Labour to scrap the bedroom tax – a huge political mistake and huge opportunity missed

The Labour Party has vowed to scrap the bedroom tax.  They have finally said it after so long.  A cause for celebration you would think but as usual the Labour Party makes a pig’s ear of it.  Yes I have been calling for them to do it since day one but they manage to totally bugger it up.

To explain the Labour Party thought it necessary to say where they would find the money to do this YET that is a tacit admittance that the bedroom tax does save money which it doesn’t – a huge political and frankly stupid mistake by Labour!

Even worse they fail to attack the claimed economic / cost saving basis when the Tory led coalition are seriously exposed on the claimed savings and even more so on the Housing Benefit bill.

The BBC website is used here to explain though the same content is available elsewhere.  It says this as the coalition response:

“The government argues it ends “spare room subsidies” unavailable in the private sector, and that the £23bn-a-year housing benefit bill must be cut.”

The spare room subsidy tag is a nonsense and the private sector comparison is a nonsense and always has been and for example a single person renting privately will receive more in housing benefit than a family of 6 will get for renting a 3 bed social housing property anywhere in the UK.

However the real issue is that the coalition claims about the HB bill which currently stands at £23.8bn.  The coalition announced the bedroom tax policy and other welfare reforms such as the benefit cap etc shortly after taking office as a way to cut the HB bill – that was their chief purpose.

The coalition also said these reforms (bedroom tax et al) would cut the HB bill by £2bn per year!

The HB bill in May 2010 was £20.8bn and so the coalition target was £18.8bn but today with the bedroom tax the overall housing benefit bill today is FIVE BILLION POUNDS ABOVE THE COALITION TARGET that the bedroom tax was supposed to achieve!  The reforms haven’t worked and the HB bill is still going up too!!

So instead of exposing these official facts which would have shown the bedroom tax and all the other welfare reforms aimed at cutting the HB bill haven’t worked  the Labour Party gave economic credence to the economic lunacy and incompetence of the the bedroom tax, benefit cap, LHA reforms etc.

That is why the Labour Party are idiots and don’t have a clue what they are doing as now the bedroom tax debate will all be about how Labour can AFFORD to abolish the bedroom tax and NOT that the bedroom tax was a failed economic policy drawn up on the back of a fag packet by an incompetent IDS and Lord Freud!

Arses and elbows!


UPDATE 30 minutes after posting the above.

The social media response has been (a) first post of Joe’s I have disagreed with; (b) come on Joe be positive; (c) why are you raining on the parade…etc  and in some ways to be expected.

Yet you all know I like numbers so what the above says:

(a) Instead of falling, the HB bill is £13.7 million per day MORE than the Tories said it would be

(b) That’s about £96m more per week

(c) In 5 weeks the HB bill increases by what the Tories said the bedroom tax would save in a year!!

You may now begin to see my key point, that the welfare reforms, more correctly the housing benefit reforms of the coalition have been a financial and economic disaster.  They don’t work and in fact cost a sh*tload more!!

Yet the Labour Party failed to mention this as if they had they would have discredited the bedroom tax in money terms which (a) would have scored a major political point against the Tories, and (b) got the general public and electorate 100% behind abolishing it.

Yet because Labour failed to say these bloody obvious points they will now spend the next 18 months defending their decision to abolish it on grounds of THEIR economic competence rather than the economic incompetence of the TORIES for the bedroom tax in the first place!

That is why today’s announcement for me was a monumental cock by the Labour Party.

23 thoughts on “Labour to scrap the bedroom tax – a huge political mistake and huge opportunity missed

  1. what money ? the bedroom tax sprung from nowhere thee is no cost associated with it the same with welfare reform the millions of pounds paid to ATOS and co is so that when Cameron and co retire they have jobs to go to on the boards of these companies

    the only failure of the labour was to say it was a bad move on day one as it wasn’t cost effective

    it could never be cost effective as there is a vast shortage of 1/2 bedrooms houses across the whole of the uk fact not fiction

    David Cameron is only a good speaker but to anyone like myself with the facts he’s a loser
    i find it very difficult to understand how 650 mp’s haven’t be able to shoot him down when he makes gross errors

    he always has said that the education was bad in the uk and by listening to him he’s dead right he is bad but all the mp’s are and i have had a strong background within the presence of very distinguished people from across the world in my time and i can assure you Oxford or no Oxford David Cameron is a bit thick

    he sets a bar so low that it’s no wonder people die going through welfare reform it’s one of the worst policy’s i have ever seen for errors and is impossible to implement in a safe manor hence the many hundreds that have died so far

    1. Hi, you are quite right.Cameron is either thick or he is following the neoliberal agenda from Thatcher which is a load of nonsense. Speaking as an accountant & economist there are hundreds even thousands of people who will tell you the same as me.
      In Canada ATOS & UNUM INSUR. are discredited Companies. They shud never have been brought to Britain. Now in economic terms I can give you Dozens of references that will tell you that all the NHS, welfare, pensions and everything else is perfectly affordable.
      This is B’cos Gov’t spending does not depend on TAXES OR BORROWING. Paul Krugman the eminent ECONOMIST who was awarded the Nobel Prize will tell you the same. Politicians tend to raise this nonsense from time to time. Their arguments have been shot down for the last 50years.
      The fact is that Gov’t can CREATE Money to pay for anything it likes “without limit”(there are rules though) will tell you how private Banks have CREATED £TRILLIONS but some of those Trillions have BROKEN the rule that this money MUST BE USED WITHIN THE UK. It must not be used OUTSIDE the UK.
      Contact Ann Pettifor or THINK LEFT or come back to me if you want more info.

