The knowing lies ministers tell over the bedroom tax

Just a simple post to demonstrate in detail the latest lies that Kris Hopkins the Housing Minister and Esther McVey the DWP Minister knowingly tell over the bedroom tax and housing benefit.  Yes these are only the LATEST lies and KNOWING ones which are so easily disproved that we should be asking are these people fit to be public servants in any office let alone the highest public servants as ministers in any government.

Kris Hopkins in response to properties being empty in the North East as a direct result of the bedroom tax says:-

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “This is about reducing the burden on the Government and the amount of debt that we have in place. It is important that we do that. “We cannot continue to subsidise a million spare rooms. It is important that people out there – the taxpayers out there – understand that everybody is absolutely making a contribution to this process.

A million spare rooms subsidised?  This can only mean bedrooms for working age tenants and not spare rooms for exempt pensioners.  The DWP impact assessment says the 660,000 households are broken down by (a) 540,000 under occupying by one bedroom, and (b) 120,000 bu 2 or more bedrooms.

(a) gives a total of 540,000 spare bedrooms which means for the total to be 1 million that (b) must see 120,000 under occupy 460,000 spare bedrooms.  This means that 100,000 households must under occupy by 4 bedrooms (ie 5 bed houses) making 400,000 spare bedrooms and the other 20,000 each under occupy by 3 bedrooms or 60,000.

Yet the whole of social housing stock including those for the exempted pensioners does not have 100,000 5 bed or higher properties so this must be a lie

The English Housing Survey 2012 publishes a breakdown of the number of bedrooms in properties and we see from this official source at Table 9 on page 27 that there are only 13,000 5 bed or more properties across ALL of social housing.  Yes this is published by the CLG the same government department in which the housing minister Kris Hopkins resides!

It is arithmetically impossible for there to be one million spare bedrooms in social properties of tenants of working age.  And note below McVey confirmed this one million spare bedrooms was just for those of working age in Parliament in February 2013.

In an article in Inside Housing we see this:

Mr Hopkins said: ‘There is a need to save money. We inherited a bill that had doubled to some £24 billion by the time we came to power, and it was important that we addressed it because we ended up with a deficit where we were spending.’

£24 bn Housing Benefit bill?

The overall HB bill on the send Thursday in May 2010 stood at £20.88bn and specifically there were 4.751,526 HB claimants with an average payment of £84.20 per week which totals £20,875,524,026 or £20.88bn.  So we see Kris Hopkins lying for effect and for political purposes.  Check out the DWP published HB figures to confirm

Housing Benefit reforms were first outlined very soon after this coalition took office in May 2010. The extract below from the July 2010 Housing Benefit Digest issued by the DWP explains:

The Chancellor announced a package of Housing Benefit (HB) reforms in his Budget statement on 22 June. It is the most significant and comprehensive reform programme for HB since the scheme was introduced in the 1980s. The background is the budget deficit and the reductions in public expenditure that the Government is making to tackle it. Ministers are clear that the overall cost of HB, forecast to be around £20 billion this financial year, must be controlled and reduced. The package of reforms will save nearly £2 billion by 2014/2015. There are also important policy considerations around fairness and work incentives that lie behind the reforms”

The latest HB overall total is £23.88bn and therefore £5bn over target which shows just how purposeful the welfare reforms to LHA, bedroom tax have been as they have not worked.  The welfare reforms have failed and now we have minister upon minister lying over well known official figures to deflect away and disguise the failure of their welfare reform policies.

Now that same quote by Kris Hopkins that the HB bill had DOUBLED to £24bn (that we have already seen was £20.88bn not £24bn) is an issue that Esther McVey is very fond of lying about too as I reported here. In her Wirral constituency the deputy leader of the Labour council George Davies dared to criticise the bedroom tax provoking furore from Ms McVey:

In response to Cllr George Davis’ claims the Wirral Globe reports the following: –

However Miss McVey said housing benefit needed to be changed to prevent the bills increasing. She said: “I found Cllr George Davies’ words alarmist and scaremongering at the least.

“The Government needed to reform housing benefit because it doubled under Labour and stood at £24bn in 2012/13, this is double the amount spent on policing in England and Wales.

Housing Benefit doubled under Labour McVey?  The HB bill in 1997/98 when Labour took office was £12.2bn.  When they left in May 2010 it stood at £20.8bn.  That is an increase of £8.6bn or 70% – it did not double.  However the Housing Benefit bill under the Tories stood at £3.8bn in 1986/87 and rose to £12.2bn in May 1997.  The HB bill MORE THAN TRIPLED under the previous Tory administrations yet McVey conveniently omits this fact.  So not only has McVey knowingly misled the local electorate she has also knowingly left out the fact that her party’s record was over 4.5 times worse than the last Labour government she so decries.

