NAMED: The 177 MPs who voted YES to the Bedroom Tax after claiming up to £25K EACH in accommodation expenses.


177 of the MPs that voted YES to the Bedroom Tax on Tuesday evening, claimed up to £25k EACH in their own “spare bedroom” expenses.

One of the highest claims, Nigel Adams whopping £25k in 2012-13, could pay the Bedroom Tax for up to 30 families in his constituency for a whole year.

Richard Bacon’s constituency is a three hour commute from the House of Commons, yet his accommodation expenses bill averages £450 a week.

Stephen Barclay’s constituency in Cambridgeshire is less than two hours away – and he has the fifth highest claim on the list at over £24,000 last year.


Nigel Adams (CON, Selby and Ainsty). Claimed £25,309 in accommodation expenses. Voted YES to the Bedroom Tax.

Richard Bacon (CON, South Norfolk). Claimed £25,094 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

Karen Bradley (CON, Staffordshire Moorlands). Claimed £24,849 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

Jenny Willott (LIB DEM, Cardiff Central). Claimed £24,446 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

Stephen Barclay (CON, North East Cambridgeshire). Claimed £24,226 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

John Hayes (CON, South Holland and The Deepings). Claimed £23,757 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

David Morris (CON, Morecambe and Lunesdale). Claimed £23,702 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

Daniel Poulter (CON, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich). Claimed £24,387 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

Hugh Robertson (CON, Faversham and Mid Kent). Claimed £23,240 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

Malcolm Bruce (LD, Gordon). Claimed £23,057 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

Julian Sturdy (CON, York Outer). Claimed £22,936 in accommodation expenses. Voted FOR the bedroom tax.

Yes, they might claim that their vast hotel bills are for ‘exceptional circumstances’ – yet refuse to take into account the ‘exceptional circumstances’ of the 420,000 disabled people losing around £16 a week as a result of the Bedroom Tax.

Exceptional circumstances that led Melissa Jones to overdose on sleeping pills. Exceptional circumstances that have Donna Macey considering suicide as the only way out of bedroom tax arrears. Exceptional circumstances that led pensioner Charles Barden to take his own life over fears that he could not pay the bedroom tax. Exceptional circumstances that mean that a bedroom specially designed for seriously disabled Warren to hold the specialist hoists, chairs and equipment that he needs, is now costing his grandparents their health and home. Exceptional circumstances that left Stephanie Bottrill under a lorry on the M6. These are exceptional circumstances.

But Nigel Adams, Richard Bacon et al have their “exceptional circumstances” funded by the taxpayer. The Melissas and Warrens and Stephanies are barely taken into account.

Read this list and ask yourself who the REAL scroungers are:

Accommodation claims over £25k:
Richard Bacon (CON)
Nigel Adams (CON)

Accommodation claims up to £25k:
Karen Bradley (CON)
Stephen Barclay (CON)
John Hayes (CON)
David Morris (CON)
Daniel Poulter (CON)
Hugh Robertson (CON)
Malcolm Bruce (LD)
Julian Sturdy (CON)
Robert Syms (CON)
Mark Garnier (CON)
Tobias Elwood (CON)
Penny Mordaunt (CON)
Ian Liddell-Grainger (CON)
Mark Pritchard (CON)
Andrew Bingham (CON)
Chris Heaton-Harris (CON)
Glyn Davies (CON)
Stephen Williams (LD)
John Glen (CON)
Tracey Crouch (CON)
Mark Lancaster (CON)
Heather Wheeler (CON)
David Rutley (CON)
Sarah Wollaston (CON)
Philip Davies (CON)
Nicky Morgan (CON)
Andrew Turner (CON)
Mark Menzies (CON)
Damian Collins (CON)
Anna Soubry (CON)
Peter Luff (CON)
Esther McVey (CON)
Peter Tapsell (CON)
Andrew Tyrie (CON)
Bill Cash (CON)
Jenny Willott (LD)

