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More on Bedroom Tax farce

(17 Posts)
MamaCaz Mon 14-Oct-13 12:58:56

This isn't a rant against asylum seekers. It's simply highlighting one of the many absurdities surrounding the bedroom tax.

petallus Mon 14-Oct-13 13:16:54

That seems unfair on the face of it.

Can we rely on the veracity of this article though?

MamaCaz Mon 14-Oct-13 13:37:23

I think so. I have been following its author on Facebook for quite some time and know that he is a respected housing professional.

MamaCaz Mon 14-Oct-13 13:49:48

I should add that I have been following most of his blogs, too. This guy is as sharp as a razor and always provides links to back up his claims.

Eloethan Mon 14-Oct-13 14:17:05

Yet another policy from the Tories that turns out to be unfair and counter-productive.

On Radio 4 this morning there was a discussion about the York Study re what has happened since the bedroom tax was introduced.

It was suggested that the new tax may in fact increase costs because many people were moving into the private sector where rents are higher. Esther McVeigh obviously denounced the study, saying it couldn't be taken seriously as the people commissioning it (housing associations I think) were not neutral. When the interviewer asked in what way the study was unreliable, she just kept repeating the same thing.

MamaCaz Mon 14-Oct-13 14:22:43

Yes, and apparently she suggested that social landlords had a vested interest in the bedroom tax. How exactly? confused

Jendurham Mon 14-Oct-13 14:23:52

Yes, Eloethan, it was on the news just now. She said that the housing associations were not a representative sample and had a hidden agenda. Not like the government, of course. They reckon it hasn't done what was intended anyway, as many people have not moved, but pay the extra rent. The government gave councils emergency funds, but these were only for 6 months, so it will be from now on that the full effect of the law comes into being.

Jendurham Mon 14-Oct-13 14:38:06

The interesting thing in the bulletin is that local authorities are only supposed to consider bedrooms, not the total number of rooms, clause 4 in the bulletin, even though they call it a spare room subsidy.
I think you have to be able to open the door to get into the bedroom as well, so that's an extra 9 square feet, allowing for the door frame. Unless they expect them all to have bi-fold or sliding doors!

Jendurham Mon 14-Oct-13 14:52:35

15.2 sq ft. only allows for a 2 ft. 6" wide bed.

FlicketyB Mon 14-Oct-13 21:44:18

I can accept that Housing Benefit levels need to be based on household size, but. as has been shown in the York study setting space standards can lead to demands for higher rents from private providers and inflexibility when the needs of an individual may mean that a different disposition of space is required.

And what about the houses proposed by one builder in my area? They plan to build two bedroom houses with an upstairs study. Why is it called a study not a bedroom? Because the third room upstairs is too small to get a bed into it! OK for a cot, but nothing bigger. How does that fit with the space requirements. If there are no small children in the household does this count as two bedrooms or three?

vampirequeen Mon 14-Oct-13 22:38:16

If it's 15.2 sq ft or larger than it's a bedroom.

Jendurham Mon 14-Oct-13 22:58:14

It depends on what you call household size, Flickety.

Do you believe that anyone should be forced to live in a one bedroomed place just because their children have left home?

Do you believe that a couple should be forced to live in a single bedroomed flat, with no spare room for guests or office or grandchildren to stay when visiting?

Do you believe that if you have two children of the same sex, then they should be forced to share a bedroom until they are sixteen, so you can only have a two bedroomed house or flat?
When the older one reaches sixteen, then the family can move to a three bedroomed place, but only until one of the children leaves home. Then it's back to two bedrooms.
Of course, if the children are opposite sex, then you can have a three bedroomed place once the older one is ten, but you still have to move to two bedrooms when one of them leaves home.

It's just punishment.

Jendurham Mon 14-Oct-13 23:01:12

Oh, and 15.2 sq. ft. is the area of a 2 ft. 6 inch bed, not a bedroom, but I do not expect any member of the DWP to know that.

MamaCaz Tue 15-Oct-13 08:53:29

If they took the 15.2ft" thing to extremes, they could start dividing up existing bedrooms into these cells - then put bunk-beds in - and probably sleep a family of at least ten in what is currently a 2 bedroom house. In their eyes, presumably no overoccupation!

It just proves what a farce it is to judge over/underoccupation by number of bedrooms alone. Surely total habitable living space should come into the equation?

MamaCaz Tue 15-Oct-13 10:15:55

And unless I'm mistaken, 70 sq ft is the minimum legal bedroom size in the private rented sector. Remind me again, doesn't the Government keep banging on about the new legislation bringing the social rented sector into line with the private sector? Only the bits that suit them, it seems!

FlicketyB Tue 15-Oct-13 18:02:12

jendurham, no of course I don't. I was thinking of cash levels not this current policy of limiting benefit claimants right to Housing Benefits based on a room count. That is ludicrous and I have always thought so.

The cost of Housing Benefit has rocketed because rents, particularly in the private sector,in particular, have risen relentlessly in recent years. It is the housing crisis, particularly in the south east that needs to be tackled, not penalising the victims of the rent rises.

MamaCaz Fri 18-Oct-13 10:35:25

Another great blog here that highlights the holes (lies?) in the Government's justification of bedroom tax: