‘Bedroom tax’ has not freed up Norwich council homes, claims City Hall leader

Norwich City Council leader Brenda Arthur. Norwich City Council leader Brenda Arthur.

Dan Grimmer dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk
Saturday, August 2, 2014
11:58 AM

The so-called bedroom tax has done little to free up bigger council homes in Norwich for larger families, the city council leader has claimed.

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And Brenda Arthur, Labour leader at City Hall, says, in the first year since the government removed the spare room subsidy, 480 tenants who lost benefit and who did not have rent arrears at the start of April were now behind with their rent.

The government introduced the reform, dubbed the bedroom tax by Labour last year, saying it would encourage tenants to apply to downsize to smaller homes.

The changes meant people with one “spare” bedroom lost 14pc of their eligible housing benefit for rent and those with two or more “spare” bedrooms lost 25pc.

Ms Arthur said that, as of the end of March this year, 2,159 council tenant households in Norwich had seen a reduction in their housing benefit because of the changes.

She said 1,848 had lost an average of £11.04 a week because they had one extra bedroom and 311 had lost £20.83 a week in housing benefit because they had two.

Ms Arthur said: “Nationally, Norwich has one of the highest ratios for bedroom tax deductions against housing benefit caseloads and there is very little evidence to suggest 
that bedroom tax has promoted greater movement within the stock by freeing up larger properties for larger households.

“The percentage of bedroom tax tenants in rent arrears is 
significantly higher across the 
board, showing the difficulty this element of welfare reform is causing.”

But a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “The removal of the spare room subsidy is a necessary reform to restore fairness to the system when around a quarter of a million 
people were living in overcrowded homes and around 1.7 million were on social housing waiting lists in England when the policy came into force.

“Already there has been a 10pc fall in the number of tenants affected by the policy in Norwich.

“Tenants are taking action in a number of ways from moving and using home swap services to finding work or increasing earnings.

“We have also seen 19,000 
people across Great Britain successfully managing to downsize their home.”

What’s your view? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE

92 comments

  • Celery? Perhaps if the farmer paid £8 an hour for an eight hour day then it would be worth it, if we pay a bit more for said vegetable then fine. Mind you more and more immigrants will mean a fourteen hour day for £4 an hour eventually, get it? Don`t pay much attention to so called reality type political programs myself, any fool with a camcorder can make the world look how you want it to look. I will make this my final post on the subject, you are welcome to the last word :)

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    John Bridge

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

  • @ John Bridge- In the BBC doc "The Poles are Coming" looking at Polish folk coming from Gdansk to Peterborough, there was net migration. Poles were renting private housing not occupying council housing . The classic quote comes from a group of unemployed local young men. "They are taking all the jobs". Asked by the reporter whether they would work 12 hours a day in a field cutting cabbages and celery at £6hr? The young guys whinge " Nah-that work is too hard menial work cheap labour, benefits are easier money" Boston is always going to be a centre for migration because we need food, and local lads don't want the work. Saying this because farming and the Polish economy has picked up, there are more Poles heading back to Gdansk than coming. Due to all the worlds conflicts the UKs had its name linked to, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, West Africa, - this is the pressure at Dover FolkstoneCalais.

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    Rob Whittle

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Afternoon Rob Whittle, indeed Norwich is not anywhere else, look at Boston, Cambridge etc, Kent in waiting? Give it time.

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    John Bridge

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • @John Bridge. Norwich isn,t Dover or Folkstone, or even Blackburn. Norwich has the one of the lowest immigrant % as a city, highest % white ethnicity and the highest % council stock If (source: ONS).I walk around the council estate 100metre from me, and I walk to the newsagents every day, you general point, has no truth in Norwich. If you know Norwich, go on, tell me a ward estate where there is a problem!!

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    Rob Whittle

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Rob Whittle, the next election is beside the point. I take issue with your statement{s} that immigration has not caused a shortage of social housing. I find it difficult to understand how anyone can seriously and honestly believe that to be the case.

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    John Bridge

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • @John Bridge. It would be fair you are able to speak for you own views, but not for everyone of the general pubic. Immigration EU are side issues to core issues like the economy and tax and thus parties like UKIP with immigration as core, whilst resonating in the EU elections will fall in the general election to 10% of the vote.

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    Rob Whittle

    Friday, August 8, 2014

  • Apologists for mass immigration can deny the undeniable until the cows come home but they only fool themselves, we all know the reality.

