'Why the 'bedroom tax' should be scrapped' blog discussion

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  • all this talk about how "unfair" this subsidy is, not one person on here is saying about the thousands of people living in overcrowded accommodation.should these people get the top ups paid by the under occupiers? :beer:

    It's not a subsidy ... a subsidy is money given, not taken away.

    The basic premise of the policy is good - it's the way it's been implemented, when the government know there's nowhere for most of the affected to go, that's the problem.

    Yes, there are plenty who could downsize and free up homes ... but only if smaller homes are available for them to downsize to (which they're not), and if the original homes truly are under-occupied (which they're not always, in the cases of disabled or single parents who share care), and if they can afford to move (which, especially if they are having already low incomes squeezed yet further because of the bedroom tax, is not always possible).


    And as one of those who, for years, was in overcrowded or extortionately priced private rented accommodation while waiting for my turn in the social housing queue (for disabled adapted, priority housing at that) ... and who won't be affected by the bedroom tax for at least eight years ... I still say ... I don't agree with it.

    I'd hate to think the home my family finally got was only there because someone else had been driven into debt and made homeless, or forced to uproot miles away from their support system, lose their carer, or lost the chance to be a proper parent to their children.
    DFW Nerd no. 884 - Proud to [strike]be dealing with[/strike] have dealt with my debts
  • How many different names is this unfair benefit cut going to have? Call it by the actual name that it was given in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and then ask people what they think! :beer:

    It is not a tax. It is not a spare room subsidy. It is not an under-occupancy charge. Therefore, whilst Martin Lewis proclaims:
    This is one of those occasions where the political spittle over the argument has risked damaging people’s practical finances.
    I'm very sorry, but he is guilty of exactly the same. The official name for this policy is actually:

    THE UNDER-OCCUPANCY PENALTY.

    That very name tells you everything that you need to know. The dictionary definition of a penalty is:
    a punishment imposed or incurred for a violation of law or rule
    Is that fair? They are punishing the most vulnerable for something that is beyond their control, whilst having the audacity to insist that they are doing this to make things fair! How utterly pathetic. :mad:

    However. Lets look further into this futile defense of it making things fair, as this is not the only example of the government contradicting itself. Margaret Thatcher giving people the right to buy their council house is what makes the answer to this next question very easy, because it basically means that a council tenant can live next door to a private tenant in an identical house.

    Therefore, when people ask: Is it fair that we should be subsidising those in social housing, when we do not subsidise those those in privately rented accomodation? The simple answer is YES. :T

    When a local authority sets its limits on the amount of Housing Benefit that they are prepared to pay for a property, under LHA rules they look at the number of bedrooms etc, but they also calculate an average price against similar properties across the entire borough. Generally, this tends to be much higher than the local Council or Housing Association charge. It is the whole reason they set up the LHA in the first place.

    I have seen examples where a Housing Association tenant is being charged £100 per week and their neighbour is charged £125 per week by a private landlord for an identical property. Furthermore, the Housing Association or Council tenants' are usually renting a better and much safer standard of accomodation, because landlords with multiple properties are obligated to do more in terms of modernising and gas safety checks etc.

    Obviously, this means that those in privately rented accomodation are already receiving more money than a Housing Association or Council tenant, for a lower standard property. Where is the fairness in that?

    This policy is not about fairness, it is not about releasing larger properties to help the homeless or over-crowded. It has one aim and that is to reduce the ever increasing, astronomical Housing Benefit bill. :j

    Surely this would be better achieved by targeting the cause of high rents, which is not just a lack of properties, but unscrupulous landlords over-charging? :T
  • I know that social housing tends to be administered on a "we know what is best for you" set of rules.
    However what is preventing people with a real spare room from renting it out on the rent a room scheme, free of tax.?
  • seven-day-weekend
    seven-day-weekend Posts: 36,755 Forumite
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    edited 29 September 2013 at 6:49AM
    I know that social housing tends to be administered on a "we know what is best for you" set of rules.
    However what is preventing people with a real spare room from renting it out on the rent a room scheme, free of tax.?

    Absolutely nothing, in many cases, especially as legislation under Universal Credit deems that a rent from a lodger will not count as income in the means-test. So there will be more than enough to pay the extra rent.

    I am an owner-occupier but have had lodgers on and off off throughout the forty years I've lived in my house, when we have needed to supplement income.

    For some reason, people don't like this option and think they have to live with the local axe murderer who is going to eat all their children and ransack their homes. Just small thinking and not wanting to change the staus quo, imho, when in reality it can be an excellent way of gaining extra funds.

    What about lodgers?
    From April 2013 lodgers will count as occupying a room under the size criteria rules. Any income from a lodger will be taken into account and deducted pound for pound from benefit apart from the first £20. This reverses under Universal Credit – lodgers will not be counted as occupying a room and the size criteria reduction will apply, but any income from lodgers will be fully disregarded and will not impact on the amount of a claimant’s Universal Credit award.

    DWP have produced a factsheet on things to consider when renting out a room. Taking in a lodger will also have an impact on many home contents insurance policies, potentially invalidating a policy or raising the premiums.

    - See more at: http://www.housing.org.uk/policy/welfare-reform/bedroom-tax#sthash.AJGM9RSA.dpuf
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
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  • Given the way this penalises those who cannot move, would a simple adjustment to make it more fair be to impose the penalty on the social landlord, not the tenant, if the landlord is unable to provide a property to meet their tenant's needs? That would move the responsibility to where it truly lies!
  • Bedroomtax cant pay? well becoming more in debited to the council, they got us by the balls, housed in a home that's bigger than expected i.e 3 bed house for two applicants, anyone would think it's an unjust economy and a housing shortage.
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