Coffee House

A tale of two benefit cuts

15 April 2013

9:13 AM

15 April 2013

9:13 AM

The first four pilots of the government’s £26,000 benefit cap for workless families launches today. While there’s a bit of debate today about the rights and wrongs of this particular benefit cut, it’s worth comparing it with another policy that has grabbed many more headlines. The benefit cap is, as James reported recently, one of the most popular policies pollsters have ever encountered. It was launched as a flagship policy by the Chancellor at the 2010 Conservative autumn conference, with a snappy name. Most backbench Tory MPs report that the only thing that annoys their constituents about the cap is that it’s still too high: Chris Skidmore told me in the autumn that he wished it could be dropped to £15,000. The government has been so successful in selling this policy that its decision to scale down its launch from a nationwide roll-out this April to four pilots in Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey ahead of a later launch in the autumn was barely noticed.

Meanwhile the government’s ‘housing benefit: size criteria for people renting in the social rented sector’ does have a similar compelling argument behind its introduction: why should a government pay for rooms that a social tenant doesn’t use when the sector has an overcrowding problem? (It’s a bit more complicated than that, of course but that’s for another post). And the polls show there is still support for it. But that support isn’t quite as rip-roaringly enthusiastic: YouGov’s poll for the Sunday Times in March found 49 per cent of voters supported it, against 38 per cent who didn’t. Ministers have had just as long to sell this cut: longer in fact, as it was announced in the June 2010 emergency budget, but they didn’t give it any branding, or make the case for it. This left a vacuum for Labour to step in with their ‘bedroom tax’ tag, and thus the debate became a reactive one, with the government belatedly trying to put forward the arguments for this benefits policy in the face of ferocious attacks from its opponents. It has had to make changes to the policy before the nationwide launch because, unlike the benefit cap, it doesn’t have the luxury of pilots to allow for tweaks once it is live.

And as for Labour, the first policy left Ed Miliband’s party in a bit of a pickle, first supporting it, then opposing it as the wind changed. The second was never set as a trap for the party, and so Labour MPs have used it as a contrast with last year’s decision to cut the 50p rate of tax. The lesson here is clearly one of framing and proactive selling. As ministers prepare further cuts to their departmental budgets, it’s a lesson worth bearing in mind for the next set of controversial policies.

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Show comments
  • Fergus Pickering

    What was the rate of tax on the rich for all of the period of the Labour Governments from 1997 to 2010, except for the last three months when defeat at the polls was assured..

  • David Ossitt

    Much hand ringing and moaning from the Supreme Soviet that is the BBC at the cruel and nasty Conservative Party in general and Ian Duncan-Smith in particular for seeking to cap benefit payments at £26,000 per annum.

    What a load of codswallop, to take home that amount from honest employment one would if under 65 years need to earn the following.

    Gross Income £34,090.00
    Taxable Income £24,650.00
    Tax £4,930.00
    National Ins £3,160.20
    Take Home Pay £25,999.80

    If you doubt me you can check for yourself at:-
    http://www.thesalarycalculator.co.uk/salary.php

  • Smithersjones2013

    The idea that benefits should be capped at £26k is absurd. Its even debatable whether they should get £15k. Thats still more than the basic pay of many care workers.

    .Then of course we see the Westminster Freakshow collective liberal mindset click in:

    But that support isn’t quite as rip-roaringly enthusiastic: YouGov’s poll for the Sunday Times in March found 49 per cent of voters supported it, against 38 per cent who didn’t

    An 11 point lead is a more than ample approval rating for such a policy from a government that is unpopular. Only Freakshow inmates could find problems worth mentioning in an 11 point lead……

    I do wish Dizzy Izzy would stop writing pointless drivel just to fill the page.

    PS The ‘bedroom tax’ tag is as crass today as it was when Miliband’s Misfits ‘thunk’ it up. Only the most foolish of lobby fodder will have taken it seriously. Sometimes they really do need to take a step back and discriminate between serious debate and cheap superficial propaganda. Failing to do so only makes such journalists look as friviolous and stupid as the tag itself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

    How much of the Housing Benefit budget goes to Housing associations ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iain-Hill/100000917822376 Iain Hill

    At last the government has started to tackle this outrageous scam. For years, rents in London, and landlords’ profits have been underwritten at grossly inflated levels by government subsidy. This reform was long overdue, and we look forward to significant decreases in rents, helping those not in benefits access housing .

