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OneFootInTheGrave Report 17 Feb 2013 10:16

In 2010 David Cameron promised his government will be the most family friendly government in history.

I applaud any politician who says that family life is important, but it really infuriates me when they make promises like that and then bring in polices that make a total mockery of their promises :-\

Well wherever you live forget about making plans to come and stay with any of your relations for a few days, as this so called Bedroom Tax will totally screw up your plans as your relations will no longer be able to put you up :-(


JoyBoroAngel Report 27 Jan 2013 18:05

Buckingham palace has 240 bedrooms and is funned by tax
i wonder if lizzy

will have to down size to a one bedroomed flat :-D :-D


maggiewinchester Report 26 Jan 2013 15:46

Hampshire County Council has £3million in 'reserve'. But has cut jobs, pay for the plebs, social care for the elderly, children's centres and schools...but it IS building private care homes, as it slowly closes and sells off council ones.... It has also made a 'profit' on last years cuts. Well done them!! They (Winchester & Hampshire) have managed, over the past 5 years to build, on average 50 social houses a year in the city - instead of the 150 they were meant to.

There are 4 areas on the outskirts of the city that are ripe for the development of social housing. Winchester City council has applied for planning permission and been refused by Hampshire county council on all 4 plots.


Merlin Report 26 Jan 2013 14:28

Just a thought to add to the post, According to "Eric Pickles" many councils have Millions in a reserve funds for emergencies etc. What? is to stop them using this extra money now when it is needed,?,perhaps a swift kick up the rear might help them.**M**.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 26 Jan 2013 14:07

Maggie and Sue - 6 years ago before the Recession you might have been labelled as scroungers, but not now.
So many people have lost their jobs, and others are experiencing wage cuts, anyone who sat and thought about it won't assign every single person/family on benefits with the same label ;-)

This room tax has obviously not be thought through properly, with the effect that the honest citizens are being caught up in it + they (Govt or Council/HA) haven't released or found funds to purchase/build small homes for small family units.

Could someone please explain why a (say) 1 bed flat/house isn't cheaper to rent off a HA than a 2 or 3 bed place? If someone were to purchase such properties on the open market, , they'd expect the smaller place to be cheaper (not talking swanky flats, just something in an ordinary block or house conversion)

Looking at the Private rental market in our local town (sorted by lowest price first)

1 bed studio flat - £425 pcm
1 bed flat (seperate bedroom) - £450 pcm.
1 bed semi - £625 pcm
2 bed end of terrace - £675 pcm
3 bed terrace - £700 pcm

1 bed flats are being offered for sale from £60,000
2 bed flats from £90,000
2 bed house from £121,000
3 bed house from £130,000

:-S :-S


maggiewinchester Report 26 Jan 2013 13:39

There are 4,400 people on the council house waiting list in Winchester. Throwing the odd person out isn't going to make much of a difference is it?

An average rent for a 2 bedroom flat in the private sector in Winchester is £900 a month.

Not too good on maths, but, if someone is on HB, that is money the council isn't receiving.
Put elderly single person in B&B, put family on HB in their house, council still not receiving rent, but is also paying out money for B&B.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 26 Jan 2013 13:02

Might be of interest.

The local housing trust ( site incl' other organisations providing social housing in this area) has the following average waiting times.

1 bed properties = 9 months
2 bed properties = 11 months
3 bed properties - 8 months.

Of the 18 properties available this week , 2 are similar to my house,3 bed, sale value would be about the same ( though not in as 'safe' an area imo).

The houses from Housing Trust (council) are renting out for approx £437 a calendar month, which is I think around about what the mortgage payment would be in relation to the full sale price? Not much out anyway.

The private rental of same style 3 bed in same area as the council one is £525 ( which given the insurance, running repairs, costs of safety checks etc is not unreasonably high profit for the private landlord I don't think?).


maggiewinchester Report 26 Jan 2013 13:01

Sue, I've worked hard to pay my rent. At one point I could have bought my house - but it would have been a struggle, and ethically, I don't think social housing should be sold off, unless it is replaced.