Accommodation claims up to £20k:
James Wharton (CON)
Sheryll Murray (CON)
Alistair Bert (CON)
David Tredinnick (CON)
Alec Shellbrooke (CON)
Robert Goodwill (CON)
Jessica Lee (CON)
Michael Ellis (CON)
Philip Lee (CON)
Stephen Dorrell (CON)
Don Foster (LD)
Steve Brine (CON)
Martin Horwood (LD)
Neil Parrish (CON)
Kris Hopkins (CON)
David Jones (CON)
Chris White (CON)
Chris Kelly (CON)
Greg Clark (CON)
Graham Stuart (CON)
Mark Hunter (LD)
John Howell (CON)
David Heath (LD)
John Thurso (LD)
Marcus Jones (CON)
Therese Coffey (CON)
Greg Knight (CON)
Chris Skidmore (CON)
Steve Webb (LD)
Conor Burns (CON)
Richard Fuller (CON)
Norman Baker (LD)
Gavin Williamson (CON)
Gary Streeter (CON)
Nigel Evans (IND)
Ben Wallace (CON)
Laurence Robertson (CON)
Peter Aldous (CON)
Graham Evans (CON)
Brian Binley (CON)
Peter Bone (CON)
Caroline Dinenage (CON)
Caroline Nokes (CON)
Nick Harvey (LD)
Jeremy Wright (CON)
James Paice (CON)
Helen Grant (CON)
David Nuttall (CON)
Keith Simpson (CON)
David Mundell (CON)
Simon Reevell (CON)
Stephen Gilbert (LD)
John Pugh (LD)
Martin Vickers (CON)
Simon Hart (CON)
John Whittingdale (CON)
Matthew Hancock (CON)
David Davies (CON)
Andrew Griffiths (CON)
Jonathan Evans (CON)

Accommodation claims up to £15k:
Ben Gummer (CON)
Maria Miller (CON)
Stephen Crabb (CON)
James Gray (CON)
John Stevenson (CON)
Robert Smith (LD)
Stephen Moseley (CON)
Jack Lopresti (CON)
Tim Yeo (CON)
Tessa Munt (LD)
James Arbuthnot (CON)
Douglas Carswell (CON)
Andrew Bridgen (CON)
Michael Moore (LD)
Lorely Burt (LD)
Paul Uppal (CON)
Alan Beith (LD)
Dan Rogerson (LD)
Charles Hendry (CON)
Stephen O’Brien (CON)
Norman Lamb (LD)
Edward Garnier (CON)
Duncan Hames (LD)
Menzies Campbell (LD)
Alistair Carmichael (LD)
Paul Maynard (CON)
David Lidington (CON)
Justin Tomlinson (CON)
Jo Swinson (LD)
Pauline Latham (CON)
Iain Stewart (CON)
Amber Rudd (CON)
Mel Stride (CON)
Francis Maude (CON)
Anne McIntosh (CON)
Andrew Lansley (CON)
Geoffrey Cox (CON)
Guy Opperman (CON)
David Ruffley (CON)
Nigel Mills (CON)
Stewart Jackson (CON)
Elizabeth Truss (CON)
Henry Bellingham (CON)
Brandon Lewis (CON)
Graham Brady (CON)
Jason McCartney (CON)
John Redwood (CON)
Andrew Stephenson (CON)
Edward Vaizey (CON)
Julian Lewis (CON)
Gerald Howarth (CON)
George Young (CON)
Mark Harper (CON)
Damian Hinds (CON)
Cheryl Gillan (CON)

Accommodation claims up to £5k:
Brooks Newmark (CON)
Nicholas Soames (CON)
Desmond Swayne (CON)
Oliver Heald (CON)
Oliver Colvile (CON)
Bill Wiggin (CON)
Christopher Chope (CON)
Jeremy Hunt (CON)
Andrew Stunell (LD)
Stephen Phillips (CON)
Andrew Jones (CON)
Richard Shepherd (CON)
Simon Burns (CON)
Andrew Murrison (CON)
George Eustice (CON)
David Mowat (CON)
Bernard Jenkin (CON)

Please share this link as widely as you can, on Twitter, on Facebook – we the public HOLD THESE PEOPLE TO ACCOUNT and it’s about time we did exactly that.

If your MP is listed here, you can contact them directly at – maybe ask them to explain how they can justify cutting £16 a week from the disabled, the vulnerable, the elderly, the poorest members of our society – but claim up to £450 a week for their own “spare bedrooms”?

