Coalition spongers’ Bedroom Tax lies: Is anybody stupid enough to believe them?

Grant Shapps and Danny Alexander, pictured together honing their nonsense-spouting skills on the BBC's Daily Politics.

Grant Shapps and Danny Alexander, pictured together honing their nonsense-spouting skills on the BBC’s Daily Politics.

If Grant Shapps, Danny Alexander and the rest of the Coalition government really thought the Bedroom Tax was about making the best use of available accommodation, they would be offering to pay the full costs of a move into smaller, private accommodation for those able to downgrade, along with the difference in housing benefit contribution – so the tenant does not have to pay more – in perpetuity.

But they aren’t prepared to pay that, are they? Instead, they want the poorest tenants in the country to become poorer. Don’t believe this gang of sponging liars.

I call them sponging liars because you will recall that most of them are perfectly happy to claim just as much money as they can from the taxpayer – at rates that are vastly above the benefits they want to steal from you or your next-door-neighbour.

Think of James Clappison (Con, Hertsmere) – on £12,500 per year, which is almost two-and-a-half times as much as people could get on the maximum amount of housing benefit.

Yet Tory Chairman Grant Shapps insists on proving himself to be an untrustworthy doubletalking deceiver by claiming in the Telegraph that the change is a “common sense reform which in the end will help house more people”.

That is not what it is intended to be. If more people are housed, the government will be out-of-pocket because of all the extra housing benefit claims that will incur. The plan is to make people who are trapped in “under-occupied” accommodation pay more towards their rent, thereby reducing their spending power and making them poorer.

This will have a knock-on effect on the national economy, of course, as the money supply is squeezed ever further. But the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have already proven themselves to be economic illiterates – look at the ‘Mandatory Work Activity’ schemes that are depriving the economy of almost £1 billion every year.

“People share rooms quite commonly – my boys share a room,” wittered the Welwyn Hatfield MP, opening up the opportunity for us all to suggest that the remaining space in his five-bedroom house is there to accommodate his many aliases, such as Michael Green and Sebastian Fox. Under these names, he operated HowToCorp and TrafficPaymaster, the former of which has been under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority in response to a complaint that its website made misleading claims.

In The Sun, Danny Alexander (if he really wrote the article) revealed his woeful failure to understand the housing benefit rules to the world.

“Social tenants live in homes that are let at low rents to people in housing need… Under Labour’s rules, such tenants — reported to include the likes of Bob Crow, the RMT union general secretary who earns £145,000 a year — have their rent subsidised by you and me,” the article inaccurately claimed.

If Mr Alexander knew anything at all about his subject, he would know that the amount of housing benefit available to any tenant tapers off, according to the amount they earn. If Bob Crow earns £145,000 per year, he won’t receive any benefit at all.

Most ridiculous of all was his claim that, “in this month’s Budget, we announced our plan to call time on Labour’s better-off bedroom blockers.”

Bedroom blockers? Did a real person write this nonsense?

Nobody – nobody is blocking bedrooms, other than Conservatives and their allies. Let’s remember that Conservatives sold off council houses by the hundreds of thousands in the 1980s and choked off the money supply to local authorities in order to prevent any more being built. New Labour tried to get the private sector involved in affordable housing but this didn’t get off the ground because greedy privateers simply sat on their planning permissions, waiting for an administration to come along that would not enforce the requirement for affordability. Now we have a Tory-led administration that has completely failed to build any social housing to accommodate the 600,000 people affected by its Bedroom Tax policy trap.

It is Mr Alexander and his kind who are the bedroom-blockers.

Meanwhile, four more religious organisations have joined the Church of England in denouncing the Coalition’s benefit changes as “unjust”.

The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, and the Church of Scotland have echoed criticism by the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and 43 other Anglican bishops, claiming Coalition benefit changes target society’s most vulnerable and create a “false picture” of the poor as “lazy”.

The government – as epitomised by the rantings of Messrs Shapps and Alexander – claims the changes are fair, but the facts state otherwise. The Mirror today ran a story showing that nearly 10 million households will be hit by the Coalition’s “brutal” austerity measures, leaving families an average of £891 worse-off than last year.

That is an average figure, of course – some will lose much more, including some of the poorest in the UK.

That’s the truth of Coalition politics:

Steal as much as possible from those who can’t fight back.

Sponge as much as possible from the hopelessly overgenerous Parliamentary expenses system.

And laugh all the way to the (possibly offshore) bank.

  • Grant Shapps claimed £12,647 in second-home expenses between 2005-2008; Danny Alexander “conned the Treasury out of over £100,000 by flipping his home back during the expenses scandal”, according to that paragon of journalism, the Guido Fawkes blog.

20 thoughts on “Coalition spongers’ Bedroom Tax lies: Is anybody stupid enough to believe them?