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    John Bridge

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • @ mile cross - you'd obviously hadn't watched the Panoramas doc White Fright based on Burnley's neighbour Blackburn and access to housing, education and services. BNP used White Flight here with Nick Griffith.

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    Rob Whittle

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • @milecross_you obviously don't know your BNP history and how White Flight was used for 10 years, before being beaten by the Hope not Hate counter campaign.

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    Rob Whittle

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • @rob whittle . Just where did you get this rubbish link between burnley and white flight . White flight is about the diminishing white population in London which is now down to about 40 odd percent for all the obvious reasons of immigration and white people not wanting to be a minority in their own country.. And where did this rubbish about burnley and football come into it . You have lost the plot

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    milecross

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • Rob Whittle, your logic has confused me. If you have lived in Kent for ten years then you will be as aware as I am that Kent {particularly the seaside resorts} have been a dumping ground for London for a good few years now. Immigration not the cause of social housing shortage? Peerleeeze! I know nothing about the BNP but I do know that `white flight` is real. What has Burnley got to do with this?

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    John Bridge

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • The term White Flight was a term used by BNP in Burnley in the 1990s to scare local people about first and second generation Asians taking over their suburbs. Some folk moved to pastures new, most just got on with life, and the scare story was false. BNP traded on whiteflight which I derard are one of the most disgusting strategies about, its all ras.cist rubbish. BNP votes shrank thereafter, and Birtwhistle LibLab council resumes. Obviously with Burnley gaining promotion to the premiership, folks realise even Asian folk support Burnley FC.

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    Rob Whittle

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • White flight, ripple effect and the search for cheaper homes. All have an effect on Norfolk and this will only get worse. I have a second home in Norfolk so I am partly to blame. Going back to Kent, I find it hard to believe the sheer numbers of people from abroad that have appeared over the past few years, do you seriously and honestly believe this has no effect on social housing? Come on! As regards the next election I can see UKIP failing big time, people are scared of the labour party and with good reason, this will eat into the UKIP vote.

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    John Bridge

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • @John Bridge, Used to live in Kent for 10 years. Kent is not Norwich. Dover, Folkestone and the Medways have there own problems, being entry points to the continent. Go to Faversham,Herne bay ,Sturry or Chesterfield, the problem is older folk excluding younger folk from the housing market. In Norwich migration has a limited affect on housing; people living longer, studentification of University and Nelson wards,more families splitting up with 2 family homes, more people living by themselves by choice, demand from professions coming up from LondonEssex in the central areas, the golden triangle driving up prices. Simply not enough housing is built to meet indigenous demand. BNP and UKIP have a lot to answer for, UKIP will not fare as well in the next election where the issues are chiefly economic management, hospitals, education rather than narrow local issues, migration or the EU. Certainly Kent parts of Kent is not typical of UK migration!

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    Rob Whittle

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • Rob Whittle, I make no apology for repeating this, several years ago Ken Livingstone said that over ten percent of people living in London were asylum seekers, at the time SHELTER said even if the waiting list was not added to it would take seventy years to clear! It is quite wrong to PRETEND that the shortage of housing is not a direct result of immigration. Labelling people BNP and UKIPPERS is not political argument, it is merely name calling because you will not accept what is staring you in the face. Where I live in Kent towns have literally been overrun, I wish I was imagining this but I can assure you I am not.

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    John Bridge

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • @ milecross . One can hardly say 150,000 net increase due to migration is "mass migration". That's about 0.25 % of the total UK population. 350,000 emigrated from the UK whilst 500'000 immigrated. 0.8% population is down to population momentum, ie folk living longer,longevity. The solution is build more houses, tackle land spectators sitting on urban sites, link bankers bonuses to completion of affordable housing, as a social good. Allow capital receipts from council house sales to be reinvested into building new council houses. One out builds one new house, bit like building societies used to do in the north of England. When resources like council housing becomes scarce, and this is not the fault of anyone on the waiting list, squabbles occur, and this brings out the absolute worst in human nature - which feeds UKIPPER covertly small world swamped line and BNPs overt rivers of blood hate policies.

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    Rob Whittle

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • In the year to June 2012, immigration was estimated at 515,000. About 15 per cent of that was by British nationals, about 30 per cent by other EU nationals and about 55 per cent was by non-EU nationals, mainly Pakistan. Not many of these people in East Anglia. Emigration was estimated at 352,000, with about 44 per cent of that being British nationals. Net migration change was estimated at 163,000. Source: Border control, 0NS That's 0.0027% of total population; let's double it for any error 0.005% of population! Hardy mass migration! It BNPUKIPPERDaily Mail Daily Express 1930s like hysteria. Its plain to see!

