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The Bedroom Tax

Cleat EastwoodCleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
edited November 2013 in The bottom bracket
I was talking to someone today from the CAB and she was telling me that there are sh1tloads of 3-4 bedroom houses being boarded up.....because there arent enough right sized families to fill them - I wonder why as a nation people have just rolled over and given up....or have they?
The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
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Posts

  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    I'll start working on it tonight. Try to bang out another kid so I qualify for one.
  • plowmarplowmar Posts: 1,032
    So where are those on benefits, as it only affects them; who were in the 3/4 bedroom houses going to?

    As I understand it is the shortage of 1/2 bedroom houses that is exascerbating the situation.
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    plowmar wrote:
    So where are those on benefits, as it only affects them; who were in the 3/4 bedroom houses going to?

    As I understand it is the shortage of 1/2 bedroom houses that is exascerbating the situation.
    Good question, where are these unfortunate souls now living. Forced out of your home (in effect) and there are no suitably sized properties to move into.

    Are they living in hostels, B&B, shop doorways, where?

    It's awful.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,766
    I totally believe thoroughly, indefatigably, completely, totally and without question that a lack of a coherent housing policy and the mess that we are in as a result, is THE biggest crises in the UK currently.

    Vote for me.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • peasepease Posts: 150
    Working I said sector it is a fecking massive issue that could cripple the country even more. Building houses costs money but stimulates the economy not only in building but shops hotels etc (during construction only normally) and then helps ease the housing crisis.
    Insert witty signature here
  • VTechVTech Posts: 4,736
    Wouldn't a cheaper option be to convert some of these larger homes into two flats so as to support 2 families ?
    The housing crisis is a shame but let's not forget the huge amount of boyfriend/girlfriend and husband/wife couples who claim to be separated and claim for a flat each to get more be edit and use the one property as a benefit drop with no one living there.
    This is a real issue in every town in the country.
    There is some sort of unwritten rule where people hold them in regard and won't "grass" yet it's these people who are losing out to dead homes.
    Living MY dream.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    There is undoubtedly a shortage of housing in the country at the moment and a lot of people are suffering as a result, be it difficulty finding a place, high rent or high house prices.
    Consider Mr&Mrs Bally and their son Benny. The Ballys both work, but find it impossible to find a two bedroom house. The cost of renting a 3 bedroom just out of reach, so have to make do with a one bed flat or stay with parents.
    Mr &Mrs Smate and their son Junior. The Smates don’t work and claim benefits. There are no 2 bed houses so are in a 3 bed house paid for by the State.
    No one from DSS has said to the Ballys, ‘Here is the extra money to put towards a bigger house’
    Yes, there is a shortage of houses, and no, squeezing the recipients of housing benefit is perhaps not the answer, but it is perhaps understandable that there is a resentment towards the people who are intent on making a career of claiming benefits. People start to think, ‘Why bother my @rse?’
    There are members of my own extended family who seem intent on that choice. One said, ‘You can’t go to work and miss your kids growing up, can you?’. He didn’t and his son now is 21. BTW he has also just taken delivery of a brand new Honda Civic on motability as well.
    People up and down the country are intent in doing only so many hours work a week, so as not to impinge on their benefits or tax credits. They are happy to work a couple of days a week and refuse extra hours when offered. In all my life, I would never have considered it a goal to ensure that I only did part time and make up the rest with benefits.
    When the Welfare State was set up, it was intended as a safety net. People were ashamed if they were forced to claim, what they considered a handout.
    That attitude was wrong, there should not be any shame in claiming benefits if you are in hardship.
    Successive governments have extended welfare (a good thing) but today, the attitude seems to be ‘It’s Ok, I will be able to claim’ which is equally as wrong. SOME people have started to consider a lifetime on benefit as a career choice, hence the building resentment felt by the rest who are funding their lifestyle.
    Yes, the ‘Bedroom Tax’ (a misnomer, it is not a tax at all) may be counter productive and squeezing people financially may not be the answer, but it may be cheered by those going to work who think, ‘Why should I go to work to finance a lifestyle for others that is beyond my means?’
  • vitesse169vitesse169 Posts: 420
    Many good points here by all posters. It appears the various authorities are not speaking to each other... Whats wrong with putting a couple with 1 child into an otherwise boarded up 3 bed property, such a waste esp as they may well be in a B&B costing the council far more.
    Many years agoi when in the Army on BAOR I was entitled only to a 2 bed quarter on getting married. There were none available so I rented privately and was able to claim over and above the cost of a quarter to pay the rent (lots) for about a year. The housing officer realised the cost to the Army and a 2 bed was found. A guy in my dept was in the same boat (no kids) and he was given a 3 bed as no 2 bed available.
    Where I now live there is a female and her 2 little 'uns in a flat down the road - her 'man' comes to visit 3 or 5 times a week. They are claiming for 2 separate dwellings and making a mint - neither of them work, and why should they when the rest of us pay for their lifestyle...!
  • BwganBwgan Posts: 389
    What gets my goat, and my wife and I had a slanging match the other day about it, is families who have been lucky enough to get a council house; have their kids, kids grow up and move out and you have 2 people rattling round a 3 or 4 bedroom house. Husband or wife die and then 1 person is still left in the house. Surely it should be passed on to the next family once the kids have moved out?

