From the TUC

Housing Benefit cuts: Chancellor’s example only applies to three families

05 Nov 2010, by in Society & Welfare

In his Budget statement the Chancellor said:

Today there are some families receiving £104,000 a year in housing benefit. The cost of that single award is equivalent to the total income tax and national insurance paid by 16 working people on median incomes. It is clear that the system of housing benefit is in dire need for reform

The Daily Telegraph has now undertaken an investigation into how many families in the UK are recieving this much. Its conclusion: three.

£2 billion a year seems like quite a lot to save by cutting the HB of three households. In fact, even if each of these households had their entire HB benefit entitlement stopped (a move that would be counterproductive, as it would leave them homeless creating many additional funding costs) only 0.015 per cent of the savings the Government is seeking would be achieved. 

How could this be? The reality that the Government refuse to acknowledge is that the vast majority of losers from these changes are not large families in central London mansions, but low income households up and down the country.

7 Responses to Housing Benefit cuts: Chancellor’s example only applies to three families

  1. Tweets that mention Housing Benefit cuts: Chancellor’s example only applies to three families | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC — Topsy.com
    Nov 5th 2010, 5:04 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by diana smith , hand_of_Ike, ToUChstone blog, Michael Ellis, bee hive and others. bee hive said: Housing Benefit Chancellor’s example only applies to three families A public policy blog from the TUC: http://bit.ly/97a5ai @janissharp […]

  2. gwenhwyfaer
    Nov 5th 2010, 5:34 pm

    The reality of the housing benefit cuts is that *everyone* on LHA is going to lose about £10 a week to start with, and some will lose a great deal more. The only variable is when we’ll lose it; I get some excess, so I’ll lose it next May on my claim anniversary, whereas anyone whose LHA only just covers their rent, or fails to cover all of it now, will lose money as a result of the rebasing on their next claim anniversary but one – in essence, giving them two years to crowd out the lower end of the market, if they’re so lucky or flexible as to be able to. If not – well, apparently we’re all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others.

  3. Tax Research UK » Over-egging again George
    Nov 6th 2010, 7:07 am

    […] Nicola Smith at the TUC has reported, when George Osborne claimed the following he wasn’t quite telling the whole […]

  4. Housing – is the government planning to move the goalposts? | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Nov 6th 2010, 7:14 pm

    […] At the same time, the government’s defence of these changes looks increasingly threadbare. As Nicola has pointed out, the example the Chancellor has pointed to in justification apply to just three […]

  5. Housing – it’s about to get much worse | Liberal Conspiracy
    Nov 7th 2010, 10:02 am

    […] the same time, the government’s defence of these changes looks increasingly threadbare. As Nicola has pointed out, the example the Chancellor has pointed to in justification apply to just three […]

  6. Shameless policy-making « Same old played out scenes
    Nov 7th 2010, 4:49 pm

    […] for the TUC pointing out that Gideon’s example of families on £104,000 in housing benefits applies to just three families, perhaps someone could point out to the reality TV generation who seem to be in charge of policy […]

  7. Clare Fernyhough
    Nov 8th 2010, 11:26 am

    The Guardian article today was eye opening. Analysts are now saying that within 8 years the poor will be priced out of the south completely. The thing is, ‘us up north’ will be priced out of our properties by then anyway, so where are we supposed to go, further ‘up north’?

    Are cleaners, hospital cleaners in fact all minimum age workers going to be able to afford to commute to work from the midlands? Where does Cameron intend to house such people so they can continue to slave for those who are better off? The only other option left would be to relax overcrowding legislation so that people could be packed into a slum somewhere, three to a bedroom, much like some immigrants already have to live.

    As gwenhwyfaer stated above however, these changes will come in very gradually so that the odd family leaving an area will initially not be noticed.

    It’s a pity that we all can’t send a message to them and preempt what they are about to do by abandoning our properties en mass together, migrating to Scotland or Wales where I believe the new rules will not apply. Leaving their low paid jobs in the process and as a consequence abandoning them so they have to clean up, do the laundry, and cook for themselves. The landlords won’t have to lower their rents, there will be no rent to be had. Their privilaged system based on the exploitation of the poor will come to an end. Perhaps then they will be begging the poor to come back.

    It’s not going to happen though is it? Overcrowding then seems the only option if you don’t want to lose your home. Whilst there is no doubt that welfare needs reforming, we can only hope that if Labour do manage to regain power they will reverse these unworkable rules, but unfortunately by then it may already be too late.