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

Categories: Blog


  1. Even if they hadn’t claimed anything I would still want to know from my mp why they didn’t vote to abolish this.

    I wrote to my mp (alistair burt) before and after this vote and am waiting to hear back. I want to know why he thought it was worth keeping.

    Although judging by the other sh**e he votes I wasn’t surprised. But still, he needs to be questioned about his choices as they’re apparantly meant to represent mine, (which they don’t!).

    Stupid ‘democracy’ farcical farce 😉

    Sorry, rant over

    • I worked for 25 years and continued to work when I became disabled. In the end I had to stop working and yet still did some voluntary work for I felt I should put something back for my benefits. When I read of these MPs taking, taking, taking and putting nothing back my blood boils. I receive DLA, but that is for my disability needs and is disregarded for many things. I also receive ESA support group and disability increments. So compared to many others I have a reasonable income. I am now paying £66 approx extra a month in bedroom tax and council tax support. If I were on a lower rate of DLA or did not have my own car bought from my late fathers inheritance which I had all my means tested benefits stopped and had to live on, despite my dad having paid full tax and insurance. I was not allowed to give any to my two sons who both work, but were not on high wages. I could not even give it to charity! I bet these MPs would have found a way round that if it similar happened to them. Back to the point though. I am managing, but feel for all those who are not. I am not complacent for this new PIP scheme is due to come in and my ‘security’ is also at risk. I will be writing to my MP about the bedroom tax and asking why he claims the amount he does yet expects those who are most vulnerable to pay for it all! If I had to pay £66 towards the most vulnerable and needy in the UK I would pay it, no problem. I can cut down on certain items so I am lucky. I was paying £30 to cancer charity and stroke charity, but had to stop that, but to know I am paying it to the ‘fat cats’, now that sticks in my throat!

  2. It’s called “whipping”. They are TOLD how to vote otherwise they get “into trouble”. Sadly, there’s not a great deal of conscience voting!

    As far as the expenses go, I don’t think having to pay for an Ibis or Travelodge is too unreasonable. To compare it with the cases you quote is pure political rhetoric. Yes the way that the Bedroom Tax is being applied is totally unfair but if you want to go into politics Jack, you are going to have to say what you would do about the people who do inhabit houses with empty rooms what you are going to do about it.

    EVERYONE who is affected by this should appeal.

    See all the archived sections in


    • what about the people who over-occupy and don’t receive housing benefit? Are they being asked to move into smaller houses/flats?

    • Have you not seen in some areas there are 3 bedroom social housing properties left unoccupied 100’s of the because people wont have then because of the bedroom tax, it’s getting so bad that the local authority are considering knocking down walls to make them 2 or 1 bedroom so they are affordable, part of my disability means my memory is limited so while the shock of hearing this stayed in my head the location didn’t, but it’s in the midlands.

      If there were plenty of 1-2 bedroom properties available this mess would have been avoided, there is also a huge lack of oap/disabled accommodation.
      In my area there is a huge amount of building in the pipeline several thousand houses, the amount of 2 bedroom being built 13 that’s all 13 no 1 bedroom.
      Jack couldn’t be an MP she’s way to honest! which is why she shouts from the sidelines 😉

      • Very well said! I would expect that the majority of new builds are 3 and 4 bedroom houses. Why would someone go around building a load of poky one bedroom houses for singular people??
        It doesn’t work like that.
        plus, a one bedroom property is not very good for a couple as two bedrooms are much more comfortable. What if one works from home and needs an office? ? what if they want to use the second bedroom for something else? ? a scheme where those who obviously need more space like those with four children in two bedroom properties would be better. One where they can appeal to those in the area with bigger houses who don’t really need them to swap.

      • in what areas are there empty 3bed homes? cos i need one!! well i will do in 2yrs time when my kids are 8 & 6 cos they will no longer be able to share being boy n girl, i rent private at mo but will no way be able to afford 3bed private rent, and dont know how to get a council home.

