Inept and incompetent Labour Party make pig’s ear of bedroom tax debate

You can imagine the last Labour Party strategy meeting – Hey if we come out against this the bedroom tax thingy we may get some new members and a few votes.

Cynical? Perhaps but as I explain below their arguments against the bedroom tax in the HoC debate Tuesday were woeful and incomplete demonstrating just how little they know about the bedroom tax demonstrate they just don’t get it.

A few of the many arguments they failed to mention:

1.         There are NO exemptions whatsoever for disabled persons!

There are discretionary exemptions local councils may give for an additional room for an overnight carer yet at best that is a discretionary act and NOT an exemption.

2.         A bedroom for an overnight carer is ONLY allowed for the tenant or the tenant’s partner and nobody else in the household.

Kate Green mentioned it doesn’t apply for a child but failed to mention it doesn’t apply for anyone else in the household such as a disabled adult not the tenant or partner.

3.         A disabled child is NOT exempt

The Gorry case said that a severely disabled child may have a bedroom of their own.  Yet this is up to the local council HB department to decide if the child is ‘disabled enough’ (just how a HB officer decides that is another matter!) and this is NOT an exemption either and again is at the discretion of each local council.

4.         The private rented sector receives £2.17bn more in housing benefit for the same number of properties than

  • So much was made by the government benches of social housing being subsidised yet it receives £1.2bn per year which extrapolates to just £6.05 per property per week.
  • The average social housing rent (2012 EHS figures) is £83 per week and the average private rent is £164 per week and twice as much.  The private tenant receives more in housing benefit for its 1.7m claimants which amounts to £2.17bn more per year.
  • Hence the social rented sector (SRS) receives £1.2bn per year of capital subsidy that the private rented sector does not get but the private rented sector (PRS) receives £2.17bn MORE in revenue subsidy.
  • If SRS tenants received the same as PRS tenants in housing benefit the overall bill would be £4.5bn per year higher than it is now.
  • Hence the £1.2bn capita subsidy the SRS receives saves the country £4.5bn per year in housing benefit and so it is a very cost-effective ‘invest to save’ programme.
  • Extrapolated the subsidy social housing gets actually SAVES every taxpayer £170 per year in tax

5.         Spare Room Subsidy?

As the HB deduction can ONLY be applied if the tenant has a spare bedroom and not a spare toilet or scullery or any other form of mere ‘room’ the coalition moniker for the bedroom tax is a misnomer

Tax? Only on earned income the coalition claims so it’s not a tax.  Thank you so the tax you deduct at source from the interest (unearned income) on my savings account is not a tax so may I have it back please!

6.         660,000 PEOPLE affected?

This was stated by so many Labour and opposition MPs but it too is false.  There are 660,000 HOUSEHOLDS affected and given the life-changing impacts the bedroom tax has then all in those households are affected.  At an average 2.4 per household it is 1.6 million men women and children that are affected directly by the policy.

I could go on with many more points not mentioned and when I receive the full Hansard transcript I will do so.

What this ten minute draft shows above is that the Labour Party was unprepared and did not know the full implications of the bedroom tax or what the policy actually says.  Some Labour MPs did and honourable mentions go to the usual suspects such as Karen Buck and a few others but frankly it as disjointed and amateurish as hell.  Six hours to get ALL the points across and they never did and that is not just remiss it is inept.

So many more points spring to mind too.  Steve Webb, deputising for the absent by fright IDS did a robust attack on Labour citing they didn’t care about (a) overcrowded tenants and (b) the private tenant.

Any Labour MP that knew his or her brief could easily have replied the English Housing Survey the official publication of CLG where housing sits says 10% of SRS properties are under occupied yet 16% of PRS properties are – so its 60% HIGHER in private than social rented.

Any Labour MP could have reminded Steve Webb it is his coalition which raised the shared accommodation rate (SAR) from under 25s to under 35s and reduced LHA to the 30TH percentile from the 50th percentile – or at least that we pay £2.17bn per year MORE to the private tenant.  Yet of course as they did not know their brief they did not do this.

You still think I was cynical stating the Labour Party rationale was let’s jump on this bandwagon there’s a few votes in it for us?  If so that just means they are well-meaning incompetents then doesn’t it?

