Friday, March 24, 2023

Val’s stark warning on Bedroom Tax

THE PORTFOLIO holder for Housing, cllr Val Morris-Cook has issued a stark warning over the bedroom tax.

In a speech written for full council, cllr Morris-Cook said: “Our country is not in the financial mess it is today because the most vulnerable in our society have a spare bedroom.

“The way the Tories speak, you would think these most deserving families and tenants somehow stole houses with extra rooms.

‘I think we need to remind ourselves that these homes were given to those in our society who need our help. Remember that they were given.

“I look after housing. We have contacted all those affected by letter and by personal visits..around 1200 affected households in total. The size of a large village.

I am offering incentives for those for whom a larger house is not necessary. Many are happy to downsize if it means that a family in need are able to get a home.

But what do we say to a family with a disabled child for whom the extra room is used to house much needed equipment. Pay up or we take you to court?

These are people we are talking about.

The times are challenging. But some face far greater challenges than you or I will ever experience. Be thankful for when you go back to your home tonight. I don’t think any of us have the right to take that away from anybody. Do you?


  1. Would that be the imperial I that Val is referring to. That’s very decent of her to personally offer incentives to people to downsize their houses. I wonder how much that’s going to cost her.

  2. She’s a bit late out of the blocks with this one, it’s been well argued for a while on YT. Her point of view is a valid one but what, I wonder, would be her idea to reduce the welfare budget. We’ve all heard what Labour don’t like about the way the coalition have chosen to go about it but what would they do instead? Would they even attempt to reduce the welfare bill? I’d like to know.

  3. I can’t help but think that Labour and people who think that the housing situation should continue are totally void of the concept of money. You do not create a fair society by subsidising everything from housing to work, from health to education. People have to be responsible for their own lives, decisions, financial situations and in some cases health.

    Labour and their supporters have painted a picture of the nasty evil Tories who are denying ‘the most vunerable’ a roof over their head when she knows full well that had Labour been in charge nationally, they would do exactly the same thing.

    As a country we are at a crossroads. We can continue spending and borrowing as this governement is actually still doing, or we can scale everything back. Realistically those who do not contribute financially to the country are going to suffer the most, we cannot change that fact. Yes the rich should pay more too but if I were a millionaire I do not think I would take too lightly to having two thirds of my income taken in tax so that someone can have cheap subsided housing. The mass media doesn’t help here with continuous examples of people scamming the system.

    As I have said before if you are in the unfortunate position of being subsidised by the state either through your own choice or by circumstances out of your hands then you cannot expect the conditions to stay the same. Every company and the majority of individuals have had to make changes. Most families have cut down on their luxuries and only spend if necessary. Welfare should be no different.

    My grasp of economics is not great but I do know that if Britain wants growth and prosperity, real growth that is…not the New Labour boom and bust, then we have to rid ourselves of this dependancy culture that has taken root. We have to educate our children to want more out of life, we have to stop giving everything to immigrants for free and putting their needs first and we need to make sure that more funds are there who those who really it so they can still lead a decent life.

    I was disappointed with the budget as I would have rathered Osbourne give councils money to start building council houses again and not 8, as we saw in Corringham, but hundreds. Instead he seems set to cause another housing explosion.

    Changing the conditions on housing subsidy would have worked better if councils started building social housing again.

  4. “what would they do instead? Would they even attempt to reduce the welfare bill? I’d like to know”

    Labour have used the welfare bill to shore up their vote. If everyone has to rely on the government in one way or another then that party will always be in power. No one is going to vote for the alternative who wants to take that dependancy away. My feeling is that Labour would borrow to cover bill until it reaches such a level that it has no choice but to cut it and make the same changes that the Coalition are making.

    They do not care about ‘the most vunerable’ at all….they care about the power.

  5. People are not entitled to a house for life courtesy of the government. They assets owned by the country as a whole. Val should remember this also. One thing Val doesn’t want people to know si that a small change to the rents that would not harm those people on benefits would bring in billions of pounds countrywide that could be used to build new homes. It’s called affordable rents and it is opposed by virtually every Labour run authority countrywide. Admittedly it would cerate problems in Central London.

    The reason why they oppose it is because they want to save it up until 2015, as they do with house building. They believe they have the 2015 election in the bag and they will be the great saviours of the country by doing the things the Tories have already allowed them to do. But they won’t because they know it will work and they can’t back anything the Tories do that will work because they know it will make them look ridiculous.

    Val also know this would solve the problems of people under occupying as they would be able to build the properties required t osolve the problems.

