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Discussion on welfare, wages, and policy in the UK

System
System Posts: 590

Scope community team

This discussion was created from comments split from: Why arent benefits enough?.

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited June 4
    There's a stereotype that the Conservative Party or Tories don't care about the working class, poor, sick and disabled. They put in the Welfare Reform Act which changed DLA to replace it with PIP, and replacing Incapacity Benefit with ESA, along with other changes to the benefit system that people say are benefit cuts. They do understand, they just don't care. Their motive is from being divisive, not compassion. In fact benefits have lost 20-33% of their value compared to 15 or 20 years ago, because they haven't risen in line with inflation. The first thing the Tories did when they got into power in 2010 is decide to freeze benefits so they wouldn't rise with inflation. When Labour was in power it rose in line with inflation.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,256 Disability Gamechanger
    In fairness it has to be said that a lot of public servants got little or no pay rise during that same period, so far under its current leadership things have been relatively quiet on the benefits front, even seeing a £20 per week uplift in UC for 18 months. It should be remembered that in 2019 they took a lot of former labour seats along the so called "red" wall and now have MP's representing "real" life people.
    The jury is still out.
    Offering PIP advice to people with epilepsy.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    That work capability assessment which people hate.

    Introduced by Labour. 

    The stereotype is “just don’t care”. Couldn’t be further from the truth.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited June 5
    You mention public sector workers not getting a pay rise when the cost of living has gone up over the past 15-20 years, with wages not being increased in line with inflation. The chancellor Rishi Sunak was asked about that when he had a twitter Q&A under #AskRishi

    He said that it would be unfair to keep giving public sector workers a pay rise, because while the wages for public sector workers are increasing, for the the private sector it's instead decreasing. He said that he's more inclined to tackle the falling pay in the private sector because they suffer more.

    I suppose when the company or organisation you work for is funded by the taxpayer, you don't have to worry about whether the company can afford to make a profit, national and foreign competitors, unstable revenue streams causing the prioritising products and services which are more commercial as opposed to underground in order to be more competitive, changes in consumer trends, and managers and CEO's committing streamlining. So I'm not surprised that public sector pay is increasing while private sector pay is falling.

    Another thing is that although the government increases the minimum wage every year so the number goes higher, if you actually look at the value of minimum wage when adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage is actually decreasing every year.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,256 Disability Gamechanger
    @innocent21 bare in mind that most if not all public sector workers will end up with a much better and protected personal pension when they retire.
    As for the NMW yes it goes up every year, but in many cases those on UC and working in poor paid jobs don't really benefit, they jokingly renamed it the "living wage" truth is that it's anything but.
    Offering PIP advice to people with epilepsy.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    I do love debates like this @innocent21 . They serve as a fine illustration of how people struggle to distinguish fact from fiction and the extent to which Torirs set the agenda which nobody really questions.

    Let’s just remember that 

    Lie number 1 - wages are not increasing in the public sector at all. I’ve worked in the public sector for 29 years. I have taken an effective lay cut in approx. 26 maybe 27 of those years. Had my salary merely kept up with inflation I would earn approx. £15,000 more than I actually do.

    Lie number 2 - if pay is decreasing in the private sector that is generally because the law allows CEOs to be paid ludicrous amounts for repeated failure and multiples of the amounts earned by their staff which, if they were matched in the public sector, would be deemed a national scandal. Oh, and remind me on whose watch the gig economy and zero hours contracts flourished. 

    Lie number 3 - all businesses are funded by the taxpayer. Who is that buys the products made in the private sector do you think? 

    Lie number 4 - the public sector is not a business. It’s not meant to make a profit so you are effectively comparing apples to oranges. Nevertheless the Tories have privatised much of the public sector and introduced nebulous conceits like the internal market and procurement so in fact the public sector ends up replicating the stupidities of the private sector. 

    Lie number 5 - public sector pensions are not better than the private sector. This is well out of date but a good primer on the topic. Public and private sector pensions compared http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15925017 You’ll note that the actual differences between the two are negligible. What this of course doesn’t recognise is that nowadays almost all public sector pensions have moved away from final salary as well and the value has further decreased. I’m one of the people affected by this and my pension has effectively dropped in value by around £20,000 assuming I live for 10 years post retirement.

