The Labour Party has vowed to scrap the bedroom tax. They have finally said it after so long. A cause for celebration you would think but as usual the Labour Party makes a pig’s ear of it. Yes I have been calling for them to do it since day one but they manage to totally bugger it up.
To explain the Labour Party thought it necessary to say where they would find the money to do this YET that is a tacit admittance that the bedroom tax does save money which it doesn’t – a huge political and frankly stupid mistake by Labour!
Even worse they fail to attack the claimed economic / cost saving basis when the Tory led coalition are seriously exposed on the claimed savings and even more so on the Housing Benefit bill.
The BBC website is used here to explain though the same content is available elsewhere. It says this as the coalition response:
“The government argues it ends “spare room subsidies” unavailable in the private sector, and that the £23bn-a-year housing benefit bill must be cut.”
The spare room subsidy tag is a nonsense and the private sector comparison is a nonsense and always has been and for example a single person renting privately will receive more in housing benefit than a family of 6 will get for renting a 3 bed social housing property anywhere in the UK.
However the real issue is that the coalition claims about the HB bill which currently stands at £23.8bn. The coalition announced the bedroom tax policy and other welfare reforms such as the benefit cap etc shortly after taking office as a way to cut the HB bill – that was their chief purpose.
The coalition also said these reforms (bedroom tax et al) would cut the HB bill by £2bn per year!
The HB bill in May 2010 was £20.8bn and so the coalition target was £18.8bn but today with the bedroom tax the overall housing benefit bill today is FIVE BILLION POUNDS ABOVE THE COALITION TARGET that the bedroom tax was supposed to achieve! The reforms haven’t worked and the HB bill is still going up too!!
So instead of exposing these official facts which would have shown the bedroom tax and all the other welfare reforms aimed at cutting the HB bill haven’t worked the Labour Party gave economic credence to the economic lunacy and incompetence of the the bedroom tax, benefit cap, LHA reforms etc.
That is why the Labour Party are idiots and don’t have a clue what they are doing as now the bedroom tax debate will all be about how Labour can AFFORD to abolish the bedroom tax and NOT that the bedroom tax was a failed economic policy drawn up on the back of a fag packet by an incompetent IDS and Lord Freud!
Arses and elbows!
UPDATE 30 minutes after posting the above.
The social media response has been (a) first post of Joe’s I have disagreed with; (b) come on Joe be positive; (c) why are you raining on the parade…etc and in some ways to be expected.
Yet you all know I like numbers so what the above says:
(a) Instead of falling, the HB bill is £13.7 million per day MORE than the Tories said it would be
(b) That’s about £96m more per week
(c) In 5 weeks the HB bill increases by what the Tories said the bedroom tax would save in a year!!
You may now begin to see my key point, that the welfare reforms, more correctly the housing benefit reforms of the coalition have been a financial and economic disaster. They don’t work and in fact cost a sh*tload more!!
Yet the Labour Party failed to mention this as if they had they would have discredited the bedroom tax in money terms which (a) would have scored a major political point against the Tories, and (b) got the general public and electorate 100% behind abolishing it.
Yet because Labour failed to say these bloody obvious points they will now spend the next 18 months defending their decision to abolish it on grounds of THEIR economic competence rather than the economic incompetence of the TORIES for the bedroom tax in the first place!
That is why today’s announcement for me was a monumental cock by the Labour Party.
Courtesy of Joe Halewood at SPeye