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Lib-Dem Mp Simon Hughes Is Trying To Block Housing Benefits Cuts

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Lib-Dem "Deputy Leader" Simon Hughes is trying to block Housing Benefits cuts.

He went on Channel 4 News last night, and made a public threat to the government, saying that the LibDem left (which he leads) would deny the coalition government a majority in Parliament to approve the reforms if housing benefits cuts were not reconsidered.

http://www.channel4.com/news/coalition-cracks-appear-over-housing-benefits

http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up/display/playlistref/241010/clipid/241010_HUGHES_24

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11616741

Simon Hughes is the MP for Bermondsey, in Southwark, south London. Though landlords all over the country must be hoping this misguided (or self-interested?) "left-winger" gets his way. Ironic. And sad. Again.

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Lib-Dem Simon Hughes is trying to block Housing Benefits cuts.

Yes, it is strange how some Lefties do not see the fundemental problems.

If housing benefit was cut 50% accross the board the only people to miss out would be landlords, ok some people would have to move but there are plenty of working people who have to move at the whim of a landlord. It is the working renters who very often seem to be forgotton.

It would be nice to think that the money saved from subsidising everyone's BTL pension schemes could be put into a mass Council Housing building program to further undermine the private investors and return some sanity to the market.

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Lib-Dem Simon Hughes is trying to block Housing Benefits cuts.

He went on Channel 4 News last night, and made a public threat to the government, saying that the LibDem left (which he leads) would deny the coalition government a majority in

Simon Hughes is the MP for Bermondsey, in Southwark, south London. Though landlords all ovre the country must be hoping this misguided (or self-interested?) "left-winger" gets his way. Ironic. And sad. Again.

This was the lead story on itv news last night.

Out of all of the cutbacks, why the big fuss over this particular one? :rolleyes:

It seems we can't be allowed to upset those BTL landlords.

As you say, misguded or self interest? It would indeed be interesting to know the degree of self interest in all this.

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His angle, I guess, is that he's worried about people being thrown out of their homes as landlords that currently provide 'social housing' kick their social tenants out in the hope of getting higher rents from the private rentals.

Whlst, obviously, not wanting to see people thrown out of their homes - I do wish journalists would ask him where he thinks the money is going to come from to finance all the things he wants to do - or not do.

And if he says 'higher taxes' - ask him if people working 5 months of the year for the government is enough - or does he want people working half the year for the government. (Those of us who pay tax work until the end of May before we start earning anything for ourselves)

And if he says 'higher borrowing' - ask him if he thinks 40 thousand, million pounds interest is enough money to waste on paying debt interest and, if not, does he have a ceiling in mind? As far as I know, by the end of this parliament we will be paying about 70 thousand, million pounds interest. It seems a lot of money to me to pay on interest because Labour mismanaged the economy.

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Yes, it is strange how some Lefties do not see the fundemental problems.

If housing benefit was cut 50% accross the board the only people to miss out would be landlords, ok some people would have to move but there are plenty of working people who have to move at the whim of a landlord. It is the working renters who very often seem to be forgotton.

It would be nice to think that the money saved from subsidising everyone's BTL pension schemes could be put into a mass Council Housing building program to further undermine the private investors and return some sanity to the market.

Exactly!

I am a private tenant too, and I get seriously p!ssed off by the current system (LHA aimed at the mid point, which then becomes the new floor. Repeat every year...). It pushes rents up, for all of us, and it also pushes landlords yields up, consequently pushing house prices up too! It is completely stupid!

The proposed reform is very wise! And fair!

I don't get this Simon Hughes. It doesn't make any sense - particularly for a left winger.

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8. Land and Property

Part interest in family home in Wales.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/simon_hughes/bermondsey_and_old_southwark#register

He doesn't get it that high rents are bad.

When I wrote about his self-interest I was thinking about his re-election in Bermondsey. I think it is a poor area of London, probably full of HB recipients, or these are the floating voters? I don't know. But he may be thinking more about his re-election that about the longer term national interest.

Edit to add quote:

Mr Hughes, whose Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency has the most social housing of any in the country (...)

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Exactly!

I am a private tenant too, and I get seriously p!ssed off by the current system (LHA aimed at the mid point, which then becomes the new floor. Repeat every year...). It pushes rents up, for all of us, and it also pushes landlords yields up, consequently pushing house prices up too! It is completely stupid!