    The other thing not mentioned here of course is that private sector workers often have access to performance related bonus schemes simply not available to public sector workers and, over a decade in a job, those are estimated to be worth somewhere between £8,000 and £80,000. Oh yeah and of course the reason fewer private sector workers put money into pensions? Nothing to do with lower pay. Government reform of pensions allowed the blessing of money from such schemes and huge losses in existing schemes. Pensions are no longer profitable to provide and so there are Jess of them to buy into.

    If we’re going to have this discussion it would help of it we’re fact based rather than a regurgitation of propaganda from the likes of Sunak.




  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,256 Disability Gamechanger
    As far as pensions go in the past and to a point at the moment many people in the public sector tend to stay in their jobs for much longer than in the public sector and therefore build up pensions accordingly.
    What does annoy me is that some charities feel they have to pay CEO's silly money or see them leave to go into the private sector.
    Offering PIP advice to people with epilepsy.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited June 5
    Lie number 3 - all businesses are funded by the taxpayer. Who is that buys the products made in the private sector do you think?
    Your assertion is false.

    If all companies are funded by the taxpayer, why do public sector companies manage to stay afloat and withstand things like economic crisis, changing trends in consumer spending, and losses?

    Why did lots of fancy restaurants like Jamie Oliver's Italian, Carluccious and Gourmet Burger Kitchen have to close lots of stores after financially struggling?
    Not because the companies were inadequate or uncompetitive, but due to changing trends in consumer spending. More specifically as in the cost of living as people having less disposable income for leisure.
    Rising rents, inflation, wages not increasing in line with inflation, higher taxes, higher costs of driving and public transport, the pound falling in value compared to the euro after brexit which affected trade, etc.

    A public sector company would never face the same economic threats as a private sector company because their income is guaranteed from the taxpayer. For example TFL (transport for london) where TFL doesn't make a profit. They are making losses. Local Authority Funding or Council Tax combined with fare payments cannot cover the cost of running TFL, so they get subsidised by Central Government to cover the difference. If TFL ever got privatised, because of the hundreds of millions in losses, they would be forced to increase fares by at least 2x or 3x the amount, and would most likely go bankrupt because nobody would be able to afford the fares.

    Are there any other companies which can make over £100 million in losses and still exist? Being subsidised (Virgin Galactic, Sky News) or having diverted profits into investments (Amazon) doesn't count.

    Even the trains you use nationwide are subsidised. Companies like Virgin Trains, London Midland, Arriva, they are given a license to drive on specific routes, but the infrastructure is owned and maintained by the government under Network Rail. Not only that, the train companies are given corporate welfare so the government gives them free money. If Virgin Trains became the owners of Network Rail, rail fares would increase as the taxpayer wouldn't be maintaining the railway infrastructure any more.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 5
    Seriously? The public sector is immune to literally none of those things. 

    1 - a number of local authorities have effectively gone into the public sector version of administration. A number of hospital trusts and schools have gone into special measures. Train and bus companies are crashing out of franchises left, right and centre. There is no more immunity in the public sector than the private and its immensely irresponsible to suggest that there would be anything wrong with it if there were. According to your logic it would be perfectly okay to watch a hospital trust go bust when some of it’s services were forcibly moved to other locations even if it was demonstrated, as of course has happened, that people have died in consequence. 

    Once again, there is no unfairness here. You are comparing apples and oranges. The Tory idea that the public sector ought to be run by the same principles as the private sector is exactly why the NHS has been privatised and has been on its knees during a pandemic.

    2 - not sure why you would have any sympathy for the likes of Gourmet Kitchen et al. It’s called capitalism. If you have a product that’s pretty much the sane as other products then yes you will have to find a way to be competitive. If not, then tough. However, again, profit and competitiveness is not; never was and never ought to be the purpose of the public sector. As for Jamie’s Kitchen etc. he conceded that their debts were exactly because they had become uncompetitive but not for a single one of the reasons you list. He blamed Brexit and the failure to provide a distinct enough product. 

    It’s hilarious you’re blaming people having less to spend. Brings us nicely back to the fact that the reason people have less to spend are 

    - benefit freezes and cuts
    - zero hours contracts/gig economy. 

