Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another gross waste of taxpayers’ money

Family of 12 in London’s East End on £76,000 housing benefits

A family is being given £1,460 a week accommodation out of the Housing Benefit coffers of London’s deprived East End, it has emerged. The family of 12—both parents and 10 children—is thought to have arrived in east London in the last two months from Ethiopia and is now being supported by Tower Hamlets social services. The amount is 2.5x more than the next highest weekly sum claimed by another family who were paid £613 that week. Eight more families were claiming between £516 and £590, according to figures from the authority’s housing benefits claims department. The total bill hit almost £121 million in housing benefit for privately-rented accommodation for 2008-09 and another £38m for public housing in just 12 months.

Posted by drewster @ 10:21 AM (2419 views)
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18 thoughts on “Another gross waste of taxpayers’ money

  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    An anomaly, for sure, though it doesn’t make it any less depressing.

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  • I thought the delay in capping housing benefit applied only to those ‘currently’ (i.e. several months ago) claiming HB.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    I may stand corrected Icarus though i’m sure each Council has a discretionary pot of money with which to make exceptions; I may have plucked that our of the ether, mind.

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  • Thecountofnowhere says:

    Labours legacy to the country….tax payers forking out billions to private landlords. Great Idea Gordon.

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  • The cap was delayed to January 2012. I believe the 30th percentile rule has come in to force for new tenancies though. Even under the new rules there is a discretionary emergency fund, as Sib’s says. I don’t know what rules apply to it.

    One might also question why a family of 12 from Ethiopia was allowed to stay in the UK in the first place. There are currently no wars in Ethiopia – in fact there are even refugees from neighbouring Eritrea living there.

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  • No mention of all the banks on housing benefit then.

    Keep things in perspective. An odd family indeed..

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  • sib’s & drewster – then in this case it sounds as though ‘discetionary’ and ’emergency’ provide major loopholes.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    What Drewster says at 4. And to the extent we allow in refugees, why not put them up somewhere where houses cost £40,000?

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  • To clarify: there is a total cap on all benefits of £500 a week, still under discussion (the Lib Dems don’t like it). The housing benefit portion is capped at £400 a week, from the start of April for new tenancies. The 30th percentile rule also starts in April. For existing tenancies, they are reviewed starting January 2012 to the end of the year – claimants are reassessed on their “anniversary date” (the day they first started claiming).

    In this article though, they moved in “in the last two months” so probably just scraped into the old system.

    @icarus,
    The Discretionary Housing Payments fund is just £30m, rising to £40m next year. That’s the national total. Considering that Tower Hamlets alone spends nearly £160m in housing benefit, it’s a drop in the ocean. Also Discretionary Housing Payments are time-limited to 13 weeks.

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  • ….another reason HPC won’t happen. The worlds poor and disposessed arrive with no historical connection to this county (an by-passing a multitude of other countries with less generous provision in the process)…..to be housed instantly in accomodation that even the highly educated indigenious population cannot even thing about taking.

    That in a nutshell is the logical conclusion of maintaining the suppression of wages for the underclass by importing ‘competition’ – the bourgoisee win again.

    Buy any house if you can young ‘uns – its not fair, but its never going to change when the boomers and the ticket buyers to the ponzi scheme called the ‘housing market’ have votes.

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  • Thanks for the clarification drewster. If this case comes under Discretionary (I spelled it correctly this time) Housing Payments and is therefore limited to 13 weeks then the £76,000 pa figure is misleading.

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  • I wonder if Tower Hamlets council will get booted out in the next council elections,if i were a rate payer living in that borough i would certainly complain,something really wrong about this story and what this countries long term goals are,there is always plenty of money for a quick war or a swift bail out and of course a housing rescue package but for the people ie the tax payers they can just wait , they call it progress !

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  • landofconfusion says:

    @ 10. Braindeed said…

    “The worlds poor and disposessed arrive with no historical connection to this county (an by-passing a multitude of other countries with less generous provision in the process)…..to be housed instantly in accomodation that even the highly educated indigenious population cannot even thing about taking.”

    A couple of anecdotes:

    1. I have relatives who work in, shall I say, the social support sector. They frequently talk about the foreign scroungers who turn up here and who avail themselves of our benefits. To give one reacent example one of them recently had to deal with a family from eastern Europe. Two from this family had severe medical issues and none of them had jobs here. All bar one couldn’t speak English and translator had to be called (at the taxpayer’s expense). To cut a long story short, all bar one went into social housing with the one that didn’t going into some sort of specialist housing as it was determined that they needed lifelong social and medical support.

    To complete the kick in the teeth one of my relatives’ colleagues later remarked how one member of said family was sporting a nice new pair of Nike shoes.

    2. Back when I was learning to drive my instructor told me about another student he had. She was a lone Italian mother who spoke good English and during one lesson had commented on how nice this country was. Apparently in Italy there is very little support for lone mothers and she stated that it would be impossible for her to bring up a child alone there as the benefits are so poor.

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  • 10. Braindeed

    It’s like getting halfway into a brothel and your’e already down 80 bucks, you just have to go all the way.

    Have a good weekend if this is posted in good time.

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  • Crunchy @ 4,

    “A banker, a Daily Mail reader and a benefit claimant are sitting at a table sharing 12 biscuits. The banker takes 11 of them and whispers to the Daily Mail reader, “Be careful, that benefit claimant is after your biscuit.”

    Crunchy @ 13,

    That’s right, no current wars in Ethiopia. No oil there either.

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  • markj69 str05 says:

    Plenty of houses in Ireland!

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  • @15 – magic.

    I can still remember when most HPCers could see what was _really_ happening.
    Good to see there are still some left even if they are in a minority.

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  • 15. drewster said…That’s right, no current wars in Ethiopia. No oil there either.

    ~ If only the middle east appreciated our fine example of banking, social justice and religious integrity, rabble.

    Peace.

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