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‘Big Lie’ Behind The Bedroom Tax As Families Trapped With Nowhere To Move So Cannot Avoid New Penalty For Having Spare Room

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/revealed-big-lie-behind-the-bedroom-tax-as-families-trapped-with-nowhere-to-move-so-cannot-avoid-new-penalty-for-having-spare-room-8745597.html

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.

The policy means that tenants have their housing benefit reduced by 14 per cent if they have one spare bedroom, and 25 per cent if they have two or more spare bedrooms.

Yet more than 19 out of 20 families hit by the bedroom tax are trapped in their larger homes because there is nowhere smaller within the local social housing stock to take them. This is shown by figures provided by councils in response to Freedom of Information requests by the Labour Party.

For the 38 councils that provided full data, 99,079 families are expected to be affected by the bedroom tax, but only 3,803 one and two-bedroom social housing properties are available – just 3.8 per cent of the homes required to rehouse the families who are hit.

If true surely this tax couldn't be upheld in a court of law?

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I wonder if this tax will cause a surge in bedrooms being converted to bathrooms? Plumb in a toilet and you avoid the tax.

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Just beat me to it IRRO.

Hannah Smith, 28, lives in a three-bedroom house in Hyde, Cheshire, with children Gracey, 7, and Jake, 6.

I’ve always said that this house could be for a bigger family. I’ve been asking on and off for the last six years for a two-bedroom place, but the housing association said it couldn’t happen, so I’ve been stuck here.

We had a letter the month before the bedroom tax came in, saying that due to the ages of the children, I’m under-occupying my home by one bedroom and by April we’d have to start paying extra for the rent and also council tax.

Now I’m out of pocket £48 a month. It’s stupid because they wouldn’t move me. I’m already more than £200 in arrears and it’s only been a few weeks. They won’t let me apply for a new two-bedroom place because I’m in arrears. But I can’t clear my arrears because of the bedroom tax. It’s crazy.

Another success for the Tories.

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Just beat me to it IRRO.

Another success for the Tories.

The 'bedroom tax' can only work as stated if there is a decent pool of social housing of various sizes available.

If we had this pool of housing we wouldn't need a 'bedroom tax'.

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Just beat me to it IRRO.

Another success for the Tories.

That example does appear to be a catch 22.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catch-22

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he were sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. (p. 56, ch. 5)

..

"Catch-22 states that agents enforcing Catch-22 need not prove that Catch-22 actually contains whatever provision the accused violator is accused of violating."

Although wasn't it said on here when this was first announced that there was inadequate social housing to move all of these people around so everyone had the correct number of bedrooms?

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I know someone who has just moved down from a 4 bed to a 2 bed due to the bedroom tax.She is 56 and never worked (children every 12 years).She was very worried shed have to pay £18 a week to keep her 4 bed.

It never crossed her mind to get a job for the £18,only how to find a way not to pay it.

As a way to cut HB the bedroom tax is working very well indeed it seems.

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I know someone who has just moved down from a 4 bed to a 2 bed due to the bedroom tax.She is 56 and never worked (children every 12 years).She was very worried shed have to pay £18 a week to keep her 4 bed.

It never crossed her mind to get a job for the £18,only how to find a way not to pay it.

As a way to cut HB the bedroom tax is working very well indeed it seems.

Surely if she'd got a job paying £18 a week then her bennys would of been cut by almost as much leaving her no better off in money but much worse off in time and hassle?

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I know someone who has just moved down from a 4 bed to a 2 bed due to the bedroom tax.She is 56 and never worked (children every 12 years).She was very worried shed have to pay £18 a week to keep her 4 bed.

It never crossed her mind to get a job for the £18,only how to find a way not to pay it.

As a way to cut HB the bedroom tax is working very well indeed it seems.

Earn £18, lose £13 in benefits due to Marginal deduction rate of 100% after taking into account £5 income disregard.

The imposition of a £18 bedroom tax would require a person to work some 21 hours plus per week to sufficiently increase their real income by £18, to avoid a real terms cut in nominal income. This is before taking into account costs such as work related travel, food, clothes and telecommunications .

Edited by Self Employed Youth

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Surely if she'd got a job paying £18 a week then her bennys would of been cut by almost as much leaving her no better off in money but much worse off in time and hassle?

No shes allowed to earn £30 a week before it affects her benefits.You make the good point though of how crazy our benefits system is.

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Earn £18, lose £13 in benefits due to Marginal deduction rate of 100% after taking into account £5 income disregard.

The imposition of a £18 bedroom tax would require a person to work some 21 hours plus per week to sufficiently increase their real income by £18, to avoid a real terms cut in nominal income. This is before taking into account costs such as work related travel, food, clothes and telecommunications .

That's true for single childless people,not for single parents.For single parents the disregard is £20 not £5,so she could earn enough to cover her HB cut without a means test.

However the taper rates are a big problem,but you could argue that someone else somewhere on low pay is working those hours to pay the tax so she doesn't have to work.

The age old welfare problem of means testing and taper rates at work.

