Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Threat to Housing Benefit as 10% Claimant “Contribution” to Rent Floated.

with 61 comments

One of Iain Duncan Smith’s Gaffs: No Housing Benefit Problems for him!

“State benefits paid to thousands of sick and disabled people could be cut by £30 a week as part of the £12bn of welfare cuts to be implemented by the Government.” reports the Independent today. 

People on housing benefit could be forced to contribute part of their rent for the first time under measures that could be announced in next week’s Budget, which will outline some of the welfare savings promised in the Conservatives’ election manifesto. 

Housing benefit costs £26bn a year, with an average payment of £93 a week. A 10 per cent compulsory payment by tenants would save about £2.5bn a year.

The BBC gives some relevant background,

Housing benefit is thought to be an obvious target as costs have been rising in recent years, to £25bn last year.

The average weekly housing benefit payment is £93.

If, for instance, ministers made claimants pay 10%, they would have to find about £9.30 a week to ensure their rent is paid in full.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has calculated that this would save £2.5bn if applied to both the social and private rental sector.

The story also features in the Mirror, without mentioning the 10% figure.

The Tories could cut housing benefit in their £12bn welfare crackdown by making all tenants pay towards their rent, it’s been claimed.

The move would hit thousands of families who have their full rent paid by the taxpayer if it’s included in next Wednesday’s Budget.

Housing benefit pays all or part of the rent for Britain’s poorest tenants and is set to cost £26bn this year – 21% of all welfare payments up for the chop.

A 2011 analysis found 28% of all renters in the UK had their full amount paid by the taxpayer, with another 17% having it ‘topped up’ with partial housing benefit.

Sources have told the BBC all households would be forced into a ‘top-up’ system where they contribute towards their rent.

JSA rates:

18 to 24 up to £57.90
25 or over up to £73.10

£9.30 a week is  a hefty chunk of this payment (and we know that many people, particuarly in London, will have to pay a lot, a lot, more).

It will come on top of the (variable) percentage of Council Tax that the unemployed now have to pay.

Dawn Foster wrote last year (Guardian),

From April 2013, the government slashed funding for council tax benefit by £500m, and instructed local authorities to decide how the reduced benefit should be distributed. The poorest residents, unemployed, disabled or low paid, now find themselves paying council tax where previously they were exempt.

The headlines of her article sum up the result.

Thousands in court for council tax arrears as benefit cuts hit home

Many people who were formerly exempt from paying now face court, as the bedroom tax adds to spiralling debt burden

Payments range from a minimum of 10%  to  as much as 20% in others.

Now we have this proposal.

It will more severe poverty and more homelessness.

 No doubt the intention!


Written by Andrew Coates

July 3, 2015 at 3:19 pm

61 Responses

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  1. More articles about the possible benefit cuts, but we’ll know for sure on Wednesday, what ever cuts are made millions will suffer, hundreds of thousands made homeless, and of course many more suicides, which will add to the amount of those no longer here because of the welfare reform.


    July 3, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    • And we also know as well as being made homeless, that the death of benefit claimants was the intention.


      July 4, 2015 at 4:55 am

      • They float these ideas, always the most extreme, and then eventually announce something bad, but not quite as bad as the ones they say they’ll do.

        This is a conscious strategy of the free-market far-right: thinking the “unthinkable” to make it possible at a later date.

        Andrew Coates

        July 4, 2015 at 10:13 am

      • “As widely reported in the media I had originally considered requiring Housing Benefit recipients to ‘contribute’ 10& towards their housing costs. After careful consideration and in the interests of fairness I have now decided to restrict this contribution to 5% of the applicable rent.”

        “Phew, thanks Guv, not as bad as I fot. Fot we were only going to get clobbered for 10%. What a relief. Much obliged, Guv :)”

        A year later.. “In accordance with the Annual Fiscal Regulatory Requirements the Housing Benefit Contribution Recovery Rate will be set at 10%”

        “Didn’t see that coming. Looks like we will be looking for somewhere to pitch a tent. Thanks for nothing, George 😦 “

        Tent Alley

        July 4, 2015 at 10:25 am

      • There is one park in this town where some of the homeless sleep, in tents provided by the council, the tents are taken down every morning then setup again in the evening, the way things are going maybe everyone should get themselves a tent.


        July 4, 2015 at 11:57 am

  2. Chancellor expected to blame Gordon Brown’s tax credit policy for making workers dependent on the state.



    July 3, 2015 at 7:47 pm

  3. Tax credits are dead in the water! More fool those who fell for the scam introduced by conman extraordinaire McBroon in the first place. Osborne will abolish them, but like they always do when they are about to shaft you hard, at the same time he will say he fully expects incomes to rise to make up for the difference. But incomes won’t rise – they have made damned sure of that!