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    Rob Whittle

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • Peter Watson I do apologise, I did get confused. It must be the 14 hour days that are getting the better of me.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • @rob whittle . How can you support mass immigration when we have millions on social housing lists . Take for example nick cleggs Sheffield . He was recently calling for the uk to take thousands of Syrian refugees . His own town of Sheffield has nearly 100.000 people on the waiting list for housing

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    milecross

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • Morning, Rob Whittle, I`m sure that milecross can stick up for himself but what has the `straight out of the BNP manual got to do with anything? If something is fundamentally wrong then it is fundamentally wrong full stop. The amount of immigration is the cause of social housing shortages, to deny this is utter nonsense. I believe that British people should come first and foremost every time and in every way, if this means knocking back people from abroad then so be it. Nothing whatsoever to do with the dislike of others different to myself I believe every country should put its own citizens at the top of the pile.

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    John Bridge

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  • Milecross- you are fundamentally wrong with side issues like immigration and the EUz, the next election will be won on the economy, economic custodianship, tax, health and education; as always. Immigration EU is a one trick donkey!

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    Rob Whittle

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • @rob whittle . You fail to recognise one fact . The next election will be fought and won on one subject Immigration

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    milecross

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Typical Web Moderators censoring yet again despite them saying they DON'T Censor. Clearly they do, but then as I highlighted a failing in Norwich City Council probably the reason why. I mean come on EENEDP do Sponsor City Hall Events, so why ruin the Boardroom or should I say in their case Bedroom Relationship

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    che bramley

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • @SweetCheeks.You are,as ever,very confused.If your comments were meant for Peter Smith,Labour's choice to topple Ms Truss, please apologise immediately for such victim assassination.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Mile cross_ your comment is straight out of the BNP policy manual - which has hate and prejustice usthem behind it- also with so called white British- and its migration and interbred history_ who are you to define meothers by skin colour or race or Britishness? I speak a Westmorland Celt. I don't link you youyour views!

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    Rob Whittle

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Mile cross, this is nowhere near the truth. This information smacks from dispised BNP racist manuals lealets and has no place in British society! Most so called white British folk derived from migrant families, Saxons, Normans, Scandinavias,the Irish, the Scots the Welsh, the Flemish, Dutch , French hugonots and many more. Who are you to define white British from the original Britons and Celts. Its all fear, hate and prejudice I hear in you comment.

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    Rob Whittle

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • @rob whittle . The racial discrimination in housing and jobs is not just confined to a few councils . These are national policies which are denying white british people housing and jobs in their own country . . Its not hard to find the truth out there with a little bit of searching

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    milecross

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • @sweet cheeks.As usual not a shred of evidence to support your statement.TypicalTory prefers blind prejudice .You have a similar attitude to the Tory MP who claimed for the heating to heat their horse stables,the party of the rich,for the rich.The sort who prefer heating their horses stables than enabling poor people to do the same.Heartless,evil Tories.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • The use of the term 'Bedroom Tax' is purely mischievious and misleading political rhetoric. Instead of trying to rename a reduction in housing benefit, which is NOT a tax, there should have been a concerted campaign to stop the reduction being retrospective. The reduction should ONLY have been applied where accommodation of the right size for those affected was available but was declined.

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    Norfolk Lad

    Monday, August 4, 2014

  • Jon, this is partly true and not. Dirty hard work jobs, many UK youth without qualifications don't have the work ethic and watch too much of Britain Has Talent and buy too much into it. They don't want to do these menial jobs! Graduate employment went up 20% this year which indicates being competitive with a work ethic gaining qualifications, gaining work experience pays off long term. But what's the point whether UK youngster or migrant, with not enough houses being built, excessive house prices, never going to afford a deposit or get on the housing ladder have decent pension come retirements at 80yrs when it comes This is the UKKIP small world con. Let's all head off to the Gold Coast.

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    Rob Whittle

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Rob Whittle, I`m a Londoner and London is swamped, there is no other word for it, the ripple effect is being felt far and wide. Secondly, bad feeling to those from abroad is a direct result of this swamping, racism and resentment are two very different things. Three, our young people may not like picking veg or cleaning the bogs but if they had to or have no money they would soon get used to the idea. Finally, my bus route into town takes me through a large housing estate, the old sixties concrete buildings were knocked down and replaced by brick built blocks of flats. Many of the residents are from abroad but especially from eastern Europe, whole families complete with grannies, these people have not contributed to our system and many never will, I very much resent this, to say that immigration is not at the heart of social housing shortages is quite frankly daft.