    The solution to government policy **** ups is not to punish the public sector for the inefficiency of the private sector nor to attack the poorest in society but both are okay according to your logic. 

    3 - your argument re: TFL kind of illustrates the ludicrousness of your argument. The purpose of the public sector is not profit. It is to provide essential services. What would your solution for TFL be then? To privatise it? It may have escaped your attention but TFL is in effect a franchise and thus is a private company being bailed out by the tax payer because it can’t run an essential service. Not a winning argument then.

    What is it that you think you’re arguing here? You posted 5 blatant inaccuracies. You have zero comeback on any of them but decided you’d try on 1.

    Very odd indeed.


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,256 Disability Gamechanger
    When we discuss benefits/wages/pensions etc etc we need to look at the economy in the round, for over a decade now we have had historically low interest rates, my first mortgage came with an interest rate of 13%, today you can easily find rates below 2%. We have had a fairly prolonged period of low inflation, I can remember the days when it was 28% last month it was 1.7% and that was double the previous month.
    Prior to covid we were enjoying steady rates of growth, nothing to write home about but not bad.
    We now see sectors of the economy that are desperate for staff, many reasons for this but it's there.

    As for benefits, I confess that I have been unlucky enough to depend on them for 23 years now, and you know what we haven't done too badly, we have made adjustments to our lifestyle and we haven't starved.
    Offering PIP advice to people with epilepsy.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    You’re very lucky indeed then @woodbine. Many on benefits have been subject to sanctions; freezes; cuts by stealth; the benefit cap; bedroom tax/LHA and much more.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,256 Disability Gamechanger
    Fully aware of that Mike, like I said we have made adjustments to lessen the effect of all those things, I look at it this way when I was working I paid tax and I made sure I knew how the tax system worked (in my case it often got quite complex), so when my income became benefits I made sure I found out how that system worked and made sure we got exactly what we were entitled to.
    Offering PIP advice to people with epilepsy.
  • lisathomas50
    lisathomas50 Posts: 4,584 Disability Gamechanger
    All I can say on this subject is that We are lucky to have a benefits system and national health if we didn't we would be in alot more poverty 

    We are also lucky that we can work and still get benefits and help with rent and things 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    Lucky? So we’re not a believer in basic human rights then? The right to food? The right to a home?
  • lisathomas50
    lisathomas50 Posts: 4,584 Disability Gamechanger
    A least we have human rights and I havent said that but its not as black and white as you make it out to be  its about how people spend the money they get but I am not going to debate that with you as your an intelligent person and I am sure you know what I mean 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 6
    Nothing is black and white Lisa but there are clear lines on a number of issues where people persist on insisting there aren’t and that always needs calling out. Being “grateful” or “feeling lucky” about our benefits system is exactly why it’s been decimated. 21 years into the 21st century and we now “celebrate” the opening of food banks rather than asking why they’re there in the first place. We accept sanctions and benefit caps when the evidence base for them internationally is zero. There is nothing to feel “lucky” about when you have a more punitive sanctions system than Korea and people kill themselves because of the multiple threats to an income which doesn’t even cover their needs.

    Feeling lucky is simply a form of arrogant complacency.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 5,974

    Scope community team

    Hi all,

    I appreciate that all of your comments were related to the thread they were initially posted on but, due to the thread being given new life more recently, and the fact that these comments don't directly answer the original question, I've split the comments off into a new thread.

    We do allow debate on the community, so long as it remains civil and respectful. If the thread descends into personal insults or uncivil argument, action will be taken by the community team.
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • ydna
    ydna Member Posts: 9 Connected
    edited June 6
    its about how people spend the money they get but I am not going to debate that with you as your an intelligent person and I am sure you know what I mean 
    I’m quite offended by this comment. 

    Please do break down for me then how I should be spending the £66 a month I have to live on? 
    That’s after my rent is paid. After only paying my rent I have £66. 

    Yes, I am claiming everything I’m entitled to. 

    So tell me how I’m spending my money wrong @lisathomas50?