      • my friend couldn’t “giveaway” a 4 bedroom council house in Lancs. & change to a smaller place–of which there R hardly any—-

      • I am in a 2 bed flat which is social housing and I am disabled. I live alone so if I wasn’t 62, only 61, I’d have to pay bedroom tax. I’ve paid in my taxes and contributions my whole life and now am being looked after. If I was still able-bodied I’d still work but I’m not. I’m fed up with the TV channels showing benefit cheats as though they are the norm, but they’re not. There are nowhere near as many as the government would like to have people believe, you only have to be disabled to find this out. If MPs have spare bedrooms then they should be made to move out as well – after all they are paid by the tax payer so, even if they own a property, we are paying their bills. If it’s right for a few then it’s right for the many. I’ve checked the list and my MP, Ben Bradshaw, isn’t on it, but he lives in Devon so, if anyone needs hotel accommodation he does!

    • You think these MPs are just claiming for the cheapest Travelodge they can find on an occasional basis? Maybe some, but that barely scratches the surface of the tax-funded luxury some feel entitled to despite their salaries being well in the top 10%.

    • its ok having the tax as long as folk can down size and they can’t because we simply don’t have the houses to do it

    • IF they are listening to their leader more than their constituents perhaps they better ask the leaders to vote for them because i wont

    • What is wrong with tenants having a spare room???, why is it such a big deal all of a sudden?? most familys have spare room,s because there kids have grown up & left the nest,.your saying they should now give what is considered the family home away,.don,t be so fckn stupid

      • If these families were having to rent privately, they wouldn’t be able to afford a spare room- that’s the point of the policy. HB shouldn’t give social tenants the advantage over people who have to spend more of their benefits on a private rental.

      • Sambuca, my wife is in the same boat as you, there is help out there, go to the CAB, go to the council, if you paying “bedroom tax” then you have an empty room, but this will help you downsize. Push for he help your entitled to, people will help you.

      • Well said Sambuca. When I was working if my main employment was moved to another area then I would have had to move with it. Let the MP’s live in London, they can go back and stay with relatives/friends in their constituency area 2 nights a week. Failing that they remain in their current homes but the taxpayer funds rented properties in London. They go there, they cook and clean up after themselves – wouldn’t cost £450 per week – every one has to cut back, it should start at the top – lead by example.

  3. Government could save Millions of £ Per Year by using ‘Modern Technology.’ Video Conferencing – Electronic Voting – the telephone/Mobile – We need to Modernize our political systems. No business could function today using 15th, 16th and 17th century methods! .

    • nice one, joined up thinking at its best. it works in the real world where companies are actually cutting their travel costs due to the recession so why not in parliament. and why not have ‘rooms’ in the houses of parliament. one room, shared bathroom and student style accommodation booked one night in advanced. . if we are in recession then why are they still living in luxury?.

      • yes exactly why the hell should they rake in that much expenses when everyone else in country is getting cuts in pay, i work in NHS and my pay has been frozen for 2years & doubt will get pay rise next april, we are on a pitance considering what we do, and i work my arse off physically, 8hrs shifts & NEVER sit down, barely time for a drink, makes me sick to stomach what they get paid. why cant their hotel stays be included in their wage already? why do they have to get extra, its not overtime their doin its in their normal working week, if they live too far away they already knew that before they got the job & knew would have to travel & stay somewhere overnight, so why cant they pay with the wage they get???? not like they cant afford travelodge every so often.

    • david king and what would you be voting for ?? its the same 20 bloodline families that have ruled this planet for centuries and that are the corporate bankers on the fiddle ie the rockefellers and Rothschild’s(camerons related to both these families) and is a selected puppet at eton and oxford to then be groomed to take an actors role of delivering lie after lie on behalf of the control system running the cabal.westminster is a soap opera and sham and is all staged and rigged.ed milliband is from the same line of 20 families also and another sleazey/smarmy blair clone ready to serve the matter what colour the rosette be it blue or red or orange the controllers at the top remain the same.

      • I am starting to feel the same as you Stuart to be honest. Regardless of conspiracy theories the same old people seem to be pulling the strings and get all the wealth, privilege and good jobs and positions of power. What’s the answer?

