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Guardian Article On Front Page On Benefits Cuts

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Just seen the Guardian article via the link on the front page with it's scare tactics that 750,000 will be made homeless through housing benefit cuts.

We seem to have here a mixture of journos determined to bash the government helping the VIs who are battling against losing their easy stream of tax payers' money from charging above the odds for HB tenants.

The ironic thing is that many of the young journos in the Guardian will be piled into shared houses with expensive rents, and they can't even put 2 and 2 together to understand that if rents came down they would have a better quality of life and more chance of buying their own place as they wouldn't be in competition with BTLetters for starter properties.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jul/23/housing-benefits-homeless-budget-deficit

Buried in the article...what the government are aiming at with this...

It will say that the caps are designed to get claimants to move to smaller and more appropriate homes and will claim that the reforms will help bring down rental prices.

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750,000 will be made homeless through housing benefit cuts.

Translation:

750,000 hardworking families will be able to afford better housing whilst non-working and low income families will be assigned housing appropriate to their income.

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I love this one...

"The housing benefit caps could see poorer people effectively forced out of wealthier areas, and ghettoised into poorer neighbourhoods".

I am all for council accommodation in rich areas and key worker housing and maybe some government offices/empty developments in nice area can be converted into such.

However I think its morally wrong that I should pay tax so that someone can rent an expensive house in an area that maybe I cannot afford and that rents are manipulated upwards for working folks.

Edited by Fromage Frais

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Spot on Fromage_Frais. There's nothing inherently wrong with poor people living in poor neighbourhoods and wealthy people living in wealthy neighbourhoods. If an issue needs addressing, its why poor neighbourhoods are described as 'ghettos'. I'd like to see the money saved from cutting housing benefit being diverted into improving poor neighbourhoods in order to make them a better, safer place to live for *all* poor people, not just those on benefits. This won't happen of course.

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The ironic thing is that many of the young journos in the Guardian will be piled into shared houses with expensive rents, and they can't even put 2 and 2 together to understand that if rents came down they would have a better quality of life and more chance of buying their own place as they wouldn't be in competition with BTLetters for starter properties.

Yeah, right. The only people who can afford to write for the Guardian are firmly in the middle-class, and they're undoubtedly banking on a large inheritance boosted by the housing bubble.

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I love this one...

"The housing benefit caps could see poorer people effectively forced out of wealthier areas, and ghettoised into poorer neighbourhoods".

I am all for council accommodation in rich areas and key worker housing and maybe some government offices/empty developments in nice area can be converted into such.

However I think its morally wrong that I should pay tax so that someone can rent an expensive house in an area that maybe I cannot afford and that rents are manipulated upwards for working folks.

What kind of key workers do people who live in rich areas need in your opinion?

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BRING

IT

ON !!!!

Honestly, do you think the government will make 750K people homeless? Where do you think they are going to move them to? I thought the last bright idea was to move people on benefits to areas where there is work.

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I live in one of the London boroughs where this is going to have greatest effect and am neutral as to whether it is a good or bad idea. Governments will do what they will do. If it goes ahead to schedule its impact will be startling.

I should think that school headcounts will halve. Mr & Mrs Poor with their four kids are not going to be replaced by Mr & Mrs Rich with four kids. They are likely to be replaced by a professional couple with no kids. Despite the OT thread about children, an unbalanced area is not good. Will the receiving boroughs be able to cope?

Logistically, I have no idea how it can be managed. It looks like about 1 in 15 people in London is going to be shuffled. In the more central areas, it will be a lot higher. I cannot see this being possible without it being phased in over a number of years.

It will be great to see the BTLers catching a cold though and I should think a number of developers are going out of business too.

It's going to be like the scenes from Ghandi showing the effects of partitioning - or South Africa's Group Areas Act. Open trucks depositing the former inhabitants of Kensington and Chelsea in Grays Thurrock.

p-o-p

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I live in one of the London boroughs where this is going to have greatest effect and am neutral as to whether it is a good or bad idea. Governments will do what they will do. If it goes ahead to schedule its impact will be startling.