  2. The Politicians are NOT stupid or incompetent. Con/Dems were following a well trodden US route to privatizing public assets over time – and Labour are keeping faith with their neo-liberal dogma. We don’t get to hear so much gere, but follow US thinktank stuff and there is no secret to the aims. Read The Heritage Foundation “Thatcherissima” 1983 – current actions laid out, even down to having nearly identical political parties! PS Love your work, and apreciate how hard it can be to combat mega£££$$$£££ funded think-tanks. We must learn from “Obamacare” and “Wall St Regulation” that the Right will try again and again to (mis)appropriate all public assets, like homes.

    1. Your point about the rightwing thinktanks/Libertarian policies coming over here pollouting the UK is very well taken.Blair swallowed the Republican Kool aid so well he now get well paid to poison people with it.One thing i started doing a few years ago was following US politics because you can guarantee thier right wing dogma will be promoted by all three parties.Labour are just as bad as tories for this.Its time to force all those complacent Labour MP’s out of thier failed supplyside fantasies,housing boom fuelled growth and cosy relationships with financial lobbying organisations(are you hearing this ED Balls) and to promote manifacturing,building a much better infrastructure especially broadband.Build more social housing but have a time limit on occupancy and end right to buy.Most importantely stop the housing price rises as home owners have been bailed out a just a few years ago so take action now to stop it happening again

  3. Just a small point probably insignificant in the bigger scheme of things but correct me if I’m wrong aren’t the labour party supposed to be the “opposition” ?? doesn’t that mean they from day one should of been opposing and fighting to STOP such policies TWO YEARS + they have had and SIX MONTHS + with it actually being physically charged, all the time the policies went through the House of lords & House of commons still NO opposition to it or any of the other maniac policies, opposition Milliband is ONLY proving indisputably these have and always will be Labour led policies from day one, dreamed up by his pre dececors and will remain Labour policies in the next Gov where they will continue hence he refuses to abolish it as in truth they want it as much (if not more than) the current Gov why is it so so hard for many to recognize this glaringly obvious point which in my humble view makes Labours actions no more than electioneering trying to obtain votes with NO intention of changing anything when/if in power making them UN voteable and as bad if not worse than the coalition regardless of whether they can work or not the coalition inherited these policies where as they were and remain labour policies making the situation way way worse at the end of the day in terms of any future Labour gov also is it NOT kind of coincidence that these revelations appear in the yearly conference season ??? we can’t trust ANY of the big THREE full stop in future that simple ………………

  4. It’s all well and good them saying now they will abolish it IF they win the next election…. Smacks of a vote winner to me….. What about the thousands of people who are affected NOW…. We can’t wait until 2015…. People’s health is affected. Both physically and mentally. People have felt forced to move….. Are running up huge arrears…… Being threatened with eviction…… People simply can’t pay…people have committed suicide…. What about those who are paying?? Will they get their money back???
    To endure this suffering until 2015. Is totally unacceptable.
    Even the UN reporters report won’t be completed until March 2014. whilst she is totally supportive. Look at how THIS government and the press have treated her!! Simply because she has spoken the truth about how people are affected. And said it needs to be scrapped now.
    Whilst they play their political games.. People are suffering on a daily basis. some can’t even afford to eat…Let alone afford to heat their homes, with winter coming…. This could cause more deaths to the poor and vulnerable.. .

    1. There is going to be no problem to pay back any of this Tax. and any arrears will be Scrapped. “JUST WRITEN OFF IN THE SAME WAY AS third woeld DEBT is written off. you see for all practical purposes there is no such thing as DEBT, Deficit, or Borrowing. IT IS ALL A MYTH, LIE, DECEIT, call it what you will. It is a shameful fraud on the people by Banks & Gov’t working in CAHOOTS together. PFI which was forced on Hospitals & many other public companies is just the same 1st class DECEIT

  5. Are they going to address that some landlords have been ignoring the 1985 housing act and renting out properties that are smaller than what is stated on their tenancy agreements? Is this now going to be overlooked so they can carry on regardless?

    1. the conservatives on the welfare reform bill have all the hallmarks of the sinking of the Titanic with so far the death rate on par

      people like IDS will having made a name for himself long after his death as the man at the helm led hundreds to their deaths through incompetence a man that will live on in the lives of many for the rest of their lives

  6. I have a tendency not to agree with Joe but I am totally with him on this one! 🙂
    The Bedroom Tax Action Group are about to gather FOI’s from all the Councils re annual spend on LHA and HB, the results will be interesting….!

  7. I’ll be the first to admit that i have no education and left school with nothing but i come from a long background of serving diplomats worldwide and i would rank David Cameron as the worst so called diplomat i ever come across

    i have yet to to upset any diplomat partly I’ve always taken the common sense approach with a leaning to make sure no one was forgotten or left out of a policy i like things to be equal across the board wherever possible I’m the sort of person who in a conference hall is last to get his food etc.

    I’m sure you get my drift here all of the conservative cabinet are well of the mark in all areas of policy which is there strength and the wealthy love it

  8. Please remember that social housing rents are rising annually by 8% plus inflation in order to “Bring them up to 80% of private rental prices!”

    This is of itself increasing the Housing benefit!


  9. I was one of the Kircaldy eight who won the appeal and I’m sick of interviews, sick of debates on the size of bedrooms and sick of the real issue being buried. Joe is right. The councils should have looked at every bedroom being disputed under this flawed fairytale of a legislation. That is the major issue that came out of the appeals awarded by Mr. Simon Collins QC. The question he asked Fife council at the start of every appeal he heard – did you inspect the property? The answer in every case was no, the council just followed DWP guidelines and they were wrong to do so.

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