The majority do not know their rectum from their humerus when it comes to the benefit cap and especially the Labour Party!
The Labour Party support the cap, indeed it was in the manifesto and the policy is fine they say with the absurd caveat of the availability of DHPs!
The policy itself has an unheard of 78% public approval rating though the public can at least in part be excused for thinking a benefit cap leads to a reduced pay out of benefit when the facts prove it increases the amount of benefit paid out.
This also increases the amount of taxes the individual member of the public has to pay in order to pay the increased cost of a policy they assume must cost less because surely a cap must equate to a reduced cost. It doesn’t as the figures below show.
It is undeniably true that the Tory benefit cap along with the Tory tax and the two other caps (LHA and SAR) that were developed to reduce housing benefit have increased the overall housing benefit bill.
The sheep represent the Labour Party who only yesterday re-iterated their support for the benefit cap policy, a policy they have had since 2011 to be reduced on a regional basis promoted by Liam Byrne and a policy that was included in their manifesto to reduce, albeit by a contrived form of referring to the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) for their opinion.
A classic top show fudge in reality as SSSAC were regularly asked for opinion that the Labour Party regularly ignored when in office between 1997 and 2010, most often with its Supporting People programme and most latterly taking away the ring fence on SP funding for vulnerable people and why we have so much more homelessness and unmet chronic support need today.
Oh dear, there I go again criticising the Labour Party, an organisation almost as Teflon coated as social landlords with regard to criticising and for which I was lambasted by the sheep who follow them in a… well…. sheepish way!
The Labour Party are sheep too in supporting the benefit cap and its reduction and yet unlike the general public you WOULD expect them to know what the policy is, how it works and its inevitable consequences which includes at least a doubling of homeless CHILDREN this year alone and maybe even a quadrupling of the number of CHILDREN that will undoubtedly be evicted and made homeless by ALL landlords this year and forever after all down directly to the overall benefit cap policy.
Yet believe me, this gets worse!
In supporting the benefit cap and so openly and publicly a strong argument is there that the Labour Party has made it even easier should the Tories wish to reduce the cap limit even further – and that was mooted in the General election build up with the notion of a lower regional cap figure, which of course has its roots and derivation in the Labour Party.
It is bad enough that should the reduced cap figure of £23k per year remain the same throughout this parliament it means that more and more households will be caught by it (and more children evicted) because rents will rise each year meaning that a constant cap limit of £23k from 2015 to 2020 sees tenants having greater cuts year on year and have it make even greater unaffordable rent top ups else be evicted.
Of course the reduced benefit cap also makes the affordable (sic) rent or AR model even more financial toxic with genuinely affordable rent, or social rent, rising to 80% of gross market rent, and as such evicting even more children from social housing. A classic example of this I came across when invited to a public meeting tomorrow at which the new Labour MP for Ellesmere Port, Justin Madders is speaking. His website says this on social housing:
If Labour wins control of Cheshire West in the local elections, our pledge is to deliver a minimum of 1,000 affordable homes over four years, with at least 200 additional social rented homes.”
So 1000 new homes of which 20% will be social rent and the other 80% or 4 in every 5 will be the AR model that a tenant on benefit cannot afford and a social landlord cannot afford to let to the benefit tenant!
A Spicer up your life issue for housing in Ellesmere Port (oblique reference that housing people will get reader) don’t worry your head about it. Apart from the country having no opposition to Tory austerity you should be worrying about what it really means…
No job, no house and lose job lose house … and lose it quickly is Tory and Labour Party policy!
Frankly my take on this is that the Labour Party before May 7th were so shit scared of being labelled ‘pro-welfare’ by saying the benefit cap costs more that they went along with this contrived manifesto commitment of asking SSAC to look at it. Now the fact we are post general election and even the Labour Party’s own most listened-to, Blairite and Prospect dominated think thank in the IFS, publicly states the benefit cap costs more.
Yet Labour is still shit scared 5 years ahead of the next election to be labelled ‘pro-welfare!’ Or in simple terms craven ignorant cowards who have no principles and definitely no balls.
Here is the IFS think tank saying the benefit cap, and indeed the bedroom tax and other two HB caps, actually cost the taxpayer more in real terms, or to put it so simply that even the most sheepish adherent of the Labour Party can understand, it doesn’t work!
The more you reduced the benefit cap the greater the cost INCREASE to the taxpayer as the main reason for the overall cost increase to housing benefit is the massively increased cost of homelessness housing benefit it directly creates, such as the £153k per year cost to house one family alone as the BBC reported here.
Way before the next election the benefit cap is going to collapse and the public is going to be very angry indeed over that as they will see they have been treated like sheep too and been fed a known lie from IDS and the Tories. In fact when the general public see CHILDREN being evicted as they are directly targeted with the benefit cap the public, even the most British of British stiff-upper-lip we never rise up to complain British public will get extremely angry and will rise up.
The bone idle scrounging shirker the Tories characterised in the bedroom tax, by definition an under occupier likely to have no children and taking up a scarce public resource was an easy target for Tory blame strategies, yet that failed and every party bar the Tories committed to getting rid.