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    John Bridge

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Yet again the youth of the uk are too blame for mass immigration, its an insult and slander bit like the benefit scrounger statements. The youth of the uk do want work but they are being pushed out by migrants in all area's of employment.

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    john dab

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Mile cross_this sounds like its come out of a BNP small world leaflet. What's the apprenticeship? Domestic cleaningdrain clearance?

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    Rob Whittle

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • @rob whittle . This racial discrimination is not just confined to housing . Essex county council are offering grants of 2500 pounds to give apprenticeship jobs to ethnic minorities . This racial discrimination has got to stop in housing and jobs . This is why there is a ukip surge in the polls

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    milecross

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • John Bridge, Its not swampage, its prejudice and BNPUKIPPER. Few UK youngsters want to pick fruit, cop veg or clean toilets! Let's Talk about bigger sites_ Deal and Utility, Rackheath, County own Cottishall ,not exactly fleebites. And many other sites in the GNDP plan.Inward migration lies between 150_200k pa, with increasing outward migration of doctors, teachers etc to Canada, Oz, NZ, Singapore etc. Many of the 500k returning to a more prosperous Poland. Inward migration accounts for 20% UK population change, the larger rest is internal population aging momentum. This is the truth and reality, unless one reads the Daily Mail, Daily Express- both spouting xerophobic rubbishhysterics!

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    Rob Whittle

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • JB, you're correct immigration has too be addressed; i know the lefty lib\lab don't want to hear it but the truth is out there, its simple, too many immigrants reduce housing stocks and with councils favouring migrants increase votes for the right.

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    john dab

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Rob Whittle, why do you think there is intolerance etc? It is because we are swamped, large cities are overflowing and to deny this has a knock on is very ostrich like. You say that there are sites which could be built on, quite so but this will only be a fleabite up against what is actually required long term. You say that the solution is to build more social housing but this is just papering over a few cracks. Sorry to sound deliberately rude but with respect unless immigration is dealt with your argument is rubbish.

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    John Bridge

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • John Bridge, I don't see this as a demographic distortion. Its the intolerance, prejudice and the r work that's the problems. London has 300 languages, and we are talking about Kent and Cambs? Bigger demographic distortions are created by an aging population, commuting population, second home or a growing obese population. The problem with social housing is neither migration or racial; its simply there isn't, enough supply to meet demand, creating scarcity, creating waiting lists and prejustices. Solution= build more housing, more social housing that gives all homes as a right and cuts ridiculous inflated house prices that are 2x that of Australia and 3x that of New Zealand. Not enough land_ look at the Shoemaker site, 20 homes there, Earl of Leicester site_ another 10-15 homes there, it goes on.

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    Rob Whittle

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Bedroom tax aside , it seems to me ncc favours asians, muslims and any other immigrant above uk born.

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    john dab

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • can you imagine the outcry if social housing was advertised only for whites . This is racial decrimination of white british people

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    milecross

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Rob Whittle, migration affects everyone regardless, the knock on causes all sorts of demographic distortion from `white flight` to towns in Cambridgeshire being swamped directly. Whippers, my little world white or otherwise may or may not be coming to and end but were homes built in Kent specifically for a certain religion? Wether you like it or not the answer is yes.

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    John Bridge

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • john dab

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Today the poor tomorrow it could be u. its about time those moaning about so called 'scroungers' suffering at the hands of unjust cuts realize the biggest parasites are the liars , hypocrites and thieves running the establishment,maybe if those unjustly holding the reins of power were actually transparent certain view points would change. all governments require someone to blame and who easer than the poor. I see like this, either you want a welfare state or you don't, i pay into a system that hopefully i won't need but know its there offering peace of mind. Just remember, its easy to fall and touch bottom.

