Don’t Believe Esther McVey’s Bedroom Tax Lies – The Public Do Not Support This Policy

smash-bedroom-taxEmployment Minister Esther McVey’s desperate attempt to mislead the public over the Bedroom Tax hit a new low this week with the woefully distorted reporting of a recent DWP survey.

In a breathtakingly dishonest press release, McVey claimed that the public support the Bedroom Tax based on the findings of a recent poll carried out by the DWP. Yet this poll found that only 30% of people support the Bedroom Tax if it means someone might have to move to a different area – the inevitable consequence for many hit by the tax.  40% of people do not support the policy if this is the case.  The survey also found that only 31% agree with the Bedroom Tax if it means people have less money to spend on bills or living expenses compared to 35% who oppose the measure in these circumstances.

These are not the only findings which reveal the public distaste for this policy in practice. 54% of people think the Bedroom Tax is unfair if there are not enough smaller properties to rehouse people locally, compared to just 17% in support, whilst only 33% of respondents thought it right that  someone hit by the tax should be forced to move into the private rented sector compared to 35% who disagreed.

None of these results were mentioned in McVey’s press release.  Yet the survey clearly shows that the public are strongly opposed to the Bedroom Tax if it means people being forced to move or facing increased poverty.   And that’s exactly what the policy will mean to almost all those affected.  McVey chose to ignore this completely and instead  gushed that 78% people believe it is important to tackle over-crowding and under-occupancy in social housing, which is hardly a surprising result. Survey respondents were not asked if this should be tackled by building much more social housing, the only thing guaranteed to help solve the problem.

What the survey reveals is that people have a far more nuanced approach to the problem than DWP Ministers currently seem capable of. So whilst 54% of the public do not think it is very ‘fair’ that some people have more bedrooms than they need – the other statistic the DWP trilled last week – a far larger majority of people believe the measures being taken to address this are unfair.

Few people would argue that society is currently very fair.  It is unfair that a fucking idiot like George Osborne inherited a multi-million pound fortune and slimed his way through a hugely expensive education to grasp control of the nation’s finances.  As the daughter of a highly successful businessman Esther McVey’s only real experience of life has been a non-job in her parent’s company followed by a few appearances on the telly.  It is unfair that a pompous and out of touch fool like her should have been given the power to destroy the lives of thousands of severely disabled people by attempting to close the Independent Living Fund.  Life is not fair, as the public know only too well.

It is quite possible to think that some people having bedrooms they don’t need is probably a bit unfair and yet still be strongly opposed to crude measures like the Bedroom Tax to address this disparity. And that is what the results of this survey seem to suggest.  That only 49% of people surveyed agreed with the Bedroom Tax ‘in principle’ – if not in practice – shows that in fact many people accept someone might need an extra room due to disability, having children come to stay or a wide range of other factors that reflect the diversity of human needs.

A recent study on the Benefit Cap revealed that support for this policy began to disintegrate when people were made aware of the possible consequences – such as families being socially cleansed to different cities.  This week’s  survey shows that people have a similar, and stronger, opposition to the consequences of the Bedroom Tax.  People want benefit cuts without anyone getting hurt.  And they have been deceived that this can take place by a ten year campaign by politicians of all parties to portray life on benefits as easy.

The reality is that people dependent on social security were desperately poor before welfare reform began.  The only people getting rich out of the welfare state were landlords.  With hundreds of thousands of people set to be forced out of social housing into the private sector due to the Bedroom Tax, the landlords will keep getting rich. But as homelessness continues to rise, the use of foodbanks soars and with a two year wave of evictions just around the corner, the public is about to discover the truth about the UK’s scant safety net.  They will not forgive this Government easily when they see what has been done and the lies that were told to justify this savagery begin to unravel.

The survey results can be read at:

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

119 responses to “Don’t Believe Esther McVey’s Bedroom Tax Lies – The Public Do Not Support This Policy

  1. there have been a few surveys by some borough councils on the theme of having their borough mostly with home owners…which puzzles me as to why this is happening..surely social housing will always be homes arent about owning property as a commodity to buy and sell and use as status symbol..

