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Can anyone link to a rational explanation of bedroom tax from the right?

(63 Posts)
specialmagiclady Wed 03-Apr-13 12:05:59

I mean, something with numbers and, you know, evidence? I have seen lots of reasoned argument against it and so far, so unbelievably livid and enraged.

In the interests of balance, I'd like to see some (I repeat) reasoned and evidence-based comment from someone intelligent who thinks it's a good idea.

Thank you

ttosca Sun 28-Apr-13 14:33:39

Most British people are ignorant about who receives what benefits, how much, and the scale of benefit fraud.


Voters 'brainwashed by Tory welfare myths', shows new poll

Survey shows public ignorance of the level of benefits and who gets them

Ministers were accused of demonising benefits claimants in an attempt to justify their controversial decision to increase most state handouts by less than inflation.

Polling commissioned by the Trades Union Congress suggests that a campaign by Tory ministers is turning voters against claimants – but only because the public is being fed "myths" about those who rely on benefits.


TUC poll finds that support for benefit cuts depends on misconceptions

'It is not surprising that voters want to get tough on welfare. They think the system is much more generous than it is in reality, is riddled with fraud and is heavily skewed towards helping the unemployed, who they think are far more likely to stay on the dole than is actually the case. Indeed if what the average voter thinks was true, I'd want tough action too.

The TUC poll reveals many misconceptions about welfare and benefit spending including:

- On average people think that 41 per cent of the entire welfare budget goes on benefits to unemployed people, while the true figure is 3 per cent.

- On average people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently, while the government's own figure is 0.7 per cent.

- On average people think that almost half the people (48 per cent) who claim Jobseeker's Allowance go on to claim it for more than a year, while the true figure is just under 30 per cent (27.8 per cent).

- On average people think that an unemployed couple with two school-age children would get £147 in Jobseeker's Allowance - more than 30 per cent higher than the £111.45 they would actually receive - a £35 over-calculation.

- Only 21 per cent of people think that this family with two school-age children would be better off if one of the unemployed parents got a 30 hour a week minimum wage job, even though they would actually end up £138 a week better off. Even those who thought they would be better off only thought on average they would gain by £59.


A lot of the attitudes towards social security are based on ignorance and myths, perpetuated by the likes of the Daily Fail and other reactionaries who knowingly spread these myths in order enact their ideological agenda.

ttosca Sun 28-Apr-13 14:34:45

> whoever is right money is short and the middle classes (not the rich) have got sick of bailing out those who cannot support themselves.

Banks? Corporations? MPs? The Royal Family?

MiniTheMinx Sun 28-Apr-13 14:58:05

Pampered MPs are sitting on a taxpayer-backed war chest of nearly £6million that can be used if they fall on hard times.

The Treasury pays thousands of pounds a year into the “hardship fund”, which gives financial help to former members and their families down on their luck.

But while MPs have this to fall back on, some of the most hard-pressed families in Britain have lost similar support because of the Government’s cuts.

The Department for Work and Pensions this month axed the discretionary social fund, which provided emergency support to people living in poverty.

The £800million pot has been wound up and responsibility handed to councils for loans and grants to those in need.

The Government admits the money given to councils is “not ring-fenced” and could go “on other things”. Documents reveal the House of Commons Members’ Fund has assets of £5.7million and spent £160,000 last year to help 58 ex-MPs.

Accounts show the fund got £148,000 from the taxpayer last year and £15,479 from members, who pay an annual subscription of £24 each.

The fund spent nearly £22,000 on salaries for administration, £14,476 on actuarial fees, £12,800 on auditors, and Capita was paid £6,000 to act as “custodian” for the assets.

The pot, set up in 1939, is overseen by a board of trustees headed by former Tory Cabinet minister Peter Lilley.

The Members’ Fund can claim up to £215,000 a year in support from the Treasury.

Since 2007, it has received more than £1million of taxpayers’ money.

Attempts by MPs to make the fund no longer reliant on the Treasury have been blocked by ministers, who refuse to grant parliamentary time for such a debate.

Former Labour MP Joe Ashton recently argued the fund was essential and said many former MPs descended into alcoholism and poverty

There are more than 1,000 former MPs, some in their 90s.

But MPs may find it difficult to get sympathy. They went off this week on a two-week break.

Parliament will sit for only about 150 days this year, compared to 190 days in school for teachers.

Matthew Sinclair, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Helping those who fall on tough times is a worthy aim, but it is bizarre that ex-MPs have exclusive access to a taxpayer-funded hardship fund.”

Voice of the Mirror: MPs out of touch
Our MPs certainly know how to make themselves unpopular.

We reveal today that, having spent the last legislative session axing benefits for the disabled and vulnerable, they are sitting on their own hardship fund of almost £6million.

Most of this money has come from the taxpayer, with the Treasury paying more than £1million into it over the past six years.

Nobody doubts there will be former politicians who need support when they fall on hard times

What many will find galling, not to say hypocritical, is that MPs are feathering their own nest while withdrawing exactly the same help for the rest of us.