    £66 a month to pay for:
    food
    electric
    gas
    bus trip to hospital 
    water
    phone and Internet (essential to claim UC or I’d have to pay £5 round trip a day to get the library to pay for their ‘free’ internet to check my journal, and my library has been closed for the last year too) 
  • ydna
    ydna Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Oh and I’m meant to make a council tax contribution out of that too!
    but yes of course I’m just spending my money wrong 🤦‍♂️
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited June 6
    There's no point in debating people who don't care about you, because they aim to be divisive rather than compassionate. To do so would make the false assumption that you both have each other's (and maybe society's) best interest. To debate someone fairly they would have to view you as an equal, without demonising and chastising you. It's a wasted debate. The underlying belief that underpins all the additional beliefs would first have to be addressed.

    its about how people spend the money

    It's the same stereotype and stigma that's existed for over 100 years, that the poor are lazy and responsible. So in your situation, Lisa accused you of being irresponsible by implying that you spend your benefits on gambling, drugs and alcohol. ;)
  • lisathomas50
    lisathomas50 Posts: 4,584 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 7
    I am not on about specific people I am on about wide spread and different circumstances I havent implied that any one on here spends their money on drugs alcohol and gambling 

    I have been an independent voluntary advocate since 2003  I live in Wales  I work in wales and I live in one of the poorest parts of wales food banks are used alot people come down to the food banks to get food for their family who are genuinely in poverty because they gave bills to pay and such like 

    Then you have people on full benefits or low paid jobs with benefits with children using food banks and things because yes they have spent all their money on drink drugs gambling smoking

    Before I worked  was on full benefits so I got most of my rent paid  I was left with only 100.00 to pay a month and council tax paid 

    I am also on pip  my universal credit includeds the limited capability to work on both those benefits before I started working and with the uplift of the UC I was getting 1200 a month into my bank account  thats uc and pip 

    I am now working I get 637.00 a month from my wages I get 599.00 a month UC they still pay the same amount of rent and I get just over 600 a month on my pip 

    I work 16hrs a week twi night shifts a week I can't plead poverty I get more than some people who work full time and have to pay out more 

    As someone else said we have to work out what we get and what we have to pay out and live within that until we can get something better like working part time if you can work 

    My sister inlaw pre covid went to Egypt every year she has 6 children and a husband never worked a day in her life he hasn't either and they have top of the range everything all have mobile phones and always have designer track suits and things 

    People live their lives in different ways have different priorities  handle money differently claim different amounts of money different circumstances 

    As I said nothing is black and  white we had a man lived  rough <moderator removed person identifiable details> he lived on the streets when he died he left an estate large amounts of money and property same happend in wolverhamton man lived in a tent in the middle of a duel carriage way when he died he had left property and large amounts of money 

    Poverty isn't blanket spread and isn't always as it seems 

    We get benefits we have some or all of our rent paid and some or all of our council tax paid  we have free medical services the national health  some pay for prescriptions some don't 

    We have foid banks we get help and support we have running water we have lots of things that other countries don't have and I think sometimes we take things for granted 

    I think the corona virus has taught us alot when we were locked down and not allowed to buy certain things and no pubs and no cafes and things like that someone countries dont even have that luxury  

    Thats why I say I think we are lucky


  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger

    I have been an independent voluntary advocate since 2003  I live in Wales  I work in wales and I live in one of the poorest parts of wales food banks are used alot people come down to the food banks to get food for their family who are genuinely in poverty because they gave bills to pay and such like 

    Then you have people on full benefits or low paid jobs with benefits with children using food banks and things because yes they have spent all their money on drink drugs gambling smoking

    Probably the single most offensive, prejudiced comment I have read on this forum. 

    You literally have no idea of the expenditure of someone who attends a food bank nor someone who is in work so how come you are suggesting that the latter are “spending their money on drink drugs gambling smoking”. 

    Let’s be clear. The Trussell Trust stats are unequivocal that the biggest users of their food banks are people on benefits. We should also be clear that most poverty is now “in work” poverty i.e. it’s likely that most users of food banks are not exclusively on benefits but are actually in work. So, it is totally false to make a distinction between “genuine poverty/people who use good banks” and people who work who do the same who you imply are waistrels. This is the language of the deserving and undeserving poor. It has no place in this discussion and nor, I believe, on this forum. You will hopefully appreciate that at this point my level of anger at the above is such that I am tempering my language considerably. 