  2. It’s getting very frustrating that the DWP are treating people like idiots. This press release was written with the assumption that no one would read the full report and blindly accept what the DWP say. The press release following the Major Projects Authority’s review of Universal Credit was equally embarrassing and simply highlighted the ‘head in the sand’ culture prevalent at DWP. Brilliant post Johnny Void!

  3. The DWP managed to lie in the first three words of the press release- an online survey written by the DWP and undertaken by Ipsos Mori under contract of the DWP is described as ‘New independent research’. Is this a record?

  4. i thought it was a lie thanks for confirming.

  5. These are the worst Tories ever. Worse than Major. Worse than Thatcher. Much worse than Heath, Hume, Macmilland et al. These people have reset the bar to a new low which I imagined was impossible for anybody with even a trace of honesty or decency to stoop to. Absolutely shocking.

    • Isn’t that the bloody truth! Coming from a mining and industrial area that was all but destroyed by the cow and her policies and has never recovered, I really hated Thatcher – REALLY hated her to the point where I have been accused several times of losing all perspective on the woman (even though if you walked down my street today wearing a sign saying ‘I love Maggie’ you’d be strung up before you got 20 yards). I honestly thought NOBODY could be as bad as her, let alone worse. But you are absolutely right. These arse-wipes are the worst yet.

      …detest the lot of them.

    • Yes. What makes them so bad is that they are privileged, idiotic, and evil. A very toxic combination.

  6. So 54% disagree with the policy if there are no smaller properties? So, in effect, as the policy pretends to be predicated upon people moving it seems that the majority of those asked are sensible enough to only agree if moving is possible. So a majority actually disagree with the bedroom tax. The reality of course is that the policy isn’t based on people moving but is based on transferring a 480 million pound debt to sick and disabled social tenants and the success of the policy depends on them not being able to move and having to pay the shortfall from other subsistence benefits or face eviction. Funny that Ipsos didn’t ask if the respondents agreed with a policy that disproportionately affects, and impoverishes, sick and disabled tenants isn’t it?

  7. since when has it been the dwps job to conduct opinion polls anyway.

    that’s not within there remit.

  8. “Bedroom Tax”, the clue is in the name!

  9. Landless Peasant

    Due to the grossly unfair Bedroom Tax I am at the moment in the process of applying for a smaller flat, if I get it. If so the new flat will be much cheaper to run on heating bills as it is smaller with lower ceilings and smaller windows. The rent will also be cheaper and I won’t have to pay Bedroom Tax. All of which means that once (if) I get this smaller flat I shall have no more worries about Benefit sanctions either, as I can just about afford to scrape by on Hardship, so they can stick the Work Programme and enforced Community Work right up their arse, I won’t be doing any of it, or any more jobsearch either 😀

    • @ Landless Peasant
      Unfortunately, you have to be actively seeking employment to stand a chance of receiving hardship payments of jsa. Even then, it’s not guaranteed. They can just sling your application form in the bin.

      • Landless Peasant

        But it is guaranteed. They have to pay Hardship, even if you are not actively seeking work. Jobsearch is not a condition of receiving Hardship, so long as you have no other income, no savings, no property, and no other means of support then you will qualify for Hardship payments.

        • But they are hardship payments of Jobseekers’ Allowance, and to receive JSA you need to be actively seeking employment. Otherwise we’d all be on hardship and telling the DWP to f*ck off.

          • Hardship is payable to those who are deemed to be not actively seeking work, therefore as I see it job seeking is not a prerequisite for claiming Hardship Allowance. It’s about forty quid a week.

            • £43 a week 🙂 … a veritable King’s Ransom lol

            • @ Landless Peasant
              There is no separate “Hardship Allowance” or “Hardship Fund”. There are merely reduced payments of Jobseekers Allowance for those deemed to be in hardship if they have been sanctioned. To receive Jobseekers Allowance, you have to be actively seeking employment.


    Meanwhile on another planet this Tory Millionaire claims electricity bill for his horse Stables. This individual has often spoken out in support of welfare reform.

  11. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    It’s good to see that other bloggers are following my lead in attacking the DWP’s misreporting of its Bedroom Tax poll. Here’s Johnny Void’s take on the situation, reported in his own inimitable way.