    The Tories need to scrap the idea of moving people that are disabled, have disabled kids, kids at university or curerently living away from home. They are all bad ideas. But the Labour party also needs to recognise that they are a huge part of the problem as well.

  6. Labour said freedom of information responses showed local councils had sufficient one and two-bedroom properties to house only one in 20 of those families with spare rooms.

    Responses from 37 authorities across Britain revealed 96,041 households faced losing benefit but there were only 3,688 smaller homes available.

    Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “These shocking new figures reveal the big lie behind this Government’s cruel bedroom tax.

  7. So what are the Labopur party going to do to solve the chronic shortage of housing they were a big part in creating?

    What are Labour going to do to assure those people in overcrowded properties that they will be given a larger more suitable place to live?

    What are Labour going to do for those people on the social housing waiting lists?

    Why does Liam Byrne think that Labours policy of forcing private rented tenants to downsize is ok for them but not ok for social housing tenants?

    Who would trust the words of a man that thought it was a big joke that the Labour party had bankrupt the country?

  8. I would not trust any of them but the facts are clear, the figures say there are not enough one and two bedroom properties available and if government carries on with the bedroom tax and they must surely have same figures, it now looks pretty obvious the government’s intention is to target the poorest for no reason

    This is why this policy is wrong if the cost of implementing this policy outstrips the savings what is the point why not build more one and two bedroom houses first make sure you have the appropriate number available

    So the people at the lower end of the scale and on housing benefit and social housing will be unfairly penalised through no fault of their own this cannot be right regardless who’s running the country it is totally ridiculous to ask people to downsize knowing full well there isn’t enough alternative housing to downsize to I think it’s borderline criminal

    • And now Iain Duncan Smith has said he could get by on £53 a week I bet he spends more than that on breakfast when he’s current after-tax income is £1600 a week I would like to see him try it perhaps then he would see what ordinary people are up against

  9. The fact is also that Liam Byrne has deliberately quoted fudged figures over the weekend and has been less than genuine in explaining his own party’s part in this. It was the Labour party that introduced this into the private rental sector. Do you think they did that not to save money. Now he jumps on the Tories because they’ve extended it to social housing. Is someone in private rental accommodation on benefits not as deserving as someone in social housing. Almost all Labour run authorities have outright refused to even consider affordable rents as a way of funding new social house buidling. They built nothing when they were in government for 13 years. Now they’re blocking it again. They have no commitment to social housing at all. Let us not even mention the 6 million immigrants all wanting to be housed.

  10. On Monday’s Today Programme David Bennett, a market trader, said that after his housing benefit had been cut, he lives on £53 per week. The next interviewee was Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who was defending the changes. The interviewer then asked him if he could live on this amount. He replied: “If I had to, I would.” over 400,000 have signed getting bigger time to go with the rest of the torys

  11. Then he should do what people on bensfits do in the private rented sector under Labour’s policy, move to a smaller place. The man in question also lied it was later found out. Or, horror of horror, he could get another job. After all we all know the minimum wage paid to market traders is a pittance. They don’t get any cash in hand to feed their drinking and gambling habits. What are Labour going to do to solve the crap situation they put the country in?

  12. I think it’s, quite clear that if 431,000 people have asked Duncan Smith to put up or shut up, he has decided to shut up he should resign because he quite obviously knows it is impossible to live on £53 per week we live in a democratic society nearly half a million people have challenged this poor excuse of an individual to simply demonstrate what he preaches and if you cannot practice what you preach then he should go it is not rocket science to understand it is totally impossible to live on £7.25 a day what’s so hard for him to work that out or perhaps he doesn’t want to or more importantly care which I think is demonstrated perfectly by himself

  13. “I am offering incentives for those for whom a larger house is not necessary. Many are happy to downsize if it means that a family in need are able to get a home.”

    That tells you all you need to know really. Why should people incentivised with a carrot (which costs the taxpayer even more) rather than with a stick? – which is what the government are proposed. The sooner people (including Cllr. Morris-Cook) understand that the housing stock belongs to the taxpayer (and not the council or the tennant) the better off we’ll all be.

    As has been suggested, if you feel that strongly about not balancing the books off the backs of the “poor” then why not increase rents for those that are not on benefit – in order to bring them into line with private sector rents?

    That question is somewhat rhetorical as we all know why they won’t. Lastly, the hypocracy of Labour Councillors is truly breathtaking. How many of them actually live in the wards they represent?

