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Dave Beans

Housing Benefit Challenge Fails In Court

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/housing-benefits-challenge-fails-2370000.html

A challenge to the Government's controversial move to cut housing benefit failed today at the High Court.

In July, Mr Justice Supperstone was told that changes brought in earlier this year, which the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) likened to "social cleansing", could force thousands of poorer people out of accommodation in expensive areas, particularly in central London.

Ministers say that, without reform, expenditure on housing benefit would reach £24.7 billion by 2014/15 and that the new measures, amounting to £2.4 billion in savings, are necessary.

The judicial review brought by the CPAG challenged the legality of national caps imposed on the amount of local housing allowance (LHA) for accommodation of a given size.

The caps mean that LHA weekly rates cannot exceed £250 for a one-bedroom property, £290 for two bedrooms, £340 for three bedrooms and £400 for four bedrooms.

Martin Westgate QC claimed the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions had acted outside powers conferred by the 1996 Housing Act when read with the 1992 Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act, and failed to comply with his duties under equality legislation.

Referring to a report from the New Policy Institute which showed that large families were roughly twice as likely to be ethnic minority households, he said the caps would have a disproportionate impact on them.

Dismissing the case in London, the judge said it was clear that the minister was well aware of his equality duties, paid specific regard to them and had carried out two equality impact assessments before reaching a decision.

He did not accept that the minister should have concluded that the measures were "likely" to impact on ethnic minority groups disproportionately.

Rather, he was entitled on the basis of the information available to conclude that they "may" have such an impact.

The judge said: "I am satisfied that the information gathered and considered by the defendant was adequate for the purposes of performing his statutory duty."

He commented that the weight to be given to the countervailing factors was a matter for the minister and it could not be argued that the regard he paid to them was unreasonable or perverse.

The measures were implemented in light of what the Government's lawyers described as "the strong socio-economic imperatives in play", he added.

Later, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: "CPAG's challenge to our housing benefit reforms was an ill-judged PR stunt, and amounts to nothing more than a massive waste of taxpayers' money and court time.

"The cost of housing benefit has spiralled completely out of control, and this judgment is further vindication that our reforms will ensure support is in place for those who need it, but stop the crazy excesses we have seen in recent years of people on benefits living in houses that those in work could not afford.

"I sincerely hope CPAG will think twice before repeating this ridiculous and irresponsible behaviour in future."

CPAG chief executive Alison Garnham said: "We are greatly disappointed at today's judgment. Minority ethnic and lone parent families are already at higher risks of child poverty and the cuts to housing benefit that we challenged will make this situation even worse, driving people out of their homes and disrupting children's education.

"The bad news for poor families is piling up this week, following the stark warning from the Institute for Fiscal Studies that hundreds of thousands more children will fall into poverty because of the Government's welfare reforms.

"We will now be studying the decision before deciding on our next steps. We will continue opposing the cuts and campaigning for fairness and justice for the families who are bearing the brunt of a financial crisis that they were not responsible for."

The people who benefit most out of the current system are the landlords. The tenants don't tend to see the housing benefit which will go directly to the landlord. It's been a licence to print money at the taxpayers' expense.

So are the landlords going to institute mass evictions as a result of changes? Surely not? The alternative would be lots of empty premises, hardly in their interests.

And there's another aspect to this story. A lot of people in low-paid jobs can't afford to live in central London, and have to commute.

This change is necessary and long overdue.

Edited by Dave Beans

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What in gods name is social cleansing? Do they just make these phrases up as they go along?

Its like that term 'social justice'

It conjures up images of a mob of yokels throwing rotten vegetables at a thief, yet apparently means something totally different. I can only assume social cleansing involves lots of persil and free baths.

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What in gods name is social cleansing? Do they just make these phrases up as they go along?

Its like that term 'social justice'

It conjures up images of a mob of yokels throwing rotten vegetables at a thief, yet apparently means something totally different. I can only assume social cleansing involves lots of persil and free baths.

...in this case it's people crying 'wolf' .... :rolleyes:

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What in gods name is social cleansing? Do they just make these phrases up as they go along?

An emotive argument to liken people being moved into cheaper (taxpayer funded) housing to people being killed in death camps.

Because, you know, it's nearly the same.. right? :rolleyes:

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What in gods name is social cleansing? Do they just make these phrases up as they go along?

Its like that term 'social justice'

It conjures up images of a mob of yokels throwing rotten vegetables at a thief, yet apparently means something totally different. I can only assume social cleansing involves lots of persil and free baths.

Maybe you have not heard of it as it's Spanish in origin..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_cleansing

Social cleansing (Spanish:limpieza social) is the elimination of what can be considered "undesirable" social elements, such as criminals, homosexuals, and the homeless. Clandestine organizations have engaged in social cleansing in several Latin American countries since at least the late 1980s.

While I agree that housing benefit need cutting, to drive down rents to affordable prices. I believe it wrong that you no longer have the choice of living in a big old (affordable) camper within the M25 after Jan. Presumably folks will be forced to rent or move out of London.

Pre-01Campers (over 2.5 tonnes) + Vans London Jan Ban Inside M25

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=169999

http://staymobile.tv/emails2.html

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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While I agree that housing benefit need cutting, to drive down rents to affordable prices. I believe it wrong that you no longer have the choice of living in a big old (affordable) camper within the M25 after Jan. Presumably folks will be forced to rent or move out of London.

Pre-01Campers (over 2.5 tonnes) + Vans London Jan Ban Inside M25

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=169999

http://staymobile.tv/emails2.html

I agree with your point about camper vans. I saw The Camden Cat busking on the tube tonight. I told him how good it is that he doesn't busk on the sponsored spots. ****** the state.

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even if the goverment didnt win, it still couldnt afford the coming HB bills.

its the fight thats well worth watching.

HM treasury vs the wilsons

.

Edited by right_freds_dead

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even if the goverment didnt win, it still couldnt afford the coming HB bills.

its the fight thats well worth watching.

HM treasury vs the wilsons

.

If the government doesn't like fleecing the taxpayer to pay for the poor to live in private housing, then surely they should be biting the bullet and building sufficient affordable housing, which they can then rent out to the poor and low waged at a reasonable price?

I think the housing policy would work far better if there were a co-payment. If the government would limit their payments to, say, to the lower of 85% of the actual rent or the LHA, particularly to the low waged (after all, they do have earned income), the people themselves would be incentivised to live in cheaper accommodation.

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  • 298 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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