Housing Benefits

David Cameron believes that housing claims of over £20,000 a year are unfair.

He has a point. I can think of one benefits scrounger who has repeatedly claimed more than this, despite having a perfectly adequate home in London.

David Cameron Second Home Expenses

2003-04:  £20,328
2004-05:  £20,902
2005-06:   £21,293.86
2006-07:  £20,563

7 Responses to “Housing Benefits”

  1. Stuart

    Ahh, why didn’t Ed have this to hand? Unless he too is guilty. First time I’ve ever watched PMQs (last time, probably) and I was a bit disappointed by the lack of imagination Ed showed – the whole thing was a bit like a parody of two friends arguing about something neither of them seemed to know much or care much about. Suppose it’d be ashame to lose that atmosphere of inconsequential silliness though.

    • Tom

      Nope, Ed was actually named as an expenses ‘saint’ by the Telegraph – claiming less than £8,000 a year for costs of staying away from his main home, and generally being one of the lowest-claiming MPs. In the last year listed on theyworkforyou.com, for example, he was the 578th highest claimer out of 647.

  2. bert

    I honestly thought a Labour blogger would have more sense than to drag up MPs expenses. I guess this is the bast he can do, though, considering the turkey Labour have elected as their leader.

  3. Rosscoe

    So £20,000 per year is enough to fund the constutuency home of the leader of the opposition in a very well off part of the country, but not a sufficent amount to house someone on welfare?

    This, like child benifit, is a dividing line that Labour really don’t want to be on the wrong side of, most working people could not dream of spending this sort of money on housing and quite rightly don’t understand why someone who doesn’t work should have it given to them on a plate.

    Ed Mili might be able to pull of some cheap points at PMQ’s but at the expense of putting Labour on the wrong side of the argument as seen by the vast majority of the voters.

    • Anna


      not everyone in receipt of housing benefit is unemployed. Many are people doing really unpleasant but important jobs for very low wages. Agreed it’s not fair that unemployed people should live in expensive rented property that working people can’t afford; but it’s also unfair that the hardworking poor should be uprooted and punished to make readers of the Daily Mail feel that something is being done about ‘benefit scroungers.’

      Rents for some pretty grotty property are outrageous. Maybe a cap on rents instead of mass expulsion of the poor might help.

      • Rosscoe

        The fact is that rents are set by the market, trying to cap rents has been tried and doesn’t work, it leads to shortage of homes, removes any incentive to keep properties up together and is a nightmare to administer. The problem with the current system of housing benefit (apart from it being expensive and unfair) is that it keeps rents high.

        I understand that everyone is concerned about the tenants and scared that they might loose there home but it should also be looked at another way. If you rent out a house the rent that you can get is set by the market, something that an individual landlord has very little/no control over, but if the tax payer is prepared to pay the “going rate” to house someone in one of your properties, (someone who would not ordinarily be able to afford the rent charged) then why on earth would you consider dropping the rent to a more affordable level? when every landlord in an area is being made the same offer it ensures that the “going rate” never decreases, indeed average rents rise.

        This has the effect that HB contributes towards keeping decent housing out of the reach of people who don’t claim it and guarantees a much higher rent to private landlords than they would otherwise get. Neither of these outcomes is a sensible way to spend taxpayers money.


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