A thought….

June 26, 2010

..re housing benefit cut. Has anyone actually looked at the salary range covered by housing benefit in the South East? THe scounger rhetoric, depends on people not really knowing any different. And that is fairly easy to maintain when you are cutting the poorest, those who are already marginalised- less likely to vote, less chance of sympathy…

What if house prices were so high, that housing benefit was subsidising the housing of people who really had never been classed as being on welfare before? What if we hadn’t noticed that our private economy’s failure meant that the catchment of people needing public support went wider, and bled into many more communities….. Could we still rely on the disempowering effects of poverty, to keep them silent and disenfranchised? People who aren’t used to being walked over and classed as irrelevant…

Might be interesting to watch. People feeling the pinch all across society is one thing. People sitting back and allowing a bit of welfare bashing is another. What is going to happen, when people realise the ‘welfare scroungers’ being bashed- are them?

What’s the highest tax credit rate again? And what is the average house price again?



  1. Anyone can work it out. Housing benefit is paid (for new claims) at publicly-available rates (lha-direct.voa.gov.uk), the allowances are standardised and based on benefit levels, and the withdrawal rate is set at a constant 65% post-allowance. So a single person with no kids whose 1-bed LHA is £280 a week, and who is earning £19500pa, should still be able to claim £82 a week towards their rent – and even if their rent is £200 a week, they’ll still be able to claim £17 a week towards it (which will help, if not a lot). This is pretty much a necessity to allow key workers to live in cities when they really don’t earn enough.

    Still, I’ve always said, and it’s gratifying to see that the coalition agrees with me, that central London really doesn’t need hospitals… ;|

  2. Just a thought…

    … but what if one of the reasons that house prices (and therefore rents) are so high is because landlords realise that they can get up to £1,000 per week from the government?

    What if, in fact, the lack of a cap on Housing Benefit has contributed towards more and more people not being able to afford housing and thus ensuring that the only people who can afford to be housed anywhere central are those for whom the state—or, rather, those poor bastards who have to work for their rent money—are coughing up the cash?

    Just thought I’d throw that in there…


    • THis move puts people in the grip of landlords who know how to screw the system. Those landlords are going to have easy pickings from the people ejected from the mainstream housing market. My landlady pays her mortgage, my rent is lower than average for the area- because my rent only covers her mortgage- and she doesn’t actually make money out of me. My rent is £500 a month. LHA doesn’t meet it now. And it won’t meet it when it’s cut. This will not meet the rent at the BOTTOM of the mainstream housing market- and the people who control the property outside it- ARE making money out of peoples misery- and have just been handed new meat.

    • what if one of the reasons that house prices (and therefore rents) are so high is because landlords realise that they can get up to £1,000 per week from the government?

      Most landlords don’t accept LHA tenants. Most recent buy-to-let landlords have mortgages which prohibit them from accepting LHA tenants. And even before LHA capped housing benefit payments to the median of a particular market area, the Fair Rents service would cap housing benefit at the median level of an occupancy-appropriate property for underoccupied properties and a fair rent for the property otherwise. So… this question would be best referred to John Rentoul’s list. And please, do try to refrain from speaking on a subject about which you clearly know not a damned thing.

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