Thursday, 28 October 2010

facts checked, and yes - it's bollocks

on the morning it is confirmed that I and my colleagues are to have a salary cut from 1st January, the date we usually get an inflation rise - bastards, but I expect no sympathy - I note with interest that Full Fact (worth looking at, the blog of an independent fact-checking organisation) indicates that, despite the talk on the Reading blogosphere and elsewhere, including in today's Times, that London boroughs are "block-booking B&Bs" in boroughs such as Reading and Ashford to accommodate tenants forced out of London by the government's housing benefit cap - er, they're not.  Dale also quotes a correspondent who says, and anyone who has set foot in London recently knows this, that you can get a respectable four-bedroom property in many London boroughs for £400 a week.  Next!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can Dale (or you):

1) Tell my Son that
2) Name them

jane said...

here is what Dale's correspondent wrote - he might have made it up I suppose, I didn't check the links
I've lived in London since I graduated and worked damn hard to be able to afford to be able to live here, in relatively nice accommodation, but nowhere near the centre of town (I've lived in Ealing, Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush and Fulham in my 6 years here).

I now see claims from people like Simon Hughes regarding the 'draconian' nature of only giving people £400pw to spend on a 4 bed property in London and hear all the tales of the ghettoisation of the poor and the segregation of society.

To start with, a quick look on gumtree shows no shortage of 4+ bedroom properties in London. Yes, they might not be in Kensington but why should they be? I doubt I will ever be able to afford to live in Kensington at any point and I earn a great deal more than the median wage mentioned as the cap. Just because people on benefits can't live in central London doesn't mean they all have to congrigate in one big ghetto. Here's what you can get for £400, all advertised in the public domain, I can provide links if needs be:

Putney: 4 bedroom flat located in a desirable area of Putney. The property benefits from 4 double bedrooms , 2 bathrooms and private balcony. The property has been Renovated last year and is in very good condition. Close to Transport link (East Putney tube station and Putney Rail) and shops. To Arrange a viewing please call our letting team (£365pw)

Brentford: well maintained four bedroom semi detached house with garden in sought after location of Brentford - Enfield Road. The property on the ground floor consists of huge living room with fireplace and dining section, conservatory leading to low maintenance garden with shed, fitted kitchen, roomy bathroom with whirlpool bath. Upstairs there is a master bedroom with fitted wardrobes, single bedroom with roof terrace and two additional bedrooms (one is a loft room). The house benefits from double glazing, real wood flooring through and gas central heating. There is parking available on the street. (£356pw)

Lewisham: An absolutely superb opportunity to rent this luxurious house situated in the much sought after residential road. Being extremely spacious , the property comprises: security video entry system, welcoming entrance hallway, superbly designed lounge and dining room, luxury fitted kitchen with granite worktops and built in appliances, study, guest cloakroom, master bedroom with ensuite bathroom having fabulous fitted bathroom and dressing room, second double bedroom with ensuite shower room. (£400pw)

I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea.

Next, the cap of £400pw is the equivalent of £1,738pcm or £20,857pa. I'm pretty sure that someone earning the median wage wouldn't be able to afford that amount after taxation is applied to their £26,000, let alone living costs. But to make someone out of work rent for such an amount is 'draconian'? Do me a favour.

jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lawks, they're almost affordable on an MP's pocket money !

Anonymous said...

So who is the MP? Certainly not Jane.

David Akroyd said...

Let's not be taken in by the coalition propaganda here. A relative few cases of sky high rents met by housing benefit are highlighted to justify across the board reductions.

The proposal (from October 2011) to reduce local housing allowance rates to the 30th percentile (i.e. the bottom third of market rents) rather than the median rent as at present.

Also the reduction of a tenth in housing benefit for anyone on Job Seekers Allowance for a year (from April 2013).

It is also often overlooked that only a minority of housing benefit claimants are unemployed, they also include the working poor and pensioners.

The projected savings from the housing benefit bill are estimated at £2bn (out of total state spending of £700bn pa). Much of this will anyway be cancelled out by the cost of the increased homelessness caused. Moreover, compare this to the projected increase in the foreign aid budget from £9bn to £13bn in order to meet the target of 0.7% of national income. Our own people put last as usual.

The House Building Federation has called the proposed housing benefit cuts "an assault on the vulnerable" and predicted that hundreds of thousands will be at increaed risk of homelessness.

The term "draconian" is merely a statement of fact.