Sunday, 5 July 2015

We own land, give us money!

From the BBC:

But Mr Osborne also announced:

* The benefits cap - the total amount a family can claim a year - will be cut to £23,000 in London (the BBC understands the cap will be £20,000 per household outside of London)

Very few households get anywhere near £20,000 or £23,000 in non-housing related benefits, so by an large, this is a cap on Housing Benefit (a good thing, in and of itself). But as most MPs own buy-to-lets and a disproportionate number of those are buy-to-lets in London and many of their tenants receive Housing Benefit, they decided to cut back Housing Benefit a little bit less in London.
This bit either shows he is either stupid, lying or not prepared to say what he means:

Mr Osborne confirmed he would be seeking to make cuts to tax credits for people on low incomes, which had become a "very expensive" system, costing £30bn.

Very little of that £30 bn is actually Working Tax Credits, which would indeed be unnecessary if they increased the National Insurance threshold and the personal allowance for income tax.

The bulk of the £30 bn is Child Tax Credits, the bulk of which go to non- and very low earners. If he wants to cut Child Tax Credits, why doesn't he just say so? That might or might not be a good idea, but this is the bookend to him removing Child Benefit from households where one parent earns over £50,000. So basically he is now clobbering parents all the way up the income scale.
Their policies on social housing are all over the place:

Under the planned changes to housing subsidies, local authority and housing association tenants in England who earn more than £30,000 - or £40,000 in London - will have to pay up to the market rent, Mr Osborne will say.

Those are hardly ridiculously high salaries, so what he is saying is "Get a job and we will not just punish you with income tax and NIC, we'll punish you with higher rents as well" thus creating a whole new set of break-even calculations.

And wasn't their recent bright idea to sell off as much social housing as possible? Will the Right to Buy be restricted to people who earn less than £30,000 a year?

If 'no', then middle and higher earners' best strategy is to simply exercise their Right to Buy (which might be the thinking behind this) and makes a mockery of the whole thing - if these people don't deserve a discount to the market rent, why do they deserve a much bigger discount if they buy?

If 'yes', then their best strategy is to work part-time for a year, then exercise Right to Buy and then go back to work full-time.
But at least it is all for a good cause:

Extra money from those living in local authority properties will go straight to the Exchequer.

The Budget will also confirm the end of inheritance tax on family homes worth up to £1m.


mombers said...

I'll be writing to my MP today...

mombers said...

"Extra money from those living in local authority properties will go straight to the Exchequer."
Pretty much iron clad proof that council housing is not subsidised?