March 14th, 2013

Poll: Public Support Spare Room Subsidy Reforms

Liam Byrne calls it a “hated tax”, Jim Murphy says the government should “listen” to the public. Most damning of all, Owen Jones warns of the disastrous electoral consequences of the government’s changes to the spare room subsidy:

“A warning to Number 10. You calculate your attempt to demonise benefit claimants has paid off, removing all potential empathy. But – unfortunately for you – most are decent people. When the electorate realise you are inflicting misery not on “scroungers”, but on some of the most vulnerable in society, your campaign will fail. You bank on the suffering remaining below the radar, and you will be proved wrong. We will hammer you with the consequences, and, in time, you will be defeated.”

Apparently not content with peddling the bedroom “tax” lie, a YouGov poll shows Labour aren’t being entirely truthful about what the public think, either. Awkwardly, 49% of the public support the government’s reforms, compared to just 38% against. Even 34% of Labour voters support the policy. They won the battle on how the debate was framed in the media, but despite what Owen says the “decent people” he talks of recognise that the reforms make sense…

UPDATE: At least one Shadow minister is finally listening to the public:


  1. 1
    Paniagua Solo says:

    Its good to know that only 38% of the population are on the take though.

  2. 2
    John says:

    “Despite what Owen says, the “decent people” he talks of recognise that the reforms make sense…”

    I’d put money on most people not knowing the sob stories about foster carers, disabled people, etc, getting stung by it.

  3. 3
    Paniagua Solo says:

    Or indeed the opposite stories about people living in million pound homes

  4. 4
    the paper says:

    do the huhnes have spare rooms?

  5. 5
    hold them to ac says:

    Remember citizens, that could be your bone-idle mother in law forced to give up her 3 bedroom council flat her son also stays in when he is ‘out of it’. And keep the red flag flying.

  6. 6

    On the take when there is nothing left, too.

  7. 7
    the paper says:

    yes its just cheap stereotype targeting – find someone who can’t easily manipulate the press (no – not the Huhnes) – and encourage the mob to throw bricks

  8. 8
    Lost in Clacton says:

    A “hated” tax you say ?

    The only taxes I like are those taken from others and given to me .

  9. 9
    a non says:

    Godd comment Guido but did you have to use a pie chart and numbers- You know Owen doesn’t understand maths.

  10. 10
    (very) sad dam hussein says:

    that sounds like the mother in lw of all battles

  11. 11
    hold them to ac says:

    The Huhnes are on the advanced social. Not for plebs like us.

  12. 12
    (very) sad dam hussein says:

    you must be a farmer

  13. 13

    “The public?!? What the hell do they know..!”

  14. 14
    Bobby Digital says:

    Labour spray money all over the place. We’ve seen the consequences of their waste again and again.

    It shows the lazy entitlement culture in the country. People get houses and flats with spare rooms thanks to taxes paid by others, many who don’t have a spare room for themselves. When these house-hogs are are asked to move on to make space for others they consider it an “attack”.

    The biggest attack on the poor is Labour trying to tax working people to pay for others to stay for free in oversized accommodation.

  15. 15
    (very) sad dam hussein says:

    so if there is a surplus of military barracks bedrooms the MoD will be taxed?

  16. 16
    Handycock (Teen Fondler) says:

    I’m on the take and have been for over 40 years, therefore I have every sympathy with people on benefits and oppose the bedroom tax unanimously. Boaz.

  17. 17
    (very) sad dam hussein says:

    ..and the sally ann?

  18. 18

    How many bedrooms can you use simultaneously?

  19. 19
    Ubique says:

    Absolutely agree with the removal of the subsidy, we need people to realise that they are not owed a living and if they can’t rent the room out to get an income which you then pay tax on to repay the people you are scrounging the money off in the first place you don’t deserve to live in the place, if I had my way we would have japanese hotels for social housing and issue earplugs and air fresheners!

  20. 20
    hold them to ac says:

    Oh there is – alcohol duties could double, petrol too and even, well, council tax through the backdoor. Your sole mistake is really underestimate socialism, our beloved cat, Miliband has Balls never forget it.

  21. 21
    Troy Tempest says:

    Do 38% of decent people on housing waiting lists approve of all those subsidised spare rooms?

  22. 22
    Dan Bailey says:

    That’s Labour for you, always on the side of those claiming benefits instead of supporting people trying to get on.

    Everyone in social housing should be reviewed every few months to check if they can move out, either pay their own way or be put into something with the right number of rooms to suit their need.

    I’m not paying for people to live in houses with spare rooms just because they can’t be arsed to move out.

  23. 23
    The incoming hordes from Bulgaria and Romania says:

    WTF is a bedroom?

  24. 24
    hold them to ac says:

    Yes because they want more council homes built which is Labour official policy. Council tax can double (and maybe re-assessed for all). Well done families in poverty on benefits, remember free food is supplied.

  25. 25
    Ms Wanda Legover says:

    In this cast “the mob” being the BBC, labour party and the Grauniad.

  26. 26
    thw World's Greatest Newspaper says:

    New Argentine Pope Francis branded Falkland Islanders British ‘usurpers’

  27. 27
    Benny Fitz says:

    But its mi rite. i have pade stamps all me life!

  28. 28
    Yvonne from the Colliers Arms says:

    I have a friend who has got a two bedroomed flat measuring 96 square metres .

    When she went to insure it they said to her “Oh you’ve got 96 metres have you? Well we are going to have to work out your premium as if it was a three bedroomed flat .” .

    As far as I can see the Government has completely missed this point in trying to balance the books for those taxpayers who have agreed to stay in the UK.

    People like Mr Pickles are obsessed with peoples’ bedrooms.

    The real question to ask is “how many square metres have you got ?” .

    Thats what I think anyway.

