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.
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.