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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 Sat 10-Aug-13 18:54:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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?

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.

Xenia Sun 28-Apr-13 14:00:45

I just meant we won't solve that on this thread (although I am obviously right - people are most helped by helping themselves not paying them to be dependent on the state) but whoever is right money is short and the middle classes (not the rich) have got sick of bailing out those who cannot support themselves. So there has been a sea change in public attitudes about this issue with most people of all parties supporting the benefits changes.

Unami Sun 28-Apr-13 13:35:01

Um, I think "who is right or wrong" does matter, Xenia. That's a really odd thing to say.

You also say that yours is the "traditional English view". What do you mean by traditional? Are you thinking of late 19th and 20th century debates about the deserving and undeserving poor? Have you looked at Mayhew's journalism? Rowantree's research?

Or a bit further back still - so you want this country to go back to the conditions people experiences during the Industrial Revolution? Do you think Britain was swarming with benevolent capitalists who treated their workers fairly and safely and gave them a decent standard of life? If you think that a return to the conditions of the Industrial Revolution is going to bring about a better standard of living for ordinary people then, my god, you need a history lesson.

And as to the idea that this country is suddenly, uniquely bust - it needs to be restates that our national debt isn't even historically high. It was much higher after the Second World War, and yet the government of the time managed to usher in huge changes that improved living conditions for ordinary people enormously. And blaming the current national deficit on public spending is simply disingenuous. This year the national deficit ran to £120.6 billion. For everything. To put that into context - Do you know how much bailing out the banks cost the country in 2008/9? At least £134.5 billion - and that was just for immediate interventions. At least another £781.2 was pledged just to prop the banking system up temporarily. How much did we spend on housing benefit this year? £16.94 billion. Yes, this country has financial problems (though they are not historically severe). But the poorest people in the country did not cause them, and they are not going to be fixed by cutting their already meagre benefits even more.

Xenia Sun 28-Apr-13 11:10:18

It does not matter who is right or wrong, the money has run out, we are not likely to move the UK into ascendancy again. We are on the wane and are likely to move out of the cycle which started with the Industrial Revolution which saw our country rise in effect to the top. SO although those on benefits would like more money there are not enough people who earn a lot available to fund those at the bottom in the style to which they became accustomed.

Given most people in surveys support benefits cutting whether Labour or Tory voters I don't think having my views on threads about benefits should be a problem. It lets those minority who do not want cuts hear the views of the majority. I am not a single lone voice in the UK. Every study has found that the middle earners want benefits cut and are fed up with the burden they have had to come to bear.

goodoldgirl Sun 28-Apr-13 09:47:16

This whole bedroom thing is based on what is, in comparison with the rest of the world, a very wealthy society. Dh is Greek. His mother, father, older sister and two brothers all lived all their growing up lives in a 2 bedroomed apartment. As did most of his friends with similar sized families. The parents had one bedroom, the sister had the other, and the three boys used to bed down on the sofas every night. This is normal there. I understand it's normal in a lot of other countries too.

Let's get some perspective here, ladies.

zadie78 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:41:26

I'm with you, Mrsdavid - totally understand the point you are making.

We are one of those families that cannot afford to live where we are and are looking at areas hundreds - yes, hundreds - of miles from where we currently are. We are living on a family income which is only just above the 'poverty line' - google it if you need to - and do not live in social housing (bought a tiny house some years ago before dc when I worked full-time in a fairly well paid job, but now I only work part-time - through choice - want to be there for dc - and dh is minimum wage, but we still have a mortgage to pay), so having looked at all the options, the only thing we can think of is to move. Like 1000s of others.

In fact, we would have liked another child, but we can't afford one because we are already two to a bedroom.

JakeBullet Sun 28-Apr-13 09:26:03

Xenia, I didn't claim housing benefit while in work....even though I was entitled to it. It would have been £17 a week....but here's a shocker.....had I realised I most certainly WOULD have claimed because life was dreadfully hard. It's even harder now I am out of work. Only someone who absolutely does not have to worry about where the next penny is coming from could have the arrogant view that NOT claiming what you are entitled to is somehow a virtue!