  29. 29
    Bluto says:

    One of the constant deceits of the leftist collective is to talk of “the public” or “the people” when they mean national socialist activists or clients.

    Blair:- “The Labour party is nothing less than the political wing of the British people as a whole.”

    Miliband:- “One nation”

    Adolf Hitler:- “One people, one nation, one leader.”

    All three = national socialism.

  30. 30
    Chris says:

    Not half Guido.

    I’m sick of these people acting like they’ve got the right to live in a place with spare rooms, all at my expense.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    FFS Get a job and pay your own rent rather than blagging off everyone else.

  32. 32
    Mike (England) says:

    i’m going to get hit by this as i live in a 3 bedroom council house, its adapted for my needs but i cant live alone so i have a friend as a live in carer, we do not however “live together” so the “3rd bedroom” is in fact his living room, what isn’t considered is that once i’ve been priced out of my home so it can be handed over to a “nice” immigrant family, my carer is going to need housing by the council and i will have to go into a managed care home which costs around 5 times the current monthly rental so its not saving anyone anything, not only that but i will be forced to sell (or more likely throw away) many of my possessions in order to move into the much smaller managed unit.

  33. 33
    Anonymous says:

    There are hold loads exceptions. Soon there will be only handful of people paying it.

    I think its completely unfair to subsidies housing cost some pay and not others. All social housing should be sold off.

    Help for the poor should come through jobs and cut in taxes they pay not benefits as it make people live off benefits and keep people poor.

  34. 34
    Shazza says:

    So I’ll just have to go and get banged up again. Extra bennies for more sprogs to


  35. 35
    Lesley says:

    A woman who has her wheelchair lift in her tiny boxroom, leaving no space for anything else, has been told she will be charged. The house was was adapted at a cost of thousands.
    Another man who has terminal cancer, has lived in his house for 30 odd years. Worked all his life until now.He has a spare room so will have to leave his home and community at a time when he is most in need.
    Both cases reported on local news.
    So sad that you and your followers are crowing about this.

  36. 36
    Officer Dibble says:

    The benefit system is supposed to be a safety net, not a lifestyle choice.

    What incentive is there for anyone to work and pay tax when the doleites have a better standard of living?

    But Labour need their client voters, so rather than address the issue, they smear and say you are demonising the vunerable, like they said that anyone who opposed their open-door immigration policy was racist.

    What exactly is Labours policy on welfare (other than to spend more, and to try to borrow our way out of debt)?

  37. 37
    Mike (England) says:

    all of them for the next few months.

  38. 38
    Penfold says:

    Looks like the agit-prop of calling the reforms a tax have failed.

    Typical of the left, wasteful with our money, and deceitful with their words.

  39. 39
    hold them to ac says:

    No similarly to as there may have been a space at Broadmoor for one of your forebears? Why ask such self-evident questions unless you are a totally small minded troll (google it)?

  40. 40
    Pope Francis the Argy says:

    “The Malvinas are ours. Respect for those who gave their lives must not be lost. This is our land. The Falklands are Argentine.”

  41. 41
    smoggie says:

    There’s going to be an awful lot of amateur internal demolition work going on in the near future. A spare room….nothing a sledge hammer can’t fix.

  42. 42
    Chris says:

    Your cancer man doesn’t have to leave his house, he just gets docked some money.

    But ill or not, he shouldn’t be in the same house with spare rooms going empty. Families on waiting lists are desperate for a roof over their head, many in temporary B&Bs because of situations like this. The real scandal is many in good health are sitting in houses too big.

  43. 43
    Tony Eden from Eton says:

    Who is the complete and utter idiot who carried out this survey ?

    The Great British public do not want this reform : they want the subsidy ABOLISHED .

  44. 44
    Steve Miliband says:

    End of the coaltion? Hurrah! Lib Dem MEPS also voted against EU budget. LD’s will vote against Leveson next week. Tits

  45. 45
    Quiet Bat Person says:

    All of this is, of course, ignoring the more fundamental problems; the high prices of accomodation in the UK, and the lack of properties suitable for single people.

    Property prices created a bubble and are a drag on the economy. The prices are being propped up artificially, by low interest rates that punish the savers and reward the profligate.

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile thousands of homeless families share a single room in B&B.

    Who is the more needy?

  47. 47
    Lost in Clacton says:

    I am a hamburger .

  48. 48
    Prince Charles says:

    I say, this business with the new Pope is very exciting. Not that I am keen on any election for the top job, but what with Queen Beatrice and now the Pope, I wonder is any other elderly leaders might be thinking about stepping down.

  49. 49
    Labour nutter says:

    It’s a battle/war thing. Labour will use this to toxify the Tory brand and will be successful because the Tories have been way too slow to enter the framing battle which is now over.

    People recognise it’s the right thing to do but that the Tories are heartless bastards.

  50. 50
    Anonymous says:

    The BBC this morning highlighting case of couple in Inverness, the wife has MS, is in wheelchair. Their spare room is used for storing her wheelchair, other medical equipment and medicine used by district nurse who visits every day. They are subject to the bedroom tax because the husband acts as her carer. Paying him benefit is a damn sight cheaper than providing it professionally in case you assume that makes him a scrounger.

    The chances of them finding a one bedroom flat which is adapted to her disability are pretty much zero so they will just have to lose out financially. It may break them. The more people hear these stories, the more support for the bedroom tax will wane. It is one of the most impractical and unworkable pieces of legislation in decades. Utter incompetence.

  51. 51
    Democratic Conservative says:

    Hmm… ask the question in a different way and get a different result…

    I wonder how many spare bedrooms the Cabinet has between them?

  52. 52
    Corby born Corby bred strong in the arm thick in the head says:

    I invested my life savings in Lloyds TSB as my private pension fund .

    Life is going to kick you in the groin .

    Stop whinging and get on with it .

