jun-14 16:58:33

And yes we must reclaim social housing I quite agree I am arranging a march it will be some time in august or september where I will be unrolling a campaign that was started in brent two years ago by Isobel counihan sanchez I will be unrolling it it camden and yes social housing must be made a priority and we must all stand shoulder to shoulder on this issue teh campaign I will be unrolling started as the counihan sanchez campaign and grew so quick it is now known as housing for all,it gives power to people to put their local councils under pressure and make them reverse decisions and protocol we have the power together to make huge changes as we know councils can't take sustained pressure!!!! please peolple don't forget this.

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