Sunday, 10 February 2013


Perhaps somebody can solve a puzzle for me? Under the new regulations governing housing benefit for social housing tenants, benefit will be cut by about £14 a week if the Local Authority judge that you have a bedroom more than the Government has decided you need. If you have two, the cut will be greater. Adults will be allowed one bedroom each with the following exceptions:-

  • Children under 16 of same gender are expected to share
  • Children under 10 are expected to share regardless of gender
  • Disabled tenant or partner who needs non resident overnight carer will be allowed an extra bedroom

It has been estimated that this will affect around 660,000 people, so they will have to decided if they should move or face paying more for their accommodation. It has been suggested that folk affected should move but where to?. For example, a single unemployed person in a two bedroom flat will have his benefit cut unless he moves. But where will he move to as there are no one bedroom flats in the social housing stock so it will mean going to the private sector which will cost more in rent and would  therefore, mean that he will receive a greater amount of housing benefit than he does now. So hence my puzzle – where is the sense in this – I just don’t understand.


  1. I could find this marginally more acceptable in particular circumstances. For example, are these the standards by which our politicians decide on the suitability or otherwise of their own accommodation? How many rooms in total does the Prime Minister enjoy with his private residence(s), 10 Downing Street, and Chequers? Will his "benefit" (ie the salary given at taxpayers' expense) be cut in respect of the excess? Thought not!

    You have to understand, Father, that we are just plebs. Don't do what they do, but do what they so.

  2. I think the Prime Minister actually does a job( whether you appreciate it or not ). The people affected are people who don't work or earn very little.

  3. As a matter of fact, people who receive Housing Benefit are not necessarily unemployed.

    1. thank you for pointing that out
      my council 2 bed flat is approx 20 to 25 pounds cheaper a week than any private rented single bedroomed flat in this area , which are as rare as rocking horse teeth around here

  4. Quite right, Father. As a taxpayer (on a modest occupational pension), I have no objection to the payment of benefits to people who are out of work, but I'm - ahem! - jiggered if I see any reason to subsidise employers who don't pay a living wage. This is the real scandal of housing benefit (and some other means-tested benefits). The foul rhetoric about "scroungers" is used to disguise the fact that many payments are to people on low wages.

    You are also right about the small number of social housing properties available with only one or two bedrooms. There is of course the issue of the great sell-off of council houses to sitting tenants, further restricting the supply of social housing.