I have just watched the BBC News…you know the main tea time news programme that we were all brought up to believe gave us facts and was free from political bias. If it still is unbiased and not a propagandist broadcast for the coalition then the bedroom tax report I have watched tonight there was truly bloody incompetent.
I see the Powells have swallowed the coalition propaganda on this and especially the claim that this will free up more houses. Think it through people please.
The government knows and accepts that a small percentage of these alleged underoccupiers will downsize and also accepts and knows that few will or can as last year in social housing only 68,000 1 bed properties became available, or about 10% of the alleged underoccupiers. Further the government knows and again accepts that 260,000 or so of existing social tenants are overcrowded.
For two obvious reasons if a social tenant underoccupier downsizes their place will be taken by a social housing overoccupier or overcrowded family. Firstly, local councils have statutory responsibilities to rehouse overcrowded families and secondly, the social landlord will rightly prioritise a tenant they know and in effect a house swap will happen – the underoccupier and the overcrowded families swap properties.
This has two impacts. Firstly, no bedroom tax applies as none of these families are caught by it. Secondly, no new home is freed-up as the government propaganda suggests. So there is no change in the social housing composition and no saving from or to the public purse. The government’s argument is that the social tenant underoccupier will have to move to a smaller private property (and note a 3 bed social rent is often lower than a 1 bed private rent and also in HB terms too) and their 3 bed social home will see a privately renting family like the Powell’s move in. Yet that will not happen for the reasons above!
The BBC news report by Mark Easton (see his competence in bedroom tax matters here) does at least go on to say that the figures of 660,000 alleged underoccupiers and 260,000 or so overcrowded families yet ends with a throwaway comment from IDS (who does not appear in the programme) to say he has asked the DWP (that is his own department or asked himself!!!) to look again at how disabled people are viewed.
The BBC programme gives the impression tha IDS is asking himself to look again at exempting ‘the disabled.’ Yet never once does the BCC mention this involves 420,000 of the 660,000 bedroom tax affected households – exemptions for 65% of those affected. Or if you want an analogy reader that’s like the Israeli Prime Minister telling the BBC he will look at withdrawing from the West Bank and the BBC believing that was credible!
PS Reader I have it on good authority that the next BBC News programme about the bedroom tax is to be presented by Lord Lucan
Back to the BBC News. Lord Freud (the appointed not elected Welfare Minister and some say architect of this charade) who says: –
“The government’s decision has been we can afford to support people in the bedrooms they NEED, but not to fund EXTRA bedrooms”
The BBC then shows a couple one of whom has a disability which means the partner has to sleep in another bedroom. This couple – the Lambs – are one of the alleged underoccupiers and he has a brain condition and his wife is his carer. Mark Easton then says: –
“Because of Peter’s condition the couple cannot share a bedroom but under the rules the EXTRA bedroom will see benefits cut.”
At no times does Mark Easton question that the couple NEED this alleged EXTRA bedroom or query why the bedroom tax is cutting this alleged EXTRA bedroom which by definition cannot be EXTRA or not be what they NEED! Now imagine if the Lambs case had been shown BEFORE cutting to Lord Freud and Lord Freud asked if he thought the Lambs had more bedrooms than they NEED? Some very politically biased editing there BBC as the way I described is usually the way news programmes edit by asking responsible ministers to comment on this absurdity of their own making. But no not the good old impartial BBC!!
The BBC Ten O’clock repeats the same charade with the same biased and NOW it would seem clearly errant report. The DWP press office at 7pm tonight – that is after BBC 6 O’clock news – which says:
DWP Press Office@dwppressoffice No change in spare bedroom policy. As with all reforms, we will monitor closely as it comes in this April.
Pasted from <https://twitter.com/dwppressoffice>
Oh Dear BBC News. If was first draft of this above some would argue was harsh on you, now after the DWP have themselves stated there is no change and no look again at the bedroom tax, you still repeat the same propagandist bull on BBC News at Ten – 3 hours after DWP confirm they wont look again or anew at this!!