  12. Reblogged this on Mentally Wealthy and commented:
    “The reality is that people dependent on social security were desperately poor before welfare reform began. The only people getting rich out of the welfare state were landlords. With hundreds of thousands of people set to be forced out of social housing into the private sector due to the Bedroom Tax, the landlords will keep getting rich. But as homelessness continues to rise, the use of foodbanks soars and with a two year wave of evictions just around the corner, the public is about to discover the truth about the UK’s scant safety net. They will not forgive this Government easily when they see what has been done and the lies that were told to justify this savagery begin to unravel.”

  13. The amount of bedrooms anyone had in their council property was never a problem until the tories made it one & if benefit claimants have to pay it why shouldn’t everyone? Yes, including pensioners & snooty middle-class home-owner gits with houses bigger than what they need. Would’nt take long til the bleating of “it’s sooo unfair” starts. Guaranteed the bedroom tax would soon become history if these particular groups were included!

  14. overburdenddonkey

    there is a desperate need in the uk for at least 4m new homes and strangely enough, 4m new jobs, is the market place telling us something?..these con merchants are determined to…deny… the facilitation of both, few new homes are being built, few new jobs, if any, are being created.
    what is being created is a desperation for both, that is their MO in a nutshell, the core being; ignore our voice’s, change the subject, inject their own agendas into the proceedings, and they add insult to injury by claiming that we “CHOOSE” to be negative, about the truth of our situation, thus leaving the individual in isolated despair, and even more dependant on the state, charity handouts, and/or the corrupt services of others… people need a reliable supply of the vitals of life, this was clearly seen by clem atlee, malnutrition is rife in the uk today, people are craving energy (power)…communities torn apart and disseminated, by successive govts in an attempt to destroy working class resistance to greedy bosses, factory owners, and other exploiters of labour…they stop us helping our selves and then claim we are dependant!
    blind faith, carried out in an almost hysterical evangelical fervour..
    i am still very pissed at her reactionary statements she made, during the recent r4 prog on the work programme, and what the wrag truly means to sick and disabled people in terms of pleasing wp provider or be sanctioned and helping the “furthest from the work place”, which actually requires more energy (power) contained in extra resources, in the increasing of benefit payments, not the driving of people in blind panic terror evoked adrenaline rushes, to reduce this very real distance, or a flat above a charity shop/workplace perhaps…there is no one on earth who can deliver reality to their person was forced to FAST to make the journeys to see WP provider, so desperate to give meaning to their crap…there are NO new decent proper fcuking jobs nor smaller houses or flats to downsize into in any case…she is seeped in behaviourism, which does not work when spoke out loud in public, coz others see it for what it is, and tear what she says to shreds…once the lies are stripped from the equation the truth is always revealed…excellent work as always jv…

    • You think things are bad now… wait ’til Universal Credit gets rolled out and Housing benefit is taken away from local provision and made part of it. If the housing part of your UC becomes conditional on your job-seekers agreement as well, I suspect sanctions won’t just mean losing your food and fuel money, it will mean losing your rent too.

      • ….the problems caused by this ‘bedroom tax’ will seem like chicken feed by comparison

      • overburdenddonkey

        aw, that’s a relief and there’s me thinking we’d reached rock bottom, oh, for the helicon days of thatcher… 🙂

        • obd
          aye, thatcher looks positively angelic by comparison….

          anyway, the doc I read said the whole of UC will be based on the job-seeking conditionality but then contradicted itself and said that the housing element won’t be affected by sanctions. Didn’t make sense to me and I don’t trust them not to change that. I’ve been sanctioned once and used the housing benefit paid into my account to eat (my landlord is a nice chap and very understanding) – that will go because it also said when sanctioned the HB will then go straight to the landlord, ‘coz we can’t have them poor landlords going hungry, now can we….

      • Pensioners and/or those in receipt of Pension Guarantee Credit still have their Council Tax paid directly by the council. How long this will apply is another matter. Those Tory scum have their eyes on pensions and intend to reduce or even abolish pensions.

        • overburdenddonkey

          hey presto, here’s a theoretical answer, the change to housing credit will not happen until oct 2014

          the £162bn/pa state pension bill is undoubtedly of interest to these nit picking bean counters…the retirement age will be so high in a few years many will keel over before they reach it, unless on is lucky enough to have private provision, i wonder who that would mean?…

        • wildswimmerpete – No we don’t! I get £6 and a bit of Pension Credit and I have to pay full co tax. Never had to pay anything under Labour. Say what you will about them, but they did look after children, the poor and pensioners.

