The House of Commons library is and has to be a non-political source yet their latest report on the bedroom tax released today reveals they are either politicised and issuing pro-government propaganda or they are incompetent.
Page 1 paragraph 2 sees: –
The estimated savings in each year arising from the measure are £490 million in 2013-14,
£525 million in 2014-15 and £560 million in 2015-16
Skip to page 4 and we see a table of the official data each month from May 2013 to Feb 2014 which I reproduce and this demonstrates that the bedroom tax could not possibly save the figures the government claim and which the House of Commons Library simple repeats:
|Month||Number||Wkly average||Yearly £|
My table using the official figures shows that in May 2013 there were 547,431 households hit by the bedroom tax which had an average cut of £14.65 per week. This would see a maximum saving (which note well incredulously assumes the bedroom tax holds no costs whatsoever) of £418.39m in a full year.
As each successive month reveals both the number of affected households hit by the bedroom tax has reduced as has the average weekly amount. The latest figures for Feb 2014 revealing a maximum possible saving of £356.86m
The average maximum saving is then computed and is given at £386.146m above.
Set aside the many valid arguments which show that the bedroom tax costs more than it saves and that the coalition in its naivety assumes it has absolutely zero cost whatsoever (what are DHPs if not costs etc) then why do we see the highly regarded and usually highly independent House of Commons Library persisting with the government propaganda that the bedroom tax will save £490m in its first year?
Is it any wonder than 651 MPs dont have a bloody clue when they read inept and incompetent research such as this?
Surely the austerity cuts are not that deep that the House of Commons Library researchers cannot go down to Poundland and buy a calculator!!
Or has the HoC Library succumbed to the IDS level of dismissing numbers as mere pesky facts?
This simple blog took 5 minutes to draft and that includes the numbers which the HoC library failed to crunch in a bog standard spreadsheet or with a £1 calculator
Whatever the reason this report and research has for this woeful opening statement and assertion that £490m can even in theory be saved is inexcusable and damages the deserved high reputation of the HoC Library as independent. Get it sorted!