    July 3, 2015 at 8:25 pm

  4. We can expect the amount of people in need of food rising to 2 million by the end of this year. or will it be 3 million.

    Number of people provided with 3 days’ emergency food by TT foodbank in 2014-15:

    Region Adults Children Total
    Scotland 81,575 36,114 117,689
    Wales 55,739 30,136 85,875
    N Ireland 9,854 7,571 17,425
    North East 52,447 35,246 87,693
    North West 97,850 59,398 157,248
    Yorks and Humber 38,989 21,197 60,186
    West Mids 64,433 39,867 104,300
    East Mids 27,126 16,055 43,181
    East 64,972 35,936 100,908
    London 64,756 40,043 104,799
    South West 67,858 38,434 106,292
    South East 62,008 37,000 99,008
    Total 687,607 396,997 1,084,604



    July 4, 2015 at 5:41 am

  5. 10% HB CUT


    But what happens when you lose your job – assuming you can get one in the first place?


    July 4, 2015 at 10:47 am

  6. OT: Off Topic in a way! The Ultimate Voting Fix

    The thing to watch out for is the timing, and the ratcheting of these policies.

    May I suggest the ultimate aim is to lock in the ability of the ConParty to fix Elections?

    How may you ask? Simple, ratchet your policies to make life so all you concentrate on is food/house over head, and if by chance [or more likely by ConParty aim] end up starving or homeless, or better yet forced to move, won’t that distort the number of people voting?

    Devalue to vote of the poor is the ultimate aim.

    It will be interesting to see which currently marginal seats are hit the hardest by these changes, and again after the constituncy boundry changes the ConParty will bring in.

    I suspect then that that is when the shit will hit everyone in the face and it kicks off.


    July 4, 2015 at 11:54 am

  7. If it hasn’t been figured out all ready, what you are seeing is from a claimant stance that the only difference between a sanction and slashing welfare is one of TIME, ultimately they both end up in the same place and now includes low earners.


    July 4, 2015 at 11:56 am

    • A weekly reduction of £9.30 over a year (£483.60) is not far from the net loss of income from a 13 week sanction (£456.32) at a JSA rate of £71.30.


      July 4, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    • Correction: Over 25 JSA rate is in fact £73.10 so a 13 week sanction incurs a loss of £467.84. Only £15.76 short of the proposed housing benefit cut. A 13 week sanction by the back door!


      July 4, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      • WRONG! A 13 week sanction SAVES the taxpayer £467.84 😀

        Sheriff Sanction

        July 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      • Remember the cautionary story I posted last week about Australia looking to get companies to invest in welfare.

        Where i said, “how do you make a profit out of welfare”.


        July 4, 2015 at 1:18 pm

  8. This proposed 10% if it goes ahead doesn’t just effect claimants and low earners, it effects landlords (more so private than social).

    Small consumer based businesses like corner shops for instance will also suffer as many have been already for a while been handing certain customers credit.

    Basically in time the likes of you and me (SMEs) will be forced to sell or land in bankruptcy and thus gives birth to only large businesses, the only ones with the capital left to do anything.

    Another possible outcome is to be sponsored by large businesses whereby the SME makes low to no profit as the company acts as if you like an employee to its investor.

    Again its more complex than I have outlined but im sure you get the gist of knock on.


    July 4, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    • Ah,

      Franchising here we come…


      July 4, 2015 at 2:34 pm


    Of course, it’s all part of the Government’s long-held plan to destroy social housing. Have a read at this quote in the Guardian from 2011 relating to the Localism Bill:

    “Taken together with other measures to push up social housing rents to 80% of the market rate, while simultaneously trying to cut housing benefit, these plans are both contradictory and potentially disastrous. They represent the latest push in the long-held government ambition to destroy council housing and create a multi-tiered housing market dominated by private sector interests”.

    Another quote in the same article (from a Tory in 1998):

    “… the aim should be to privatise the social rented stock and allow market relations to develop. But again this is an outcome which may only be achieved in stages.”

    As I said in here the other day, stage by stage, bit by bit, little by little…


    July 4, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    • The plot of “Cathy Come Home” is well summarised in Wikipedia:

      “The play tells the story of a young couple, Cathy (played by Carol White) and Reg (Ray Brooks). Initially their relationship flourishes; they have a child and move into a modern home. When Reg is injured and loses his job, they are evicted by bailiffs, and they face a life of poverty and unemployment, illegally squatting in empty houses and staying in shelters for the homeless. Finally, Cathy has her children taken away by social services”.

      Remind you of anything?