I should think that school headcounts will halve. Mr & Mrs Poor with their four kids are not going to be replaced by Mr & Mrs Rich with four kids. They are likely to be replaced by a professional couple with no kids. Despite the OT thread about children, an unbalanced area is not good. Will the receiving boroughs be able to cope?

Logistically, I have no idea how it can be managed. It looks like about 1 in 15 people in London is going to be shuffled. In the more central areas, it will be a lot higher. I cannot see this being possible without it being phased in over a number of years.

It will be great to see the BTLers catching a cold though and I should think a number of developers are going out of business too.

It's going to be like the scenes from Ghandi showing the effects of partitioning - or South Africa's Group Areas Act. Open trucks depositing the former inhabitants of Kensington and Chelsea in Grays Thurrock.

p-o-p

Personally, I envisage landlords and tenants that have colluded together in defrauding the tax payer of housing benefit in these particular London boroughs, courting a lot of publicity by showing families being 'evicted' and other such sob stories. mad.gif

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Translation:

750,000 hardworking families will be able to afford better housing whilst non-working and low income families will be assigned housing appropriate to their income.

So true, we can apply this to the entire article from the Guardian. Talk about spinning the crooked side of the article. Not so many will read it, but lets see if we can add some balance........

More than 750,000 people are at risk of losing their homes in the south-east because of the government's changes to housing benefit from April next year, according to a campaign group. 750,000 on housing benefit in the rich part of the country? What is it like in the rest of the nation? The current benefit rules mean that claimants can acquire a higher standard of housing than is justfied, paid for by those dispossed of the said housing.

The National Housing Federation, the main voice for the country's housing associations, warns today that the tough new rules are likely to lead to the highest number of homeless people in Britain for more than three decades. - HPC, voice for the silent homeless who seek to acquire housing through their own efforts, rather than the efforts of others, point out that as the number of homes wont change, homelessness isnt likely to change in total either. Ideally what will happen is that those working will move into better accommodation, and those claiming benefits, will move into poorer accommodation. As a result of this, perverse incentives in the economy will be reduced, which will mean more will work, more will be done, and the nation will be richer and better off for it.

It says the benefit cuts could force low-income families out of their homes in swaths of the most prosperous parts of the country. Using data from councils, the federation says 425,000 people in London are at risk of losing their homes, while 326,250 people in the south-east are at risk. - Using the same data, those struggling without taxpayer help, are likely to see falling house prices and rental costs, bringing about the severe risk that they might be able to afford somewhere decent to live.

The study estimates that the proposed changes could lead to at least 750,000 people being without a roof over their heads, five times the 140,000 currently considered homeless in Britain, and easily surpassing the 174,503 recorded in 2003, which was the highest figure for homelessness since modern records began in 1980. The concern is that this will lead to a new generation of rough sleepers, especially as councils, which are facing budget cuts, only have a statutory duty to house people classified as being in "priority need". - HPC suggests that there wont be 750,00 people without a roof over their heads. There will be a great 'property swap', as those on benefits move out of the better properties, and into accommodation that will give them an incentive to better themselves, whilst those who do not claim benefits, will see lower taxation and lower property prices, allowing them to move somewhere more appropriate. If this move can help the state avoid bankruptcy, there will be a huge reduction in those who would have had to sleep rough if that had occurred. It is a choice between benefits at a lower level, or, if the state were to default, no benefits at all.

The stark message comes as Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, prepares to publish an official impact assessment of the effect of measures announced in last month's emergency budget to save £1.8bn from housing benefit and allowances. - This stark message comes from those that have caused this massive mess of a housing bubble, encouraging people to give up work for a better life. Mr IDS would do well to ignore them, and seek to increase the 1.8 billion saved.