    Then let’s look at “spending their money on drink drugs gambling smoking”. This is the language of pure prejudice and I am putting that as politely as I can under the circumstances. It should be remembered that all four of the above activities are legal and, when perceived as being done to excess, are likely addiction or serious health issues. They are certainly not issues on which any of us should have an opinion or be judgemental. As TT point out, most people end up at food banks because of wrongly applied sanctions or a significant change in their life circumstances e.g. death, separation, homelessness etc. Certainly not as a consequence of any of the above four. 

    Finally we have the passive aggressive phrase “full benefits”. The implication here is clearly an underlying belief that people who have earnings are getting more/full benefits in comparison to others. Plainly nonsense but that’s what’s being said. 
  • lisathomas50
    lisathomas50 Posts: 4,584 Disability Gamechanger
    Then your not reading what I said properly which is why I didn't want to debate it in the first place its not as black and white as it seems I take offence when people say I live in poverty when I clearly don't working or not working there is different levels of poverty and different levels of benefits and different levels of wages and people live  their lives differently also its ok for someone else to say full benefits but not for me to say that how else would you like me to say it ??,

    I have nothing else to say on the subject 


  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    Frankly what you said is, in my view, so poorly expressed as a post that I’m rather glad there is nothing to add. 

    I read your post in full and did so four times in succession. I then went away; took a deep breath and showed it to someone who is not a member of this forum. Their view was the same as mine. No matter what it was you thought you were trying to say, there is no getting away from the aspects of your post which I have quoted directly. 
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited June 7
    It takes a special type of intelligence and intuitive thinking to deny accusations of being a certain way, by providing an anecdote of themselves being currently or previously in the same situation that would aim to dispel or quell such doubts. I might sound cynical but I've seen the same logic being used a lot of times on debates on forums and social networks. I think it's a common trolling tactic.

    It's like a white person saying they can't be racist towards black people because they have black friends. It's also like a female feminist complaining about not feeling safe on the street due to being followed and stalked by men, and then some male MRA says she's being one sided, then she says he's invalidating women's issues and experiences of a gendered issue, then he says that he can't be invalidating because it happens to him and someone (male) he knows as well
  • ydna
    ydna Member Posts: 9 Connected
     I take offence when people say I live in poverty when I clearly don't working or not working there is different levels of poverty and different levels of benefits and different levels of wages and people live  their lives differently also its ok for someone else to say full benefits but not for me to say that how else would you like me to say it ??,

    I have nothing else to say on the subject 


    No one said that you were living in poverty. The discussion was started by me asking why the basic levels of benefit aren’t enough to live on. I think the common assumption here has been that I’m just ignorant of the system / claiming the wrong things / not getting everything I’m entitled to and that’s not the case. 
    I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to believe that for some, living on just benefits is impossible. I’m glad you’re not facing poverty but that wasn’t the point of the discussion. The fact of the matter is a lot of people, myself included, ARE. Not one person in this whole discussion has been able to tell me how to make my £66 a month stretch for all bills and be able to eat. Just that I should go to food banks or the crass and hugely offensive assumption that I just spend it on the wrong things. 
  • Oxonlady
    Oxonlady Member Posts: 452 Pioneering
    Hi @ydna, I'm really sorry to hear of your predicament. I certainly could not live on £66 per month.
    I'm assuming that this is Universal Credit?

    Before UC was rolled out nationwide, I sent a letter of support to the relevant United Nations Department, who were carrying out a thorough research into the UK's Social Benefits system. They'd reached the conclusion, as I had, that UC would cause distress and hardship to claimants. Our Government totally ignored the UN's concerns.

    Of course this doesn't help you now.
    I'm at a loss as to how you can move forward. 
    Again, I'm assuming that you have claimed for everything you are entitled to?
    In a civilised society people should not have to use food banks but of course some people are left with no alternative.
    I'm afraid all I can suggest is that you could probably get some help with utility bills. Water companies offer discounts to those on a low income and you could also apply for the Warm Home scheme to your electricity provider. 
    Of course, even if you were not a bill payer, £66 a month won't even cover your food bill. 
    I wonder if our Policy makers really understand what it's like for people on benefits? 
    I'm really sorry I can't offer any more practical help but I understand your situation and I know that we should be campaigning to improve the standard of living of those not in work or on low income. 