    My advice for the Proles? Elect people from your own communities. Those that live day to day with the problems you face are more likely to want to do something about it! Keep electing imbeciles and you deserve everything you get!

  14. Contrarian don’t mollycoddle, the unemployed on benefits hit them with a stick
    Housing stock belongs to the taxpayer have you considered these people are taxpayers
    As for balancing the books on the backs of the poor why don’t we balance the books with the people who unbalance them in the first place the greedy bankers who with this government have gained the most with the worst record?
    Do you believe that all the Tory members at Thurrock Council live in Thurrock I think not?
    And the ones that do, well we have seen how they propose to sort out problems cane the less resourceful in the community

  15. hot press the council tenants that are affected by the so called bedroom tax are not taxpayers. They are state dependent benefit recipients. They depend on taxpayers to ensure they have a roof over their heads. On th subject of banks, please explain to me exactly what you think the banks did to the economy without the knowledge of the politicians in power at the time. Also explain this to me. The Labour partu have spent 5 years blaming the worlds ill’s on banks. They want to win power in 2015 and borrow hundreds of billions of pounds from the banks. What do you think the outcome of that will be?

  16. If they start work again they won’t have to worry about the bedroom tax will they. I’ve paid tax all my life, have never claimed benefits, will never be able to claim benefits unless I choose to be completely wreckless and blow my savings on fast cars, drinking, gambling, holidays etc. I can’t even claim job seekers allowance let alone get given a house. So why is it the people that put the most into the pockets of benefit recipients are penalised the most?

    We all know there are people out there that have never paid a penny into the system and never will but will expect the state to look afetr them their entire life. Take immigrants for example, not all obviously. Why is it that someone that has lived in this country for a few weeks can be given a house and money to send home to their family. It’sa farce.

    What about the banks. What did the banks do that politicians didn’t know about and are now asking the banks to repeat both in America and here? I do hope Labour continue to blame the banks. I want to take a seat and watch the fallout if they win the next election. That should be really funny watching them squirm when they have to go cap in hand to the banks.

  17. Hotpress:

    Do you know what? A little less carrot and a little more stick might not be a bad idea.

    For the most part, these people aren’t taxpayers. Certainly they’re not, for the most part, net contributors.

    You really ought to disabuse yourself of this notion that bankers are soley responsbile for the mess we’re in now. Certainly they played their part, but the fact remains that Labour (being the economic incompetents they are) ran a deficit during the good years, which means that when things went south, they found that (as usual) they’d run out of other people’s money and that the piper had to be paid. Also, the top earners pay the majority of the tax (as is right and proper) which keeps your whole canker blighted show on the road.

    I don’t suppose that all Tory councillors do live in the wards the represent – and my argusment would hold true for the voters in those wards too. DO NOT ELECT PEOPLE THAT DO NOT LIVE IN YOUR WARD!

    That said, the people of Thurrock were, for the most part, thick enough to elect that bellend of an MP who didn’t even live in the borough!

    The incumbent Tory MP does at least, I understand, have the decency to live among you.

  18. Contrarian thank you for your pearls of wisdom, how do you know that the most part of these people who you talk about like you have just scraped them off the bottom of your shoes are not taxpayers
    I also think if you played with your carrot a little bit more you would be a nicer person
    And if this government is so good why is it doing so badly, and for its big strategy for balancing the books, make life as hard as possible for the people that have the least takeaway privileges from the disabled and make life a little bit harder for them , I have an idea for you all the old people that are not contributing and pests and a drag to the taxpayer why not bring in euthanasia that way you can Cut the NHS budget down a bit more, because when you target groups in society where does it stop its not been all bad news this week after all and about time Margaret Thatcher’s dead
    And I thought people usually dined at the Ritz

    Lets get the ball rolling

  19. The trouble with your solutions for the old hot press is that they have probably contributed more in taxes than most people living on benefits today. When they were of working age the level of benefits were nowhere near what they are now. You worked, your family helped out or you were screwed in most cases. There were those that did milk the system but not as many as now.

    How much of the country’s income should be given over to benefits hot press? Half, three quarters, all of it. Where does the line get drawn in the wonderful world of socialism.

  20. If these people were income tax payers (or more properly – net contributors), we wouldn’t be having this problem, as the country would be able to run a surplus – rather than running a deficit – which that imbicile Brown managed to do even during the ‘good’ years.

    I didn’t say that this govenrment were good. I think they’re probably getting more right than wrong, but I’d say they’re far from “good”

    The problem with you and your ilk (hotpress) is that you don’t understand that the government doesn’t have its own money. All of the services you see around you, and the attendent army of public sector workers it takes to administer them, have to be paid for. The cost of that largesse is met from a combination of cash generated in the private sector and bowworing (the interest on which again has to be met from private sector borrowing).