  1. diannna

    lets have a vote of no confidence in the shambles of a coalition government and get back to having a party in that is fair honest and true and transparent in the true sense of the word – I for one would stand up for us all !!!

    1. Tel

      These people now running our government do not know what sex they are; and that is the problem all over the country. You all have allowed them to do this; you have what you voted for, and now you do not like it. this government have just had MOD conduct a Military Exercise on how to stop the people from rebelling, with the aid of the countries police forces; giving them the powers to “shoot to kill demonstrators”. New elections will not change things, has they now will fix the vote, like labour have been doing in Eats Leeds for the past 20 years.

      1. Mike Sivier

        When and where did this military exercise take place? Has it been reported? Where? What makes you say elections in East(?) Leeds have been fixed for the past 20 years?
        Where’s your proof?

      2. hugosmum70

        Tel…. your wrong, no one voted this lot in., its a coalition, the Tories are in because clegg (lib dems…remember them?) went on the side of the Tories, selling their voters down the river without a paddle and now no food n probably soon no water either, and who have been pushed into practically full obscurity by the bullingdon boys in power. however, had they not been there at all, things could have been a lot worse as they did temper a few of the tories ideas. not a lot mind. but some.

  2. hugosmum70

    as a number of people are interested in this,judging by the various blogs/forums etc, can you elaborate on what you say please Mike? i myself would like to know A how a vote of no confidence did work.who could bring that about etc and B what is the difference now? are you saying no one CAN get these lot out now?

    1. billy1872

      I think you’d need at least sixty of the Libdems to join with Neo Labour to call for a vote of no confidence, but I may be wrong about that. If Labour and the Trade Unions wanted to halt this governments relentless war on the poor, they would have called for a general strike. The only reason I can see for them not doing so is, they have their own interests at heart, whereas at one time they would have been looking out for all.

      1. Mike Sivier

        Last year’s Trade Union Congress voted to put preparations in place for a general strike. That work is going on right now, as far as I know.

    2. Mike Sivier

      The Coalition changed the rules so that now, in order for the government to fail in a vote of no confidence, 55 per cent of votes must be cast against it – 357 MPs – instead of 51 per cent – 331 MPs.
      Cameron wanted to ensure that his Parliamentary partners, the Liberal Democrats, would not be able to bring down his government on their own, in the event of a split. I think the numbers work in such a way that a certain number of Conservatives would have to vote against their own party in order for such a vote to succeed.
      Corrupt as hell but that’s the UK Parliament for you.

  3. billy1872

    The problem is there are so many from the working classes who swallow these lies. They really do believe that, those unfortunate enough to be on benefits, choose to lead life that way, it’s a lifestyle choice.

    The vilification of the working class has worked through the strength of the political elite’s propaganda war and their cronies in the media. Today was the first real show of outrage by the churches at the cuts. It’s received some high profile media coverage. Well I would like to ask them, where have you been for the last year. It’s a tad late now to speak out as the Tory Trogan Horse has already bolted.

  4. Jackie

    Bathrooms and toilets next,
    STOP supporting the prograame,.stop voting for the corporate puppets ang go after the puppetmaters,.

  5. Bones

    I have come to the conclusion that this is a bid to bankrupt the Housing Associations and remove ALL social housing provision. There is a block on H.A. mergers in place by the Housing Corporation so even if small H.A.s get in trouble because of rent arrears and court costs larger ones won’t be able to step in and help out.
    Tenants are being paid direct and benefits cut to the bone. Where are people supposed to go when the HB rules say they can’t save up enough for a deposit on private accommodation even if a private landlord will take them when they are on benefits.

  6. Joan

    I agree Bones, the paying of housing benefit direct to tennants who are already struggling will be a disaster. I used to work for a HA when tenants had the choice and it was always those who had the benefit paid to them that fell into the worst arrears. When the choice now is to put food on your kids’ table or pay the rent, it’s a no-brainer. It will result in mass evictions and people being passed back to the HAs as homeless, taking priority over those on waiting lists. It will be virtually impossible for the average person to get social housing.

  7. hugosmum70

    no wonder there are so many suicides.just heard of another one.23 year old. dunno details yet may or may not be due to cuts.chances are………..
    where is it all gonna end tho? and when? what happens if clegg DID walk away n take his party out of the coalition or has cameron put something in place to stop him doing that? after all the cons were not elected (certainly not by me or mine) so where would that leave the cons?surely as an unelected pm only there because the lib dems went in with them, they couldnt stay in Westminster….could they?

  8. Fiona

    Just a quick question, as we the tax payers are paying for second homes for ministers, shouldn’t it be right that they only get to live in a bedsit/room for the duration of their stay in London? More bedrooms would be unnecessary surely? Maybe there should be a cap on their housing benefits, (disguised as expenses for a second home). If there is such a shortage, surely the government should lead by example and only allow the same amount allowance as any other citizen????….. I think I need medication…. I must be dreaming or something!

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