  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    edited June 7

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for starting an important conversation @innocent21 around an issue affecting many of our members’ lives. 

    Conversations such as these draw conflicting viewpoints, based on different positionalities, and to avoid closing down an opportunity for productive dialogue, I’d ask everyone to be mindful of the house rules - notably around remaining respectful, non-offensive and not personally attacking others.  Although I do understand the emotion underpinning responses, please avoid replying in the ‘heat of the moment’ if you consider this not possible. 

    @lisathomas50 I’ve removed a reference you made to someone from your locality, as this contained personal information that could render them identifiable.  It's also key to avoid making generalisations based on the observations of a few, particularly where these contribute to harmful narratives around disabled people.  As you say:

    Poverty… isn't always as it seems 

    With this in mind, please be cautious of presenting opinions as facts to ensure information shared holds validity.

    @ydna I’m sorry your situation is financially tight, would speaking to someone trained in benefits (visit Advice Local website to find someone close by) help?  Have you had your benefit entitlement checked?

    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited June 7
    We accept sanctions and benefit caps when the evidence base for them internationally is zero.
    It's wrong and very unfair how Housing Benefit is included in the benefit cap. I fail to see why people should suffer because their landlord has jacked up the rent to an extortionate amount. Housing is an inelastic good, an increase in the supply does not reduce the price. Also housing is not affected by globalisation, so cheap housing abroad won't affect the cost of housing in this country, unlike how foreign steel can undercut the costs of british steel. Also rents have the ability to negate wage increases. Lots of people talk about wanting Universal Basic Income or a higher minimum wage like Living Wage Foundation, but what would be the point of that if the landlord can simply increase the rent once it's implemented, so any extra money a worker earns would go to their landlord, so they wouldn't benefit from any wage increase?

    Also under Universal Credit it's easier for sanctions to be given out than under the legacy benefits. When it was Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) if someone didn't attend their appointment, they would be given a phone call then told that their claim is suspended (or paused) then they have 5 days to visit the job centre otherwise their benefit claim will be sanctioned or terminated. The benefit claimant would simply visit the job centre within the next 5 days then would avoid being sanctioned or terminated. Now under Universal Credit if a person doesn't attend an appointment, they can be sanctioned instantly and the 5 day window to attend the job centre to keep the claim active, that window no longer exists.

    I can't speak for other people's situation, but for me if I was to not work and become unemployed, my situation would be as follows. Luckily I've managed to get a job from December last year.

    Incomings
    £411 in universal credit with a temporary increase or £320 after the temporary increase ends in september

    Outgoings
    £0 Housing Benefit covers the rent
    £60 service charge that covers electricity, water, gas (with as a bonus cereal, milk, sugar and cleaning products). This is mandatory as part of my rental agreement.
    £25 unlimited minutes, texts and data mobile top-up on giffgaff
    £10 laptop insurance
    £0 for a bt wifi voucher as my sister pays for it

    That would leave me £326 or £246 to last me the whole month, to spend on food, transport, leisure and other things.

    The money sucks but it's better than nothing and there's people in a worse situation.

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    Housing is not impacted by globalisation?

    Where are you getting this stuff from?

    There are entire swathes of housing in major UK cities owned by private equity which originates outside the UK for starters. Then you have more generic foreign ownership and then finally you have the demand for poor quality housing often deemed appropriate for recent migrants which drives down rents.

    Not sure anyone is going to buy the idea that anything in excess of LHA etc. is automatically extortionate. Doesn’t follow at all. If you knew anything about the real costs off renting out you’d know instantly that £130 above etc. may just be what it, in reality, costs.

  • innocent21
    innocent21 Posts: 35 Connected
    edited June 7
    Yes I am aware that foreign investors affects the price of housing so globalisation has an effect. I was thinking more of the fact that house prices in Canada have no effect on house prices in Britain. Foreign investors never crossed my mind.

    and then finally you have the demand for poor quality housing often deemed appropriate for recent migrants which drives down rents.

    If by migrants you mean mean asylum seekers, economic migrants and illegal immigrants, they are exploited by landlords for either not having the legal right to work or fleeing poverty in their own country. Also immigrants don’t know how the country works so they won’t know their rights to even how to demand their rights. So the landlord breaks the law by overcrowding the house. I’m sure that putting 12 people in a 4 bedroom house to each pay rent is more profitable than having 4.