It will say that the caps are designed to get claimants to move to smaller and more appropriate homes and will claim that the reforms will help bring down rental prices. Ministers will also argue that almost half the losses stem from reforms introduced but not implemented by Labour ahead of the general election. The aim is to spread the political blame for what is turning into one of the most difficult welfare reforms proposed by the government. - Getting claimants to move down the housing ladder is an imperative, it has to be done. Anyone think that wont be difficult? As for blame, I think we know where that lies.

Helen Goodman, Labour's frontbench spokeswoman on child poverty, childcare and housing benefit, said it was plain that the government had "rushed through the changes without thinking through the social consequences". - HPC said it was plain that Labour had spent 13 years so utterly clueless about housing policy, that they have led the nation to the brink of bankruptcy, and taught our children that you are better off claiming than working.

Many in the housing sector have warned that the measures are too draconian and would disproportionately affect the needy, pushing people on to the streets to pay for the country's deficit. - Many in the housing sector who will lose large amounts of money through these reforms, are trying to pretend that there will be millions living in the street as a result of all of this.

The changes are designed to force those in receipt of benefits to rely on income rather than on the state to meet their housing needs. In his budget, George Osborne imposed caps on housing benefit of £400 a week for a four-bedroom property and £250 a week for a two-bedroom home. He also proposed cutting the amount of the allowance so that it was pegged to the bottom third of rents in any borough. - The changes announced so far are just a stop gap measure. The budget has hardly been cut, and we will still see people working who are worse off than those who claim benefit and will still be able to afford better properties than those people not claiming.

Another concern is that future increases to local housing subsidies will be linked to retail price inflation, rather than rents, which will further erode the value of the benefit. Unemployed people are also specifically targeted, with those who claim jobseeker's allowance for 12 months seeing their housing benefit fall by 10% under the coalition government's plans. - Another concern is that the changing of the index might lead to increasing benefit, if rents fall in proportion to the RPI. The tories need to think about this a bit more.

David Orr, the National Housing Federation's chief executive, warned that the move would see some of the poorest in society facing "enormous upheaval", and that thousands of children would be shifted out of schools as families move to try to find cheaper accommodation. - As expected, someone is using the 'children' argument to keep the money merry-go-round going. Those who really care about the children, think it would be better if we didnt land them with a debt to pay for all of this, and encourage their parents to go out and work and set and example.

"If the government presses ahead, more than 750,000 people would be at risk of losing their home," he said. "The housing benefit caps could see poorer people effectively forced out of wealthier areas, and ghettoised into poorer neighbourhoods. Some people affected by housing benefit caps may successfully find a home in cheaper areas, but many will end up in expensive bed and breakfast accommodation, while thousands will simply become homeless."The minister for welfare reform, Lord Freud, said: "We are working to restore fairness and responsibility to a broken system, so that we are no longer left in the absurd situation where if you are on benefits you can receive an expensive house in a smart area that many working families could not afford. - Well said Mr Minister. Lets not forget too, the rampant fraud in Housing Benefit. Closing down the abuse will lead to a better Britain.

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So true, we can apply this to the entire article from the Guardian. Talk about spinning the crooked side of the article. Not so many will read it, but lets see if we can add some balance........

See above for the full quote.

Looks like you covered it all. But I am surprised, having just come back to HPC to assess the mood, that there isn't more of a debate about this issue. The nearest I have seen this morning to anti coalition posting is a conspiracy theory.

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So true, we can apply this to the entire article from the Guardian. Talk about spinning the crooked side of the article. Not so many will read it, but lets see if we can add some balance........

<snip>

Very well put.

As I have said before, it is completely illogical that any family that is a net taxpayer should ever suffer from a standard of living below that of a similar sized family that is a net recipient of tax revenues.

I invite counter-arguments of course.

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I love this one...

"The housing benefit caps could see poorer people effectively forced out of wealthier areas, and ghettoised into poorer neighbourhoods".

I am all for council accommodation in rich areas and key worker housing and maybe some government offices/empty developments in nice area can be converted into such.

However I think its morally wrong that I should pay tax so that someone can rent an expensive house in an area that maybe I cannot afford and that rents are manipulated upwards for working folks.

