Move or starve. Bedroom tax, largest mass eviction in UK history
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Wed Jan 30 19:44:13 GMT 2013
Housing benefit reform will cause private rents to rise
The government must address the conflicts in its
housing benefit reform policy or it will face an
increased benefit bill and rising private rents,
the Public Accounts Committee warned yesterday.
Samantha Cordon, 4 January, 2013
The Committee did not believe the target of
saving £1.9bn of housing benefit by 2014-15 and
the goal to prevent the £23bn spent on housing benefit was realistic.
In a written statement it said: When set against
the chronic shortage of affordable homes
[however] the governments identified benefit
savings appear increasingly unachievable as high
demand pushes up private rents and social
landlords rely on rents of up to 80% of market rent to fund development.
In a report by the National Housing, Home Truths
2012, it was claimed that last year 111,250 new
homes were built while 390,000 new households were formed.
The Committee said with home ownership beyond the
reach of many and the cost of renting privately
rising by 37% over the past five years it was
unsurprising that one in 12 families was now on a social housing waiting list.
The statement added: The falling off of new
housing supply combined with the increase in
rents in both the private rented sector and the
affordable rent regime generates pressure on the
housing benefit budget bringing more households
into dependence on it, including those in work.
This will only continue and will lead to the
savings indentified by DWP being missed. This
conflict in government policy needs addressing.
Bedroom tax? Never heard of it says Tory MP who voted for it
Ciaran Jenkins - Reporter
Conservative MP Mark Field admits he has not
heard of a new bedroom tax which will affect
hundreds of thousands of social housing tenants,
even though he voted in favour of it.
Responding to a Channel 4 News survey of MPs'
views on the policy, Mark Field, who represents
the Cities of London and Westminster wrote: "Must
confess that I have not heard of this new tax and
it has not been raised with me by constituents (as yet)."
The changes are expected to affect around 660,000
social housing tenants from April. They face a
reduction in their housing benefit, dubbed the
"bedroom tax", because they are deemed to be under-occupying their homes.
Under the reforms, couples and children of the
same sex are expected to share a room, as are any
two children under 10 regardless of gender.
But Mr Field voted in favour of the policy in
February 2012. The policy has attracted criticism
because it will apply to tenants with
disabilities, foster carers, and many others who
believe they have exceptional circumstances and
yet fall short of the new criteria.
Read more: The 'bedroom tax' - the key questions
At Prime Minister's Questions, David Cameron was
pressed on the issue by Alison Seabeck, the
Labour MP for Plymouth, Moor View. She asked: "Is
it right that a mother in my constituency may
not, because of his government's bedroom tax
able to offer her son, serving in Her Majesty's
armed forces, a home or a bedroom on his return from duty?"
The prime minister said he would look at the
case, but said the housing benefit reforms have a
"very clear principle at their heart."
"There are many people in private rented
accommodation who don't have housing benefit, who
cannot afford extra bedrooms, and we have to get
control of housing benefit," he said.
"We are now spending as a country £23bn on
housing benefit and we have to get that budget under control."
Maria Brabiner (pictured at the top of page) has
been told to expect an £11 per week reduction in
her housing benefit. Since her mother passed away
she is the sole occupant of a two-bed house in
Salford. Her family have lived in the home since it was built in 1978.
"I'm scared of what's going to happen to me," she
said. "I'm worried about whether my electric will
be cut off, whether my gas will be cut off. It's
not a case of won't pay, it's can't pay."
Maria, a former council worker who has been
unemployed since 2010, says she is desperately
seeking employment in order to make ends meet
when her housing benefit is cut. "The sad thing
is we're all categorised as shirkers," she said.
"I've heard Mr Osborne talk about the unemployed,
you know who they are, they've got the bedroom
curtains drawn whilst you go out to work. I'm not
like that. I'm up every morning at six o'clock.
My neighbours will tell you, I go out searching for work."
The government says the under-occupation penalty
will help contain expenditure on housing benefit,
make better use of current social housing stock,
encourage benefits claimants to find work and
free up more social housing properties.
So far, of the 76 MPs who have responded to the
Channel 4 News survey, not one has replied in support of the "tax".
Liberal Democrat MP John Leech said he had voted
against the changes, but accused the Labour party
of coining the term bedroom tax in order "to
scare people about the consequences of changes to
housing benefit entitlements."
Paul Murphy, the Labour MP for Torfaen, said the
new penalty would have "incredibly worrying"
consequences for some of his constituents.
"I really do not think that David Cameron, George
Osborne and Nick Clegg understand the impact of these changes," he said.
"They may seem a small reduction of a few pounds
a week, but when someone is already living on the
breadline, a sudden reduction in income can have a big impact."
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"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that
shall not be made known. What I tell you in
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27
Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.
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