    Yes automatically going above LHA rates isn’t always extortionate as you claim. Actually LHA are always below market rates, a specific percentage below market rates. Firstly this percentage has been cut and secondly landlords overcharging the rent of benefit claimants does happen.

    I have a friend who is in a wheelchair who is forced to live in a specially adapted house. Her rent is much higher than mine and she has to use a high percentage of her disability benefits on rent, which I believe is the landlord exploiting the fact that she’s unable to live anywhere else. Another example is my brother works and pays his rent in full from his wages for private sector rent. His landlord told him that if he’s going to claim benefits (and Housing Benefit) then he’ll just increase the rent by £500 a month. This is cheating the taxpayer.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes I am aware that foreign investors affects the price of housing so globalisation has an effect. I was thinking more of

    I have a friend who is in a wheelchair who is forced to live in a specially adapted house. Her rent is much higher than mine and she has to use a high percentage of her disability benefits on rent, which I believe is the landlord exploiting the fact that she’s unable to live anywhere else. Another example is my brother works and pays his rent in full from his wages for private sector rent. His landlord told him that if he’s going to claim benefits (and Housing Benefit) then he’ll just increase the rent by £500 a month. This is cheating the taxpayer.
    Two terrible examples. Adapted houses by definition reduce the market and will be empty longer between tenants. Less exploitation so much as market reality. 

    Doubt the landlord will be able to claim any HB in a UC works. 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,256 Disability Gamechanger
    https://www.jrf.org.uk/our-work/what-is-poverty

    Link to Joseph Rowntree explaining exactly what poverty in the UK is.
    Offering PIP advice to people with epilepsy.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited June 7
    Two terrible examples. Adapted houses by definition reduce the market and will be empty longer between tenants. Less exploitation so much as market reality.

    Is there a government law, regulation or social policy that dictates that adapted houses can only be occupied by disabled tenants? Consider that the UK has a housing shortage which has caused people to live in shipping containers, converted office blocks, overcrowded housing, subdivided houses and flats with limited space that break the government's health and safety regulations, hotel rooms and house of multiple occupancy (HMOs). If a landlord has an empty property and is willing to accept housing benefit for it, considering the housing shortage, the 1.2 million people on the council housing waiting list and the council and charity Shelter wanting to house homeless people into properties that accept housing benefit, for what reason would a landlord refuse to accept tenants for an empty adapted property? When the council or Shelter tries to put a homeless person in one, is the landlord going to say "sorry I can't house you, this property is exclusively for disabled people only"?

    Doubt the landlord will be able to claim any HB in a UC works.

    Even if the government doesn't use the term Housing Benefit any more and technically the term is now called "housing element" for universal credit claimants, my point is still valid. Let's not argue about semantics.  ;) I was talking figuratively not literally. It's still colloquially referred to as Housing Benefit. You should know what I mean.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,445 Disability Gamechanger
    “Consider that…”

    Who exactly do you think you’re talking down to here. Maybe go back and read the post from @Cher_Scope above here once again.

    1 - it’s not about landlords refusing to let. It’s to do with the shortage of adapted, accessible properties. 90% of adapted properties are rented to people who require adapted properties. However, because councils in particular fear those properties being unavailable when needed then between tenants there are often significant gaps. A let of such a property to someone with no need would also trigger legal action as indeed it already repeatedly has.

    2 - I can assure you there is no colloquial use of Housing Benefit in place of UC housing costs at all. Neither I nor my colleagues have come across a single claimant or indeed anyone else who would confuse the two or use the terms interchangeably since UC was introduced. 

    Your desperation to have the final word here is exposed when you claim you were posting figuratively not literally and yet the exact words used were “ His landlord told him that if he’s going to claim benefits (and Housing Benefit)”. 

    Matter of time before you completely forget what original point you were trying to make so distracted have you become by sentence by sentence analysis. Do keep going. It is entertaining even if somewhat detached from reality. In the meantime I gather several users have made use of the ignore button for you and I shall now join them. 

    3 - I hardly need point out the multiple reasons why the landlords “plan” was just talking and completely doomed to failure but you’ve hijacked an interesting thread for whatever your strange ends are so I’m out.

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