      July 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      • So we are heading for the perfect money making system :

        – In prison – privatised
        – Out of Prison – no legal aide [or very poor, when supermarkets start supplying it leading to miscarrages of justice or just plain old nudge nudge wink wink incases being lost by them]
        – Housing – privatised
        – chucked out of housing – children taken away [how long before council adoption is privatised? You know its going to happen]
        – Out of work – privatised DWP
        – out of work insurance – coming soon to a country near you, name change to National Insurance is just the first step on the way [how long before pension and NI joined? how long before they say pension is in actual fact also NI and when unemployed you rely on that, downside is that you are draining you pension pot..]

        How long I wonder before the above come to pass…


        July 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      • I am waiting for some kind of fortnightly electronic signing on machine that says your dole is,

        “paid for by the British Taxpayer”.

        As in this:

        Andrew Coates

        July 4, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      • We have heard from a tory who said “pension” should be “benefit” – if one doesn’t work one doesn’t receive the benefit.


        July 4, 2015 at 3:34 pm

  10. wordpress is shite


    July 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

  11. In an apparently technical change to financial policy, announced when most people were distracted, and further complicated by a confusion of delays and exceptions, we’ve seen possibly the biggest ever raid on state support for the worst off in society.



    July 4, 2015 at 4:14 pm

  12. //


    July 4, 2015 at 4:31 pm

  13. ..


    July 4, 2015 at 4:32 pm

  14. fuck this wordpress shit


    July 4, 2015 at 4:33 pm

  15. Children’s commissioner Tam Baillie renews austerity attack.

    He wrote: “When the UK government says ‘no apology’, to me it means no apology for more children being plunged into poverty, no apology for them dying younger, no apology for their educational attainment being badly affected, and no apology for their poor mental health.



    July 4, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    • Child poverty WILL be eliminated just as soon as the poor stop having children. IDS intends to make it increasingly difficult for the poor to have kids. But it is going to take a generation of poor kids really suffering before his master-plan comes to fruition. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs!


      July 4, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      • Or more accurately when the absolute poor stop having a children as eliminating the bottom strata of the absolute poor will only create another layer of relative poor. Marx had something to say about this: “the proles just can’t stop themselves breeding”. It’s an absolute tragedy when a child’s life chances are blighted from the very day they are born!


        July 4, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      • Ah,

        But there is a little fly in the oinment – less people – less people to do the job. Now some could argue that geting in people from abroad will fill the holes that appear but the middle class will then find themselves increasingly squeezed wages wise. That’s when things will get interesting. Anyone able to will have moved abroad by then


        July 4, 2015 at 11:30 pm

  16. 3 days and counting.

    jj joop

    July 4, 2015 at 8:35 pm

  17. Man who had sickness benefits axed wins appeal – months after he died.

    A widow was horrified when a letter arrived for her late husband saying he had won his appeal against his sickness benefits being axed.

    Graham Shawcross, 63, had potentially fatal Addison’s disease, but was ruled fit to work last November and had his £400-a-month incapacity benefit halted.



    July 5, 2015 at 7:54 am

  18. Bet the railways can’t wait to automate these lazy fuckers dinosaurs into oblivion. Major disruption to ScotRail trains £60 grand a year for driving a fucking train! And the bastards won’t even work a Sunday! What is the point of a railway if you can’t travel anywhere on a Sunday!? Of course these lazy bastards all have fancy cars so it doesn’t affect them. ffs you can be expected to work on Sundays for jack-shit as part of mwa/cwp!

    Terri Dactyl (Train Driver)

    July 5, 2015 at 8:40 am

    • * mainline, overnight ones get even more!

      Terri Dactyl (Train Driver)

      July 5, 2015 at 8:43 am

    • ASLEF must keep a tight grip on train drivers pay and conditions because if the management and government could get away with it train driving would be a minimum wage job. Driving an HGV through crowded city streets is a lot more stressful than driving a train along a straight empty line, and look what has happened to that – minimum wage if you are lucky!

      Train drivers are earning more than more extensively trained pilots on budget airlines. Because it is overnight and on a mainline whoever drives the Sleeper service from London to Scotland must be on a fortune!

      Can’t imagine these railway companies have any problems recruiting train drivers 😉

      Casey Jones

      July 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm

  19. Osborne on the Marr show, – £12 billion – cuts have been identified, most if not all the possible cuts we have seen in articles will happen.


    July 5, 2015 at 9:01 am

  20. Another very sad tale:

    Andrew Coates

    July 5, 2015 at 9:29 am

    • 18 years old or rather 18 years young, DWP treated her as they did because of her age, we know it could happen to anyone, but the younger they are the more they are targeted, because how much does one know at the age of 18, it is sad that there wasn’t anyone around to help her,- someone who knows a few rules n regs,


      July 5, 2015 at 3:38 pm

  21. From Vox Political

    “Take jobseeker’s allowance for a single person of 25 or older, which is currently £73.10 a week. Robert Joyce at the Institute of Fiscal Studies calculates that if index-linking remained at the old rate, it would have risen to £87.75 by the end of this parliament. But under the new policy the weekly payment will rise by slightly less each year. By the next election in 2020, the cumulative effect will be a weekly payment of £80.70 – or £366 a year lower, says Joyce.”