    The wife disagrees, she thinks because its "their" home that they should be allowed to live in until they die
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    My late aunt, god rest her never claimed benefits in her life and her husband was always a hard working man. They lived in the same council house from new (3bed-semi) all their lives, she for about 15years after her husbands death. Why should she have been booted out of he HOME because some cnut like IDS gets legislation through parliament?

    But if kicking OAP's out of their HOMES is what you want so beit.

    There are loads of empty houses in areas of high unemployment (surprise, surprise) why not "relocate" "deport" the less fortunate in society to live in them and create a few ghettos ooop north aye. :roll:
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • BwganBwgan Posts: 389
    Surely a 1 bedroom flat is going to be a lot easier for an OAP to keep on top of, heat, garden??

    It's also not their home, it's the councils!?
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Bwgan wrote:
    Surely a 1 bedroom flat is going to be a lot easier for an OAP to keep on top of, heat, garden??

    It's also not their home, it's the councils!?
    Fortunately she's passed on.

    I honestly hope you never find yourself in such a position or any other where blind bureaucracy prevails upon your way of living your life.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • BwganBwgan Posts: 389
    I'm sorry to hear that.

    my great aunt lives in Scotland in a 4 bed council house, and I feel that she would be far better in a smaller place as the garden is getting too much for her, the house is far to big for her to heated etc etc. it would also get her living with people of a similar age rather than the scum she lives next door to now.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    My late aunt, god rest her never claimed benefits in her life and her husband was always a hard working man. They lived in the same council house from new (3bed-semi) all their lives, she for about 15years after her husbands death. Why should she have been booted out of he HOME because some cnut like IDS gets legislation through parliament?

    But if kicking OAP's out of their HOMES is what you want so beit.

    There are loads of empty houses in areas of high unemployment (surprise, surprise) why not "relocate" "deport" the less fortunate in society to live in them and create a few ghettos ooop north aye. :roll:

    I was under the impression that the elderly were exempt along with the families with members serving in the armed services. In which case, it is a moot point.
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Ballysmate wrote:
    My late aunt, god rest her never claimed benefits in her life and her husband was always a hard working man. They lived in the same council house from new (3bed-semi) all their lives, she for about 15years after her husbands death. Why should she have been booted out of he HOME because some cnut like IDS gets legislation through parliament?

    But if kicking OAP's out of their HOMES is what you want so beit.