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      This is an excellent point and should be extended to subsidies in general.

  • Peter Treadwell

    How wonderful that this item is illustrated with a photo of Trellick Tower, where flats go for a cool 250,000 quid.

  • sarahsmith232

    i have absolutely no idea what the deal is with this cap. so if someone is in work the cap is non-existent. so what on earth does that mean? someone can do 10hrs pw as a cleaner and claim £60,000py from the tax-payer? has to work 2 little shifts a week as a cleaner and can claim an unlimited amount? has to work 30hr and then can claim? what does ‘no limit if in work’ mean?

  • Mombasa69

    We’re in worse debt than Greece, and why should people be getting more than £500 a week for doing nothing, makes working people sick to death!

    • Mynydd

      Why should a family with an income of £300,000 get help with their child care costs, it makes stay at home mothers sick to death

      • Simonlu

        It’s an incentive to contribute to GDP. It’s nothing to do with any selfish notion of whether a stay-at-home is “valued” or not, in any emotional (or other) sense.

        Childcare is a necessary cost of going to work.

        It should have remained tax deductible (not limited to 20% off), like any other direct cost of doing business.

    • The Sage

      Having enjoyed a lot of delightful Mombasa 69 at Robert’s, Florida and Casablanca and a few other things beside, I am with you in regard to your moniker.
      But I believe you are conflating deficit and debt. Our deficit as a percentage of GDP may be worse this year than Greece, but our overall debt level (as a percentage of GDP) is not yet up to Greece’s stratospheric level. Nevertheless, we are doing our best to emulate our Hellenic chums.

      • itdoesntaddup

        PSND is already at over 140% of GDP. Only by conveniently excluding a trillion or so can you pretend otherwise.

        • Makroon

          Have you mistaken the CH for some gold loon website ?

          • itdoesntaddup

            See Table PSF9 in any monthly public sector finances release from the ONS.

  • welshdai

    What other country forces it’s tax payers to pay low life uneducated high breeding vermin 26,000 GBP a year for not working?
    Singapore has a higher living standard and home ownership than us without welfare benefits, population like Wales, Scotland, Ireland before the lunacy of open door benefits heaven.
    Singapore immigrants need work permits unlike loonie Britain as there are no hand outs for not working.

    • The Sage

      Excellent stuff. You and the delectable Lady Dingdong are just what we need on this thread. Keep it up.

  • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

    The benefit cap sounds great in theory but the problem comes with the cost of housing in London and the South East.

    Labour are factually accurate to say that Housing Benefit goes to landlords. But then HB recepients get to live in properties in the most expensive city in Europe that only well paid professionals could afford otherwise.

    I live in a street in west London where the occupants are either young international professioanals on six figure salaries or retired working class people on HB.

    You can either see this as a wonderful mixed community (tho there’s no mixing and the elderly are priced out of the local bars and shops) or a terrible waste of money subsidising retirees to live in properties a City solicitor would need to pay well over £1m to own.

    • Mynydd

      It is not the retired working class people on HB fault, they only live in houses provided for them. The don’t move from a low cost area to a high cost area so that a City solicitor would need to pay well over £1m to own a home in the street. If there is to be a cap it should be a rent cap.

      • LadyDingDong

        Only in the minds of unreconstructed 60s socialists and Owen Jones and his wannabees are rent controls a solution to high rents. Have your lot learnt nothing at all about the free market? Rent controls would dramatically reduce the number of rental homes available and destroy the property market. The solution to high rents is reducing the government subsidy via housing benefit that artificially inflates inner-city rents, and build more housing.

        • Mynydd

          To the landlord reducing the government subsidy via housing benefit is the same as a cap on rents. For example, a landlord receives HB rent of £300 a week, If local government consider this to high do they reduce the HB to £100 a week, or cap the rent a £100 a week. Each would “reduce the number of rental homes available and destroy the property market”

          • LadyDingDong

            In Guardianworld and Owenworld rent and wage caps work. In the real world they don’t. No matter how many times your lot repeat it, the reality is, apart from social housing, no western country applies free-sector rent controls anymore and where they do, as in the Netherlands and New York, they are getting rid of them.