    These ‘cuts’ all add up!


    Mushy Pea Soup

    July 5, 2015 at 9:32 am

    • Keeping millions – automation, down, worse off every year that passes.


      July 5, 2015 at 3:51 pm

  22. “George Osborne will use Wednesday’s Budget to announce a clampdown on “taxpayer-funded subsidies” for “higher earners” living in social housing.

    Local authority and housing association tenants in England who earn more than £30,000 – or £40,000 in London – will have to pay up to the market rent for their property, he is due to say.

    The move is expected to raise up to £250m a year by 2018-19.

    It is thought that this could affect 340,000 households.

    The expected change – which will cost tenants on average up to £70 extra a week – will build on measures introduced under the coalition government that enabled housing associations and local authorities to charge market rents to those on incomes of more than £60,000.

    Extra money from those living in local authority properties will go straight to the Exchequer.”


    I can foresee problems – this will be a bureaucratic nightmare.

    What exactly is the “market rent”?

    The money note well, will not go the local authorities but to Osborne’s pockets.

    In effect a tax on one group of tenants to the national government’s advantage and local authorities disadvantage.

    The result: Welcome to more ghettos for the poor.

    Andrew Coates

    July 5, 2015 at 10:16 am


    OXI 😀


    July 5, 2015 at 9:52 pm



    July 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm




    July 5, 2015 at 9:55 pm




    July 5, 2015 at 9:57 pm

  27. WE SAID IT FOR YOU!! 😀


    July 5, 2015 at 9:58 pm

  28. More than seven million children will be hit by the proposed cuts to tax credits to be announced in George Osborne’s post-election Budget on Wednesday, the Government’s advisers on child poverty have warned. If the cut goes ahead.



    July 6, 2015 at 7:53 am

  29. Public canteens were set up to feed people during World War One – and they proved hugely popular. Could today’s food banks learn from them, asks Adam Forrest.

    Now there are efforts to bring them back. Bryce Evans, a senior lecturer at Liverpool Hope University, has researched the WW1 kitchens and believes there are parallels with today’s food banks.



    July 6, 2015 at 8:08 am

  30. Minimum wage on hold, companies – not forced to raise wage. tax credits and housing benefit cut very likely.



    July 6, 2015 at 8:48 am

  31. OT : Another Crash in the Wings? You decide – Inflated Stock Market Prices & what it means to the very Richest


    A very interesting read.


    July 6, 2015 at 9:10 am

    • Of course there is going to be a ‘correction’ in the stock market at some point; it is cyclical in nature – that is how the smart folks make their money. Someone, somewhere is always ‘predicting’ a ‘stock market crash’. It all utter horse shit. Just look at how far the markets, especially the US, have progressed in the past few years an all along someone, somewhere was ‘predicting’ a ‘stock market crash’. That is how when and if the market does ‘correct’ at some point in the future someone, somewhere will be able to say: “Told you so, I accurately predicted the stock market crash.” but what they don’t say is that they have been predicting a stock market crash for the past 20 odd years as the markets have been making gains. Also, the media tends to focus on the raw ‘index’; what they never mention is that
      the market pays out dividends.

      The FTSE 100 index hasn’t really moved anywhere in the past 10 years, so where does this ‘bubble’ talk come from. Do they just keep re-printing these Doomsday article: “Stock market crash looming in the next six months”. Notice how it is always within a shifting six month time frame. Just to give you enough time to stock up on beans, bullets, guns, barbed wire, ‘solar generators’ or what ever bullshit they are flogging.

      Saying that, is is a certainty there are dark forces out there who would love to crash the markets (once they have sold out). They would make money on the ‘way down’ by ‘shorting the market’ whilst taking everyone’s pension with them. Then they would ‘buy at the bottom’ with their new found ‘wealth’.


      July 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm

  32. Greece, win for the Oxi (No) Vote:

    Andrew Coates

    July 6, 2015 at 10:06 am

  33. “End of Life” Euthansia

    Plenary session about citizens initiative ‘Completed life’

    “On Thursday 8 March, the House of Representatives held a plenary session on the citizen’s initiative ‘Completed life’. The citizen’s initiative was submitted by a group called Out of Free Will. It demands the right for all Dutch people over 70, who feel tired of life, to have the right to professional help in ending their life.”

    Dr Death

    July 6, 2015 at 2:33 pm

  34. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    July 7, 2015 at 11:51 am

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