  53. 53
    Prince Charles says:

    Sorry about the typo, the spell checker has his day off today! Should have said
    I say, this business with the new Pope is very exciting. Not that I am keen on any election for the top job, but what with Queen Beatrice and now the Pope, I wonder if any other elderly leaders might be thinking about stepping down.

  54. 54
    hold them to ac says:

    Great point generally Yvonne, but that’s not normally how council/HA accommodation varies, it is generally quite modest in size, without enormous lounges/dining rooms etc so the usual builders’ specs are in terms of bedrooms, and so is allocation. If tenants can fill their bedroom with a lodger then as has been reported they will at least cover the increase, and help the economy grow, or they can downsize, or get more income in, it isn’t a lot at all. Call e.g. Lambeth’s generously paid for advice line. Even they face the truth.

  55. 55
    Lesley says:

    The bile and ignorance spouted here should make you ashamed Guido Fawkes, but it won’t. Stoke up hatred to make you popular enough to get a job with a right wing rag. Triples all round.

  56. 56
    Paniagua Solo says:

    I have a mortgage, if I loose my job or have to give it up due to some incurable disease its a bloody shame as it is for anyone who contracts something that will lead to an early death. However with no money coming in I will have to sell my house and then purchase something smaller with the equity that is left (Mortgage outstanding – Value of house).


  57. 57
    M says:

    Don’t forget the overseas bedrooms where benefits are being sent abroad .
    or is that not allowed under EU law

  58. 58

    Blue=49% = Cons+UKIP
    Red= 38% = Labour Sheeple
    Yellow = 13% =Lib Dems

    This pie chart is uncannily close to recent voting intention polls

    If Camoron gets defenestrated and a real Conservative becomes leader of the Tories, 2015 is all over bar the shouting.

  59. 59
    Anonymous says:

    In UK average house price to income is 6.5. In other countries its much much higher, in China its 26, in some countries its over 100. If you look around the world, in UK housing is cheaper compared to income. This is one of the reason foreigners are buying Central London.

  60. 60
    hold them to ac says:

    Councils will have a discretionary fund which they can apply to those people they consider needy. If your officers are complete pillocks report them to the press (e.g the disabled lift bedroom case you cite).

  61. 61
    Bugger! says:

    Anybody got a suggestion for a witty moniker?, my old one has just been terminated, seems to happen about every 18 months, persona non grata, again!.

  62. 62
    Paniagua Solo says:

    And in typical LibDem tradition they are ‘don’t knows’ :)

  63. 63
    hold them to ac says:

    Ha ha it’s based on the Tenancy Agreement. Sorry funny but not true.

  64. 64
    The BBC are biased says:

    One case out of a nation of sixty plus million does not a bad law make. The BBC must have worked jolly hard to root this one out.

    By the way they will not be paying a penny more tax. They will though not be getting help to pay for their spare bedroom.

    We all have to put up with this. In the main council tax is decided by the number of bedrooms a property has, their size or use is not taken into account Now that is TAX.

  65. 65
    hold them to ac says:

    My close secretary of state contact tells me he has a bijoux pied a terre at £1995 pcm in Tring, the trick is to rent them out see? Sad but sometimes true.

  66. 66
    Selohesra says:

    If no one can see into the house couldn’t you be using all at the same time – although you might be dead in some of them

  67. 67
    Tax I'll tell you what tax is says:

    Parents have died, house on the market, socialist council has voted in a 150% council tax for such properties. No account of ability to pay is taken into consideration.

    That is what you call tax!!!. But are Labour (and the BBC) doing anything to stop this daylight robbery?

  68. 68
    Officer Dibble says:

    Why don’t you address the issue, rather than smearing your opponents?

  69. 69
    Bugger! says:

    Guido is a Godd.

  70. 70
    Anonymous says:

    You’ll use it as a toilet.

  71. 71
    Vince Cable says:

    I don’t remember tax.

  72. 72
    Residing in 96.97% white Merseyside says:

    Can’t quite work that one out! So Russian billionaires can’t afford property in Moscow say, but can afford London despite it having the highest prices in the world.

  73. 73
    hold them to ac says:

    From Wit’s End in Witney?

  74. 74
    Lesley says:

    I was very ill for 4 months and got the interest on my mortgage paid. I was very grateful. My family and myself have worked all our lives and paid in. I do not begrudge helping those who can’t work or have fallen on hard times. That is how I was raised, not to be totally selfish and think of others.

  75. 75
    hold them to ac says:

    Marx said: Property is theft. Bad luck, do let us know where you are.

  76. 76
    Jimmy says:

    Unbelievable. Screwed over royally by Butch and you still find a way of making it about immigrants.

    This is how they get away with it.

  77. 77
    Paniagua Solo says:

    Are we talking Quantum bedrooms?

  78. 78
    Bugger! says:

    The King and the Court Jester he was always at his wits end?.

  79. 79
    Residing in 96.97% white Merseyside says:

    Despite that there is an open invitation for him to visit the Falklands by RC’s living there.

    Perhaps they are the three who voted against.

  80. 80
    D CAMMERON says:

    owen jones is a twat – he is much older than he looks

  81. 81
    Paniagua Solo says:

    And what would you have had to do, if you had been ill (god forbid) longer than the support lasted?

  82. 82
    Anonymong says:

    Page four of the Socialist Debating Screeching Guide.

    “When losing an argument, use Ad Hominem attacks. Accusing your opposing number of being rascist is very effective at regaining the upper hand.”

  83. 83
    hold them to ac says:

    It is so fun to see Mary Creagh rampant, I’m tipping her for future Labour Party leader, clear, neat, strong-minded, member for Wakefield, and knows how to treat the media. The fact that she wouldn’t have made it anywhere were it not for the fortunate blunders by supermarkets on horsemeat are neither here not there.

