We were well briefed by IDS that today he will issue guidance to local authorities on how they use DHPs for bedroom tax affected households with disabled children. Nothing like a good bit of spin – aka fibbing through your teeth – that the government would exempt disabled children when guidance on use of discretionary housing payments cannot be an exemption.
The exact same argument over discretion not being mandated or exempt was a constant one in the last parliamentary debate on the 27th February less than two weeks ago.
Interesting is what Jabob Rees-Mogg said about discretion then as he did at column 387 of Hansard:
“If fostering had a general exemption, everybody in receipt of social housing benefit would suddenly go off to the council and say that they wanted to be on the fostering lists, so that they would not have to give up their extra bedroom, but would then refuse any child who was sent to them.”
Yes what a nice man you are thinking!! So today we see IDS release a written statement which says:
“People who are approved foster carers will be allowed an additional room, whether or not a child has been placed with them or they are between placements, so long as they have fostered a child, or become an approved foster carer in the last twelve months.”
The first quote by Jacob Rees-Mogg reads as a disgrace doesn’t it? The second today by IDS doesn’t does it? Yet they mean exactly the same thing!
The IDS statement ONLY applies to existing foster carers and not to new ones!!!
What a slimy piece of shit IDS is eh reader!
Sorry the disabled child ‘exemption’ to spare Cameron for misleading parliament last week when he said they were already exempt? Nah nothing yet!
So when is a concession not a concession then reader? And how have foster carers just lost £1.5m per year?
Come on Joe be fair you say? IDS has exempted totally existing foster carers surely thats good news? No its another fiendishly clever bit of spin by IDS which shows he didn’t have a clue what he was doing with DHPs!
You will recall that an additional £30m of DHPs was miraculously found by the coalition when the bedroom tax began to raise its considerably ugly head right across the media. Cameron said this at PMQs and this £30m was £25m for (all) disabled person and £5m for foster carers. By exempting 5,000 foster carers at an average of £14 pw in bedroom tax we see todays announcement being £3.65m for foster carers and nothing for any potential new foster carers.
I noted last week that Manchester City Council produced a policy on DHPs which said it would prioritise foster carers, to which I commented this was understandable as it would cost MCC more in spot foster payments for forster carers out of ther own social services budgets. Yet know everyone will errantly believe all foster carers are exempt so councils wont prioritise them at all or even consider them for DHPs, which prior to todays chicanery they could rightfully expect to be £5m per year. Now with the exemption they will get £3.65m and potentially £1.35m less!
So when is a concession not a concession? When its announced by the slimeball IDS of course! What a sunning little chit he is eh?
One of the joys of blogging is that you can always rely on others who read them and see issues you didnt! It reminds you that you re not a total smart arse and humbly allows you to say that too!!
Mousegran has asked does this notice (and the relevant quote is above) mean an approved foster carer is only entitled to ONE spare room as the Wriitten Ministerial Statement says literally? Or is the exemption for an approved foster carer per se and regardless of how many ‘spare’ rooms? The wording suggests it is just one spare room and I tend to see this is what IDS said and meant yet foster carers can take two or more children at once and they each need a separate room!
What I am certain of is that IDS will have another ‘roll forward’ with this and ‘roll forward; is his latest euphemism for “Oh shit I hadn’t thought of that!” What a competent man and minister IDS is again reader!
Paul Lewis (yes the one off the telly and Radio 4) tweeted earlier:
DWP tells me that the Discretionary Housing Fund will be cut by £5m which was intended to pay for foster rooms