*********************************************************

PS – They didnt even mention that McVey knowingly lied to parliament in the last bedroom tax debate when she said there were 1m spare bedrooms in social housing working-age tenants

PPS – Or that the amount a single PRS tenant receives in housing benefit would pay for a 3 bed SRS property anywhere in the country

 

PPPS – Nah why bother you get the picture reader – utter rank incompetence that we have come to expect from the Labour Party in the bedroom tax.

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17 thoughts on “Inept and incompetent Labour Party make pig’s ear of bedroom tax debate

  1. And what your seriously shocked at this outcome?? i wrote about this outcome on ,any groups yesterday (and have been begiled for months for this opinion i may add) what with a great many anti BT groups this morning deciding that BT would be immediately abolished today?? and the mere fact they wouldnt listen to the fact that as you so rightly state Labour are simply bandwagonning hoping to draw this out!! in order to retain the myth to those stupid enough to believe it! when to a blind, deaf man its chrystal clear and always has been that its nothing more than then trying to retain as many free votes as possible……So by keeping as many as possible guessing right up until any election in order to gather votes from those daft enough to carry on believing their badly researched, totally abhorrent and massively under knowledged take on the sheer scale of this problem NOW which in essence translates to those who can see through their scheme to mean that they actually can’t do anything any quicker or better than any other in as much as BT cannot and will NOT be abolished before any re-election, meaning any abolishment can’t and won’t be happening before 2016-17 at the earliest, as we have stated since day one!!! it’s hoped that Labour will now NOT be trusted as some of us CAN and DO remember 2008 when Labour started Bedroom Tax and quite frankly this just goes to prove once and for all that it is/was a Labour Idea and policy that they are just NOT willing to let go, along with the rest of the Welfare Reform Act as designed and built by Labour when last in power as we already knew, the plan one imagines now will be to carry on to election and IF re-elected will refrain from abolishing it blaming the previous Gov leaving them with a far greater problem than was first envisaged (sound familiar? it should as it’s exactly give or take what this Gov blamed a few months after taking up office when the pre election promises were broken) the fact remains that IDS is still in office, BT is still very much in force and shall remain so now until at least 2016-17 and NOTHING has changed, people are still going to be loosing their homes, have no food nor heat, and Labour our saviours have monumentally once again let us down, I don’t know about IDS resigning but after this amazing waste of time Our Ed Milliband should resign as he hasn’t got what it takes never has had and never will have, I mean my god he’s had two years plus to stop, redesign or change BT and he first off waited until now to show a modicum of resistance and even then managed to cock that up too, I can’t wait to see what excuses those who were just so absolutely adimant this morning that BT would be abolished today will come away with now if they truly want change Labour is not now and never was the route out of BT that much is clear, let’s just hope they see that too now as it’s as clear as day !!!

  2. I watched most of the debate yesterday. Many Labour MP’s did make very valid points and quoted many individual cases…. Rachel Reeves was extremely, ‘on the button’. Was extremely hopeful. And therefore bitterly disappointed with the outcome of the vote………. Was totally disgusted by many con MP’s with their laughing and jeering……….. Several said that Disabled people were exempt!! One of which was Brooks Newmark…… Clearly, they don’t even know their own policies!!! So, can all disabled people now go to their council and say we are all supposed to be exempt!! I think not!!!
    We have no choice, but to keep on fighting. Encouraging everyone to appeal. So, we have to gather our strength and carry on. The result of the vote has plummeted people into the depths of despair.

  3. Interested that you can;’t stop yourself objecting to an organisation which opposes the bedroom tax. Isn’t this the standard problem of divide and rule with people on the left loving to find reasons why the disagree with eachother while the bulldozer is driving over their heads. If you want a successful campaign against the bedroom tax or anyone else you need to develop alliances with others not spend your time attacking them for agreeing with you but niot quite for the same reasons.

    1. Sorry I refuse to be portrayed as some sort of agitator. All I did was comment and correctly and validly that the Labour Party were inept and incompetent at getting the bedroom tax FACTS across which they were. Surely there must be someone in the Labour Party just even one of the hundreds if not thousands of researchers who know the simple FACTS I presented here and could have informed the largest opposition party of them ahead of this ‘debate?’ Yet clearly there was not and that is rank incompetence.

      Ever thought that the line of you cant criticise the Labour Party even when they are clearly incompetent is perhaps why they are so incompetent as this issue proves? Even a raaging alcoholic has to admit they have a drink problem to themselves before they can change

    2. Sorry I refuse to be portrayed as some sort of agitator. All I did was comment and correctly and validly that the Labour Party were inept and incompetent at getting the bedroom tax FACTS across which they were. Surely there must be someone in the Labour Party just even one of the hundreds if not thousands of researchers who know the simple FACTS I presented here and could have informed the largest opposition party of them ahead of this ‘debate?’ Yet clearly there was not and that is rank incompetence.