  84. 84
    Brinx Matt Bobery says:

    Really not sure about this one. On the face of it it seems a no brainer – why should people get larger properties than they need paid for by the rest of us. But hang on how did this happen, Certainly the council and Housing association wouldn’t just allocate you a big property because you asked for it. So if you are a single person you would never be allocated say a 2 or 3 bed flat. So it must be that people had met the criteria for bigger properties and then one person died, a couple split up, kids had grown up etc. OK so still an argument but a different one which is to say that residents of social housing should when they no longer meet the criteria for the size of property they are in be moved to an appropriate sized place. Regardless of whether they are on benefits or not. This would be a much better policy than the current one which will just result in people moving out of social housing into the private sector and (us) paying more. Of course another idea is you just say here is a fixed amount for rent – lets say £100 a week and get on with it.

  85. 85
    Lesley says:

    I actually gave examples unlike most who are just spouting drivel

  86. 86
  87. 87
    Larry Livingstone says:

    But a lot of these fuckers are claiming benefits year in and year out .

    How about limiting maximum benefits for say 12 months alongside voluntary insurance in the good years .

  88. 88
    Murphy, Byrne and Jones Liars 4U says:

    There is no truth left.

  89. 89
    smoggie says:

    Or you could do something smart like get income protection insurance.

  90. 90
    Bugger! says:

    Horse in Beef is running in the 2.30 at Chepstow.

  91. 91
    Paniagua Solo says:

    Good idea, now show me a policy that provides support to the same length that housing benefit lasts for. i.e in perpetuity.

    Thanks in advance

  92. 92
    Paniagua Solo says:

    Proof if ever we needed it that Labour is all about the benefit class rather than the working class

  93. 93
    smoggie says:

    Owen says that most benefits claimants are decent people. There may well be some, but most I have met are fucking shysters. I guess 49% of the population think the same.

  94. 94
    Anonymous says:

    I am sorry but that is just nonsense – this case is typical. Access to social housing these days is needs-based. The majority of people in social housing in Scotland who are affected by the bedroom tax – and I have no reason to believe it is not the same in England – have a DDA-recognised disability.

    The problem here is that the government is using your prejudices to their own advantage. It is exactly the same as left wing people pointing to incidents where businesspeople or Tory lords or whatever are corrupt and saying See – they are all the same. That is of course nonsense. The fact that some businesspeople and Tory types are corrupt does not mean that they all are. And the fact that the Daily Mail etc can dig out examples of feckless scroungers living in big houses at the taxpayers expense does not mean that everyone in social housing is a scrounger.

    The biggest group of people affected by the bedroom tax – along with all the other aspects of welfare reform – is disabled people. That is a fact. It is an unpalatable fact. If the government said we are going to save money by cutting support for disabled people and their carers the public would not like that. So they don’t say that. Instead they create a narrative of strivers and shirkers. And you buy into it because you want to – and even when the facts are presented to you, you put it down to the left wing BBC. If you spent even half an hour researching this, you would realise how wrong you are.

  95. 95
    Diane Abbotapotamus says:


  96. 96
    David Lammy says:

    U are a Wacist

  97. 97
    Gideon, Junior Towel-Folding Champion extraordinaire says:

    You should learn to treat your elders with more respect, Dave.

  98. 98
    stewart edwards says:

    The simple poitical reality remains however that once familes start to see and feel the effects it has on their relatives many will wonder, with hindsight, if it really was such a good idea. You might be a life long tory but when you see your sister not eating properly, your brother worry himself to death, your mother having to move miles away remote form social contact, your child really struggling, many will pause for thought and try to correct things through the ballot box.

    Now you can argue that welfare reform is a good idea (I certainly do) but how it is being implemented and the speed of it are what is harmful. There are many divere social consequences falling out from this seemingly sensible policy that it is saddening. At least the government have finally had the common sense to given expemptions to the armed forces etc.

    As with many of our governments policies, they seem to look at things in straight accounting terms, and not account for the wider interactions and consequences. And that is why, even with the best of intentions, the governments strategies for revitalising this nation are not only failing but could do far more harm than good. In the meantime people suffer.

    And given how “flexible” the job market is, every one of us is only a decision away from unemployment, homlessness etc, and even being knocked off your bike could make you disabled, oh sorry I meant fit for work.

    I do hope that Cameron is right and I am wrong, but time wil tell. Sadly probably leaving the mess of the current government for the next one to resolve.

    When you consider our resouce security issues (water, food, fuel) which the free market is in no way helping in any meaningful way, combined with changing weather patterns, and the increasing talk about the posisbility of European war again most recently by the President of Luxembourg, fracturing the social fabric of this nation now could easily place this country in a very precarious position.

    Welfare reform could have been achieved much more quickly, cheaply and fairly, simply by employing suitable people who have lived off benefits for years to get the machine to work better.

    Remember this nation evolved form a free market harsh place with workhouses and child labour etc, now we are being regressed backwards. And sooner or later most of us have need of the welfare state, which simply isnt going to be there for our children.

    And dont believe the spin for there were alternatives. But as Labour are now simply a shadow Tory party what hope do we have?

  99. 99
    Bunny says:

    My God Dave that ist he first sensible thing you have said.

  100. 100
    Bugger! says:

    The BBC receive hundreds of millions of pounds from the EU to promote their propaganda (but it’s a big secret), so no surprise that out of an audience of 500 people Dimbleybore of the Dim Dynasty manages to home in on a Labour activist, quell surprise! that proceeds to smear UKIP as disgusting people. Surely people have now got wise to your question time circus BBC.

  101. 101
    Guido's bezzy mate says:

    Guido’s a clever commentator, but you lot are morons.

  102. 102
    Y says:

    Do his ears pull out that guy in Men In Black ?

  103. 103
    Owen "hammer" Jones says:

    If I had a hammer
    I’d hammer in the morning etc etc

  104. 104
    University of Bulgaria says:

    Toilet training degrees available ?