      • itdoesntaddup

        London property prices have been inflated by foreign purchasers using property as a safer store of wealth than say a Cyprus bank account. Housing benefit has certainly supported rents, both directly and by setting a floor underpinning private sector rents.

        London is quite remarkable for the fact that it has a very low population of retired people – except in state sector housing.

        • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

          But London property (apart from at very top end) isn’t really supported by rich foreigners looking for a safe store of their wealth. Mainly it is well-paid foreigners coming here to live and work. It is “real” demand for housing.

          My seven flat building houses a Danish architect, Swedish fashion buyer and an Argentinian banker.

          • itdoesntaddup

            Over half of London property purchases are by foreigners.

      • Russell

        Are you by chance related to telemucus or fat bloke on tour? The views you put forward are very similar to their ignorance of reality. There is only so much taxpayers money available, and it has never been right to pay benefits to people in or out of work to the outrageous levels Brown & Co. did.

    • HookesLaw

      Why do labour complain about housing benefit cuts then? Rents are underpinned by their own benefits.
      Landlords (amazingly these are ordinary people not lizard headed men from Pluto) have to buy and maintain properties. The return is between 5 and 10%. Shocking profiteering.
      If Brown had not ruined pensions and investments then people would not need to put their money into property.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        Ricardian Rent Theory as with the Corn Laws

  • DWWolds

    If you had listened to the Today programme earliers this morning I don’t think you could claim that the benefits cap has been “barely noticed”.

  • Count Dooku

    The Tories should have called it the Bedroom Cap and be done with it. The same argument applies as the 26k cap: “why should the average family subsidise houses for others that they couldn’t afford to live I’m themselves”?

  • Colin

    My son’s regiment deployed on a combat tour of Afghanistan, last week. I wonder how many of them enjoy a NET salary of £26k per year ?

    • http://twitter.com/ianwalkeruk Ian Walker

      Tricky to compare because of the housing etc, but the equivalent gross salary is about £35,000 so on the bare figures that’s more than a Sergeant with 5 years service, and even among the officers you’d have to be a Captain before you were
      better off.
      Of course, personnel on those levels of income would still be entitled to some benefits as well.

      • Russell

        Having people entitled to ‘benefits’ (other taxpayers money) who earn £35,000 is ridiculous! £15,000 per year sounds a lot more realistic to encourage people back to work.

      • telemachus

        Yeah
        Do those folk have to pay the Rachman level rents in the London boroughs?

        • telemachus

          “The benefit cap is, as James reported recently, one of the most popular policies pollsters have ever encountered”
          It is always popular to screw the poor especially when it is as he pus it proactively sold

          • LadyDingDong

            A suggestion for you. Read your post before you press the Post as Telemachus button…………then delete it all and go and have a cold shower. The point about writing on these blogs is to encourage debate and to dispute intelligently with others. You just make meaningless, grammatically incorrect, poorly spelled non sequitur statements that are neither witty, erudite or add one pennyworth to the discussion at hand. I don’t know what point you are attempting to prove, other than the failure of labour education policies, but quite honestly, you should be ashamed of yourself. I have a number of left-wing friends who I can converse meaningfully with, but you have nothing to say but continue to say it. Are you unwell?

            • telemachus

              That is probably a good way to say you are on the popular side of the

              “Labour’s decision to oppose the £26,000-a-year benefits cap puts it on the wrong side of public opinion; ”
              debate highlighted by James and linked to above
              Well I am not and see it as part of the trend to try to balance the books by attacking the disadvantaged while giving the rich a 5% tax break
              *
              That is so obviously unfair
              PS sorry for any spelling,syntax or grammar errors

              • Makroon

                Define what you understand by “disadvantaged”.

                • telemachus

                  Lets start with South East Harringay(St Ann’s and Tottenham Green)
                  Families here cannot now arrord the extortionate rents and at the same time give their children square protein meals and decent shoes
                  with the cap they will have a decision-move away from their friends or live by food banks and begged clothes
                  We are an advanced democracy they say

              • The Sage

                The only thing that is unfair about the 5% tax break is the fact that it isn’t10% as indeed it was for about 98% of Labour’s grim period in office. Nobody “earning” (I mean getting) £26,000 a year sounds terribly disadvantaged to me.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              A well argued suggestion but a wasted effort all the same. He is a left wing Troll whose purpose is to disrupt debate with irritating slogans. Sadly, it is very effective because many contributors expend effort refuting his utter stupidity but losing track of the issue which and this is his object all along. I try and counter his sloganising myself but it is more to discredit his nonsense in the eyes of sensible readers than with any hope of persuading the man himself. That said, your views are a breath of fresh air compared to fetid Telemechaen rubbish so keep posting your ladyship!