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    john dab

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • BG ~ any effect or not of migration depends entirely geographically where you are in the UK. Many areas its is not significant, others more so. Studies point towards migrants occupying private rented property sector (Poles in Peterborough), or cheap private housing (Asian communities in NE Lancashire-terraced housing) rather than the social housing sector. Obviously the article is on social housing rather than housing generally. Personally I see the bedroom tax as a waste of time! All properties require maintainance and require upgrading as stages. Indeed many council houses were built at specific periods and authorities like Norwich are upgrading for energy rating,boilers etc currently. But owning any type of property is not an cheap activity. The principle of council housing is surely that poor or vulnerable folk family are housed have shelternrather than being put in tents or left homeless, rather than running as a business or making profit from these folk. I agree with you folk in council houses need to have greater responsibility and that councils should determine to inspect properties on a more frequent basis, especially for problem tenants, i .e some with collective bad habitsbehaviour.

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    Rob Whittle

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • I this thread has developed into a [political argument ! One Bedroomed accommodation is cheaper that Two bedroomed accomodation ,and so on in the private sector,and this should apply to the public sector too,these being already at subsidy rents

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    Albert Cooper

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • PaulWho, if you do not know how a particular religious group {I am having to be `correct` here} housing does not differ from the usual then perhaps you should not enter this fray.

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    John Bridge

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • What does a house "designed for Asian families" look like? I have to say this looks a bit like the EDL posting a picture of a mosque in Brighton that turned out to be the Brighton Pavilion. It's a sad fact of life that some people just don't like foreigners.

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    PaulWho

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Cyril the Canary, it is a matter of fact that Kent councils along with social housing companies have built homes primarily designed for Asian families.

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    John Bridge

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Some of you here are so narrow minded and Tory influenced to say people on Benefits, blargh, blargh. Think for one second if not to difficult !! Some people who work also live in Council Accommodation, and are not liable for the Bedroom Tax if they live on their own with 2 bedrooms, but if they then lose their job, THROUGH NO <<< fault of their own and need to claim Benefits suddenly do become liable. What next for you Tory Sheep? Everything people brought whilst in employment, should suddenly be packing things away and taking it all to Cash Converters? Some of you need a wake up call and realise that not everyone put them in a position of claiming Benefits, they have no option. The sooner some of you people get that into your head the better! And if we want to also place some blame, look at people who move off benefits into work and report a change of circumstances to City Hall. Cause they have 6-8 week delays in processing that means they are still paying things like Rent and Council Tax Benefit, and when they are processed people are sent a letter of over payment, bet that has not entered into your heads either. See the bigger picture? Or still blind it it all? And here is something else you you benefit bashers, one day you may find yourself Jobless and needing to resort to benefits, well soon if that happens you will have to wait at least 5-6 weeks before you see payment, so good luck surviving on nothing !!!

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    che bramley

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • GoneAway, is it too much to ask that you open your eyes? Perhaps keeping them closed is more in keeping with your Guardian comfort zone.

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    John Bridge

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Rob Whittle – Immigration is having a profound effect on housing. All the studies back that up. But one of the reasons I feel as to why councils are not building new properties is because their stock is getting old and needs constant maintenance, regardless of how litlle they are looked after by many of their tenants. Double glazing, new upvc front doors, kitchens, extensions, central heating. The list goes on. Because thousands of them were built at the same time, the same age related problems are now starting to effect them all. Like the concrete covers over the front doors. The metal reinforcing rods have rusted causing the concrete to fracture resulting in a complete demolition and erection of a fibre glass substitute. Chimney stacks now re pointing which can`t be done without scaffolding. Mine cost me £600. You add all this together and the rent money, wherever derived from it not going to cover the cost of this for years to come. So in effect the council is operating at a loss. As for Peter Watson and his Labour diatribe about millionaires tax cut. Anyone earning over 150k now pays 40p in the £. If you are fortunate to be earning a million a year you are paying 42k less a year in tax not the hundred thousand he eludes to. But the wealthy, including a huge chunk of Labour MPs and peers are now paying more in tax than they did before because they are not constantly thinking up ways of getting round Labours 50p in the pound tax, Which they only dreamt up as a wheeze as an elephant trap for the Tories as they were leaving office. During their time in government the higher rate of tax was always 40p.

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    BG

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • @BG and mile cross, few deny migration has an impact on the supply of housing and affordable housing, my valid point is that it is a lesser factor than existing local demographics and indeed the lack of house building. When things are tights, the public and private sector fail on the basis provision of housing, its natural, the worst intolerant parts of society turn on minorities and outsiders. It basic human nature. Whilst the private sector is part of housing provision, it has failed to keep up with housing demand, and simply isn,t interested in affordable or council housing for those on low income, low or no mortgage access. Councils haven't been able to build new stock or reinvest capital receipts from council house sales into new stock. Hence the lack of publicprivate sector provision, scarceness and intolerance. If the likes of Sweet pea would not begrudge more housing being built in suburbs and villages around Norfolk, perhaps a bedroom tax would become less relevant.