    • Agree with David and Beth, half the ministers are never in Parliament anyway, some only for the minimum amount of time to claim expenses. I lived in social housing when I was younger, but then we moved abroad (husband in the Navy) and managed to buy hem we came back. Pensioners now would have normally started work between the age of 14 and 116 unless you were extremely lucky to get to university in some way. Some would have worked for free or pocket money to learn a trade or have training. for up to two years. They have paid into the National Insurance pot (sold then as you pay in and your employer pays in and we will look after you when you are sick and in old age), mmmm, sounds familiar? Now they are trying to get rid of the NHS, bedroom tax to try to drive you out of in some cases the home you have had since you were married, but you chose or could not afford to buy. (if you have children, or grandchildren, you need a spare room for when they visit and at our age you want to be around your friends and in a familiar neighbourhood. If they are short of one bed, two beds then that is bad planning on the councils part.
      My Aunt lives in Australia (£10 pom), she has a single story condo, it has a spare room for visitors and a lovely garden back and front, there are 12 of these in total with pensioners living in a walk away from one of her sons, It’s not cramped has a shower room big enough for a wheelchair, and a lounge/diningroom/kitchen, Shops are within walking distance. This little group is within the neighbourhood that she moved to when they came out. Why they don’t do this in UK I have no idea. Even France the elderly are independent cared for in our community, It seems that if you are elderly or unable to work in UK they want to rush you in the a nursing home, stick and you on happy pills.

  4. I wish this posting had come with the warning “CONTAINS PICTURES OF TORY MPs”. These mugshots are a bit much to stomach.

    I was discussing the vote with my partner (who teaches constitutional law) and he told me that when it comes to voting, MPs will sometimes pair up – a yes voter will pair up with a no voter and neither will turn up to vote – as one vote cancells out the other. It saves turning up and therefore travelling expenses. So just because your MP didn’t vote to abolish this, doesn’t mean that they are a scumbag.

  5. I was relieved to find no Labour Party members on your roll of shame – but is that because none of them would have voted for the Bedroom Tax or because they claim very little for accommodation? Possibly not.

    The only thing to stop this scrounging is action by another government to allow secondary accommodation only for MPs who live more than, say, three hours commute away and that the accommodation should be a basic one -bedroom flat or similar. Commuters could claim for second class rail fares – though there are thousands who pay from their own pockets to work in London for much less than an MP’s salary. Overnight accommodation, as you suggest ,should only be in budget hotels.

    I think that mixing continually with those who take privileged treatment for granted corrupts even the best motivated MPs. Most do work long hours, but to be an MP is a privilege in itself.

    The position of MPs with young children is difficult if their home constituency is very far away or their partners have responsible jobs equally far off, but this problem has to be met by many ordinary people and worked through.

    • You’re quite right – but we must also remember that they chose to be an MP and should have taken into account any difficulties regarding travel to and from work just like the rest of us do. There should be a block of flats owned by the state that is available for them to use free of charge not be able to buy expensive second homes paid for by the taxpayer. And don’t even get me started on their fuel expenses!

      • This idea has been put forward before, but it was vetoed by the Security services as it would have made MP’s vulnerable. One bomb could have done a lot of damage.

      • I agree there should be a block of flats for them to stay in, why should they get all expenses paid by the tax payers, I have just become a pensioner and after working for 47 years and now am expected to live on 138.00 a week, and I always travelled about an hours journey to work, the bedroom tax is ridiculous as well, at least I have my own home (still on a mortgage) so at least don’t have to pay for a spare room, they are all crooks and don’t know what its like to live a normal life, they should all trade places with someone for at least 3 months and try to live on what that person gets, they might change the way they think then, although I doubt that would ever happen

    • The Bedroom Tax is abominable but just because Labour MPs didn’t vote for it, don’t think that they’re all struggling with the rest of us.

      The Guardian back in September published a full list of expenses claimed by MPs for financial year 2012/13. Alistair Darling for example claimed £19,800 for accommodation. Alan Johnson (Hull) claimed £17,000. Andy Burnham (Leigh) claimed £16,000. Even Ed Miliband (Doncaster) claimed £9,000.

      Some Labour MPs didn’t claim a penny though and are very frugal in claiming expenses but some Tory MPs didn’t claim taxpayer-funded accommodation either.