Then a few weeks back Esther McVey had a column in the Wirral Globe newspaper and note that the questions were written ones put to her ahead of her answers too and so McVey had plenty of opportunity to correctly find the answers before she replies with: –

From Graham Maxwell.

Q) Are you proud to be part of a Government that introduced a spare room tax can cut benefits to the disabled but goes to court to argue against capping bankers’ bonuses?

A) “Let me explain why and how this decision was taken. Firstly there are nearly two million people on housing waiting lists waiting for a home, many disabled, many families or single parents……Added to that the Labour party when in Government allowed the housing bill to spiral from £12 Billion to £24 Billion…”

Oh dear McVey is caught out again with this known lie and even worse this time as she had plenty of time to research the full facts in the official figures which anyone can do in about 5 minutes.

This is the same McVey who told parliament in February this year (Hansard 27 Feb column 424): –

The hon. Member for Dumfries and Galloway (Mr Brown) questioned the number of spare bedrooms. There are 1 million spare bedrooms in properties occupied by working-age people alone, so that does not include pensioners.

So that is where the original lie originated then!! As McVey made clear the one million spare bedrooms is working age and does NOT include pensioners who are exempt.  She also appears to be the originator of the HB doubled under Labour lie she first told and of course deliberately omitted that the HB bill went up 4.5 times under 10 years of  the previous Tory government than it did under 13 years of the last Labour government.

Summary

Government ministers spinning numbers for political effect is one thing and to be expected.  Yet telling knowing lies to the general public and lying to parliament is an affront to democracy and has to stop.  I can understand and appreciate government misleading the general public over matters of national security but not when they overtly and deliberately and knowingly lie for political purposes.  Both McVey and Hopkins will have a team of researchers who like me or anyone else can find the official figures within 5 minutes so when they come out with these clear untruths they are knowingly lying and incompetent.  That is why I have used the term lies and knowingly instead of using ‘untruths’ or ‘fibs’ or any euphemism for these blatant and knowing lies.

Every MP is a public servant and has to be fit for purpose.  If a council employee for one example of a public servant had been found out lying he or she would be suspended or even dismissed so why not apply those same standards to ministers?  Look at the public outrage over MPs (of all sides) lying over their expenses or found out knowingly lying in so many other circumstances.  We expect and deserve more of ministers whom we have in part to trust; yet how can we ever trust Esther McVey or Kris Hopkins when they knowingly lie to the public and to parliament?

Just who the hell scrutinises these ministers and brings them to task when it is clear that they have lied? The press? Social media? This or other blogs?  That is not good enough and we need to have a far more rigorous and more immediate scrutiny of these knowing and easily proven lies.  Ministers are working on the tell a lie often enough and the gullible public will believe it to be true.

McVey and Hopkins should correct their lies and apologise and if they don’t they should be sacked for knowingly lying to the general public (both) and to parliament in McVey’s case. The general public should not stand for knowing lies from the highest public servants in the land which is government ministers

McVey and Hopkins could of course choose to sue me for defamation or libel.  Do bring it on and lets see just how much attention that brings to these lies and the reputation of your party and puts both your careers down the toilet.

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16 thoughts on “The knowing lies ministers tell over the bedroom tax

  1. Although this will be unpopular,if somebody really does have a spare room and If their is a smaller house available and the tenant agrees then it is a win/win situation,but my neighbour has been forced to leave his disabled adapted home and rehoused in a smaller place,the Council has adapted his new home at a cost of £14 K …so where is the savings? His neighbour use to help take care of him for free,but now claims Carers Allowance as she has to travel across town,the new home is nice,but he misses his neighbours and rather than savings it is costing a lot more.

  2. I really wish these tossers would bring a libel case. Or maybe not? Unless SPeye is farly wealthy, which I doubt, the government would simply change the law to disallow Legal Aid for the defence or at least make it pay costs on a win. Up to SPeye to decide if the embarassment to the government would be worth it.

  3. ‘Every MP is a public servant and has to be fit for purpose’! Maybe 50 years ago, but these days politicians, both in parliament and local government lie through their teeth with impunity, because they are in it as a career. Because they believe rightly or wrongly, that they are untouchable. Witness the recent case of Lord Hanningfield, former leader of Essex County Council. Who having been convicted of fraud against the County Council and given a sentence that allowed him to keep his peerage, of which he only served a very small part. Then goes on to go to the House of Lords sign in and leave, but still claim all his expenses, not once but on a regular basis. Then claim he has done nothing wrong. Lets be honest when you fill a building with lawyers you get some of the most dishonest dealings imaginable, but then these learned members of the legal profession, supposedly the most astute brains in the country, seem to have no concept of right and wrong unless it is laid down in a statute. But then when they are caught out they plead ignorance. It must be nice to get all the rewards and none of the problems that seem to be associated with a lack of morality!

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