          • Do you mean Pension Savings Credit? Pension Guarantee Credit is “passported” which means the recipient receives full housing benefit and CT benefit. Take a look the rules governing both types of Pension Credit.

    • There was the desperately sad FOI request from the deputy headteacher of a primary school to the DWP a few months back – (on WTDK website), on sanctions, welfare ‘reforms’ and their real & visible effects on school-age children). Asking salient questions on why parents who hadn’t been ‘well-off’ previously but were now
      increasingly coming into the school saying things like, (eg.) they couldn’t any longer afford to launder their childrens’ uniform/provide the bus fare to be able to bring them to school etc. Invariably, reasons given included having been ‘sanctioned’/benefits stopped and bedroom tax/other ‘welfare reform’ measures. The school were acting as a kind of half-way house trying to ‘take up some of the slack’ – but the teacher expressed her mounting despair & said she couldn’t see how this could go on (and that the situation clearly looked set to get worse based on the increasing incidences) – & of course, asking why it should be happening? What had gone wrong? etc.

      Effects already visible & clearly set to become much more so & (depending on what their work involves perhaps & how much matters of society affect them outside of their own work/life balance/bubble) people will question what on earth has happened? Things like whatever the thing is called that’s coming up on tv later on this week a thon have helped to condition so many to ‘helping out in times of crisis’ though, that have lead to sympathy/compassion compelling them to try to help locally where they can (food bank collections etc.) – but this is akin to collaborating in the case of crises caused by so-called austerity reforms. There is a natural tendency for many people to try to alleviate distress/meet needs of ‘those less fortunate’ if they can do something to help/they work at a school or similar. The DWP sent back their usual anodyne, produced-by-an-automaton, written strictly by the rule-book reply – ie. it didn’t answer the human questions & said something like “Anyone who receives a benefit sanction/delay & is n0t happy about it should appeal …” … or perhaps it was the, “We do not keep statistics on these eventualities” version.

      Just seen at WP offices @end of October- tins & packets of food piled up behind the reception desk – carrier bags full. Apparently, brought in by staff for some good cause – i badly want to use the phrase “stop laughing” (but neither a plagarist nor a borrower be) .. presumably a need had been identified, & people could come to collect some ‘free food’ in times of desparate need once it was delivered to its destination. This was a surreal moment – one of the WP staff had apparently started the collection with work-mates generously joining in & (presumably) no-one had seen anything ironic in it. It was tempting to say why not just cut out the middle man? (the bags were very visible behind the reception desk & clearly full of foodstuffs). Anyone forced to attend there & who was under or had been under a sanction – & even those managing on ordinary level benefits – would be the ideal target-market for these charitable donations – some as a direct result of ‘doubts’ that had been raised by wp providers (??)

      • *Oh, just realised it’s children in need – which i’m sure is a very good cause, but will no doubt not make any reference to the social fabric of this country being torn apart – and who is responsible/why.

      • overburdenddonkey

        old, ester smartypants, had the answer to that one, “isn’t it wonderful how people pull together in hard times, it is heartwarming to see”, completely devoid of the facts of their policy ideologies, are deliberately intended to cause this very suffering…yet money can be found to go to war, and £7bn +, can be found to build 2 aircraft carriers when really they only wanted 1, 1 too many imo…funny how billions can be found to crush us, but there is no money for us…hs2 sure how much do you want?…

        • obd
          … eugh. She “wilfully” decides to word/frame things in the way she does … (‘wilfully ignorant’). Have read elsewhere this weekend that there has been some reference (not sure where) to her
          potentially ‘going’ following on from the ILF victory as she may have been considered to have breached (?Equalities Act?) in deciding to abolish the ILF.