      I repeat, the Bedroom Tax is an abomination – as is much of what this government is doing – and those who voted for it should absolutely be named and shamed but just wanted to make the point that there are MPs of ALL parties making the most of the insanely generous expenses system – because they can.

      Also, there are quite a few Tories who claimed a fortune in expenses but won’t be on Jack’s list as they didn’t turn up for the vote. Like my MP, Nick Boles (Con), who claimed £10K in accommodation despite the constituency only being an hour from London. And there was me thinking I couldn’t possibly dislike the man more than I already did!

    • Alison, Labour motioned the case to scrap the tax, however 40 something labour MPs failed to show in parliament to vote, what does that tell you?
      I am anti this tax however you should also consider why the tax was put into place. It was put into to place to try and alleviate some of the housing issues there are in this country, in large cities rent can be crippling to someone on a low salary due to high rental demands while there are huge numbers of people living in 2/3 bed council flats getting a vast majority of their rent covered while hard working people get no financial support at all.

      • I agree with you on the lack of cheaper social housing for those working with families who may need a larger home, however, the tax is ridiculous since there isn’t enough housing for those who don’t need a spare room to downsize to. The government knew this beforehand, this was always a way to cut the housing benefits to those unemployed or in low incomes knowing damned well they the government would be guaranteed to claw money back from it, it’s totally immoral when services are not in place beforehand to give those affected a chance to move.

  6. Well done for highlighting the names of these hypocrites – they are ruining the lives of many and ruining this country – and being paid for the privilege!

  7. Urgh. Disgusted to see that the Tory scumbag for Bedford has claimed 20k accommodation expenses. Bedford is 40 mins from St Pancras on a fast train, an hour on a slow one. Due to being on the same line as Luton Airport, the trains run ALL NIGHT, so I can’t see why he has any excuse at all to claim accommodation. Angry letter written!

  8. I started reading your blog as someone interesting in learning how to cook. Now I find myself interested in politics, which I never thought would happen. I’m still working out what’s whats really and I actually think I’m confused as to where I stand.
    I have been thinking that people should not have a spare room paid for by the government if they are just one or two people living in a house. If you can’t afford things it shouldn’t be the government that have to bail you out etc..
    Now reading this, I ABSOLUTELY cannot believe my eyes. HOW DARE THEY!!! How can it be allowed that the government shell out all this money for MPs that could probably easily afford to pay for a travelodge themselves? I am disgusted and very confused.

    I still think the bedroom tax should go ahead if executed properly, as in, if someone was put into a big house and can’t be moved to a smaller one, they don’t have to pay if they are waiting to be moved. A lot of things needed looking at before it was given the go-ahead.

    I think the MPs expenses is a completely separate issue from the bedroom tax but this cannot go on as it is. They can’t be allowed to call people scroungers when they are taking so much they don’t need! Especially when what one MP “claims” adds up to many peoples bedroom tax. Why did they look at taking from the poorest before looking at cutting back on the richest’s expenses?!

    I’m so confused 🙁

    • Hi Maria,

      Welcome to the world of politics. You’re right, it’s complicated, and it’s difficult to winnow the wheat from the chaff. However let me take you through the “Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy” and the rhetoric surrounding it.

      Let’s start with “it’s not fair to expect taxpayers to subsidise someone’s spare room because of their lifestyle choice to be on housing benefit and in social housing.”

      Firstly I’d like you to consider who a taxpayer is. Personally I’d argue that pretty much anyone who has bought a bag of sweets, a toy or a book is a taxpayer. All of these items have VAT on them – so the five-year old who’s bought sweets with his pocket money is a taxpayer as much as I am with my Income Tax, National Insurance and Council Tax to name but a few taxes I pay.

      So using the term “taxpayer” to divide society into “those who pay” and “those who scrounge” is inaccurate and nasty. It’s designed to make someone who is employed, paying tax and looking at their purse strings tightening to assume that anyone on JSA isn’t a taxpayer; and everyone on housing benefit must be unemployed right?