              • UlyssesReturns

                You are of course perfectly correct that it is a wasted effort, but one worth taking in any event just to vent the old spleen. As I get older, and sadder with the passing of the great Margaret Thatcher, I look around at what has become of my country with despair. How is it possible that a country that produced Churchill, Thatcher, Joseph, Powell and Tebbitt can end up in the hands of lickspittles like Blair, Brown, Clegg, Cameron and Osborne? It is not about being of the right, but about having conviction and strength. Naturally a tory, I would have supported Blair if he had reformed welfare when he had the opportunity. I support Gove and Pickles and sometimes May, but then I see Cameron knuckle under to Cable and Clegg and I think, what’s the point? Arguing with the likes of Telemuckwit, Fatty on Tour and the the other leftard eejits is like discussing philosophy with a bowl of soup, but trying to see conservatism in the current administration is no better.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I could not agree more save for your harshness towards bowls of soup. They deserve far more respect than the imbeciles to which you compare them. Keep fighting the good fight!

    • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

      Well, if he is married with four children and his household income is around £26,000 after tax, with rent and council tax liabilities of £400 a week, he and his wife will also be entitled to around £15,000 a year in housing benefit and council tax support, £3,146 in child benefit and more than £4,000 in tax credits.

      • LadyDingDong

        In what sane universe should the state pay a family £22,146 on top of their wages, and why would it be an entitlement? The madness of King Gordon and his destruction of the work ethic and enslavement of hard-working taxpayers is almost beyond belief. And labour continue to support this?

        • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

          In order to make work pay?

          • LadyDingDong

            Any pay I ever received for my work came from my employers. If I didn’t work I didn’t get paid. Why would I expect pay from other taxpayers? Why would anyone have multiples of children and not have the means to support them or themselves? How did we get into this bizarre situation and how can anyone with any intelligence at all support a welfare state where 50% of the population receive payments from the state?

            • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

              “Labour’s reforms … strengthened the incentive to work, and the incentive to increase earnings, for some of those who had the weakest incentives in 1997, such as lone parents.” – IFS

              • LadyDingDong

                Don’t be silly. This is a big boys’ blog, not some student marxist fantasy creation of Owen Jones. If you want to be taken seriously, don’t regurgitate labour propaganda and expect us to pay attention. Gordon Brown did not incentivise work except for Eastern Europeans – what he was doing was incintivising a labour-voting, welfare-dependent client state paid for by conservative-voting taxpayers’ money.

                • http://twitter.com/WholeLottaSusie Sue Ward

                  Well said LadyDD. You hit the nail squarely on the head.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Seconded!

                • Mynydd

                  Was it not Mrs Thatcher who signed the Single Market agreement which allows. Eastern Europeans unlimited entry into the UK. So now it’s only conservatives that pay taxes. So should all non-conservative-voting taxpayers get their money back? So should all conservative-voting taxpayers return their child care and other benefits?

                • LadyDingDong

                  How tiresome. Are there any of our country’s ills that the blessed Margaret is not responsible for? If only there had been a left-leaning labour government that had been in power for any of the time in the 23 years since she left office who could have rescinded any of her legislation. We must be the only country in the world that has not changed a single law since 1990.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  There is absolutely nothing that a ‘leftist’ will not try and pin to the door of Margaret Thatcher. Most of these sanctimonious, holier-than-thou left wing bores think that every Tory prime minister wakes up each morning, turns to his or her spouse and says: “now what can I do to hurt poor people today and make their lives harder”. They are irreconcilable to reason and their logic includes such gems as the proposition that you can only reduce debt by increasing debt. They are invincibly ignorant. Thanks for a great post and please keep it up as we need all the help we can get in refuting the idiots of the left.

