Friday 16 August 2013


It's not the poor that benefit from Housing Benefits. They never get a sniff of the money. It goes straight to landlords with their artificially inflated rents that people working for the minimum wage couldn't hope to afford.

I live in a horrible part of Dundee (that used to be nice, until there was the possibility of it being knocked down to accommodate some sort on inner ring road). But even there greedy landlords providing the most dismal accommodation, in depressingly run down blocks, charge the maximum allowed, because they can, and it's easy money.

The whole system needs to be rebalanced so that the minimum wage of the country reflects the amount that would reasonably cover the cost of accommodation, fuel, food and transport.

All of these staples seem to increase at way above inflation's official rate. And wages reduce. With the expected boom in property prices, doubtless rents will increase and the vile UK government will take pleasure in throwing more of the poor, who cannot afford the rent, on to the streets or into seaside towns that no one visits anymore. 
Click to enlarge image.

This is typical of the attitude of British governments. Feed the rich and blame the poor for the expense. I completely fail to understand what it is that makes people proud to be British.


  1. Another issue opt forgotten about is that those with mortgages don't get their housing costs paid. Imagine having to fund a mortgage on £71 pw. At least those in rented accomodation get extra, even with the bedroom tax.

    1. Isn't there some sort of insurance you take out when you sign up for the mortgage, Anon?

    2. Yes though not everyone does. However it is time limited so what are you supposed to do after it runs out and you've not got another job or your illness/disability continues? If you can sell (or its repossessed), what if the proceeds are not enough to get a cheaper place BUT the capital realised puts you over the limit for claiming any tested benefits. Double whammy.

    3. Well, in the current climate of short term working and the Tories taking us back to a world of feudal servitude (with the guarantee of continuity), I'd suggest that people take out the insurance.

      Given that it is time limited, I think that people need to work out whether or not they are in a position to be buyers of property.

      Unless you have a pretty stable job, can readily stand any increase in interest rates and have enough spare cash to help you through sickness, probably property ownership isn't for you.

      OK< I know what sounds heartless. I don't mean to be. But I have always wondered at the British notion that everyone should own property. Of course it's a Tory thing. Working people who have mortgages are tied at hand and ankle. They can't afford to go on strike; teh can't afford to take the huff with the boss and tell him to stuff his job.

      Mrs Thatcher's idea of passing it from what was a middle class a the working class thing, was designed, not as she said, to empower the working classes, but quite the opposite.

      Life in Britain usually is a double whammy... buggered if you do; buggered if you don't.

      Sorry if that's a bit depressive, Anon!

  2. Westminster doing what it does best, and has been doing so for decades! No matter what happens the Billionaires, millionaires, rich b******s must be protected at ALL costs best we switch ALL blame onto the poor, weak, disabled, unemployed etc THEY are to blame for EVERYTHING us rich folks are only trying to earn an honest days crust from an honest days work!

    Excuse me a second or two while I count the flight of flying pigs just going past my window!

    1. Flying pigs you say? Has one got a coupon like Gideon Osborne's?

      If so take a pop shot and see if you can down him.

  3. Replies
    1. OMG. This is the kind of thing you'd think only Tories would be capable of. But it seems that Labour councils can hand out golden handshakes to the management, whist dumping poor sick old people on a fast track to the undertakers.

      I'd happily pay her first month and I bet most of you would be happy to take over... but there are 12,500 people who need the service. We can't cope with that.

      If I was the fat cat David Crawford with his £600,000 golden handshake, leaving a department that could only pay for that generosity by charging old people with the smallest pensions in Europe £3 a week for a vital piece of equipment, I'd be looking at hanging myself in shame.

      Now i know that Ms Lamont wasn't joking when she talked about us being something for nothing scroungers.

      Labour the party of the £600,000 pay off for the management.


  4. When will any of the political parties, SNP... Labour ... any of the major Scots ones talk about rent control?

    I am 24, and with 13k of student debts, no hope of affording the price of rent in most of Glasgow

    Social housing is a good point too, the lack of it further forces up housing prices. But isn't that the point? Gideon wants growth and fast - a new housing bubble may be just what the doctor ordered.

    And the victims? Anyone they call 'scroungers' ...

    1. Rent control is an answer Deano.

      I don't know what Labour's policy is on rents, though and I'm not sure what the SNP says about them either. As one of these partie will form the next government, we should know.

      I know the SNP want a constitution that says that every person should have access to a home. Of course that won't happen overnight, but hopefully they will, when they control all the money (OK, if and when) start building, providing work and affordable homes for people to rent.

      Council housing shouldn't have been sold off in the first place, and fortunately now Scotland has put an end to this.

      If they had to sell off the council housing they should have built a new home for everyone sold off, with a proviso that you couldn't buy it until it was 20 years old, or something like that. Thatcher again. Labour should have reversed Mrs Thatcher's policy when they were in power.

      Dundee announced 622 new homes today.

      Not enough, but better than a stane ahent the lug.

      I don't know how anyone can afford to live in Edinburgh or Glasgow, but that is where the bulk of the jobs are.

      Unfortunately, because of the sale of the council houses, the only council property in the two major cities is in slum estates, where you wouldn't want to live in a heartbeat.

      Now the idiot Tories have redoubled their efforts to sell publicly owned houses in England. And as you say, that fool of a man, Osborne, has started another housing bubble, like the last one didn't cause enough problems.

      Bloody idiot.