    There are loads of empty houses in areas of high unemployment (surprise, surprise) why not "relocate" "deport" the less fortunate in society to live in them and create a few ghettos ooop north aye. :roll:

    I was under the impression that the elderly were exempt along with the families with members serving in the armed services. In which case, it is a moot point.
    If that's the case good, even I get things wrong occasionally :wink::lol:

    Picking up on the point about moving people to lower maintenance properties it's a fair point. However, it would be better if residents could only be asked to move rather than to force them out of a property, especially if there is nowhere to go in reality.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    Ballysmate wrote:
    My late aunt, god rest her never claimed benefits in her life and her husband was always a hard working man. They lived in the same council house from new (3bed-semi) all their lives, she for about 15years after her husbands death. Why should she have been booted out of he HOME because some cnut like IDS gets legislation through parliament?

    But if kicking OAP's out of their HOMES is what you want so beit.

    There are loads of empty houses in areas of high unemployment (surprise, surprise) why not "relocate" "deport" the less fortunate in society to live in them and create a few ghettos ooop north aye. :roll:

    I was under the impression that the elderly were exempt along with the families with members serving in the armed services. In which case, it is a moot point.
    If that's the case good, even I get things wrong occasionally :wink::lol:

    Picking up on the point about moving people to lower maintenance properties it's a fair point. However, it would be better if residents could only be asked to move rather than to force them out of a property, especially if there is nowhere to go in reality.

    I too have been known to be wrong in the past, just ask the wife. :lol:
    But I don't think people are being forced out are they? They are not even being asked to move. What is happening is housing benefit is being cut by 14% for an unoccupied bedroom and by 25% for two or more unoccupied rooms.
    I realise that the cut may be tantamount to being forced out, if people are unable to finance the shortfall themselves. I believe the shortfall is expected to amount to around 14-16 quid a week. (For some, the equivalent of 2 packs of fags :wink: )
    As I said earlier in the thread, this policy may not be the best way forward, - I don't know, but I think it important that we are fully aware of what the policy is or isn't. It is not a tax and people are not necessarily being forced out.

    PS Frank
    We have had a few discussions on here, and I would probably enjoy a lively conversation with you down your local, as long as you didn't bring your mate, Polly T. :lol:
    I appreciate that you may feel completely differently. :lol:
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    @ Ballysmate:- I have been known to have a lively debate down my local (two of life's pleasures) on a wide and varied range of subjects. It makes the world go around,forums like this are good but you can't beat a good old debate with friends over a pint or two. :D
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • RDWRDW Posts: 1,900
    Ballysmate wrote:
    Yes, the ‘Bedroom Tax’ (a misnomer, it is not a tax at all) may be counter productive and squeezing people financially may not be the answer, but it may be cheered by those going to work who think, ‘Why should I go to work to finance a lifestyle for others that is beyond my means?’

    In other words, it keeps the Daily Mail readers happy! That's not the main function of this policy, though. The object is to cut benefit spending, not to solve the housing problem. Basing payments on a bedroom count is just an arbitrary, superficially plausible justification for spending less money. They might have chosen a window count, but windows are too easy to brick up.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    RDW wrote:
    Ballysmate wrote:
    Yes, the ‘Bedroom Tax’ (a misnomer, it is not a tax at all) may be counter productive and squeezing people financially may not be the answer, but it may be cheered by those going to work who think, ‘Why should I go to work to finance a lifestyle for others that is beyond my means?’

    In other words, it keeps the Daily Mail readers happy! That's not the main function of this policy, though. The object is to cut benefit spending, not to solve the housing problem. Basing payments on a bedroom count is just an arbitrary, superficially plausible justification for spending less money. They might have chosen a window count, but windows are too easy to brick up.

    Yes it was introduced to cut benefit spending and will not ease the housing problem. You may scoff that it is only the right wing press that have a problem with the way the benefit system has evolved so that people are better off than those going to work. But people who work hard to keep their heads above water and to provide for their families, do resent people who are better off than them, content to claim benefits.
  • AlitogataAlitogata Posts: 148
    Ballysmate wrote:
    [..]
    Yes, there is a shortage of houses, and no, squeezing the recipients of housing benefit is perhaps not the answer, but it is perhaps understandable that there is a resentment towards the people who are intent on making a career of claiming benefits. People start to think, ‘Why bother my @rse?’