      Ever thought that the line of you cant criticise the Labour Party even when they are clearly incompetent is perhaps why they are so incompetent as this issue proves? Even a raaging alcoholic has to admit they have a drink problem to themselves before they can change.

  4. Joe I’m not calling you names but wouldn’t it be more effective for you to inform your potential allies in this fight than insult them? What I see is continued attacks on many potential allies in your blogs – as said before you win battles by busing alliances not by factionalism

  5. Having watched the whole 6 hour debate – and heard every speech – I think Labour MP’s did a really good job of spelling out the devastation the bedroom tax is causing to the poorest people. Also, I DID hear the argument, concerning ALL disabled people are exempt, contested by 2 MP’s, in their passionate speeches.

    Yes, the fight goes on – more people will now appeal the bedroom tax, as they will have to wait till 2015 before it is abolished.

  6. And that’s the way it started? (and the way it finished so for all the “hype” NOTHING was acheived) THUS headlines and posts (seen I’m sure by ALL) that Labour WILL ABOLISH BT TODAY are and have been rather unhelpful and somewhat premature, spread by ANTI groups mostly ……. FACTS not fiction is what’s needed and is what has always been needed and want is winning for people all over the country, the assumption that “appealing” will stop BT is also VERY VERY wrong in both BT terms and DHP terms, for a % possibly, BUT with councils & HAs all doing just exactly what they want to supposedly help in matters of BT NO person can nor has the right to soecifically and implicitly imply or otherwise that appealing will WIN it’s that simple as they just don’t know this (for fact) nor can they predict it, some DHPs are NOT being paid as DLA is being taken as income, and some BT appeals are NOT being heard through simply severe backlogs, caused by this continued appeal, appeal, appeal culture which is doing nothing for genuine waiting times for VERY deserving absolute exemptible cases causing them far more stress, strain and hassles, let alone Councils hard pushed to finance the real cases appeals and DHP payments let alone 10’s of 1000’s that can and will never win excemption nor DHP what it is obvious these groups would be far better doing is either join a group that is dealing with this correctly or at least STOP insisiting everyone and his dog, ferret and budgie appeals then we might just manage to get the available help to those who will get and who are the ones in the eligible groups before they loose their homes as evictions loom and secondary warnings go out !!!

  7. What can I say that already has been said, I was hoping the government would see sense at the impact it’s having on people and drop this horrific tax! I cannot afford to pay£72 per month on BT I just don’t have the money, I cannot starve myself 4 days a week to pay bedroom tax, like thousands of other people, not eating food can kill me because of heavy medication. To move will hospitalise me and months even years of agonising pain, or even permanent damage and cause me to be bedridden for the rest of my life! This is the impact it’s having on me, well just a fraction, hence I owe hundreds of pounds….Please can someone tell me where I can get money to pay this bedroom tax? If it’s any consolation people I will be on the TV programme Inside Out at the beginning of January, not only did I speak for myself, but the 100’s & 1000’s of people with there own story to tell, and the effect it is having on our health, my health has deteriorated drastically since this bedroom tax thing, not only the physical pain but the mental pain too. I could not move even if I wanted to, so I have no choice whatsoever. The GP wrote a letter to my council saying that a move would cause extreme pain and hospitalise me, I am housebound and in a heavily adapted home. That is against my human rights to cause detriment to my health. The Council are supposed to have a duty of care to safeguard my health…..in fact it’s totally the opposite so even councils are breaking the law…..whatever has happened to this country to treat poor, disabled and vulnerable people in this way? It really is shocking and upsetting, it’s like going back to Dickens days….Don’t know what this government are on about when they say they are taking this country forward……How can they blatantly lie? What do they think people are stupid? Hitler picked on the disabled and poor and vulnerable people, he sent them to the gas chambers…..we don’t need the gas chambers with this governments policies, he’s driving many people to suicide, caused more homelessness than any other government, people are starving and going cold. them on the streets are not allowed to build themselves shelters to combat the cold or weather, he wants us to die and shut up! Doesn’t that smack dictatorship?

  8. my impression was that they did address all the points that you raise in your article. It might have been better if they had incorporated the points into the body of their motion but the points were certainly covered in the debate

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