DWP lies over benefit cap aided and abetted by ignorant and complicit NHF

The DWP continues to lie and deceive over the overall benefit cap and is being aided in this by its accomplice-in-chief the National Housing Federation who are (again) in cahoots with the DWP propaganda as the NHF news release below confirms.

benefitcapnatfed deceits

I draw your attention to the two emphasised sections underlined in red above.

The first sees the NHF policy team saying that any household with a disabled person is exempt from the overall benefit cap.  The DWP has tried out this lie before as I revealed here in July 2015 almost a year ago to be a deliberate and knowing lie given that a disabled person can be in receipt of ESA and in the work related activities group or ESA WRAG and these persons are NOT exempt from the overall benefit cap.

Also those in receipt of Severe Disablement Allowance or in receipt of Incapacaity Benefit are also NOT exempt from the overall benefit cap so we see the DWP and the NHF telling huge porkies about ‘the disabled’ being exempt!!

Remember the rightful brouhaha about the DWP taking £30 per week off ‘the disabled’ when they voted to take this weekly amount away from those who are disabled a few months back and the DWP response being those who are disabled want to work and we should not prevent them from working?  Yes – well that is precisely the group of disabled persons who ARE subject to the overall benefit cap that the NHF above repeats the DWP lie of those who are disabled are exempt from it!

Yes the DWP have a very conveniently ambiguous definition of ‘disabled’ haven’t they!  However the real issue here is how easily the National Housing Federation get sucked into this DWP deceit … assuming this is not deliberate on the NHF’s part given they chose to get into bed with this government?

Then secondly the NHF informs that the 23% reduction in the overall benefit cap from £500 per week down to £384 per week is going to be phased in from the autumn.  This is entirely new information as nowhere before has the 23% reduction ever been announced as a phasing in, even by DWP, and the “briefing for external partners” that the NHF news releases provides a hyperlink to from the DWP also makes no mention of any phasing in at all!

There is however a far more outrageous point in the above propagandist news release from the NHF and that is when it discusses local sharing protocols for tenants data after 10 June.

In simple terms your council will share tenant details of which benefits tenants receive with their housing association landlords who are private organisations and there is no difference in principle to your local council sharing the tenants personal income details with Tesco (or any other private company) and this quite bluntly is a fucking outrage.

This issue is precisely the type f public interest interest issue that the likes of Liberty should be hauling into the higher courts before it begins.  Yet given the huge secrecy over these protocols as they have been concocted in secret by the NHF with government and not released into the public domain so how can you take a public interest case to courts if you do not have a copy of what you rightfully need to legally argue against!!

The NHF say they need tenant’s welfare benefit and other details so that THEY can know which tenants are most at risk of eviction from the average £76 per week cut to housing benefit that the reduced OBC gives.  Yet housing associations are private companies and their correct name is PRIVATE Registered Providers and imagine the shitstorm that would happen if your council released the welfare benefit details of tenants to mainstream private landlords!

Yet that is exactly what is about to happen and you begin to see the point.

In fact the private landlord will evict far more tenants than social landlords with the new overall benefit cap levels and so if any type of landlord NEEDED to know tenants welfare benefit data then private landlords have a much greater need than housing associations.

So why are housing associations  – who this government is seeking to deregulate as a matter of urgency and make more private by the day  – able to get this private data on tenant welfare benefits yet private landlords can’t!!  Then again I could be wrong on this and these secretive ‘protocols’ may extend to private tenants having their welfare benefit details passed on to their private landlords!!

This stinks to high heaven and once again the tenant is not only being fucked over by government policy itself but doubly so by the actions of the government’s accomplice-in-chief in housing associations who apparently have convinced government that they need the tenants private welfare and other benefit details due to the overall benefit cap policy which does exempt tenants on some disability benefits such as DLA, PIP and ESA (Support) but does not exempt the disabled tenant in receipt of ESA (WRAG) or Incapacity Benefit or even Severe Disablement Allowance.

Tell a lie often enough and people believe it!

Rant over and none of the above should detract from the reality of the overall benefit cap reductions which will see the current 110 cases in my home city of Liverpool rocket to over 3000 cases of tenants caught by it.

Excluding London the reduced OBC will go from affecting 8,000 households now to around 200,000 UK households – and worst of all will see the scandal that 100,000 children are in temporary homeless accommodation in Shelter figures for Christmas 2015 increase to well over 500,000 and as many as 700,000 by Easter 2017 some 6 – 8 months after the massive 23% reductions take place.




7 thoughts on “DWP lies over benefit cap aided and abetted by ignorant and complicit NHF

  1. I am so f***** off by the benefit cap. I am on it off it on it. I’m working as a supply teacher till July, then exam marking, but then back on benefit cap for August when I once again become skiving shirking scum. And I have not a single clue when 20k cap is coming here to Bath. I moved house especially to prepare for the 20k cap in April but it never happened, so all I got was four kids running riot in 2bed house and now we’re all stressed out.

  2. And another thing, I’m sick of losing my universal credit work allowance on the months when I don’t work. I can just imagine the face of some young conservative being told that they won’t get a tax rebate when their income for the year was £11000 but they earned it all April to Sep so the £1100 tax they were charged stands.

  3. Strange that Nat Fed said it will be phased in – I haven’t heard that anywhere either. Perhaps it was implied in a private conversation? It was my understanding that they just hadn’t decided (or told us about) on an exact date yet.

    I was nodding my head until I got to your outrage that councils may share data with housing associations where there are data sharing agreements in place.

    You say sharing this data with HAs is comparable to sharing it with Tesco? And yet you yourself constantly berate HAs for losing their social purpose?

    Helping tenants deal with benefit changes is a part of that social purpose! You can’t have it both ways – either you want HAs to be social, and to deliver services at arm’s length on behalf of the state, or you want them as private organisations who are free to do what they want with no accountability. If they are the former, which they still remain, despite your careful selection of bad cases that you write about, then you should be in favour of data sharing between LAs and HAs – this can only benefit the tenant!

    1. Reuben we agree on the phasing in bit as you say but you then your argument is naive argument over social purpose for me.

      Some HAs have very good welfare teams, others have not and some don’t have any at all. Yet they all share an inability to meet tenant welfare benefit needs and there are a number of other issues too.

      The premise that HA’s help or indeed can help social tenants is bogus (however much I would like to agree with it in principle and wish it were not) as the reality is that HA’s do NOT have the trust of their tenants which is vital to tenants seeking help with ‘benefits’ from their landlord. Tenants do NOT have trust in their landlord and, again regrettably so, because they cannot afford to trust their landlords which you assume wrongly to be a given.

      The argument that I only state or choose to cite bad HA examples and that they are rare is a fallacy. If I believed that tenants could afford to trust social landlords then I would also still be ‘ranting’ over the privacy aspects of this too. You forget I have lauded some HA’s for example Coast & Country who actively support their tenants to appeal the bedroom tax and that is a good analogy here.

      Welfare benefits to HA’s out of necessity and resources focuses upon benefit-maximisation-easy-tick-box-20-minute-per-tenant-help in the main yet the vast majority of tenant benefit issues are extremely resource intensive and HA’s simply cannot afford to do this properly as they do not have the resources, or in many respects the inclination or even the expertise – all of which your point about HA’s helping tenants with benefit issues assume! This is compounded by HAs responding to 1% rent cuts imposed with 15% staffing cuts and so the lack of necessary resources before the 1% cut are further massively reduced in terms of being ABLE to help tenants.

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