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That's true for single childless people,not for single parents.For single parents the disregard is £20 not £5,so she could earn enough to cover her HB cut without a means test.

However the taper rates are a big problem,but you could argue that someone else somewhere on low pay is working those hours to pay the tax so she doesn't have to work.

The age old welfare problem of means testing and taper rates at work.

Incredible, a NMW job for 3 hours per week could allow her to remain in a 4-bed house, but she decides to move to a 2 bed instead. Hard to know what to think about that, is it fair to say that she realised that the 4 bed place was too big, or is she complaining about the situation?

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I'm sure IDS musth have thought about that.

He's the smartest man in the Tory party after all.

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Now I’m out of pocket £48 a month. It’s stupid because they wouldn’t move me. I’m already more than £200 in arrears and it’s only been a few weeks. They won’t let me apply for a new two-bedroom place because I’m in arrears. But I can’t clear my arrears because of the bedroom tax. It’s crazy.

:blink:

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What tax? It's not a tax. There is no RIGHT to con money out of the taxpayer.

A con implies some fraud took place.

That aside, is this a terrible change? Not if there are appropriate places to move these people to. Better build some first (at which point people might stop getting so wound-up about a spare bedroom ffs).

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Would be interested to know how they have come to their conclusions.

Have they reached a simple conclusion that, all the 2 bedders are occupied, therefore there is nowhere for the 3 and 4 bedders to downsize?

Or have they allowed for the overcrowded 2 beds which will become available when the bigger under occupied houses are freed up?

I guess the question I am asking is : is the problem simply one of the volume of small social houses, or is it largely a question of logistics? ie freeing up large social houses in order to free up the smaller ones

Edited by Caveat Mortgagor

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Would be interested to know how they have come to their conclusions.

Have they reached a simple conclusion that, all the 2 bedders are occupied, therefore there is nowhere for the 3 and 4 bedders to downsize?

Or have they allowed for the overcrowded 2 beds which will become available when the bigger under occupied houses are freed up?

I guess the question I am asking is : is the problem simply one of the volume of small social houses, or is it largely a question of logistics? ie freeing up large social houses in order to free up the smaller ones

It varies across the country, some HAs have for years been actively bribing (four figure sums) people to downsize so as to free up three beds for families because there are plenty one / two beds available. It does vary across the country however.

A better bet would to have allowed a five year transition period, ended lifetime tenancies by law, and changed the development grant structure to allow the house type to be built to meet the need caused by this sort of reform.

This way you avoid the problems cited above. In principle this reform it is a great idea, but the government needs to think through these sort of ideas before rushing them through.

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It varies across the country, some HAs have for years been actively bribing (four figure sums) people to downsize so as to free up three beds for families because there are plenty one / two beds available. It does vary across the country however.

A better bet would to have allowed a five year transition period, ended lifetime tenancies by law, and changed the development grant structure to allow the house type to be built to meet the need caused by this sort of reform.

This way you avoid the problems cited above. In principle this reform it is a great idea, but the government needs to think through these sort of ideas before rushing them through.

Agreed.

However, this would mean that the Tories would have had to look at social housing seriously - how much is needed, how to allocate it fairly, where it's needed, that sort of thing. And they won't do that, because they hate the whole idea to start with.

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If true surely this tax couldn't be upheld in a court of law?

Labour party press release recycled by the left leaning Independent as news.

The point is that as people move out of their larger than needed house another family moves out of their smaller than needed house. The number of empty houses is meaningless, the system can work with no empty houses: mine is too big, yours is too small, swap.

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Labour party press release recycled by the left leaning Independent as news.

The point is that as people move out of their larger than needed house another family moves out of their smaller than needed house. The number of empty houses is meaningless, the system can work with no empty houses: mine is too big, yours is too small, swap.

It is not that easy, because of the new rules they would be paying 110% more in rents if they swapped, because of the new affordable rents.would mean that if the rents rise they could be worse off as housing benefit is capped , it is a lose lose.

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No shes allowed to earn £30 a week before it affects her benefits.You make the good point though of how crazy our benefits system is.

Or how p*ss poor the wages are

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That's true for single childless people,not for single parents.For single parents the disregard is £20 not £5,so she could earn enough to cover her HB cut without a means test.

However the taper rates are a big problem,but you could argue that someone else somewhere on low pay is working those hours to pay the tax so she doesn't have to work.

The age old welfare problem of means testing and taper rates at work.

Aye. I thought at 56 her youngest might be over 18, and so she would be affected by the £5 income disregard.

I really need to have some children and quickly, the means test dictates that I do. Until I have children, there isn't much point in me working. With a few kids, the means test changes somewhat and would make working (the magic number of hours) worthwhile, as I would qualify for Speenhamland. Space them (the children) out a bit, and tax credits could buy me a house.

Means tests and magic numbers, manipulating the behaviour of the poorest in the UK for 100s of years!

Edited by Self Employed Youth

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Who cares? This over generous welfare system has burdened me with taxes that have made it more difficult to buy a house, and we've both worked for anything we've had.

Edited by LetsGetReadyToTumble

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