          It seems she’s being uncharacteristically quiet on that …

          • overburdenddonkey

            ilf is provided so that “severely”, sick and disabled people can,”take part in a public life”…imho, this is a very important judgement, for all…

            • Yes, it’s really good news that went the way it did – thanks for the link. Even better news would be if EmcV were shown to have pushed (in)equality too far & ‘went’ a result. It will have barely registered with her i don’t suppose. (i wonder if that’s why the sideways move in the hope that people have short memories & will be otherwise occupied trying to hide their ‘spare’
              rooms to notice her involvement/trying to get rid of it). I’m sure the decision can’t have been hers and not hers alone in any case – but typical they’ll all just walk away from trying to abolish ILF without repercussions – until they next attempt at something similar. Soon there really won’t be anything left to remove.

              It’s staggering to realise the callousness that must be necessary to have enabled them to put their humanity to one side so comprehensively. I think they have become completely gung ho. (They wouldn’t hesitate to get up & condemn (say) the murderers of Stephen Lawrence’s or Damilola Taylor, or the Moors Murderers, the Wests et al). Yet somehow their consciences are untroubled by the stories of people like the lady refused DLA for no longer being alive ‘in the right way’ (for the ‘right’ length of time) and her neighbour/friend penalised for having the temerity to have a mental health condition. And a favourite phrase is “doing the right thing” … It can only be possible to be this heartless and to justify any & all measures taken by first believing/deciding that those on the receiving end are ‘less than’ (whatever they may say in public) to try to hide their beliefs beneath an ‘acceptable’ veneer of paternalism/’tough love’. Then further removing themselves with language (they can’t discuss the real effects of their policies & must talk in ‘doublespeak’ in private too, routinely). EmcV, i think, only repeats what’s said/fed to her. They may as well have put a talking doll in her place & could save on whatever it costs them to teach her her line/s.

  15. I havn’t had anyone say to me they support the bedroom tax,and the thing is this Tory government is doing it in the name of people who voted Tory.
    If the Tories get any where near being in power again the British people ,or those who vote for them,want certifying.

  16. Schooled in the IDS system of maths and statistics…

  17. The Single Occupancy Surcharge: A jolly good idea! And about bloody time too!

  18. If this isn’t tragic enough to make you realise the current benefit reforms are wrong nothing will.

    • overburdenddonkey

      her dla was stopped the reason given as she was not expected to survive the required does that mean?

      • I can imagine some DWP oik saying ‘well it is Disability ‘Living’ allowance, and technically she’s dying not living so I don’t think she’s entitled to it’…

        I found that poor lady’s story so utterly depressing…. what are we becoming when we can treat people like this?

        • overburdenddonkey

          yes…the whole thing has a nasty stink about it, would this have come out had the food bank not blogged it, it would have likely died with her…

          • What’s next ? Dear claimant please die off to save money …
            Their letters are weird enough
            ” let us know when you are going to prison
            Let us know when you are leaving prison

      • I suppose the awful, brutal logic is dead people can’t look for work…

        That seems to be the DWP’s thinking.

        • Overlooking the fact that their policies are causing deaths fact on twitter I had a bunch of people claiming I had made it up about people dying since this welfare reform
 went on for quite a bit and I never found out who these deniers were.. It was very strange

          • something survived...

            IDS: Dig ’em all up and make the lazy bastards work! Death is no excuse!
            (If you’ve been cremated we’ll use you to grit the road)

  19. Whenever McVey opens her mouth she lies,

  20. The public shouldn’t be supporting this tax under any circumstances…

  21. the sun on saturday seem to believe it, according to their editorial..
    they mentioned that only 2000 people were polled, hardly a good berometer of opinion, where were they polled, henley on thames.

    the vast majority of unemployed, WANT a job, the dwp are actually getting in the way, and are no help what so ever, i now have to deal with a person from the dwp office in liverpool, on the phone, it feels like im under curfew from 9-5 mon-fri, why?, what use is this? a voice on the phone, a 100 odd miles away in a different city…
    who thought this was a good idea,
    i suppose its easier to sanction people from a 100 miles away…
    what gets me, is that once upon a time the jobcentres actually helped people, not any more, the whole thing is a mess.

    • agreed, I actually got my first job through jobcentre in 2008! now i’m lucky if they actually pay attention to me in the office cos now it’s just go in, sign and get out!

    • I must add that I lost the job because it caused me so much mental distress I was hospitalized. this job was with bookers wholesale where the staff are evil and managers must be satan’s most loyal servants! and the dwp still say i’m fit for work even though I have been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome which is a form of autism and have had multiple episodes of severe depression especially in work as no employer recognises that i’m not like everyone else!

