In PMQs today David Cameron said in response to a question from Jack Dromey about homelessness :-
“…and even under our plans Housing Benefit will increase”
Back in January 2012 at PMQS Cameron said Housing Benefit has reduced and then claimed when challenged on this that it had fallen and consistently maintained that line. What he said in January 2012 was
“All parties are committed, as I understand it, to reform housing benefit. That was Labour’s commitment before the last election. The housing benefit bill is completely out of control. Labour’s own welfare spokesman said last week that at £20 billion, it was unacceptable and it had to change and what we’ve seen so far, as housing benefit has been reformed and reduced, is that actually we have seen rent levels come down. So we’ve stopped ripping off the taxpayer.”
Cameron said “…as housing benefit has been reformed and reduced”
Now he admits what we all knew then and no know for certain that:
- Housing Benefit has increased
- Housing Benefit will continue to increase
- Housing Benefit cost given as justification for the ‘welfare reforms’ which largely only cuts HB was wrong
- There is no underpinning justification for welfare reforms which he now admits will cost more to the public purse
- Cameron lied to Parliament about Housing Benefit falling
But lets not stop there. Back in June 2010 a month after taking office Cameron’s government said they would cut the HB bill by nearly £2bn per year. The HB bill from official figures was in May 2010 £20.8bn per year thus setting a target of £18.8bn. The same official figures say the latest figure for August 2012 is £23.6bn and almost £5bn over target and now Cameron admits today it will increase even further!
The HB bill under Cameron has increased massively by £37.85p PER SECOND since he took office, that’s £136,260 PER HOUR 24 HOURS PER DAY EVERY DAY since the election. Yes that’s the same Housing Benefit bill that Cameron said “…had reduced” back in January and which he now admits will rise even more!
It will rise more despite the fact that the overall benefit cap (OBC) process works by deducting all welfare benefits from the cap figure and leaving a residual to pay for housing costs which sees Housing Benefit as the ONLY benefit to be cut. The DWP now state that this will affect 171,000 families in 2013/14 and triple the original 56,000 estimate.
It will rise even further despite the bedroom tax cutting 14% or 25% from social housing tenants Housing Benefit because they cannot downsize.
It will rise even further as an ever higher percentage of all rented housing will be private sector landlords who receive £107pw in HB compared to the £81pw social landlords receive as the official HB data shows (and that figures doesn’t include the doubling of arrears that direct payment pilots show will be the minimum impact either!) That’s £2.2bn more per year we the taxpayer give to private landlords over and above what we pay to social landlords for the same properties. Yet Cameron and his government wouldnt dream of looking at or regulating private landlords!
Yet despite this the Housing Benefit bill will still rise says Cameron. Yes the same man who said Housing benefit “has been reformed and reduced!”
A QUICK UPDATE
- If as Cameron said Housing Benefit will cost more and,
- as he also said at PMQs more public money will be spent on disability benefits, and
- as we know more money will be spent on pensions with the triple lock guarantee
then – how can the welfare benefit reduce? It can’t can it?
Silly me I forgot to add that Cameron said he has increased Child Tax Credit at £390pa more than inflation too.
SO HOW THE FCUK CAN THE WELFARE REFORMS SAVE MONEY TO THE PUBLIC PURSE
No dont tell me the government have been fibbing all along and misleading everyone in the country? Yet it all the main benefit send areas are increasing as Cameron says then how can the raft of welfare reforms which this government has used to stigmatise and blame on the feckless scroungers (pensioners excepted despite receiving two-thirds of the overall welfare benefit spend!) and will place even more children and families into real poverty save the country money?