  105. 105
    Ubique says:

    Only if you are employed!

  106. 106
    Alex Disability Claim says:

    Sinn Fein are to oppose and prevent the reform being introduced in Northern Ireland, at a cost of £17million. I assume they’ll take it out of hospitals and schools budget….all to appease their scamming bastard core vote.

  107. 107
    Anonymous says:

    At least the new pope has done something Gordon Brown never could – win a leadership election.

  108. 108
    Ubique says:

    And not allowing a claim unless you have worked a minimum of 2 years paying tax and national insurance during those 2 years! Benefits limited to 3 kids only, after that if you want more kids you pay for them and that includes child benefit, only for three kids!

  109. 109
    Nick Clegg - you know, the bloke with the imaginary friend in clink says:

    Here, have this one.

  110. 110
    Hargaret Modge, Labour MP and Hypocritical serial long term aggressive Tax Avoider + expenses thief says:

    Sigh…a reduction in public handouts is NOT a TAX. Geddit? So say for example cutting JSA by a penny is NOT a Job seekers Allowance Tax. Rather a lazy bar steward incentive scheme.

    Seems Labour subscribe to the Joseph Goebbels School of Publicity. Repeat a lie often enough…..

  111. 111
    Why use one word when 500 will suffice says:

    You lost me at simple.

  112. 112
    Ubique says:

    Time to say goodbye, general election coming soon if clegg and co don’t toe the line! UKIP welcome to the the table!

  113. 113
    Simple Simon from Slough says:

    But with a few more demonising sentences from the BBC, everyone will pretty much vote UKIP or Labour, which will result in interesting results kicking people like Adam Afriyie in the balls. And a Balls ascendancy for 5 years.

  114. 114
    Anonymous says:

    This ill thought-out policy has a fundamental flaw. It is going to end up costing the government more in benefits and votes.

    The planning system in the previous mad Labour years was distorted. There are no one bedroom houses available in this community. Therefore there is no option to these payments, so the hurt will be for the next few years, felt by voters and their families. All those that are displaced out of their family and support communities, will eventually require more state aid for care.

    The new builds were defined by tracking the demand. Since there was no bedroom restriction it only fell to price. But in a limited market the perceived demand reflects the availability. Therefore the new houses actually have no relation to the current step change in demand. Hence why no one bedroom houses were built, the persuasion of the builders distorted further the higher bedroom count for higher profit.

    So now what will happen. There is a need for a low number of bedroom houses. There is also a unnatural turn over of property as they downsize. This together with the renting restrictions introduced on properties, will mean that every house will need a refit to come to up standard.

    During that refit the landlords will alter many houses to remove the small bedrooms. The cost of the refit will be taken by a increase in rental values by the landlords. Even without the refit the increase in rental is aided by the turn over of properties. So the mad situation could occur that a person displaced ends up back in the same house after the refit.

    Great intentions but not thought through. Leaving most of these people in the old property will be cheaper. The correct approach would be to first build the stock of new economical small houses, and no stick would have been needed.

  115. 115
    Len of the Unite kingdom says:

    Don’t forget me

  116. 116
    Alexander Pope says:

    That’s democracy for you – open and transparent as ever.

  117. 117
    hold them to ac says:

    £17M. Have it, that’s what you’re owed still from the Titanic. Nice country, shame about the schools and hospitals if they are as financially stricken as over here. That by the way would be Burnham. Spread my advice, vote on left-right political lines, vote say UKIP or whoever for a breath of fresh air or Communist if you will, but never vote sectarian, they are all certainly on the take.

  118. 118
    Tosspot says:

    Indeed this is just one emotive case but what about those thousands where the spare room is just a junk room which could be put to better use…. I am amazed at Socialist Hypocrisy, I thought you Neo Communists were all in favor of the havenots, IE: the thousands without a home or living in Cramped Accommodation.
    Remember the Dr Zhivago illustration of good Communistic Practice…… Socialist Hypocrites the lot of you.

  119. 119
    Tom Watson says:

    Did you say “pie”?

  120. 120
    the general public says:

    ….me thinks this falls into the “lies, damned lies, and statistics” category! It’s either incorrect or those “surveyed” have not been representative, &/or been asked the wrong question &/or been supplied with less than accurate information.

    The fact is most benefit claiments are on income related benefits (and this will increase as welfare reform changes progress). Income related benefit amounts are supposed to give the minimum amount needed. For a single person that’s £71 per week. Any rent paid is based on what the landlord is charging so can be anything from £50 per week upwards. Council tax benefit is fixed by the Council. Housing benefit and council tax benefit are supposed to be paid to the landlord/counil (new rules are sending these payments direct to the claiment….train crash waiting to happen).

    The bedroom tax will ensure someone with one “spare” room will lose 14% of their housing benefit. For our single friend above that is a minimum of £7 per week, or 10% of their income (government statistics suggest the average will be a drop of £14 per week). Some of those losing out are scroungers, but most are decent people who genuinely want to work or can’t work.

    Not many people could cope with a 10% reduction in their income.

    …….and now no-doubt will come derision from the right wing nut cases.

  121. 121
    Jimmy says:

    Wow. I though even righties no longer believed in getting rid of the disabled.

  122. 122
    Bugger! says:

    The answer was staring me in the face all along: persona non grata.

  123. 123

    The Coalition need to keep exposing Ed and Ed’s web of spin lies and show Labour as a party of proven fiscal incompetence, central control, big government, high taxes, borrow and spend.

    Make sure the public know just how privileged and elite the rich, privately educated, Oxbridge PPE shampagne sociopaths on the Labour front bench really are.