    [...]
    When the Welfare State was set up, it was intended as a safety net. People were ashamed if they were forced to claim, what they considered a handout.
    That attitude was wrong, there should not be any shame in claiming benefits if you are in hardship.
    Successive governments have extended welfare (a good thing) but today, the attitude seems to be ‘It’s Ok, I will be able to claim’ which is equally as wrong. SOME people have started to consider a lifetime on benefit as a career choice, hence the building resentment felt by the rest who are funding their lifestyle.

    I think that this benefit culture that were established the past years in Uk is totally wrong.

    I came to UK to stay for as long as my brother attended the courses of his Master degree.
    We came in the country on 2005 and left on June of 2008, We brought with us our stuff, our furniture, our car, we had our income from Greece and both found jobs in UK.

    The first thing that we were told is that we could claim a house benefit, even a free council house if we couldn't find a small apartment to rent.. But we found one and we paid for one bedroom and 50 sq meters 500 pounds monthly, a rent that we found quite high back then, for such a small apartment.
    We could have claimed the benefit if we wanted to, but we didn't as we considered this as quite embarrassing to claim money that we didn't need. But I suppose that not all people feel the same. And I personally don' t find reasonable to be able to claim benefits anyone that gets in the country even if works for a while.

    You are right that the Welfare State was set up as a safety net, but lot of people hijacked the system. While I was living in UK I met people that was living from benefits, especially single mothers. They considered this as the job of the future, having children to get benefits. Some had children from 4 -5 different fathers.. And they were very proud for it and they talked openly about it.

    Do you find something like this right?? :? I don't. Perhaps I'm very unprogressive (is this the right word.. not sure).

    Now... it seems that your government tries to stop this mess, but this tax hits those who really are in need of these benefits.

    I think that the whole thing is a loose- loose ( not win win) case..
  • pinnopinno Posts: 42,766
    I cannot comment on immigation becuase I do not know enough about it.

    In my current capacity and in my previous capacity as a manger of a furniture project, I have come accross many long term benefit dependant people. I work with the dissollusioned, addicted and dependant.
    There are insufficient houses to balance the vacancy shortfall equation and so people are being penalised.
    There are not enough jobs to go around. if you are uneducated, you give up any hope of finding work and I then try to claim either legitimately or illigitimately. I have only met a very few who are supposedly living the 'life of Reilly'. They are in the extreme minority and the press paint a very distorted picture of whats really going on on the ground.
    The bedroom tax, like universal credit, is the brains behind the current Bullingdon brigade. They all get private health care, private education and were all born privaledged. They have no conception of how the majority of people live. They can't have.
    Capitalism in its current form decrees that the 'Canon fodder' are in short supply in times of 'boom' and are surplus to requirements and a burden on the rest of society in times of 'bust' and are often used as soft targets and scapegoats for societal ills during these times.

    Before you get on the 'a labour government would... blah blah' bandwagon, I am not a Labour supporter. There is no mainstream leftwing ideology in the UK to chalenge and counteract the Neo-liberalism pervading British politics.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    As I've said elsewhere slowly but surely the working classes are having the screw turned on them. My childrens generation are looking at a lifetime of toil to end up with not a lot. I dare say it'll be even tougher for my grand-childrens' generation.

    It's all about low wages, zero hour contracts, and a slowish removal of employment rights. It may take 50 plus years but eventually it'll dawn on the working masses that they're just cannon fodder who are looked on purely as a resource to be exploited by the genuinely wealthy. Ten bob tories I've censored 'em.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    As I've said elsewhere slowly but surely the working classes are having the screw turned on them. My childrens generation are looking at a lifetime of toil to end up with not a lot. I dare say it'll be even tougher for my grand-childrens' generation.

