We have stopped the burgeoning welfare benefit spend the country cant afford chirps IDS ad infinitum
We have cut Housing Benefit spend with the Bedroom tax and Benefit Cap (blah blah blah)
It is only workless scroungers who claim Housing Benefit (blah blah blah) Here’s a graph of those in work and claiming HB!
Oh by the way dear reader all the above simple graphs come form figures produced by …Yes you’ve guessed it IDS’s own Department of Work & Pensions. Would you like a few more? Oh ok then!
What about we can’t afford the burgeoning welfare state argument (blah blah blah) How much do we in the UK spend as a percentage of our GDP compared to other European (boo hiss!) countries. The Economist tells us:
Yes those well known welfare benefit spendthrifts the Germans can manage to afford to send 12% more than the UK on their welfare state.
Surely then the Germans must be taxed more to afford this largesse on welfare benefits. Lets’s see what the Economist says on that:
As you can see the Germans pay the same effective tax rates but receive more in employee social security
You care for some more lies IDS’s DWP says about welfare benefit spend? Here is what they said this week after they released the allegedly independent report into the bedroom tax
And here again in a form so simple even DWP can not misunderstand is the official DWP figures for the Housing Benefit spend
Can you spot the hidden £6bn HB savings the DWP claim? No neither can I!!
What about the head honcho himself the Prime Minister as he is not afraid of throwing in some whopping porkies. You will recall numerous occasions that Cameron has said the disabled are exempt from the bedroom tax. Try here and here for example. So if Cameron is not fibbing through his hat can you tell me why the bedroom tax report this week had this nice little pie chart? It shows that local councils take into account the disabled claimants DLA as income in whether to award a DHP to mitigate the bedroom tax! Yes that’s the same disabled applicant who Cameron tells us is exempt from the bedroom tax so why are they applying for a DHP then Prime Minister?
Do you recall read reader IDS and Lord Freud saying only a small number of vulnerable households had the bedroom tax wrongly imposed? Their estimate was between 3,000 and 5,000 in total across the country when research from a FOI request revealed their was likely to be over 40,000 households affected – the same as I predicted. Has the coalition ever released the final figure? Has the Labour Party forgotten to follow this up and tell us just how many vulnerable households had the bedroom tax wrongly imposed?
Here is an oldish graph which compares actual figures (which will have risen) compared with the DWP estimates:
But then what is a bedroom and what is under occupying? On that latter point see this from the then Housing Minister Grant Shapps as Hansard recalls:
“Under-occupying households are those with at least TWO bedrooms more than they need..” Yes that does say TWO dear reader!
So what is a bedroom? Oh yes the DWP steadfastly refuse to define that don’t they? They also say outside of a kitchen, bathroom and living room that all rooms must be bedrooms. Yes that’s the same DWP who administer other welfare benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or dole. And looky here what the JSA Online claim form says: –
Yes the same DWP allows the claimant to have rooms other than bedrooms and even offers STUDY or UTILITY ROOM or a PLAYROOM as an example of what a claimant may legitimately have in their property. Yet woe betide the HB claimant who says a disputed room is not a bedroom its a study eh!
Ah cake and eating it dear reader? Why of course that’s the case!
Yes the 3 pictures above are a bedroom according to DWP and the local authority in this case Sefton MBC …and because the tenancy agreement and the landlord says so. Of course a bed could not even fit into this room but hey the landlords asset register which they transmitted to the council had not been updated with the vertical lift taking out one of the former bedrooms.
Yes dear reader that is the basis on which the bedroom tax decisions were taken and one other council Bury MBC kindly revealed precisely what information they got back from landlords and the entirety of how their decisions were taken was commonplace across all councils in the UK
Hard to believe that a family’s life has been turned upside down with the life changing bedroom tax decisions based on the above isn’t it? Well that’s the stark reality dear reader!
I could go on and on with this pictorial representation of the bedroom tax. But I will finish (for now) with an excerpt from the Welsh Quality Housing Standard below.
Note this is just a pointer as is the Housing Acts of 1985, 1988 and 2004 over what constitutes the term ‘bedroom’ in terms of floor size. Just a pointer dear reader yet in the absence and steadfast refusal of DWP to define the term bedroom we are left with Tribunal judges having to determine what the term ‘bedroom’ means and the diagram below does help in that regard by giving accurate dimensions of a bed, bedside cabinet, dressing tables and wardrobes – the usual and normal furnishings which make a room a bedroom – and the necessary space needed between these necessary furnishings too.
I was going to conclude with some words here. Yet words can be ambiguous and downright misleading cant they IDS…you know as in the “I believe it to be right” piffle you spout when the likes of the ONS and NAO find you and your DWP mislead, dissemble and overtly and knowingly lie.
If a picture paints a thousand words then each one is 3 letters long begins with L ends in E and has I in the middle when it comes to your version of the bedroom tax and welfare reforms.
Let’s unmask the villain here and think of Scooby Doo – IDS would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky facts!!