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    Rob Whittle

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Milecross: you are an idiot spouting moronic BNP lies.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • what do all you people really know about the bedroom tax nad trying to downsize, ive have been in my flat 30 years and not working at the moment and i am hit by thebedroom tax or subsidy, this i have to pay out of my benefit, if i dont i go into arrears on my rent, and get avicted, to down size you have to bid on empty properties and that is hard to come first, not onlybecause there are people who are in a higer banding who become first or foreigners who are given priority over yourself. that puts people in a bad situation to have to down grade , get all your facys right before you start talking aboutpeople in properties on there own, with exra rooms, i was here with a family.

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    michael.hall76

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • recently orbit housing in kent advertised for tenants . The advert said asians will be given top priority . Another housing group with the same atitude as norwich city council

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    milecross

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Peter Watson yet again more poison rubbish from you, Brown tried to buy the benefit vote by giving them more and almost breaking our country. Why is it you never mention the Marxist millionaires of the Labour Party or your millionaire union paymasters who control your every move? Jo Rust and yourself really need to get your facts right otherwise you may loose your deposit at the general election, I look forward to questioning you both on the streets, remember Socialism only works until you run out of other peoples money.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Rob Whittle Migration is not the major cause around lack of provision of local affordable housing.There are exceptions like Thetford and Peterborough. AND any other town you care to mention in the East. Come to Yarmouth my friend and see how immigration has changed the town for the worse.

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    BG

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • @rob whittle . If immigration is not the issue why did the housing list shoot to a staggering 5.2 million under labour . The list stood at 2.5 million under john major . Labour also let in 3.2 million immigrants . Add the 3.2 million to the 2.5 million and you have your answer

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    milecross

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Migration is not the major cause around lack of provision of local affordable housing.There are exceptions like Thetford and Peterborough. The main reasons are the internal demographic momentum reasons that are occurring internal to the population that account for 80% of the problem. People living longer, more families splitting, increased divorces, broken relationships, increased mobility, increased of two home parentsfamilies, kids moving out increasing student accommodation, more older folk avoiding downsizing, increased working folk living by themselves out of choice! So John Bridge, I largely disagree you explanation for the increase of demand for affordable council housing.

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    Rob Whittle

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • I'm amazed that anyone actually still believes the Bedroom Tax, Spare Room Subsidy, Punishment For Being Vulnerable (whatever name you try to put to a vile piece of legislation) was actually designed to save money, which it clearly hasn't to any great degree. I have rarely seen such a policy of divide and rule coming from Central Government. It's a wonderful way of getting not particularly well off people turning on the even less well off, very little more than that. Watch out folks, the next target is pensioners, remember that 70% of the social security budget is spent on them! just imagine how much we could save by going for the elderly.

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    PaulWho

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • ....."480 tenants who lost benefit and who did not have rent arrears at the start of April were now behind with their rent.".....so what does a social landlord like Norwich Council do with these people...kick them all out. The next morning you would have 480 or more homeless people (intentional?) queuing up at City Hall looking for emergency housing.

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    Rhombus

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • I agree with every you have put BG but I thought when you signed for your property you are supposed to leave it in a good clean condition but then some people don't care as they can't be bothered to get rid of their rubbishstuff they don't want when they leave so they leave it but if they ldont realise and they leave a forwarding address they should get a bill for it, well I hope they would. I am one of those people who had to pay bedroom tax and I payed it every week but now I don't have to pay any longer so the council want to get on to every one who's got to pay and get them in to court as they would of got me in court if I didn't pay it but lucky for me I did pay mine so come on your in the appears and on the news moaning about it so pull your socks up and get more stricter with everyone

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    loulou

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • "Can anyone tell me why the old City Works buildings are still standing in Mile Cross? They are an eyesore and demolishing them could release a lot of land for small flats which seem to be needed. "......................Private sector doesn't want to build 1 bedroom dwellings for low incomers, surprise surprise!

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    marty r

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • There are an estimated 500,0000 social homes occupied by immigrants. I know form personal experience that as 71 year old Englishman ,ex serviceman, that I do not stand a chance of social housing. Been told repeatedly that my needs are far less than strangers landing on our shores. This government despite all the rhetoric have made no attempt to help the people of this country.

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    stormy

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • @John Bridge Ignorant Little Englander bilge, Mr Bridge, ignorant Little Englander bilge.