However, the benefit cap attacks the opposite, the fully occupying tenant not under utilising this scarce resource, not the subject of ire of the ‘hardworking’ taxpayer, it is the Mum staying at home looking after her CHILDREN many of whom will be unable to work because of their children’s needs and the high cost of child care should they work.
The benefit cap is a crude blunt instrument like the bedroom tax taking no allowance whatsoever of why Mum or Dad are not in a job, remembering that whom the Tory blame game call ‘workless’ is not just those unemployed, it is the 20% of social tenants more correctly called “other inactive”in the English Housing Survey – in crude simple terms the sick, disabled and carers who are unable to work for those reasons. They will be subject to HB cuts of between 2 and 7 times the unaffordable bedroom tax average. They will be evicted inevitably and will create huge additional cost to housing benefit far greater than what went before. I would not be surprised if the housing benefit bill increased by £5 billion per year in real terms directly by reducing the benefit cap limit.
The benefit cap is the exception to one of my most rigidly adhered to rules – that the cost of any public policy is the best way to view and challenge a policy.
The benefit cap DIRECTLY TARGETS CHILDREN AND DIRECTLY EVICTS CHILDREN and making CHILDREN homeless breaks the primacy of the cost argument. The British public will be outraged when at Christmas this year instead of Shelter’s campaign of Christmas 2014 saying 93,000 children homeless at Christmas is an outrage, it will say 193,000 children or even 293,000 children are homeless at Christmas.
Then tag on with – and by the by this costs you the taxpayer a bucket load more in tax to pay for this offensive failed policy and the British public outrage will reach levels never seen before.
Of course in supporting the benefit cap, the idiotic Labour Party not only help the zealous IDS reduce the cap further, they also miss out on the political kudos and public support they would get for opposing this truly idiotic incompetent and offensive policy in the first place.
Don’t worry reader I will spare you the 113,000 Sheep tags that all deserves for the truly incompetent f*ckwits who decide Labour Party policy. A nice round number 113,000 as that is the estimate of the National Housing Federation (deserving of the same 113,000 sheep) who say the reduced benefit cap will see an additional 90,000 families caught by it this year which adds to the 23,000 currently hit by the £500 per week cap. The NHF will not be fighting the reduced benefit cap and seemingly think 300,000 children is acceptable collateral damage
My usual reader will have noticed by liking of numbers – unlike politicians they don’t LIE – and the Tory benefit cap reduction sees and increase from 23,000 families affected to 113,000 affected is a 491% increase in household numbers!
An additional 90,000 families who will have on average at least 3 children and who all will be evicted and quickly.
90,000 times 3 children per household is a mere and additional 270,000 CHILDREN at severe risk of eviction and homelessness this year alone, a figure that will increase year on year.
This is a policy the truly incompetent fuckwits of the Labour Party openly support!!
Want some more reader?
Ok, firstly when these families are inevitably evicted because they have children the local council will have to find and pay for exceedingly expensive interim accommodation.
Typically that may be putting the family, say 2 adults 4 children in two rooms at a Travelodge at say £69 per room per night – a cost of £966 per week.
Two rooms with no cooking facilities, no privacy and nowhere even for the children to do their homework and let’s presume the children don’t have to move schools which is rather unlikely too.
This interim accommodation becomes in essence permanent accommodation as the council is unable to find anywhere, not even in the cheapest council flat that is affordable to the family and would be deemed a suitable end of their legal duty to the family.
Yes the £966 cost per week becomes a housing only cost in excess of £50,000 per year because of a policy of a £23,000 per year cap.
Oh and the 2 adult 4 child family would still receive £410.72 per week in welfare benefits and child tax credits – so over £71,000 per year cost to the taxpayer when before the overall benefit cap was reduced they received £500 per week or £26,000 per year.
You reader as a taxpayer have to cough up more to pay for this and in two distinct ways.
Central government will tax you more and probably through indirect taxation such as a vat increase – the type that falls more indiscriminately on the lowest income households working or not. Then your local council faced with a huge increase in cost to house these evicted families, noting that they will only get a certain percentage of that £966 per week cost back from central government, will need to increase council tax or local taxation.
By the way the massive need for increased local council tax will see the likes of the Northern Powerhouse and of course governments in Scotland and Wales take the blame for this and so deflect it away from the Tories at central government.
Baldrick has been working overtime, but then again as I have shown above even Baldrick can outwit the Labour Party in their truly incompetent fuckwittery in supporting the benefit cap!
Hard to believe the Labour Party sheep tore a strip off me last month for daring to mention that it was Labour’s policy to support the benefit cap and its reduction , isn’t it reader? I put the following in one of my blogs as an example…
Just another dimension on the benefit cap is that while the bedroom tax challenge has been dominated by ‘storytelling’ from the 63% or so bedroom tax households who include a disability, the benefit cap households are unlikely to have such a high disabled percentage within them and as the benefit cap horrors will soon surpass the horrors and perniciousness of the bedroom tax, then will the emotive disability aspect of the bedroom tax subside in the public psyche?
Yes it will and the many excellent disability lobbies who have kept the bedroom tax in the public eye will need a new angle of challenge. I know you won’t blame this messenger and please don’t have a seizure for me saying this…