Now, aged 56, I find I have to work an extra 6 years until I retire,
I work for a County council. 4 years ago, we were 'regraded', I and my colleagues, not on particularly high wages - a lot lower than the private sector in similar jobs - have lost £1000 in pay, and have been on a pay freeze since, thus accruing a pay loss of effectively £3500. Lucky us!!

If it carries on for much longer, I'll be on minimum wage (and probably better off), but, when I have to claim housing benefit, I, like Diane, will be classed as a scrounger.
It will be assumed it was my own fault for being 'feckless', a waster, and probably, as I was a (divorced) single parent (albeit working) an old slag too!
So, obviousy I will deserve to be thrown out of the home I've lived in for over 25 years. It was all my own fault.

Nothing to do with sucessive governments/ministers living in Ivory towers and knowing absolutely nothing - or caring - about the people they are supposed to be serving.


Sue Report 26 Jan 2013 12:40

re the buying of council houses, my aunt and uncle bought theirs, fairly late in life, and had lived there for many years and virtually paid for it in rent anyway. So in many ways i see that as a fair thing to do.

I see both sides of this debate, but feel this will have a knock on effect, in the breaking down of society, if families have to move away from each other, leaving vulnerable elderly people isolated.

On the other hand, people who do own their own houses, have worked hard, done without things, in order to have something of their own. It is out of order to interfere with them.


Diane Report 26 Jan 2013 12:29

Last night , well more like early hours this morning I sent an enquiry to a private landlord about a 1 bedroom property that was for rent about 2miles from me ( large house devided into flats ) rent was more than rent on my currant flat of 2 bedrooms, got a call from them about half an hour ago to say the flat had already gone but would contact me if anything else the same size became available, I asked one question " do you except tennants on benefits " the reply was only if I could get a working guarantor, and this applies with a lot of private landlords, so if housing association I'm with can't provide smaller flat and I can't rent one privately then I'm stuck with the 14% rent to pay :-(

My head is spinning with all of this stress, I'v been up all night worrying about it so I think I'd best try and get some sleep, will look in again later.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 26 Jan 2013 12:17

Re selling of council houses

Thatcher introduced it ( the only good thing she ever did for my family) but the councils were NOT allowed to use the money for building new council homes, the money had to go into the general pot.

Bit like a shop keeper selling off their stock but then not being allowed to re-stock at the wholesalers.


Diane Report 26 Jan 2013 12:05

Maggie I agree with alot of what you have said, though a lot of the houses sold by some councils were done so that the councils could make some quick money.
They also promised to build more houses to replace properties they sold but that didn't happen so hence the reason for shortage of properties
Even now a lot of ex council houses will not sell for the same value as none council houses, well not the one's on large council estate's.


maggiewinchester Report 26 Jan 2013 11:53

..But, DeT - some of the places AREN'T cheaper, and forcing people into B&B's because there are no 1 bedroom properties available is hardly a viable option, but is being enforced, and is more expensive.

It also means the person in B&B, remember, this is because they are on HB, extremely poor, and can't afford the bedroom tax, has to go out and buy any other meals in a cafe!!

Or, more likely, will have to go to the soup kitchen.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 26 Jan 2013 11:49

Can I just put in a quick point? it's off the cuff having read one or two of the more recent's not a well thought out argument for or against lol, but it did just strike me.

it doesn't seem quite fair to say (for eg) an older person should move out of their 2/3 bedroom home that they have lived in for donkeys years and get rid of their "clutter" ( treasured possessions?) now rather than later that someone with 3 children can move in...

I'm just looking at it from the personal perspective that if this house were a council house and I was on benefit, I wouldn't be thrilled to have to get rid of the things I treasure, bought with hard earned money (if not by me then ancestors) so that the family down the street with 3 kids, who claim benefit but make money 'on the side' could move in ....

Just having read it
Muffyxx Report 26 Jan 2013 00:32
Very true!


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 26 Jan 2013 11:34

*This tax does not affect those who don't claim HB*

The point I was trying to make is that >there is a paper trail < of those who can't afford their rent. By implication, the Council are trying to blackmail them to move to a cheaper, smaller place that they can 'fully' utilise as living quarters, rather than have a spare room they are using as storage, a study, or in case a relative comes to stay.