  6. One-third of ex-council homes sold under the right-to-buy legislation introduced by Thatcher and accepted by Labour and Lib-Dems are now owned by private landlords -

    Exactly how stupid are those who vote for these bastards?

    1. Good lord!

      Gow? One of Thatcher's men. I bet he saw that coming.

      Truth is a lot of these privately purchased houses were in horrible areas (at least in my hometown) and when the person who bought it wanted to move on, or dies, often they couldn't get a they sold to buy to let landlords.

      How to give away the public's property to greedy fat cats... Mrs Thatcher's latest book.

  7. Oh Dean.

    Now you are in debt, you have become a socialist?

    1. He is in the Labour Party, Conan. I don't think that has anything to do with socialism.

      Actually, looking at what passes as their policies, I KNOW it has nothing to do with socialism.

      They will do what the Tories are doing, maybe a little more slowly, but not if UKip looks like it's about to take voters from them.

  8. When I worked for various employment agencies most of my co workers were on tax credits or were from Eastern Europe.
    Successive governments have shifted the burden of wages from the employer to the taxpayer via either tax credits or cheap foreign workers undermining local wage levels which go down as the influx of immigrant labour goes up.

    1. I think we need to have a living wage. Of course our government (the Westminster one) are sliver spoon millionaires who have no idea what a living wage is. Why the work and pensions minister tells us he could live on £57 a week but spends £37 on breakfast when he's claiming expenses, proving that he doesn't live on the same planet as the rest of us.

      Osborne and the Duncan Smith character are apparently about making work pay. The right wing gutter press compound over and over the idea that the whole problem is all the fault of lazy people who prefer lying in bed and taking advantage of the vast amounts of money offered by the beneficent British state.

      The fact is that it's about employers who get away with paying the lowest minimum wage in Western Europe, along with sky high rents. If work doesn't pay, it is because workers don't get paid enough.

      Labour came up with the idea that we should set rent allowance limits by size of house within geographical areas, like Dundee.

      The result is that it became a good deal for landlords to hold property in slums and charge the same rent as they could get in Broughty Ferry or Downfield.

      They didn't have to do anything to the property and could get away with doubling the rent overnight, assured that their tenants could get rent allowances to that level.

      If the minimum wage was a living wage, and rents were controlled to a level at which they were payable it wouldn't matter what colour your skin was, what religion you followed, and what your mother tongue was, you could afford to pay your way.

  9. Conan
    The answer to Capitalist enforced dept is always to become a Socialist and gain freedom from economic serfdom .


    speaking to a Ukrainian national who knew nothing
    about the Independence Referendum/debate.
    Like the vast majority of the English.

    Who when i finished explaining the
    issues exclaimed

    ' No More Great Britain ! '

    she at least knew what the outcome should be.

    1. I look forward to the rUK going to the next Olympics as Team B.

    2. Actually your Ukrainian friend is wrong. Great Britain isn't a political entity. It is a geographical entity.

      like Iberia or Scandinavia or Ireland, it exists: and until someone changes the name of the island group it will continue to exist.

      It comprises the mainland (and small islands) of the British Isles; that is to say England, Wales and Scotland. So it will continue to exist.

      Just as the British Isles will continue to exist.

      Just as Ireland continues to exist as a geographical entity, comprising of a British province and an independent republic.

      Great Britain which actually means Large Brittany, will be there for ever.

    3. That's me Niko... when I'm not being a peasant or a pheasant. :)

  10. For anybody that is interested in these issues can I recommend Joe Halewood's excellent blog

    Yes we need rent controls. Yes we need to redirect the money that is currently spent on revenue subsidy aka Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance back to bricks and mortar. HB is a huge work disincentive, and a waste of money. The SAME money used to subsidize building houses with cheap rents would be better spent.

    1. Hello Derick:

      Thanks for the links.

      I'll read them.

      I absolutely agree that we need to be building cheap rentable houses, but I would maintain that we also should be paying a living wage. It's a travesty that the minimum wage in this country leaves people in a situation where they have to claim benefits to live in a slum.

      As HB is given (according to the statistics) mainly to people who are in work, I suspect that it can't really be called a disincentive to work.

      It's just a depressing reminder of how unpleasant this country is, and how easily we are led to believe what the Daily Mail and the Sun want us to believe.

      Of course it isn't helped when people like Johann Lamont accuse the working classes of being "something for nothing" people.

  11. And just to add to the theme, according to BBC news, top Whitehall civil 'servants' are getting part of their tax bill paid out of public funds.
    That really is one huge trough down there!

    1. Absolutely incredible, Jutie.

      I was speechless when I heard about that.

      "We must all pay our taxes", says Gideon, while his department fails to collect tax from the Cabinet Secretary and the Head of the Civil Service.

      "Well, obviously," continues Gideon, "I don't mean people like them. I mean you ordinary oinks. It only seems fair that if you went to a good English public school the up to Oxford, you need to have a decent whack of money to pay for your own kids' time at the Bullingdon, burning down restaurants, etc. I mean that was how our daddies did it, don't you know."

  12. I imagine that he hasn't heard anything about it because the government never said it.

    It was invented by the press so that smart arses could say that it was "all a work of fiction".

    Bills are drafted by civil servants.

    He's bang on about what government should be about though, and there is no UK party which comes anywhere near making life better for people.

    Well, in fairness, maybe the Tories do, but only for the top 5%.


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