I am a volunteer now and I make sure people KNOW what they are entitled to claim. Just relieving the pressure and stress that a lack of money brings can make the difference between a family sinking or swimming....those that sink could end up costing the tax payer far more.

You are SO out of touch that you actually do not belong on any thread where benefits are discussed, you don't claim them, never have and never will. Good for you....the rest of us are just trying to get through life and do the best we can with sometime limited resources. Asking for a bit of help when we need it is not a crime.

MiniTheMinx Sun 28-Apr-13 09:19:15

Oh, and for the record you aren't nasty Xenia, you are deluded.

MiniTheMinx Sun 28-Apr-13 09:17:42

What about another equally shocking idea Xenia,

Corporates and businesses pay their taxes, that employers pay everyone a living wage. That wages rise in line with profits and productivity.

I agree that everyone should be accorded the dignity of providing for themselves without state help where possible (there are exceptions)

Years ago we didn't have a welfare state, capitalists must pay wages that allow the worker to reproduce himself on a daily basis, with food, shelter etc, but reproduce the next generation of workers for future wage slavery.

The reason we have huge state subsidy of the above process is because of the greed of the capitalist, who refuses to pay living wages.

If you have a problem with state welfare........go talk to the people that created that need.

You can not fill empty bellies on pride.

Xenia Sun 28-Apr-13 09:07:52

My comment is by the way the traditional English view. It still is of a lot of the elderly - any state help is shaming and your principal responsiblity is to kpee your own children and not claim housing benefit whilst you are in work even if you need it or are entitled to it. The fact it is regarded as a shocking view illustrates how much work will be needed if we seek to change the mentality of most British people back to the idea they support their own and the state does not.

Labour made it worse by making benefits claimants of so many of the middle classes with tax credits.

Unami Sat 27-Apr-13 21:31:26

Xenia You think that people who may need to claim housing benefit have failed? You do realise that most people claiming housing benefit are in work? It is hardly their fault if they are in employment but their job doesn't pay them enough to cover life's basic necessities. You really think that 5 million people in this country are failures?

I hope, for your own sake, that you never need to rely on some of our state services, like a life-saving operation from the NHS, since being unable to cover the private health care fees abroad would make you a failure, by your logic.

ttosca Sat 27-Apr-13 19:34:21


> If we can persuade people not to claim housing benefit at all and view state support as something of which to be ashamed, that they have failed by not being able to support their own families that would be a good thing. We are no where near getting anywhere near that as people think they can continue to take take take when the cupboards are bare because they have "rights".

God you're nasty. The majority of people who receive state benefits are in full-time work. Many of these people are middle-class families.

In the case of the poor, we have reached a situation where companies don't even pay a living wage, and the state is having to subsidise the workforce in order for them to having enough money for food an rent.

We should all be ashamed that we've allowed things to get this bad. That we've allowed neo-liberalism to completely screw over the majority of working men and women in society.

The only people who 'take and take from the cupboards' are the wealthy elite; many major corporations are paying little or no corporate tax, and wealth inequality has reached levels not seen since the early half of the 20th Century.

You should be ashamed of yourself that you continue attacking people who are trying to make their way and work hard instead of addressing the systemic problems almost everyone faces in society today.

Xenia Sat 27-Apr-13 10:18:22

Well those of us who are not entitled and do not receive housing benefit believe it or not may actually have to move as much as 15 miles - can you imagine it! in order to find work, keep our families. We may have to move away from family hundreds of miles to find work to keep our children. I do not see why those claiming housing benefit should not have to do so just because their particular hamlet just has one council house.

If we can persuade people not to claim housing benefit at all and view state support as something of which to be ashamed, that they have failed by not being able to support their own families that would be a good thing. We are no where near getting anywhere near that as people think they can continue to take take take when the cupboards are bare because they have "rights".

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