On April 1 the Government axed the discretionary social fund which offered emergency grants and loans to those most in need.

And unlike MPs, people who relied on this money did not have the luxury of a decent pension or subsidised bars and restaurants.

*you mean they drink themselves into poverty, should we not be asking whether they are the DESERVING POOR!

* and shouldn't those who fall on hard times be subject to the same scrutiny and have to make claims for means tested benefits just like everyone else.

Mrsdavidcaruso Wed 01-May-13 08:27:47

On average people think that 27 per cent of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently, while the government's own figure is 0.7 per cent.

Whilst i would not agree that its 27% I would bet its a hell of a lot more then 0.7%. Fraudsters by their very nature are liars and cheats, they will ensure they don't get caught they want the money, therefore IMO the Government actually have NO idea how much they really are losing in fraud.

Orwellian Wed 01-May-13 13:03:22

Dotnet - "The thing which hurts is knowing that people have the feeling they are being forced out of their homes. They may have lived there for donkeys' years, they've got their friends and neighbours nearby, they've put down roots - it's just not right. You don't treat people like that.
BUT there would be nothing unethical, I think, in offering decent pay-offs to get people to volunteer to move out of too-large flats and houses... "

I don't understand this argument. Owner occupiers and those in private rentals have to move all the time if they can no longer afford the rent/mortgage or they lose their jobs. Even if they have lived there for years and have friends and kids at local schools. Those in social housing always have the choice to buy their home (under the very generous "right to buy" policy) if they really want to stay locally. Why should they be protected from decisions that owner occupiers or those in private rentals have to make all the time and have very little choice over?

Orwellian Wed 01-May-13 13:10:32

Also, the thing I disagree with about this policy is that it does not affect pensioners when it is pensioners who are most likely to be occupying homes that have too many bedrooms.

If the Tories really believe in bringing fairness to this issue and reduce the number of those on the waiting list for larger homes, they would be including homes occupied by pensioners too.

Mrsdavidcaruso Wed 01-May-13 22:00:20

And where are you going to move pensioners to? Its not a case of moving them into smaller property, it would have to be ground floor, near shops and bus routes.

BTW my Dad lives in a HA 3 bed house he pays full tent no HB still pays
tax on his wages and pensions, why should he move for a family on all the benefits God sends

HamletsSister Wed 01-May-13 22:18:05

Self reliance?




All of these wonderful human qualities are undermined by too much state help. People need to, as far as possible, rely on their own resources, not on those of the state. This frees up resources for those who cannot help themselves.

Why not move? I did. My father moved every 2 years with his job, taking us with him. People move all the time. Only those who have had the self reliance bred out of them would expect to remain living in a house that is too big.

I am in favour of all LA / Council properties being reassessed regularly and for them only to be for those in need. No more fat union officials living in social housing while drawing £100k salaries.

Orwellian Thu 02-May-13 12:52:55

Mrsdavidcaruso - Yes, he should move. He has more rooms than he needs and it is not his home, it belongs to the housing association that he will have been paying his subsidised rent to. There will be thousands of families who actually need a 3 bed house, whereas your dad probably needed it 20 years ago and since then things will have changed. People not in social homes have to move/downsize all the time if they lose their job or their landlord wants them out. Why should people in social homes be treated specially, they are already lucky enough to have subsidised housing without the added bonus of extra rooms for free.

Mrsdavidcaruso Thu 02-May-13 18:18:34

And these families will also be paying a subsidised rent, the same rent as my Dad pays and they will most likely be on HB which my Dad doesn't get.

Now as a home owner I would agree that people who buy or rent in the private sector have to move to afford to live where they want, BUT my Dad can afford it his rent because at the age of 82 HE STILL WORKS if he had been on HB I might agree that the housing tax should kick in ( I would pay it for him) Sorry but why should it be OK to ask an 82 year old man to move from the home he has lived in for 30 years to give a family a larger house and at the same time talk about social cleansing when smaller families are being asked to move to downsize due to the bedroom tax.

ttosca Sun 04-Aug-13 23:24:33

Revealed: ‘Big lie’ behind the bedroom tax as families trapped with nowhere to move so cannot avoid new penalty for having spare room

96% of benefit claimants who want to downsize cannot be rehoused


The Government’s justification for its controversial “bedroom tax” has been debunked by new figures showing that up to 96 per cent of those affected have, in effect, nowhere to move.

The figures published today in The Independent expose the false argument behind ministerial attempts to spin the move as ending the “spare-room subsidy”, and confirm campaigners’ claims that it merely penalises poor people.

ophelia275 Fri 09-Aug-13 08:29:09

The problem with the "bedroom tax" is that the biggest group of people rattling around in social homes that are too big for them are pensioners and they are exempt from the bedroom tax since they tend to vote Tory.

Although I don't think people should be paid with taxpayer cash for spare bedrooms they don't need, I don't think the Tories are being honest about it saving money (it won't) or the moral reasons for why they are doing it (to free up social housing) since if that was the case they wouldn't exempt pensioners.

ttosca Sat 10-Aug-13 18:54:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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