Tory Chairman Grant Shapps publicly misleads (ahem!) about the bedroom tax

Grant Shapps the Chairman of the Conservative Party and former Housing Minister today lied about the bedroom tax policy live on air.  He stated that

“If you can go out and work 17 hours you are completely exempt from the policy.”

This is an untruth; it is a falsehood; it is a lie.  There is no such exemption at all in the bedroom tax policy and Grant Shapps knows this only too well.

It is incredulous to believe that the minister responsible when the policy was debated does not know how the policy works.  It has to be a case of deliberately and knowingly misleading the public from Grant Shapps (aka Michael Green aka Sebastian Fox)

Here is the link to the LBC radio programme today when Shapps made this howler of an obvious and known lie.

For the record if you are of working age and entitled to any amount of Housing Benefit then you are liable for the bedroom tax if your local council deems you are under occupying.  There is no exemption from the bedroom tax if you work 17 seconds, 17 minutes 17 hours or 17 hours per day.

Additionally, Shapps also lies in this 2 minute 40 second appearance by saying the government has given hundreds of millions of pounds for bedroom tax DHPs too.  £345m over two years is for all DHP purposes not just for bedroom tax which was allocated £55m in 2013/14 and £65m this financial year of 2014/15 to which the HB circulars S1 of 2013 and S1 of 2014 confirm.

That in 2 years only amounts to £120m and by definition cannot be ‘hundreds’ of millions of pounds in any case.

Anyone else find this very disturbing that the Chairman of the Conservative Party and Housing Minister when the policy was being debated chooses to lie about what the policy is and how it works?

Or with IDS lying about it and other welfare reforms on a weekly basis and even the Prime Minister telling Parliament on no less than three occasions that the disabled are exempt in the bedroom tax have we become inured to these knowing lies?

I doubt the ineffective Her Majesty’s Official Opposition (ie the Labour Party) who have had chance after chance of exposing these known and deliberate lies the Tories have repeated about the bedroom tax will take up this chance at any future Prime Ministers Questions as they should have done and still should do.

Just as Labour has failed to point out, as I did here, that in real terms the overall Housing Benefit bill has increased despite the bedroom tax, the benefit cap, the LHA cap and the increase in the SAR age which were all specifically aimed at reducing the overall HB bill.

Gift, horse and face anyone?

To all those diehard Labour supporters who criticise me for being cynical about their proposal to abolish the bedroom tax policy, please ask yourself why they have not made the huge political capital out of these easily proven lies that the Tories repeat about the policy.  I have no truck with the Labour Party and the comment is not a political one.  I am merely saying AND PROVING that the Labour Party is incompetent in opposition to a policy that is the worst and most pernicious social policy in living memory from any party – that inspires no confidence whatsoever in their ability to get rid of it.

They are incompetent time and time again as the case above when Cameron said the disabled were exempt was at PMQs when the Labour Party raised the issue and Miliband did not know enough of the policy to correct and severely politically embarrass Cameron for saying the disabled were exempt.  Rachel Reeves when she had the Opposition Day debate on this last month again failed to mention that the policy costs more as I said here and YET AGAIN Her Majesty’s Official Opposition failed to take advantage of that issue.

How many MORE chances are Labour going to let slip through their fingers by NOT knowing what the policy is and how it works?

It is time the Labour Party rammed my cynicism down my throat that their opposition to the policy is all about it being a vote winner and nothing else!  If they finally knew their brief and attacked the Tories on their lies about the policy I would be more than happy to eat my hat on this issue.  God forbid they wouldn’t want me to state – accurately as it happens – that UKIP were the first party to say they would abolish the bedroom tax!  Surely the Labour Party are losing enough ‘working class’ votes to Nigel Mirage and his lot already!





12 thoughts on “Tory Chairman Grant Shapps publicly misleads (ahem!) about the bedroom tax

  1. I was reading up on care home requirements as our local one is closing because to bring it up to todays standards would be to costly,the thing that jumped out was that all Bedrooms must be a minimum of 12 Sq Metres (129.7 Sq feet) to be considered a bedroom..So what actually is a Bedroom? Why is their not a standard size or definition? FFS! Could it be that most social housing would not be considered fit for purpose?

  2. Very interesting. Lots of social housing doesn’t even have a lounge of 12 square meters, let alone bedrooms of that size. No wonder the Government is going to such lengths to avoid being tied down to the issues of size and definition!

  3. Hi Joe I have to agree with the very valid point you are making. It appears that all opposition spokespersons are playing constant catch up. This is as a result of constant bombardment on FB twitter etc from party members and others. Not a bad thing. Making policy on the hoof is not desirable though if that what it is. Could it be keeping the powder dry ? By not making the challenge at PMQs and other opportunities then this has resulted in the Tories becoming bullish to the point of lying publicly. Sometimes when in a tangle with an opponent pulling them towards you rather than pushing them gives you a better advantage of tripping them up. Just a thought.

  4. My bedroom is 56.25 square feet and all I have is a double bed and a chest of drawers. How can they say that is okay for a 40 year old women to live. No walking space around my bed I have to crawl into bed at night .

  5. We MUST ALL continue to APPEAL the BT with our councils.
    Ask them how they define a bedroom?
    Use their response as part of your appeal.
    Tell them you wish to go to Tribunal.

    At the same time, also apply for a DHP. If you are refused, ask for a reconsideration.

    We have no choice but to keep on fighting.

    AND, of course vote this government OUT in the General Election.

  6. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    SPeye Joe show how Grant Shapps lied about the people working 17 hours per week are exempt from the bedroom tax. They aren’t. He also takes the Labour party to task for its apparent incompetence in tackling the Tories over this issue.

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