The proposed reform is very wise! And fair!

I don't get this Simon Hughes. It doesn't make any sense - particularly for a left winger.

Someone elses money is easy to spend. We all must live within our means and if I have to move to find suitablely priced housing so be it.

Welcome to the real world. Short term populist stance from MP Hughes.

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Simon Hughes says,

"We have to tax hard working people as much as we can so that we can subsidise those who game the system, those pretending to have a bit of back trouble, and their impoverished landlords, to ensure that ordinary hard working people cannot afford a place to live. While we are at it, lets give a lot of homes to immigrants, and let the young people of our nation stay at home with their parents so they cannot have families of their own".

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This was the lead story on itv news last night.

Out of all of the cutbacks, why the big fuss over this particular one? :rolleyes:

It seems we can't be allowed to upset those BTL landlords.

As you say, misguded or self interest? It would indeed be interesting to know the degree of self interest in all this.

Ubelievable, especially when the tax payer could save so much money if we had lower rents.

I know.

Like I said, my best guess is his re-election.

But he seems to be genuinely lefty, with all the moral aims and do-gooding self-image. How can he square this circle?!

Only if he is a complete moron regarding markets, and is therefore able to blind himself from the negative consequences of the current system?

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I don't understand how this is going to be cost effective for local councils anyway. They are moving these people out of their homes in London and putting them in B&B's out in the Home Counties. Is this really cheaper?

Where is this cheaper housing going to come from? And once these people are moved out of (for example) Westminster to say Kent, will it be the responsibility of Kent to fund their housing? What will this do to property prices out there? What do people who live in these areas think about their suburbs becoming outer ghettos?

I watched this interview with Simon Hughes. I think his opposition had far more to do with how inhumane it seems to uproot families to completely different regions than a concern about keeping rents high for BTL landlords.

Obviously, this is going to bring rents down (and as someone who pays high rents in London I welcome that news). But it seems to me creating "no-go" areas in other parts of the country is not exactly a solution to the problem.

Of course if your only concern is what this will do to the housing market than I suppose you fail to see the human impact.

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His angle, I guess, is that he's worried about people being thrown out of their homes as landlords that currently provide 'social housing' kick their social tenants out in the hope of getting higher rents from the private rentals.

Whlst, obviously, not wanting to see people thrown out of their homes - I do wish journalists would ask him where he thinks the money is going to come from to finance all the things he wants to do - or not do.

And if he says 'higher taxes' - ask him if people working 5 months of the year for the government is enough - or does he want people working half the year for the government. (Those of us who pay tax work until the end of May before we start earning anything for ourselves)

And if he says 'higher borrowing' - ask him if he thinks 40 thousand, million pounds interest is enough money to waste on paying debt interest and, if not, does he have a ceiling in mind? As far as I know, by the end of this parliament we will be paying about 70 thousand, million pounds interest. It seems a lot of money to me to pay on interest because Labour mismanaged the economy.

Exactly!

Great post.

And even if rent levels don't fall enough, and some HB recipients are actually forced to move house, it won't be like going homeless! Just getting a place a bit cheaper, either a bit smaller, or on a cheaper area! We private tenants have been doing that for... ever!

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Lib-Dem Simon Hughes is trying to block Housing Benefits cuts.

He went on Channel 4 News last night, and made a public threat to the government, saying that the LibDem left (which he leads) would deny the coalition government a majority in Parliament to approve the reforms if housing benefits cuts were not reconsidered.

http://www.channel4.com/news/coalition-cracks-appear-over-housing-benefits

http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up/display/playlistref/241010/clipid/241010_HUGHES_24

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11616741

Simon Hughes is the MP for Bermondsey, in Southwark, south London. Though landlords all ovre the country must be hoping this misguided (or self-interested?) "left-winger" gets his way. Ironic. And sad. Again.

Not so sure. I think that the extra 10% drop after 12 months on JSA is a step too far.

It might be a reasonable step if there were an excess of jobs to go around, but there isn't. Then idea that anyone who wants to work can find a job is (currently) nonsense.

tim

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Like I said, my best guess is his re-election.

Yes, good point there.

How much influence do you think he could have in this, and how likely is he to be able to block these HB cuts?

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Yes, it is strange how some Lefties do not see the fundemental problems.

