Today the Labour Party and the Sunday Mirror are both saying if the bedroom tax remains this will cost each household £3800 over the next 5 years.
They are both wrong as it will be more than this and this is more than being pedantic as if the Labour Party cannot be bothered to get such obvious figure right – it takes no more than two minutes – then you have to doubt their competence.
The latest official DWP figures were published in November 2014 and state the position at August 2014 as they are 3 months behind. The next set of figures are due the second Wednesday in February and these will be the last figures before the May general election.
The latest August 2014 figures show:
This is from Table 3 of the data and I have added the calculation at the end to show that £14.92 per week average cut is £779 in the current 2014/15 tax year.
If we assume rent inflation of 1.5% the figures will be:
2015/16 – £790.69
2016/17 – £802.55
2017/18 – £814.58
2018/19 – £826.80
2019/20 – £839.20
That gives a figure of £4,073.82 which is 7% more than the £3800 figure quoted and assumes that the numbers hit by the bedroom tax remains at 472,000 or so and not as the Mirror article falsely claims at 488,000 which is the previous quarter figure.
It may be a minor point but every penny counts to bedroom tax households and why Labour simply did not say the bedroom tax will cost every affected household over £4000 in the next parliament is a simple point.
However it is going to be much worse that this as the House of Commons in another paper (note same source as the one in the Mirror and Labour Party release today) says this:
At the same time, the Government published its policy on rents for local authority owned social housing from April 2015 onwards – Guidance on rents for social housing. The guidance confirmed the Government would proceed with its policy of ending rent convergence in April 2015, and that CPI plus 1 per cent would form the basis of rent increases for the next ten years. For housing associations the relevant guidance is contained in Annex 3 to the Regulatory Framework (The Rent Standard).
Social rents will rise at CPI plus 1% as I have highlighted above and the CPI figure used is the previous September figure – so for April 2015 the September 2014 CPI figure of 1.2% is the base meaning rents will rise by 2.2%
IF the CPI figure remains at 1.2% on average then social rents will rise 2.2% per year as will the bedroom tax amount to be:
2015/16 – £796.14
2016/17 – £813.65
2017/18 – £831.55
2018/19 – £849.85
2019/20 – £868.54
A total of £4,159.73 which is 9.5% MORE than the Labour Party and the Sunday Mirror state today with the average bedroom tax cut being £16.65 per week in March 2020 compared to £14.92 as it is today or an overall 11.6% increase.
I expect all newspapers not just tabloids to get things wrong yet this takes about 5 minutes to work out and what the hell are Labour Party researchers doing? Are they that incompetent or just ignorant about the bedroom tax and social housing? We shall soon see as in the last parliamentary debate Rachel Reeves ineptly said the cost of removing the bedroom tax would be met by X, Y and Z.
Yet there is no cost whatsoever as AGAIN the actual figures show.
All of this coalition’s welfare policies aimed at reducing the Housing Benefit bill, the bedroom tax, overall benefit cap, the cap on LHA for private renting and the increase in the SAR age for those capped from under 25 to under 35 reveal on a like for like basis that these policies have INCREASED the overall Housing Benefit bill not reduced it at all.
Ok that may have taken me 20 minutes to work out and draft and explain which I did here over a month ago but no doubt the incompetent Labour Party will be drawn into where is the money coming from to abolish the bedroom tax debate which is a total NON DEBATE.
The Labour Party needs to KNOW what the bedroom tax is and start saying how it COSTS the taxpayer money just as the benefit cap and other welfare reforms COST the taxpayer.
The fact that they do means that the policies themselves are incompetent and the bedroom tax, overall benefit cap, LHA and SAR caps collectively increase the HB bill in other areas most notably but not limited to a huge increase in temporary homeless costs such as the £13,000 or so PER MONTH that the BBC found the LB of Westminster were having to pay to accommodate the homeless in hotels.
That is not a misprint and the BBC found the cost to be £13,000 PER MONTH and yes that is £3000 per week and £150,000 + per year. The benefit cap of £26k per year creates a housing benefit cost of £150k per year in Westminster to explain how a cap can and does lead to more being paid out by the public purse and taxpayer. The bedroom tax and the other policies which create homelessness have the same effect in hugely increasing the HB bill.
The huge increase in homelessness is a direct consequence of these welfare ‘reforms’ (sic) and reform means to improve so lets stop calling them that too as they have collectively been demonstrated using official DWP figures to make the situation worse not improve it at all.