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    GoneAway

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • this is the labour council of Norwich who have a proven record of putting local people second in housing

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    milecross

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • The Con-Dem government directs all the housing subsidy into their "Help To Buy Votes" scheme and they already knew there simply weren't the smaller properties to move into so this is more heartless Tory and LibDem cruelty.Then again it is the Nasty Party and "we are all in this together" as the millionaires pocket their six figure tax cut,what are the victims of the bedroom tax to do,die from starvation or freeze to death?

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    Peter Watson

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Yes Rob Whittle the main issue is missed or more to the point ignored {deliberately}, too many people and we all know why.

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    John Bridge

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • The main issue is missed. There aren't simply enough affordable or even market price houses been built on land speculated sites in Norwich. The ex ShoeMaker pub site-nothing, ex Earl of Leicester site- nothing, St Anne's Wharf-nothing, Deal and Utility - nothing, amongst hundreds of other vacant, derelict, ex pub sites, car parks and garage spaces. This is the real political, social and economic issue Cllr Arthur! Compulsory Purchase Orders must be an increased used tool for councils facing cash poor speculators of vacant sites! Strategies are too soft so far.

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    Rob Whittle

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Can anyone tell me why the old City Works buildings are still standing in Mile Cross? They are an eyesore and demolishing them could release a lot of land for small flats which seem to be needed. I am sure there are other council owned sites that could have similar treatment.

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    bedoomed

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • What about all the council houses and flats lying empty? I know of plenty of them, some of them require barely nothing to make habitable but are still empty, surely the amount of revenue achievable from these would offset the unfair and ridiculous bedroom tax.

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    mr mayhem

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Stew Pydsodd you put the answer very succinctly. Three things have contributed to our housing problems. Split families, very young women getting having children to secure social housing and uncontrolled immigration. Split families we can do very little about but constantly placing young girls, starting a family, at the top of the housing list and uncontrolled immigration are two things local and central government to do something about. Instead of the Leader of Norwich City Council bleating on about the cut in housing benefits (I think we get the message loud and clear we are on a lead up to a General Election) she ought to be living up to the promises she talks about on the Norwich City council web site. “The council faces some really tough challenges in the coming years. Not only do we have to make significant savings but we need to make sure the money we have to spend, which is not insubstantial, is focused and meets the needs of those in the greatest need. At the same time we have a responsibility to all citizens.” May I suggest that instead of making excuses for tenants who won`t pay, don`t want to pay she looks at the bigger picture and makes a start on cutting back on unnecessary spending on council housing by implementing a more rigorous regime on the way council stock is looked after by their tenants.

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    BG

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Usual nonsense, lets get real. Drastic reduction of immigrants by enforced repatriation would mean a vast increase of availability of social housing.

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    John Bridge

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Labour Council Leader says the Tory policy is not working.....Labour are the ruling party, its down to them to make this work, but they wont because its about politics not about doing the right thing by tennants. They should be actively looking to help them find alternative housing but they are not. People who need to downsize should be given priority, that then gives those that need to upsize, the housing they need. Everyone wins. Well, everyone expect Labour, who have no intention of making this work.

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    Crazy

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • …..Instead of Ms BA giving a sob story, she should take a step back and look at the problem!...it is more than likely that it is caused by over zealous youngsters deciding to have casual relationships resulting in unwanted children in the knowledge that the state will take care of them!.... Sooner or later this will have to stop!... Every child arriving in this world has both a mother AND a father...between them they created this child and now must take the responsibility to bring them up,....Dad must work and provide!...not the luxuries of life...but the basics!...While they are being mollycoddled by the state , they are living off the backs off those that have got off their backsides and tried!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Norwich is on record for having the greatest amounts of Council Social Affordable housing on record for a City the size of Norwich.Mostly to secure political votes for the Labour Party.So it follows that Brenda Arthur has no desire to see this plan exercised

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    Albert Cooper

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Dead right, Daisy Roots! So next election, let's all back the party that pledges to build more social housing! They might even promise well built houses on well planned estates with schools and community centres and green spaces and Oh dear, here I am dreaming it's 1948 again ......