If housing benefit was cut 50% accross the board the only people to miss out would be landlords,

I don't agree. There are already 1000s of small LLs who wont let to HB tenants who have no difficulty finding paying tenants. Cutting HB rates to a point where it is not commercially viable to rent to them at all would just increase the number of LLs who wont rent to HB tenants to 100%.

The idea that LLs would reduce their rental demands to what the HB tenants can pay just isn't going to happen.

tim

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Not so sure. I think that the extra 10% drop after 12 months on JSA is a step too far.

It might be a reasonable step if there were an excess of jobs to go around, but there isn't. Then idea that anyone who wants to work can find a job is (currently) nonsense.

tim

Yes, I had some doubts about that one too (10% drop after 12 months on JSA).

But the 30th percentile change is essential to help bringing down rents, yields and HP.

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Yes, good point there.

How much influence do you think he could have in this, and how likely is he to be able to block these HB cuts?

I am not sure. But the coalition has a very small majority, and this chap is the LibDems deputy leader. It is very worrying.

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If housing benefit was cut 50% accross the board the only people to miss out would be landlords, ok some people would have to move but there are plenty of working people who have to move at the whim of a landlord. It is the working renters who very often seem to be forgotton.

There are two points to be made here, I think.

One is that we don't know precisely which aspects of the HB cuts are being opposed. There are several different HB-related changes due to be put through Parliament:

- reduction of HB to 30th percentile of local rents

- increase in age limit from 25 to 35 for shared room rate

- HB to be capped at £400 a week for a four-bedroom house, £340 for a three-bedroom property, £290 for two bedrooms and £250 for a one-bedroom property

- HB reduced by 10% after claimant has spent a year unemployed

The other is that working renters have one immense advantage over housing benefit claimants; private landlords are currently within their rights to specify 'No Benefits'. They can exclude housing benefit recipients from even a chance of tenancy, and indeed a vast amount of them do. This is because it can take a long time for claims to be processed, leaving the landlord at risk. So although working renters may have to move at the whim of a landlord, their options are much greater, and they don't form part of a frequently excluded group.

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There are two points to be made here, I think.

One is that we don't know precisely which aspects of the HB cuts are being opposed. There are several different HB-related changes due to be put through Parliament:

- reduction of HB to 30th percentile of local rents

- increase in age limit from 25 to 35 for shared room rate

- HB to be capped at £400 a week for a four-bedroom house, £340 for a three-bedroom property, £290 for two bedrooms and £250 for a one-bedroom property

- HB reduced by 10% after claimant has spent a year unemployed

Yes, I would like to watch that Channel 4 News interview again. Unfortunately their link is not working.

The other is that working renters have one immense advantage over housing benefit claimants; private landlords are currently within their rights to specify 'No Benefits'. They can exclude housing benefit recipients from even a chance of tenancy, and indeed a vast amount of them do. This is because it can take a long time for claims to be processed, leaving the landlord at risk. So although working renters may have to move at the whim of a landlord, their options are much greater, and they don't form part of a frequently excluded group.

Perhaps. But I've been looking for a new place to rent, and it seems pretty clear to me that the number of adverts saying "No DSS", very common a few years back, have now almost disappeared.

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I don't agree. There are already 1000s of small LLs who wont let to HB tenants who have no difficulty finding paying tenants. Cutting HB rates to a point where it is not commercially viable to rent to them at all would just increase the number of LLs who wont rent to HB tenants to 100%.

The idea that LLs would reduce their rental demands to what the HB tenants can pay just isn't going to happen.

tim

But some of the would have drop the rents or sell up as the demand for rental property at various price brackets would fall as there would no longer be a source of ready money from the Government in the form of housing benefits.

I would expect it to lead to falling rents across the board as the artificial floor on rental prices that is created by the current system would be removed working people would no longer be competing with HB supported tennants so again demand would be reduced and hopefully a reduction in rental costs.

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The idea that LLs would reduce their rental demands to what the HB tenants can pay just isn't going to happen.

I disagree. HB puts a floor under rents and forces up what private renters must pay. If the govt takes away the (effective) subsidy rents will fall and landlords will pocket a smaller profit, or eat a loss.

If Simon Hughes manages to break the coalition he may force a 2nd general election this year, in which case I'll laugh like a drain because he's sawing off the branch he's sitting on. ;)

However I think the govt are OK on this; I've done the maths on my blog.

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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