Monday, March 18, 2013

A welfare cut is not a tax

The British conservative government is trying to combat underused welfare housing.  Elderly people in particular tend to stay on alone in a large family home long after the family have moved away

Iain Duncan Smith has attacked the BBC for ‘adopting the language of the Labour Party’ by calling a key welfare reform a ‘bedroom tax’.

In a letter leaked to the Daily Mail, the Work and Pensions Secretary accuses the corporation of helping to alarm hundreds of thousands of people in social housing who will be unaffected.

In the strongest attack on  the BBC’s coverage by a  minister since the Coalition  came to power, he says there  has been ‘persistent use’ of the term ‘bedroom tax’ by its  correspondents and on its news website, despite the phrase  being ‘innately political and indeed factually wrong’.

Under the Government’s housing benefit reforms, working-age claimants in social housing who have more bedrooms than they require will see their handouts reduced from April.

Tenants affected will face a 14 per cent cut in housing benefit for the first excess bedroom, and 25 per cent where two or more bedrooms are unused.

The Government, which estimates the average household affected will lose £14 a week, says the policy will cut £500million a year from the housing  benefit bill.

It will also encourage people to move into smaller properties, freeing up larger homes for other families who are crammed into accommodation that is  too small, ministers say.

Mr Duncan Smith says the  Government is simply cutting  a ‘spare room subsidy’ but Labour fiercely opposes the move, branding it a ‘bedroom tax’.



Use the Name, Luke said...

It seems that the bottom line question is, "Does the government have the right to pressure people to move out of their current homes as a matter of social policy?"

When the government funded health care system has no problem with taking the sick off of food and water without even telling them or their families*, then forcing them out of their homes is small potatoes. It seems to be part of a general attitude of getting the elderly "out of the way."

* In recent months, there has been mounting concern over cases in which family members said they were not consulted or even told when food and fluids were withheld from their loved ones.

Anonymous said...

Luke, it's the same in the animal world. Worker ants who can no longer produce for the good of all, (ie. the state) perhaps because of age or injury, are killed and eaten by the other worker ants.

One major difference is, with the ants, those who are fat, lazy, and simply refuse to produce anything other than more parasites, are killed first. With humans, those are the ones we tend to give all the benefits to. Any wonder why ants are far more successful than humans?

Anonymous said...

@4:44, only humans can eradicate an entire colony of ants on purpose.

Anonymous said...

It seems that we are only talking about people who are in public housing.
So, if you are in a state-provided house that is larger than you require, rather than compelling you to move they simply pay you less.
Why should taxpayers keep someone in a much larger house than they require, especially when there are other people who could use it more efficiently?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a sensible policy to me. In these days of limited public funds it makes sense. Too bad the beauracrats in Washington don't manage the public welfare system like that. Maybe we wouldn't have to borrow billions to subsidize laziness.