Could be an incentive to aspiration. Dangerous thing, this aspiration. People should want to work hard for less, That makes sense, right?

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Personally, I envisage landlords and tenants that have colluded together in defrauding the tax payer of housing benefit in these particular London boroughs, courting a lot of publicity by showing families being 'evicted' and other such sob stories. mad.gif

I agree that there is a lot of this and that, even without it, rents are far too high.

My concern is that people accept the first policy put forward by the coalition as the correct solution to an enormous problem. I think that there will be serious unintended consequences.

As Frank Zappa pointed out, there is no denying that decapitation is an effective cure for dandruff. That doesn't mean that it is necessarily the right one.

p-o-p

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Just for a bit of context, 425000 is around the population size of Edinburgh or Bristol. Think of moving one of those cities in its entirety in 12 months.

If all were replaced with the more well to do, the figure is 850000, getting on towards the population of Birmingham!

p-o-p

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Spot on Fromage_Frais. There's nothing inherently wrong with poor people living in poor neighbourhoods and wealthy people living in wealthy neighbourhoods. If an issue needs addressing, its why poor neighbourhoods are described as 'ghettos'. I'd like to see the money saved from cutting housing benefit being diverted into improving poor neighbourhoods in order to make them a better, safer place to live for *all* poor people, not just those on benefits. This won't happen of course.

This is far too sensible a post for this forum.

Please report to your local Labour office for re-programming.

Thankyou.

Sherwick.

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..., it is completely illogical that any family that is a net taxpayer should ever suffer from a standard of living below that of a similar sized family that is a net recipient of tax revenues.

I invite counter-arguments of course.

It is illogical that the old should screw their children and grandchildren for selfish greed but htey do.

It is illogical that the super rich should worry about tiny rises in taxes that would leave their wealth untouched but they do.

It is illogical that human beings should pre-judge one another by the colour of their skin but they do.

It is illogical that for many people working results in a loss of income but it does.

It is illogical that anyone other than the super rich should vote Tory but they do.

It is illogical that we allow Peter Mandelson to continue to live but we do.

It is illogical that people who live in an urban environment should drive a car designed to cross desserts and swamps but they do.

Life is illogical.

Not really a counter argument but simply an observation. Housing benefit has propped up house prices which have risen as a result, forcing rents up which has pushed up housing benefit, which has then helped push up house prices which have then driven up housing benefit. Cutting housing benefit will cut yield and will cut house prices which will drive down house prices which will cause the banks to lose money which will push up taxes to replace the lost revenues which will put people out of work which will push up the numbers claiming housing benefit which will push up the bill for housing benefit which will cause the government to push down housing benefit which will make more people bankrupt which will mean more bank bailouts which will increase taxes and...... oh FFS you get the point.

Logic is for Vulcans and androids.

Here's the typical home of someone on benefits.....

highgrovehouse.jpg

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Logistically, I have no idea how it can be managed. It looks like about 1 in 15 people in London is going to be shuffled. In the more central areas, it will be a lot higher. I cannot see this being possible without it being phased in over a number of years.

I'd love to know how you arrived at this number. In Westminster which is by far the most heavily affected borough there are less than 5000 households who will have to move. I have seen a London Councils' analysis that puts the total number at between 10000 and 15000 households which may have to move.

Claiming that upwards of 200,000 families will be dislocated in some rerun of the Cherokee Nations' Trail of Tears is just fear mongering.

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I'd love to know how you arrived at this number. In Westminster which is by far the most heavily affected borough there are less than 5000 households who will have to move. I have seen a London Councils' analysis that puts the total number at between 10000 and 15000 households which may have to move.

Claiming that upwards of 200,000 families will be dislocated in some rerun of the Cherokee Nations' Trail of Tears is just fear mongering.

My figures are from the OP's quote and refer to people.

Your refer to households.

I've observed before that this is your long suit.

Would you care to shed a little more light on your interest and knowlede?

p-o-p

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