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    galrita

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Council housing is already heavily subsidised and tenants pay no where near the private sector rental charges. I would have more sympathy with some of these tenants if they looked after their houses, but they don`t. It is costing councils a small fortune in remedial work before new tenants can move in. I cite as an example a council flat near me which was vacated by a tenant who put the keys through the letter box and just walked away. It took the council contracted waste disposal firm to 3 van loads to empty the flat and sheds. Then followed weeks of Norse workmen putting the property right. The flat was then let to a couple of 17 year olds playing mum and dad who left within 9 moths to a bigger property because she was pregnant with their second child. Back came the waste contractor and Norse workmen and we went through the whole sorry saga again. Only for it all to be repeated when a teenager arrived with her 2 children. She left after 6 months and back came the waste contractor and Norse workmen. We now have another girl moving in who has just given birth so no doubt history will be repeating itself all over again in a few months time. This is nothing out of the ordinary. Yarmouth Borough is supposed to be 5m in the red. I wonder why???? Just take a walk around a council estate and see how much many of these tenants value living in council property. The state of the gardens give it away. People may consider they have a right to low cost housing but they also have a responsibility to look after it.

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    BG

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • But it isn't being tackled, the few people I know that fell foul of this nasty piece of legislation are now behind with their rent of have been able to claim the money back from some funding that has been put in place. What makes this so ridiculous is the very fact that their wasn't any accommodation readily available for anyone to move into. This legislation was put in for nothing other reason than to pacify the 'Bash the Benefits' brigade whilst taking the heat off the real crooks like the bankers and tax dodgers.

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    John L Norton

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • If it was about freeing up "bigger homes" then they should apply it to pensioners too............But they aren't. Wonder why ;-)

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    marty r

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • It is only right that people on benefits should have part of it stopped if they are living in accommodation which is larger than they need. Glad that the problem is being tackled by government and that eventually the tax payer will be better off

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    michaelfane

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • If I want to rent Two Bedroomed accommodation it will cost more that One Bedroom,in the private sector ,the same applies if you buy instead of renting ! so why shouldn't this apply to Council Propertys as well !

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    Albert Cooper

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Norfolk John I'm afraid you are wrong. It hasn't saved taxpayers money. Partly because of the costs of dealing with tenants getting into arrears and also the lack of suitable smaller social housing properties for people to downsize into. Because of the chronic shortage of smaller council properties a lot of tenants affected have moved into smaller privately rented accommodation, but with higher rents, and hence housing benefits paid. This is just an expensive botched sticking plaster policy that does nothing to address the dire shortage of affordable housing for people on lower incomes. Or in fact the ridiculous prices being paid for property in the open market. Housing in this country is a fiasco and it appears than none of the political parties have any desire to solve it.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Just another way of getting money out of people

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    Derek McDonald

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Jealously is a horrible trait isn't it? I prefer to live and let live, but that's just me.

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    Vic Sponge

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Isn't it strange how socialist like to waste everyone's money. If you buy a house you only get one what you can afford so the same should be done with social rents, I have no problem with rent subsidy as it's not a tax. General benefits should be capped at 15k rather than 25k unless the person is in need, we have a lot of lazy people who think they have a right to do nothing. My view is look after the people who need help and reduce the benefits every month for the people who don't, or let them earn their benefits by sweeping the roads and picking up rubbish and cutting the verges.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • I completely agree with Daisy Roots!!! Its absolutely ridiculous!! Something needs to be done about the housing options system as it seems to pay to have about 20 kids and live off housing benefit......people that pay are hard working and pay their rent should have a priority over people that don't. It is very wrong an encourages the wrong type of behaviour. It shouldn't matter what size property you have if you pay your rent but if you claim benefit then I completely agree with the spare bedroom policy.

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    harry

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • The costs of over seeing it are higher than the benefits. So whats the point.

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    sharky

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Dont care-there is no justification for anyone being overhoused on benefits or subsidised rents when young people on low wages struggle to pay their own way.All social housing should have means tested rents and regular reviews of tenants needs for social housing-not have four earning adults with four cars occupying a council house. Plus, this is not a TAX it is a means of making sure those who are paying for other people's benefits are not paying for something they cant afford themselves. I am sure a lot of young private tenants in Norwich would love to have the space and low rents that some social housing tenants enjoy.

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    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Can I be spokesperson for the private housing sector. It is a spare room subsidy not Bedroom tax, for people on benefits only.not old age pensioners just benefit claimants. Mrs Arthur seems to have a lot of these,the housing bill reflected in the size of my Council Tax, I presume.

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    PaulH

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Well the good news is that it has reduced the benefits bill for the tax payer - so job partly done then.

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    Norfolk John

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Good ol' DWP - in a different world as usual!

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    marty r

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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