    Avarice, mendacity and lies are the tools of the megalomaniac Parliamentary Labour Party

  124. 124
    stewart edwards says:

    Well I am a benefit claimant. I am also professionally qualified (though not having used my qualifications for 15 years are effectively useless now in terms of employability) and have qualifications in economics and science and IT. I have worked in the global professions (Price Waterhouse) and ran my own business.

    Given my qualifications do you really think that I would live of benefits if I had any real choice?

    Also remember that many benefit claimants are in work – until recently at least even policemen were getting tax credits. I mean our police should be paid enough not to need benefits.

    During my time on benefits I have achieved many things for society and been in small ways multiply peer recognised for what I have done. Nothing that anyone could earn any money from, sadly but I think it fair comment to say that I have inspired whole groups of people from local children to certain parts of the masonic world globally [while others in the masonic world very vocally dislike me]. In other cases you can see a fairly coincidental extensive trail of me being a pain in the ass and corporate and organisational policies and practices subsequently changing. Now this in principle is much more employable, but short of GCHQ giving someone the nod pretty much impossible to prove. Again sadly.

    It is my decade plus experience on benefits, that has given me the experience to support what I say. And it might suprise you to know that I do have sympathy for what our government are trying to do, but believe me when I say, they have gone about it completely the wrong way, in any resect other than a simply save £x of the budget. A few simple changes as opposed to wholesale change was all that was required and would have prevented the social fracturing (think illness, crime and suicide) that increasingly will fall out form their policies as the cuts bite even deeper (and yes the cuts are very deep I know this first hand, the welfare bill is increasing simply because the governments economic policies have failed so more are claiming/and the cost of the unnecessary and destructive changes).

    And anyone in goverment who thinks that their new computer system is working – seriously – if you enter your email address it doesnt work – hasnt for months. I mean come on, why ask for it if it stops your system from working. Making £ signs work might also be a good idea. {I do think that the new computer system is however a brilliant idea that if it works will make the system much better for everyone}

    And you really dont want to try to earn money while on benefits for the systems cant cope and you do loose far more than you have earnt. You eventually get it paid, but until our government can come up with a way which works where when you earn you dont loose twenty times as much, give welfare claimants a break.

    I mean as Panorama has proven you cant even get your payment by results private sector schemes to work properly. The free market is not as perfect as you think it is.

    But the worst of it by setting welfare claimants as scroungers you inject hatred into people hearts which has lead to a negative change in attitudes which if it continues will lead to bullying, crime and severe hatred towards the vulnerable.

    Most welfare claimants would love to work, and those who dont well the jobcentre should sort them out. I know my local jobcentre staff are incredible helpful. But to tar all of us with the same brush is a disgrace.

    I worked my way out of a broken home as a severely broken child in a Scots council estate and became a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse, a Tory party and Adam Smith Insitute member. Life then got in the way. The welfare state (and the Chartered Accounts charity) then saved me and my family. During my time on benefits I have done a lot of good for society and now I have to watch my wife prepare for the day that she decides she has had enough while I try to fathom out how to earn a living again as a 48 year old with a disintegrating back (and no I dont get any benefits for that – havent tried to claim any). Thank you Mr Cameron, thank you.

    On the plus side I am looking forward to the new universal credits where you can supposedly earn moeny and be no worse off from doing it. So Mr Cameron, seriously this time, thank you for that, that is a good positive thing. If it actually works properly.

  125. 125
    Tosspot says:

    It would seem we now have a Pope as Bigoted as the BBC. Interesting the will of the Falkland’s Inhabitants, mean nothing to him…

  126. 126
    Officer Dibble says:

    You were doinbg quite well until the last line where basically you say “and anyone who disagrees with me is a nut case”, but a typical tacttic of those who don’t actually want to engage in the debate, so not entirely unexpected.

    By the way, when did you stop beating your wife?

  127. 127
    Bugger! says:

    I posted pretty much what you have just said earlier, but it disappeared into the ether, half-baked, will cost Councils a fortune in arrears and paying direct to tenants will be manna to the multiple claimant fraudsters.

  128. 128
    Paniagua Solo says:

    Neither Red or Blue my friend. You are all scumbags

  129. 129
    Officer Dibble says:

    Sure, but what is your solution to what you percieve to be a widespread probem (other than to smear anyone who disagrees with you and hope they will go away)?

  130. 130
    Jimmy says:

    I doubt the policy is fully understood. Guido himself is so confused he seems to think that Helen Goodman in the video is agreeing with it.

  131. 131
    Bugger! says:

    Wrong denomination is all (Falkland Islanders).

  132. 132
    Labour hypocrite says:

    I have received a copy of the March edition of the Harrow People magazine. On Page 14 of the Budget Special feature they have called the extra bedroom/s penalty a Bedroom Tax ! I suggest they put the word ‘tax’ into wikipedia and understand the definition of tax. On Page 9 they state that they are putting council tax up by 2%. Doesn’t 2 % trigger a local referendum ? Surely their increase is 1.99 % ?
    On Page 5 Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar who is leader of the council says “I believe Harrow’s future remains bright despite the unprecedented financial situation that is not of our making.” Too right, it was the last Labour govt that encouraged you to spend, spend, spend !

  133. 133
    Gerry Manders says:

    Let’s tax the mansions of our opposition, but give free bedrooms to our supporters

  134. 134
    Labour, The BBC, etc. says:

    So if we can misrepresent a reduction in benefits as “a tax”, I wonder what else we can get away with misrepresenting.

  135. 135
    Fishy says:

    She’s an idiot – typical Labour gob on a stick, Yvette Cooper / Foghorn Reeves identikit.

    She seems to want to hold the Tory Minister personally responsible for every single horsemeat test (I bet she doesn’t believe that Labour Ministers should be personally responsible for Stafford. And she wasn’t impressive at all when she got Brillo’d the other week on immigration. Pathetic actually.

  136. 136
    the general public says:

    Fair point, it was a sweeping generalisations that did not further the argument, but no where near as bad as suggesting someone beats their wife based on….well, you tell me???

