Dangerous mistruths from Lib Dem bedroom tax apologists

Today sees the NPI think tank release a report saying the Lib Dems are right on the bedroom tax –

This is a lot of hot air based on ignorance of fact and a totally false premise:

It says:

“The concern that we should make better use of the social rented sector is legitimate: 8% of social rented households are overcrowded while 40% are under-occupied.

What a load of very dangerous nonsense this is, the 40% of social housing is under-occupied when the actual figure is just 10% as the English Housing Survey 2013 says by contrast:

• Under-occupation remained much more common in the owner occupied sector: around half (49%) of owner occupiers were under-occupying their homes in 2012-1 3, compared with 15% of private renters and 10% of social renters.

However, there was a decrease in the proportion of overcrowded households in the social rented sector

• Between 2010-11 and 2012-1 3, the rate of overcrowding in the social sector declined from 7% to 6%; with 241,000 overcrowded households in the sector in 2012-13, compared with 278,000 in 2010-11.

Hence the fact and the premise for the above arguments and the resultant comment that the Lib Dems are right to take their ridiculous position on the bedroom tax is a case of garbage in garbage out.

Note under occupancy was reducing even before the bedroom tax was introduced too and that there is 50% MORE under occupancy in the private rented sector than in social housing!

How dangerous is it that a national think tank quadruples the actual number of under-occupied properties and provides some more myth that the Tories would gladly make use of and represent, as they invariably do, a case of tell a lie often enough and it becomes fact.

As a classic example of this we see the Tory Chairman Grant Shapps also attacking the Lib Dem bedroom tax position in an article in the Telegraph today.

The journalist says

“The policy cuts £500 million from the welfare bill.”

Then he quotes Grant Shapps:

Mr Shapps said: “People will come to their own conclusions when they see parties u-turn on policies they’ve stood up for in the past. I would have thought the Liberal Democrats with tuitions fees would have learnt that.” “Them voting for that, never in private or in public arguing against it, then suddenly u-turning on it, people will come to their own conclusions.”

Where are they going to get that half a billion pounds from?

So here we have Grant Shapps Tory Party Chairman and the Housing Minister when the bedroom tax was introduce saying the bedroom tax saves £500m or half a billion which of course is the same thing.

Yet the DWP official data reveals that 471,000 households are affected each having a £14.30pw cut in HB. Multiply that to get the absolute MAXIMUM saving and we see it becomes £353m or so per year and a long way short of £500m

Tell a lie often enough (even when it has to be a KNOWN and DELIBERATE lie from Grant Shapps) and people take it to be fact.

So NPI are you going to amend your scurrilous and inept report which says under-occupancy in social housing is 4 times greater than the fact?

Facts are pesky eh reader!!

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11 thoughts on “Dangerous mistruths from Lib Dem bedroom tax apologists

  1. around half (49%) of owner occupiers were under-occupying their homes in 2012-1 3, .

    I am NOT an owner occupier but why are they being put into the equation? are they thinking of making people who have actually worked hard and bought their own homes, give them up after their kids have flown the nest and buy something smaller? surely owner occupied homes are nothing to do with anyone else as long as the owners pay their bills including council tax.

    1. No that wont happen. I just used the verbatim extract from the EHS which records all forms of housing to emphasise the point that under occupation is must LESS in social housing than in private rented

    2. Owner occupier homes have everything to do with homelessness and overcrowding- and perhaps in some instances under-occupation when so many are ex council properties, so maybe they should be made to move to a smaller property and their house brought back into council stock.

      1. but the buying of council houses by the tenants living in them at the time, started over 28years ago. i know that we,my husband and i, were thinking of buying one such property around that time or just before then. the owners had had it the statutary time and were able to sell. we didnt buy in the end, but it must have been sold several times over by now as were thousands of others no doubt,.so owner occupiers now are very likely NOT the original tenants who bought it initially. its hardly fair to make the present owners sell up if they are under occupied. they probably bought it so they could have their grandchildren and children to stay. a normal family life. they worked for it and deserve it. bad enough that social housing tenants are being deprived of a family life…just because they rent social housing,. yes i know a lot will also have worked and deserve a normal family life. no one reaping the benefits of living in those houses deserves to have the means of living a normal family life stripped from them as they are doing. but most have not bought their homes. they know when they rent,its never going to be theirs and rules can change.

    3. Whether or not it is fair to make current tenants sell up is a matter of opinion. Personally, my opinion is ALL ex-council stock should be returned to council control.

      I work and pay the rent on my council home, but should my circumstances be different it is hardly fair to make ME move because I chose or could not afford to buy my council home. I too would like to have family stay when my children leave to start families of their own. Why should things be different for me because I believe in Bevan’s concept of council homes for all?

      And I disagree that when they rent it will never be theirs; when I first rented, and when my parents rented we believed we were renting a property for life, and that the tenancy could/would be transferred to children still at home.

      Yes, rules can change and I say change the rules. If council houses must be sold, then let it be under a lease system, rather than an outright purchase, allowing council stock to eventually return to council control with the option for purchasers or their children to stay on as council tenants. That seems fair to me.

  2. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    SPeye Joe once again critiques the dangerous overestimates of the under occupied houses by the Lib Dems, and the entirely spurious claim that the Bedroom Tax will save half a billion pounds by unconvicted fraudster Grant Shapps, aka ‘Mr Green’. Disraeli once said that there were ‘lies, damned lies, and statistics’. Shapps and the Lib Dems show that there are ‘lies, damned lies, and Coalition statistics’, which are whoppers of Nixonian proportions.

  3. yes .people did believe they had a home for life, but it was never going to be THEIR property. it still belonged to the social housing landlord.and while i can agree with a lot of what you say, at the end of the day those houses WERE sold. and that should be an end to that. but if they were bought back, would it be at a loss? or would the present owners get a fair price,the going rate so they could buy something of a similar type.i.e. semi detached 2/3 bedroomed property?if thats what they now own. also why haS no new housing stock been built in all these years? to build new houses would bring badly needed new jobs, they would reap the money back in rents anyway.

  4. Hugosmum, we have a diametrically opposed view. Had people been content to live in their council homes and not been fooled by the idea that being a home-owner was good, we would not be in this mess now.

    The Tory party want to make capitalists of us all and did/do so partly by convincing us that we’ll be better people if we own our homes. I am happy- and proud to be a council tenant. I worry where my kids will live since they will be unlikely to be able to afford a mortgage and so will be at the tender mercies of private landlords- which is, in my view the aim of the Tories. Convince them to buy, cut wages and benefits to the point where folk can no longer afford to buy or pay their existing mortgage and we have them- tenant-fodder for our private landlord mates.

    As for the re-nationalisation of housing, it is my opinion there should be no buy back- the homes would be taken back into council control (and that goes for ex-council housing currently run by housing associations) with the occupiers being given the option to stay on as tenants with the same security of tenure that other council tenants enjoy.

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