    It's all about low wages, zero hour contracts, and a slowish removal of employment rights. It may take 50 plus years but eventually it'll dawn on the working masses that they're just cannon fodder who are looked on purely as a resource to be exploited by the genuinely wealthy. Ten bob tories I've censored 'em.

    There are indeed troubled times ahead. But this country has lived 'High on the Hog' for too long, with a welfare bill that is unsustainable. The last administration, including Prudence Brown ran up a deficit that Frank's children and grandchildren will be paying off.
    Wages are low, I would obviously like to see them higher. Houses prices are prohibitively high and I wouldn't object to the @rse falling out of the property market, so that everyone can afford a decent home.
    Yes there are zero hour and limited hour contracts. I have one myself. But that is a double edged sword. I work with some people who refuse to work over a threshold that will impinge on their benefit claims. How can that be sustainable or morally justified? People sat at home, having refused work, so that others can pay tax to support their benefit top up?
    As for employment rights. Ok Frank, lets go back to the closed shop, secondary picketing, where workers were forced and intimidated into strike action. That really was a roaring success wasn't it?
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Workers rights are not about closed shops, secondary picketing etc it's about fairness in the workplace and giving workers some protection from unscrupulous employers (there are some you know :wink: )

    People like yourself on censored terms of employment and yet you're prepared to put up with it instead of trying to get your employer to treat you decently. For whatever reason you defend such (lack off) employment rights and take the tory propaganda.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    Workers rights are not about closed shops, secondary picketing etc it's about fairness in the workplace and giving workers some protection from unscrupulous employers (there are some you know :wink: )

    People like yourself on censored terms of employment and yet you're prepared to put up with it instead of trying to get your employer to treat you decently. For whatever reason you defend such (lack off) employment rights and take the tory propaganda.

    I 'put up with it' because it suits my needs perfectly. I do my 11 or hours, give or take and that's it.
    Don't get me wrong, I would like to see improvements and also perhaps some changes you would not approve of.
    I have some, but very little time for Trade Unions. (I know that will shock you.) They do have their place in representing employees who feel they have been unlawfully treated in the workplace and pay negotiation.

    I am mindful of the only trade union joke I can remember. I think I found it amusing because I saw a
    grain of truth in it.

    The shop steward is addressing his members. 'Brothers, I have negotiated the ultimate deal. From now on, we will only work Fridays!' A voice from the back pipes up,'What? Every Friday?'

    As regards 'Tort Propaganda', what is it with the left? It is always the fault of 'The Tory Press' or Tory propaganda. It's like a mantra that socialists learn on their father's knee.
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    It's the torys that are running the show at the moment and it's at this moment peoples standards of living are being attacked.The press by and large is of the right and as such put forward their agenda.

    I do like our cozy little chats. :)
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    I also enjoy our little chats.
    Yes I know some papers have a particular leaning. Mail to the right, Guardian to the left etc. How much that is with identifying a market I don't know.
    The nations biggest selling daily, The Sun, is broadly, certainly not fervently, presently leaning right, but it was not always so. Didn't it support Labour for three successive elections. What with The Mirror always supporting Labour, no matter what their policies, for 13 years or more the 2 biggest selling tabloids supported the Labour party.
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,553
    Bit fuzzy on it now but I'm sure the reason the Murdoch owned sun backed Labour was to do with some policy that should they get elected was of great benefit to the Murdoch empire. As I say I can't recall what it was but I am sure Murdoch self-interest was the driver behind the suns support.

    Sorry we've gone way off topic.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    Bit fuzzy on it now but I'm sure the reason the Murdoch owned sun backed Labour was to do with some policy that should they get elected was of great benefit to the Murdoch empire. As I say I can't recall what it was but I am sure Murdoch self-interest was the driver behind the suns support.

    I think it was 'The Privacy Law' that had been proposed. Suddenly Labour dropped it. :roll:
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