    • The jobcentre is acting like HMRC now cutting benefits for all and muppets think they will be paying less tax as result

  22. I don’t trust labour on bedroom tax either, it is not what they are telling us but what they are not telling us. They said that they would repeal the bedroom tax, but could impose on those in homes with extra bedrooms to move anyway once they have set up a building programme to build shoe boxes, telling you that is fair and in the public interest.
    well it’s not fair and I’m not moving, tenants need more rights than they currently have and nobody should have to pay for extra rooms in either the public or private sector either, the landlord is renting a house which should be a home, not running a survey on the number of bedrooms people need, nobody is questioning singles renting bigger properties if they can afford to pay the rent. Don’t talk to me about fairness and principles until the unprincipled, leaching middle and upper classes start getting taxed and penalized for all of their luxuries on a weekly basis.

    • Actually Stephen Timms (Shadow Employment Minister) said during a Radio 4 interview that it was “fine” to impose the Bedroom Tax on people who could move to smaller accommodation but didn’t want to. So you’re right not to trust Labour. Timms was the minister when certain Bedroom Tax-like adjustments were made in respect to Housing Benefit as per private rents.

      • All of these politicians suffer from a superiority complex, councillors too and all are in favour of imposing their ideology that the unemployed and working class should know their place and accept that they were born to live in restricted, second rate, in some cases, accommodation – yeah right!
        When are we going to have a survey on what the rich have in comparison to the poor, or why should some people earn more than others for a day’s work irrespective of qualifications, a job is a job. Nothing in life is fair and the working and UNDER classes bear the brunt of this the most, even the word UNDER implies superiority by those that are not fit to lick the boots of what the poor have had to suffer through the generations.

        • The Westminster zone of ignorance ..remember when some MPs tried camping out to sr what sleeping rough was like for homeless ? As if you would need to do that ..what’s next going without food to see what starvation is like ?

  23. Reblogged this on psychjim's Blog and commented:
    “There are lies, damn lies and Tories!”

  24. Reblogged with; “There are lies, damn lies and Tories!”

  25. This from The Observer: “Affordable homes facing demolition because of bedroom tax” Words fail me.

    • overburdenddonkey

      who will want to live in them anyway, no one can emotionally make these places a homes anymore, at any cost…so they’ll flatten them and sell off the land…more fantasy thinking from the govt that weren’t elected, and yet they still claim and believe this as a viable policy!…

      • obd. Yeah, one one hand there are not enough one bedroom properties for people to move into. On the the other hand there is a surplus of three bedroom properties and not enough people to move into them. Madness.
        I think the Bedroom Tax is getting debated in Parliment this Tuesday, this week. Labour are asking for a full on repeal. It will be interesting to see how the Libdem collaborators vote (they are supposed to be a party for social justice, allegedly). None appearences and abstentions will abound, methinks.

  26. I am not a homosexual .

  27. Pingback: Don't Believe Esther McVey's Bedroom Tax Lies -...

  28. I wouldn’t believe anything that came out of this woman’s mouth

  29. Is anyone watching “neighbourhood blues” on bbc1 at the moment. Police brutality at it’s extreme against petty thieves and then the police bragging about it on twitter.

    They should be arresting the criminal fraternity that is running this country and forcing petty thieving and in some cases human survival.

    The BBC is most certainly run by fascists I have no time for this broadcaster who enshrines the expenses scandal of mp’s in comedy drama, but locks up and shuts up anyone who has an objection to police behaviour and is from the working class. This police force are nothing but bully’s who are terrified to touch the criminals at the top of the criminality chain, preferring instead to kick those that are already down due to sanctions and austerity cuts which their incomes cannot absorb.

  30. OT.

    “Australia: Public housing tenants face evictions”

    All the UK Labour party governments and all of the Australian Labor party governments had/have a VERY unhealthy relationship.

    I remember reading that Atos was first started up by the wife of an Australian Labor minister before being sold on, I don’t know if that ex Australian Labor minister and his wife still have a stake in Atos ?.

  31. Pingback: Don’t Believe Esther McVey’s Bedroom Tax Lies – The Public Do Not Support This Policy | Street Democracy - where it should reach

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