Knowsley – where 43 out of 44 social tenants wont get a DHP!

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are the coalition’s answer to every charge made against the bedroom tax.  It’s unfair on disabled people – that’s why we have put in £150m of DHPs – is the answer to any challenge to the bedroom tax.  It is the stock answer and repeated mantra-like at every turn by the coalition.

Yet the DHP budget of £150m this financially year of 2013/14 is not enough and it will reduce by 33% next year to £100m and be £100m in 2015/16 too.  DHPs are to cover housing benefit shortfalls to (a) the bedroom tax affected social tenant; (b) the social and private tenant affected by the benefit cap; and (c) the private tenant.  See here for much more detail on all of these points

The coalition even breakdown how this £150m has been allocated to local councils with the bedroom tax national DHP amount being £25m or one-sixth of the total DHP budget of £150m.  All of this is contained in the HB circular S1 of 2013

The bedroom tax deductions made by central government to the 660,000 affected households come to an aggregate of £500m per year and the coalition has given local councils £25m to deal with this.

Statistically 1 in every 20 bedroom tax households will get a DHP.

This is contained in the table below and highlighted in blue.  The rest of the table looks at the DHP allocation for bedroom tax in each of the 5 councils of Merseyside and we see that the 1 in 20 national average chance of getting a bedroom tax HP becomes a 1 in 44 chance in Knowsley.

43 out of every 44 applicants for a DHP in Knowsley will NOT get a DHP!!

DHP ALLOCATION

1

2

3

4

5

6

COUNCIL

TOTAL DHP

BTAX DHP

NUMBER

WEEKLY BT

WEEKS

1 in

KNOWSLEY

£468,623

£78,104

4500

£65,340

1.20

44

LIVERPOOL

£1,606,233

£267,706

11680

£169,594

1.58

33

SEFTON

£547,790

£91,298

3666

£53,230

1.72

30

ST HELENS

£399,636

£66,606

3623

£52,606

1.27

41

WIRRAL

£917,214

£152,869

3816

£55,408

2.76

19

NATIONALLY

£150,000,000

£25,000,000

660000

£9,583,200

2.61

20

To explain the table above we see:

  • Knowsley gets a total DHP allocation of £468,623 for 2013/14 (Column 1)
  • Of this one-sixth or £78,104 per year is allocated for bedroom tax (Column 2)
  • Knowsley has 4500 bedroom tax affected households (Column 3)
  • At the average bedroom tax deduction Knowsley tenants lose £65,340 in HB (Column 4)
  • If all tenants got a DHP the DHP budget would run out in 1.2 weeks (Column 5)
  • And this means only 1 applicant in every 44 will get a DHP (Column 6)

The national averages social tenant has a 1 in 20 chance of getting a bedroom tax DHP.

The Knowsley tenant has a 1 in 44 chance of getting a bedroom tax DHP.

Why does a Wirral social tenant have a 1 in 19 chance of getting a DHP and therefore better than the national average?

Why does Wirral get £0.77 per bedroom tax affected household per week in DHP funding when Knowsley gets just £0.33p?

Are tenants in Wirral more than twice as worthy as Knowsley tenants perhaps?  Or is the fact that Knowsley Council which regularly sits atop the poverty index and other indices of deprivation across the country gets just 42% of the DHP money that its Merseyside neighbour and more affluent Wirral gets the real issue?

Surely this huge DHP disparity is not because Wirral contains the parliamentary constituency of Esther McVey, a junior DWP minister?

I spoke at a bedroom tax meeting in Knowsley a week or so ago and some tenants were saying they simply can’t pay the £22 or so per week bedroom tax.  It’s not a case of won’t pay but a case of can’t pay and especially out of £71.70 per week welfare benefit.  Frankly the £0.33p per week per household the coalition think is fair and indeed generous needs to be seen in that context – a totally inadequate amount that exposes the coalition lies on DHPs as the universal panacea they claim DHPs to be.

It still doesn’t explain the fact that one of the most impoverished councils in the country has tenants who are twice as unlikely to get a DHP than the average tenant nationally.

43 out of every 44 social tenants in Knowsley won’t get a bedroom tax DHP!

Enough said or enuf is enuf?

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4 thoughts on “Knowsley – where 43 out of 44 social tenants wont get a DHP!

  1. I read earlier that the gov have said they are to offer more to the DHP pot (as to if its really more money, or just a re-issuance of a statement to make it look like more money is another matter) and it will be allocated with a preference to rural areas…

    I’m guessing that Wirral is a more “rural” area and so McVile will get an even bigger slice of this “new” pot of money… quell surprise!

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