  137. 137
    or well donkey benjamine says:

    guido is some type of loon
    he uses stats to support his nonsense {in social engineering terms}
    but say in the hacked off thing he is suddenly about principle

    if i can raise a majority that dick head hypocrite seditious loons like guido should be hung

    will it make his column?

    seeing as there is so much hate found here it would seem to suit

    check here

    for details of mi donkey comment on moving people around like gypsies but based upon such as how many children are at uni but will be back as they cant afford a house

    we at our think tank believe this column is getting a little socialist

    soon there may be comment that the workers deserve as many mansions as the bosses
    based upon this fairness idea and effort

    you fucking selfish hypocrites

    divide and rule is alive and not well
    pick on the rich lazy for a bit
    inherited wealth etc?

  138. 138
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    Isn’t leaving them in the ‘old’ property what is going to happen?

    What changes is the current level of housing allowance/benefit [call it what you will] which will reduce because of the theoretical ‘over-housing” of small families with a spare room.

  139. 139
    you must be 'avin a laugh says:

    i think mr guido faux
    we can solve this
    with a time machine
    if you can ask the police and thatcher
    is it ok for the people to take to the roads
    or will they be met with police forcing them out of trees and lay bys
    back into houses

  140. 140
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    or a local councillor; or an MP; or a qangoista – the list is endless…..>>>>

  141. 141
    my brane erts says:

    Wossa skwair meter?

  142. 142
    my brane erts says:

    Have yourself checked for geegee dna asap.

  143. 143
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    They should have stayed at home in Dacca then.

  144. 144
    Anonymous says:


  145. 145
    Laber ejercated mafmatishun says:

    96 sqms.. How many football fields or Olympic size swimming pools would that equate to? We need to get an idea of what you are talking about.

  146. 146
    Curly says:

    I once knew some one who fancied himself as a bit of a DIY whizz. He tried knocking 2 rooms into one – and knocked down the retaining wall of the floor upstairs.. He was lucky the roof didn’t come down on top of him too.

  147. 147
    Fog says:

    How about having a common sense rule similar to places like Canada and Australia where new arrivals have no recourse to public funds for ten years. And you can’t vote until you become a citizen. In UK millions with ‘leave to remain’ visas can vote immediately. Oh, I forgot, we can’t make our own laws, we’re governed by the EU

  148. 148
    Curly says:

    Has Dave ever explained why he puts up with these treacherous so-called coalition ‘partners’? He should kick them all out of office, except may be for Clegg. An Aunt Sally is always useful to throw brickbats at.

  149. 149
    the jimmy savile experience featuring pete doherty says:

    single mum? on benefits? need to rent a spare bedroom?

    why not try this exciting new lottery…

    is your new lodger a nonce or not?

    do they use drugs?

    are they violent?

    can they speak english?

    there is only one way to find out! (and keep feeding your children)

  150. 150
    Helpful suggestion says:

    Do what I did. Rent it out at a reasonable rate that incurs you no taxable penalties, but gives you a steady monthly income, to folk who can afford both the rent and the council tax (stipulate that in the lease so you have no liability). If the two sums come to something under 8-900 quid a month, you should be able to find decent tenants.

  151. 151
    Helpful suggestion says:

    Did you never learn the word precis when you were at school getting all your wonderful qualifications (probably also at our expense)?

    That diatribe was far too long to waste time on.

  152. 152
    Helpful suggestion says:

    Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar

    WTF does he/she come from? And HTF do these people get voted into power?

  153. 153
    the jimmy savile experience featuring pete doherty says:


    ratio of total number of mp to total number of police officer to total number of uk population.

  154. 154
    Casual Observer says:

    You are quite right.

    For price to income comparisons, the only worth while comparison is the US, where it has been brought down sharply, and economic recovery is happening.

    The Labour subsidy effected a social engineering of sorts, pushing people into property which was really too big for their need. Absent family formation, the benefit reform will have the effect in part to effect a manipulation of that social engineering.

    The other aspect missing in all this is the use of the benefit system as a tool of social engineering.

    Aside as well that the reason for the introduced hardship when the benefit is withdrawn is that councils will not reduce their income requirements, mainly because that 10% cut would scupper their current pension provisions.

    Whilst Labour peddle their lies and the Tories do not come clean on Labour’s deceit over all this the real issues will remain hidden.

  155. 155
    Ubique says:

    So my two nieces whose mum has lived in a council house have just been given their OWN council house and they are fit and working in full time jobs, where’s the disability with them and why shouldn’t they live in one house not two, three including the mother who also has a 3 bed house!

  156. 156
    Ubique says:

    +2 but that is as has been said the socialist tree huggers answer to everything isn’t it!

  157. 157
    the general public says:

    One man’s “spare room subsidy reform” is another man’s “under occupancy charge” or “bedroom tax”. Does it matter???

    The fact is individuals are having to pay an amount of money to the government that they previously did pay. Personally, I work on the basis that if it looks like a chicken, sounds like a chicken…..etc.

    Gordon Brown did a plethora of similar wheezes, many of which were called “stealth taxes” by all and sundry, whether they were a bono-fide “tax” or not. I don’t remember Guido trying to argue that not all of them were a tax.

  158. 158
    The Masked Marvel says:

    Thank you for this example of how the benefits system is a life-long trap. You apparently had no opportunity to update your qualifications while you were out “achieving many things for society”. All those years of Labour government didn’t help either, apparently, so please go do some volunteer work for them to ensure they are no longer a “shadow Tory party”, if you think it’ll help. Of course, many will tell you it’s the other way round…..

  159. 159
    Ubique says:

    Maybe so but at least this lot are entertaining!

