Bedroom Tax WILL affect pensioners and from April 2013(6 Posts)
I today posted a blog detailing why the bedroom tax will affect mixed-age pensioner couples. The full post is here (http://wp.me/p1vuvL-sX) and runs to about 6 pages of A4.
It begins: -
"Oh what a tangled WEBB we weave, when first we practice to deceive proclaimed Sir Walter Scott in Marmion:A tale of Flodden Field
Go and work 3 hours extra at the minimum wage to pay off your £16 per week bedroom tax says Steve Webb the junior minister at the DWP. Thats all it takes he claimed on Radio 4 last week. Absolute nonsense and brought this statement to mind as the government are overtly trying to deceive.
The £18.57 pw gross extra in wages sees the government reduce your housing and council tax benefit by £15.78. Those 3 hours additional work see you better off by a massive £2.79 or 93p per extra hour worked!
Yes that does mean for every extra £1 you earn your benefit will be reduced by 85p an effective tax rate of 85%!
(Note too that applies to all ages not just pensioners and if a billionaire only pays 45% and allows them to say errantly that you will always be better off working which you wont be!)
Cue scores of Government apologists saying this is not a tax its a benefit reduction!
Call it whatever you like but if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck its an ef***g duck!
Now imagine you are a 59 year-old woman and your husband is 66. This is known as a mixed-age pensioner couple; mixed-age as one qualifies for pension or pension credit and the other does not. Your combined electricity and gas bill has increased 9%, food cost is going up by the day and predicted to rise much more so in the coming months, all other household costs are increasing too and your hard-earned savings at getting interest at 0.01% in the building society.
Hubby you say, they want me to work 3 hours a week more from April and we need the extra money. Ok love if thats what you want. So you do. Then and there is no easy diplomatic way to say this reader the shit hits the fan!
Not only do you discover the 3 extra hours earn you the princely sum of 93p per hour but because this is a change in circumstances you are now hit by the bedroom tax and have to pay 25% of your rent on the 3 bed house you have made your home for 40 years bringing up your four children. They have homes of their own now and treat them with the same love and attention you have given the family home as that is what it is since 1973. The same family home the darling grandchildren come to visit and stay over to give their mums and dads a night out or just a break. The same darling grandchildren who make you feel young again and on whom you lavish love and affection and get so much back in return.
How are we going to cope with the £37.50 per week Housing Benefit cut from our £150 per week rent in the family home in London.
I could go on with this tale in the same way yet the key issue here is that mixed-age pensioner couples will be hit by the bedroom tax in April if they have a change in circumstances, such as working 3 more hours as the government advises in it tangled WEBB of deceit. The couple above would be £2.79 per week better off yet then have to pay £37.50 per week in the bedroom tax.
They would be £34.71 per week worse off for working 3 additional hours that government minister Steve Webb advocates and that can happen from April 2013."
You can read the rest at the reference above which includes full references and sources for the above and then goes on to explain the coalition guidance on the bedroom tax which absolutely and unambiguously confirms the above.
Finally, there are 90,000 of these mixed-age pensioner couples who will be caught by this from April
surely this is helping another family that has outgrown its current space by freeing up larger properties? assuming the couple in the example move to a smaller council place. I think its a bit unreasonable for them to expect to have a larger house (and for it to be heavily subsidised by the taxpayer) so their grandchildren can stay when they visit.
i agree it seems a bit pointless to force people to move if we are only talking a relatively small amount of space. But in instances where there are 2 or more bedrooms that aren't used (except for occasional visits) it seems a sensible way to use the limited housing stock.
I'm no expert, I just know there are at least 5 pensioners round me, who share a bedroom in a very big 3 bed bungalow, I have 2 kids in a two bed, and think it's unfair.
But are there suitable smaller properties available?
(Why are the 5 pensioners sharing a bed
room if they have a 3 bed bungalow?)
First I've heard about it and I am too tired to go read a blog of 6 pages of A4 but it always struck me as strange that pensioners were excluded from the original so called 'bedroom tax' anyway given they are the probably the biggest group of people living in properties larger than they need.
Well, it's not THAT strange. We all know what the real reason is. And that is because pensioners generally vote Tory, are very well organised in lobbying their MP's and have the time to do so. No major party will want to risk alienating the grey vote which is a real shame given that until we do, we cannot be seriously trying to tackle our deficit.
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