                • The Sage

                  At last, we have robust and sensible views being put forward on this threat. Keep posting, you’re spot on.

              • Hugh

                That’s an interesting quote to take from a paragraph that begins: “We can see that Labour’s reforms have, on average, slightly weakened the incentive to work at all.”

                http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn88.pdf

                • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

                  But your quote is selective too. The IFS state that the main disincentive to work created by Labour’s changes to the benefit systyem was in relation to “couples with children to have two earners rather than one”, but that it removed other disincetives that had existed before 1997.

                • Hugh

                  My quote was selective. I selected the first sentence of the paragraph, which give the top line and summary of the whole section. I also linked to the article so people could judge for themselves.

                • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

                  Well, it didn’t summarise the whole section – since it made clear that Labour had increased work incentives for those who had previously had “the weakest incentives”

            • Mynydd

              There would be a reduction in the 50% of the population receiving payments from the state if employers paid a living wage. Also, why should a family with an income of £300,000 receive taxpayers help with their child care costs. By taxpayer read OAP or family with income of £15,000

              • LadyDingDong

                Why would employers be incentivised to pay a living wage when hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans will work for less, and when the government is prepared, through tax credits, to top-up the income of the low paid? Tax credits are not progressive, they skew the labour market and disincentivise work.

        • sarahsmith232

          was helping out on the doorstep at the last election and all of this is the reason why the Tories couldn’t get a majority.
          hair pulling out frustrating. absolutely EVERY SINGLE response was coming from this point of view. I won’t say which London borough I was in but it’s v.v. mixed, extreme wealth along with the newly arrived and benefits claiming, W.Europeans (practically zero East ones) and loads of student/creative Lib Dem/Greens lot. v mixed borough.
          I can tell you, that **** G.Brown knew exactly what he was getting upto with all of these tax credits and free everything else business. you would not believe how many, no matter their income bracket, had the exact same response, all starting with the roughly the same words ‘i’m not going to vote for you, you’re going to take away my free. . .’ insert – free bus pass, child benefit, free swimming lessons, I could go on.

          • sarahsmith232

            how the Tories got screwed was due, I think, in it not occurring to anyone that they made it v obvious that they were going to bring under control Labour’s much hated, overly generous and out of control welfare state. which was proving, I presume their pollsters were constantly informing them, v. popular.
            Problem = everyone hates that the others, the ones they believe are the undeserving, crap receipts, should have their benefits took away but that their own person benefit, the free bus pass, the child benefit for high earners, I even got one mother in an EXTREMELY expensive flat, daughter in an expensive private school, grumbling that the kid will loose her free swimming lessons! shouldn’t have been removed. they were the deserving ones so they weren’t going to vote Tory if they were going to take away their free this, free that.

            • sarahsmith232

              personally, I think this will bounce back on Labour. terrified tax-payers, I think, are going to hold the key to the next election. are there enough of them, can they cancel out the taker voters? are there enough terrified council tax payers, alcohol/petrol tax payers out there to counter the perfectly comfortable tax credit/child beneft/free bus pass takers to cancel them out? if there are a fair old few probable tax payer Tory voters out there are they anywhere near terrified enough? if not, this Lyton Crosby job looks like he may know a thing or two about how to get them terrified enough to vote Tory.
              Labour will, and this is written in stone, pile on the tax if they get back in like something gone mad. expect to not so much as be able to get a bottle of cheap, nasty plonk from an Asda for less than £8 if they get back. council tax will sky rocket and all to pay for what most as crap and undeserving. the Tories need to start hammering this message home. I think they’ll just about slip in if they do.

              • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

                “Labour will, and this is written in stone, pile on the tax”…
                Tory governments tax more than Labour governments. The tax burden averaged 37.5% of national income 1997- 2010, compared with the 40.2% average under the Conservatives between 1979 and 1997.

                • DWWolds

                  But from 1997 – 2010 we were supposed to be in a boom. From 1979-1997 we were trying to pay off the mess the Wilson/Callaghan governments left behind.

                • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

                  But the Tories never did “pay off” any mess – balancing the budget was not a trick they managed to achieve more than twice. Before the world-wide financial crisis of 2008 Labour managed to reduce the structural deficit it inherited from the Tories, increase spending on investment rather than out of work benefits, and reduce national debt.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Yet another misrepresentative comment which attempts to re-write history (socialists are currently working hard at that). Average tax burdens are not the same as tax rates and incorporate average earnings trends. Lower average tax burdens generally indicate lower earnings. What is important are rates. Go back to Labour governments prior to 1979 and a very different picture of income tax emerges.

                  From 1979 Labour’s top rate of tax dropped from 83% (in some cases) to 60% under the Tories and the basic rate fell from 33% to 30%. The standard higher rate under Labour was 40-75% and under Thatcher’s government 40-60%. The new higher rate of 40% introduced by the Tories lasted from 1988 until 2010 when Brown cynically introduced his new top rate of 50% as a booby trap for the (expected) incoming Tory government.

                  A starting rate of 25% had to be introduced by Labour in 1978-79 largely because their tax burden was so high.

                  These figures are also taken from IFS.

                • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

                  My figures were taken from IFS too.

                  You neglect to mention that the Tories increased VAT significantly. So while the headline rates of tax on income were reduced, the amount of tax paid by citizens – particularly those with lower incomes – increased.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Goalpost moving. Your comment was about the average tax burden and was simply misleading. One might as well mention rampant inflation under Labour or the OPEC oil rises in 1978 and the impact of those on the poor. The economy is holistic and multi-faceted. You were the one cherry picking, not me.

                  As long as the socialist community continue this simplistic “Labour good Tories bad” approach to every issue then honest political debate in this country will be undermined. Perhaps that is the intention but from my perspective both parties have often been responsible for folly in their decisions.

                • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

                  No goalposts moved by me. The tax burden is the tax we pay – not just through taxes on income but taxes on expenditure.

                  I don’t understand your reference to “cherry picking” – this is not an accusation I have levelled at anyone.

                  I agree that claiming one party is good and another is bad is simplistic – I have never claimed this to be the case; I only offer an alternative viewpoint or interpretation of available data. You, on the other hand, have previously claimed that all of the evils in our society only began in 1997 – a more simplistic and mistaken view would be difficult to find.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  No, they began in 1968. But New Labour was especially vile.

                  All your comments are anti-Tory and pro-Labour. You will find plenty of mine attacking Cameron and the coalition.

                • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

                  You attack Cameron occasionally. This is because, Nicholas, you are so far to the right you regard him as almost Socialist.

                • Mynydd

                  As long as the right wing community continue this simplistic “Labour bad Tories good” approach to every issue then honest political debate in this country will be undermined

                • Colonel Mustard

                  But they don’t…

                • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

                  But you do. Tell us about a Labour policy you agreed with…

                • Mynydd

                  Who introduced the 20% basic rate?

                • Russell

                  The same baffoon who at that time scrapped the 10 pence rate doubling income tax for the lowest paid….His name was Brown in case you had forgotten.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Ha ha! Good one.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Reinforcements from Labour Central Rebuttal have arrived!

                • Makroon

                  Amazing what you can do by ramping up unsustainable borrowing, then, when you get into deep trouble, leaving the other party to try to repair the damage.

              • Makroon

                Well, as you’ve already pointed out, there is now huge overlap.
                The people “terrified of tax increases”, aren’t terrified enough to vote for a party which wants to trim some benefits. Loss of a few tens of £s of “free swimming” irk more than a few thousands of £s of new taxes.
                Anyway, these “conflicted ones” can always just opt out by voting UKIP.
                Dear old uncle Nigel will put them to bed with fairy tales that in his little world, they can have it all.

          • DWWolds

            And recently we had a journalist who admitted to having a six figure family income complaining that her child benefit was being cut. Until we get away from that sense of entitlement we are never going to get this country back on its feet.

            • Makroon

              Hmmm, so that’s what Tele means by “disadvantaged”.

        • Ytongs

          I’ve read every one of your posts here LadyDingDong and I can say that you have saved me a lot of typing. Many thanks, very enjoayable. Keep telling them!

      • Hugh

        Who is enitled to £15k housing benefit when earning £30k+ a year? Not everyone, I think.

      • Colin

        He is married and takes home a grand total of £1200 per month.

        • http://twitter.com/jackmustard1997 jack mustard

          If he and his wife have children they will be entitled to tax credits and possibly housing benefit. CAB will be able to provide advice.

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