It comes back to an earlier opinion - chicken and egg - no smaller places being built for them to move into.


maggiewinchester Report 26 Jan 2013 11:08

Diane, it's a dire situation. A colleague at work,(we work 37hrs a week) who lives in a private rental, has to have a car to get to work, (the bus services in Hampshire have been cut so much, they're virtually useless now) has had to stop her internet connection - just can't afford it.

I didn't realise second home owners still got a council tax reduction!!
If everyone with second homes either paid in full or, even better, paid one and a half times the council tax, perhaps councils would have more money.

Council houses should not have been sold off in the first place. Those who bought them initially made a killing. Some people bought their parent's houses at an amazing discount, then, when the parent died, rented them out, with, of course a reduction on the council tax - the'd now joined the governments (not just this government's) 'proper' society.

Others, who bought them later had a harder time. The discount was less, they were convinced by the seller that the mortgage would be the same as their rent - it wasn't. They found they couldn't afford to buy after all, or lost their jobs. Their houses were reposessed and auctioned off at dirt cheap prices, and - they and their family had to be rehomed!

Just recently about 250 ex council houses in Wales were auctioned off, some for as little as £50000. Why weren't they sold back to the council at this price? One property developer (who bought a couple at £50000) did them up at little cost and sold them on for £450000.
Nice little profit if you have the cash to begin with.

Most council tenants DID work - there's vast under/unemployment now, despite the government's lies. If, instead of trying to claw money off the poorest in society, they started doing something to the infrastructure of this country - like mending the roads properly, building more social housing, instead of continuing to sell it off - people would have jobs, homes, better roads, and fewer empty shops.


Diane Report 26 Jan 2013 10:54

This tax does not affect those who don't claim HB DeT.

This proves it is a tax on the less well off and not a way to get people in Social housing to down size.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 26 Jan 2013 10:49

Anonymous benefit calculator.

The problem with this tax is that they are targetting those on HB as they have a record and an idea of how many people live in a property. They probably have no idea about those who aren't claiming.


Diane Report 26 Jan 2013 10:36

First let me say we don't have an ongoing tenancy agreement with housing Association, it is renewed every year in April when our rent goes up.

Now what I am about to say is not meant to course concern or alarm, it is just ment to show an example of one situation, but their are some that are worse than the one I will use, and I can only use my own as a true example.

This is fact not fiction.
One single person who worked hard for many years 7dys a week, worked for 12/13 wks then had week off, total days off is 28, no weekends or bank holidays off, payed Tax and NI insurance, paid full Rent and Full council tax. Lives in 2 bedroom flat for 11yrs with youngest son.
Now has become ( as some may say ) a benefit scrounger.
Youngest son has moved out of the flat at the age of 27yrs
Total income £71 a week
Full Rent and Council tax is payed for the flat.
From the 1st April Tennant has to pay 14% of rent and soon will have to pay 20% of Council Tax.
person pays out of weekly money the following amount's

£11-00 Rent
£ 5-00 Council Tax
£ 5-50 Water Rates
£ 3-03 TV licence
£ 6-00 Towards phone bill
£ 1-50 Insurance for washing machine
£ 1-30 GR subs
£ 2-50 Internet connection
£35-83 Total deduct this from £ 71-00 leaves £35-17p

This is what is left to buy food, pay for heating, electricity, clothes and bus fares to sign on and do shopping, about £5-00 a day to live on.
Now feels the home they have struggled to make comfy for themselves is no longer to be theirs and feeling a useless member of society and how can I live on such a small amount then decides what is the point and just give's up.
Goverment and Tax payer's savings in total would be £170-00 a wk


~`*`Jude`*`~ Report 26 Jan 2013 09:25

Morning :)

Not read all of this thread......but the Bedroom Tax is a disgrace.
Have any of you written to your mp's etc or contacted 38Degree's.....l'm about to check 38degree's website out!!


Edit...some amazing points here, you could all tell em so much!!!