    It’s not right or proper that we contiue down that road – and load up debt for future generations – so that today’s dossers, disabled and pensioners (NOTE I SEE THESE AS TOALLY SEPARATE GROUPS) can live in relative comfort. I’d sooner see the dossers put out to work so that we could afford to be more generous elsewhere. I’d like those disabled people that are capable of working doing so – I think it’s good for them (that sounds patronising doesn’t it?). Pensioners, I’d pretty much leave alone, save for the automatic increases in State Retirement Age and Auto-Enrollment (both underway).

    I’d make some changes to public sector pensions – in order to reduce some of the burden on the taxpayer.

    It’s utterly disgraceful, but sadly predictable, that you’d joke about Maggie Thatcher. I don’t pretend that she got everything right, but by God, look at the absolute shower (on both sides) we’ve had since.

    Hotpress – you offer no solutions as to how the status quo would be maintained. Before you say it, increasing taxes on the wealthiest, won’t work in the long term.

  21. Me and my ilk, I like you are not contemptuous and aloof
    But never the less the government collected monies from the older section of society when these people were younger you can hardly blame them for how the government invested and now moan about making ends meet especially when the same people had no say in how this was done
    You sound quite solvent and it shows in your attitude to people less fortunate than yourself?
    I personally think that instead of trying to crush these people with a sledgehammer if a lot more thought and investment had been put in place together with a transitional period a lot more could have been achieved amicably instead of placing these people at odds with the government
    But as usual especially when Tories are in power the clear message is don’t do as we do do as you’re told that’s why the Tories will lose the next election
    • As for your assumption on tax , it will not work in the long term, but bedroom tax will again let us all take it out on the people with the least and that definitely will not work in the long-term as for me not offering any solutions I do not earn 160 grand for sitting on my behind to do so but I do know one thing you get respect by giving it what respect is the government giving to these people
    About Thatcher remember It Was Her Own Cabinet that turned on her and quite rightly so

  22. I’ll ignore your first comment.

    Now, the government did take money from (what is now) the older generation. But let’s be very very clear; imediately following the war, the electorate (rightly to a point) started voting themselves unafordable benefits. The aount paid in by today’s pensioners (ignoring SERPS etc.) didn’t – on the whole – cover the cost of the benefit/pension they now draw down. Also consider the fact that newly arrived immigrants (many of whom had not paid in) were entitled to pension credit and you can see why we’re now faced with having to make difficult choices.

    I am quite solvent, but nobody gave it to me. Everything I have, I earned (or took from someone weaker than me!). Seriously though, I’ve earned what I have and in doing so have paid more than my fair share of tax to hlep those less fortunate. On top of that, and despite the governments’ best efforts to sqeeze me until my pips squeak, I’ve managed to support some worthwhile charities. I’d be able to do more if I didn’t have a government support.

    I’ve yet to be able to properly articulate your question, but I’m pretty sure the answer isn’t ever-more state intervention.

    You’re quite right, it was her own cabinet, and we’re now all the poorer for it!

  23. Contrarian ordinarily citizens do not have a say as to immigration although I believe privately most are against it but unfortunately in the UK at the present moment if they voiced their opinion they would be pigeonholed as racists, I think one of the governments motives for creating this policy of the bedroom tax and cutting benefit is to make the UK less desirable for the expected influx of Romanians which are expected later this year at the expense of everybody in the benefit system, personally I think any foreign immigrant that enters the UK should have to contribute at least five years worth of contribution regarding tax and National Insurance before they can enter the benefit system, or obtain social housing and including national health care, excluding exceptional circumstances
    This would discourage immigrants from abusing the system as it now stands and I think would be fairer to UK citizens and unburden an already creaking benefit budget
    Regarding Margaret Thatcher I think rather than me insulting the individual let’s just agree to disagree

  24. I find little to disagree with in respect of your comments regarding immigrants; however, I think that the system you propose should apply to everyone – not just immigrants. The welfare state shouldn’t be a birth right. We urgently need to restore the principal that you only take out if you’ve paid in. That should go for EVERYONE!

    By the way, I think the immigration debate has moved on somewhat.

    I’d also like to go on record as saying that I believe that the problems which will likely be brought about following Romania and Bulgaria coning ‘online’ (Turkey will be next!) will likely mean that the UK leaves the EU.


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