  160. 160
    Ubique says:

    The essay proves your past qualifications Stewart you could have carried on for the dissertation with no problem but surely getting to the heart of the matter and I appreciate your position claiming benefits, aren’t you exactly the person that our welfars system was put in place to help? But do you agree that any scrubber willing to open her legs to get a sprog so she can get a house and benefits isn’t the type of person the welfare system was put in place for? Let’s not get started on the health tourists, immigrants and the rest of the world heading for Dick Whittingtons dream!

  161. 161
    Infanta of Castile says:

    The severely disabled are eligible for DLA which, at higher rates, is of the order of £6K per year of untaxed and non means tested benefit. I am extremely sympathetic to those who need an extra room on account of disability but it might be thought reasonable for the extra costs to be one of the things they use their DLA for.That is the situation for disabled people who are not otherwise on benefit. The problem is that sometimes DLA has not been regarded as a payment to help with specific extra expenses arising from having a disability but just gets absorbed into the general household income.

  162. 162
    stewart edwards says:

    Just trying to be helpful by offering a perspective based on life experience not political ideology. I was once myself a very comitted Tory, it is in fact the only political party that I have ever been a paying member of. But they are wrong on the “hows” of welfare reform if not the “whys”. As I said above at a conceptual level I agree with welfare reform.

  163. 163
    stewart edwards says:

    “do you agree that any scrubber willing to open her legs to get a sprog so she can get a house and benefits isn’t the type of person the welfare system was put in place for”

    Well I know a few personally, some are good acquaintences. But yes Ubique I do agree with you here.

    However, in their defence, and to agree with our government here, some do seem to know no different. The system has enabled this. A quick boot up the jacksie wont change a decade plus of consitioning in this regard. What it will do is force people to turn to crime to make ends meet, and others will get ill through worry, stress, fear etc, making the jobs of the police and the nhs even more difficult.

    A better solution would have been to start with a clean sheet and impose new rules on new claimants, in the same way that professional bodies tend not to change the rules for existing members as often as they do for new members. New claimants would know no different so there would not be the fracturing issues (I have also worked on a factory floor and experienced this myself in that environment). Existing claimants could be gently eased off with more support to enable them (and please dont mention the work providers after the Panorama program that is failing people as amply illusterated by the program at the taxpayers expense).

    1. Knowing that the system has changed for new claimants would have offered pause for thought (and everything starts with a thought) without the distress.

    2. Those in the system would then know that it would not be in their own financial interest to have more children, focing further thought – do I want the child if I am not going to get xyz.

    3. The advice passed down from mother to daughter would change, resolving the problem within a generation at a sociatally safe speed.

    Forcing large sectors of the population to think about crime (to make ends meet as their life circumstances adjust wthout savings) is not a sensible government policy.

  164. 164
    stewart edwards says:

    Sorry the above was a bit jumbled as I was distracted. Hope you get my points.

  165. 165
    Brinx Matt Bobery says:

    No I think the idea is that that they get less housing benefit. Sure they have to make up the difference themselves but the Govt doesn’t get more in it (and in turn we as taxpayers) just pays less out – or that is the theory but there is nothing stopping people moving to accommodation that has the right number of rooms but actually costs more and therein lies the flaw.

  166. 166
    Tellitasitis says:

    Who cares what Owen Jones thinks anyway. He’s just a Guardian reject.

  167. 167
    Vald says:

    Whats a toliet?.

  168. 168
    Gin o'clock says:

    Its not immigrants its brown people or perhaps people whos first language is not english, these are the people you mean, they have an automatic right to everything.
    What a load of fu5king boll9ocs.

    We british are a set of cu7ts for alloeing this.

  169. 169
    The religion of Shite says:

    It will be interesting to see how many muzzies are treated to this new “tax” none I suggest otherwise the “community ” leaders will forecast unrest.

  170. 170
    40 years of tax paying says:

    Whatever you do dont save for your old age, you will be shagged by the shite of a so called govevrnment we have.
    Spend every penny you earn and try and avoid tax on the way.
    The only ones who benefit are immigrants mainly muslims because the Gov. are frightened of them.
    UK is now shit.

  171. 171
    40 years of tax paying says:

    Yes this is true benefits are limted to 12 months if you are british born and have paid in all your life 41 years. IDS has removed all but immigrants from ongoing benefits, the man is a disgrace and should be declared a traitor to the UK.
    Its a good job his wife has family money to keep him in the life he shouldnt enjoy.
    Total piece of shit.

  172. 172
    IDS says:

    shitehawk twat.

  173. 173
    gobshite says:

    IDS one man demolition team for government exits, total tosser.

    Hope his wife divorces him and cuts off his allowance.

    Please get cancer soon and dont tell anyone.

  174. 174
    Pollytwaddle says:

    The little shit ends up on the BBC spouting his nonsense to the gullible.

    That’s why you should care what he “thinks.”

  175. 175
    2112 says:

    Funny isn’t it how the compassionate caring sharing Left can be so quick to wish harm on those they don’t like.

  176. 176
    the general public says:

    This is the misrepresentation that the government want to put out.

    Housing benefit is money given out by government. Some of it goes to private landlords, some to council’s/other social landlords, but it is real money going out.

    So now the government are paying less of this out. On top of this the tenant affected by this is paying money to one of the landlords, some of which are council’s, ergo back to the government (hence why some call it a government tax).

    Moving accomodation will work for some, but the fact is there is a huge housing shortage, especially for 1 bedroom property (the governments claim, not just mine), and it opens up a can of worms with regards restricting social mobility.

    The bottom line, in my humble opinion, is this is a potentially good idea woefully executed, and as a reslut will cause many more problems that it solves, including costing more than it saves (cost to council’s for homelessness, increased funding to organisations/charities helping affected people/increased crime etc. etc).

  177. 177
    Nitty Nora head explorer says:

    I believe the Queen is ready to step down, after her gastro problems she realises, she has been on the throne too long.

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