      Wrong. According to the office of National Statistics, 84% of those claiming housing benefit are employed. The fact that they can claim housing benefit means that they are not earning enough money to pay their rent; and that they qualify with their lower earnings. And because they are employed – they are Income Tax and National Insurance payers. So they are the very people who according to the spin, should be angry that their taxes are being used to subsidise spare bedrooms.

      With me still?

      Now, in business every new policy should be SMART:

      Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
      Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
      Assignable – specify who will do it.
      Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
      Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
      I see no reason why government policies should not be similar. So looking at this policy, the specific targets appear to be:
      1: Reduce the pressure on social housing. Anyone involved in social housing would agree that this is a worthwhile objective – the waiting lists for affordable housing are lengthy. According to Shelter, 80,000 children in this country will be homeless this Christmas. The number of vulnerable adults is far higher. These people desperately need housing to be able to get back on their feet and turn their lives around.
      2: Save money by reducing the Housing Benefits bill. As we keep being told, the welfare budget is “out of control.” It’s “Austerity Britain” and we all need to make sacrifices. The housing benefit bill is a huge chunk of the welfare budget, this is true.
      Social Housing, despite what certain media reports seem to believe, is allocated according to need. The area I’m most familiar with is Birmingham, and they work on a points system. Your needs are assessed and your score points, and if you don’t score highly enough you don’t get allocated a house. The legendary “teenage girl getting pregnant and getting a council house” is going to be in for a short, sharp shock – they will need more points than that. I have a friend who has PTSD, depression, anxiety and a physical condition that is chronic, incurable, is only going to get worse, and means she now needs to use a wheelchair. Her husband is her carer and works part-time in order to be able to look after his wife. At the time they were applying for social housing they were in a house without a stair lift, meaning that without her partner being about she was stuck either upstairs (with the bed and the toilet – bear in mind she has incontinence issues as well) or downstairs (where she could get herself something to eat, drink and sit down.) She couldn’t manage the stairs by herself at all. The landlord wouldn’t pay or allow them to fit a stair lift. So she would wake up and have the stark choice of a day with access to the loo or access to a hot drink.

      She *just* qualified for social housing, and it still took over 18 months for her to get a location that was capable of coping with her needs – ground floor, room for an electric wheelchair, wet room as a bathroom because she can’t get in and out of a bath. And a bedroom big enough to accommodate a bed and the wheelchair. Just think of how difficult it is to find that in private housing; and how expensive it would be to fit out. Yet they are standard needs for someone with mobility issues in a wheelchair.
      Now the argument being made is that if someone doesn’t want to pay the balance then they can:
      A: Move into private accommodation
      B: Move into a smaller property
      C: Take in a lodger

      In order to move into private rented accommodation you need to find a landlord willing to accept someone on housing benefit. These are few and far between, either because of (in general unfounded) prejudices against benefits claimants; or because they know how often benefit payments take to set up, and how often they get screwed up. Assuming someone can find a landlord willing to accept them; they then have to find the deposit, and a month’s rent. Which won’t be provided on housing benefit – housing benefit is paid in arrears, not in advance. By being on housing benefit they are by definition, in poverty. How are they going to find the money? I’d have issues doing it, and I’m in full time work on a reasonable salary. Add to that moving costs, to hire a man with van etc. and you can see that A is just not feasible.
      (And as a point – private rented accommodation is *more expensive* than social housing. If someone manages to make the move, the probability is that their housing benefit bill will go Up.

      Contrary to popular belief, social housing has _always_ been mobile. People’s circumstances change, they have more children, children grow up and leave home, they may be unfortunate enough to become ill or disabled, they may lose a partner. There has always been the ability for tenants in social housing to swap about.

      The problem is *now* that the properties for people to down-size into do not exist. Birmingham again. They have 75 single bedroom properties available for rent. They have over 11,000 applicants for them. They are going to be prioritising those currently homeless; so those who are in social housing being stung by this policy are not being moved, they have to stay where they are.

      On the flip side, families who a few years ago might have looked at their growing or aging family and thought “you know, the two boys would do better with a room of their own. Can we upsize?” and gone looking for a larger property, thus freeing up the smaller one, are not doing so. They’re looking at the fact that they have two sons under ten; or one son who is seventeen and so soon won’t count as being part of the family, but an adult capable of paying his own way, and that they’ll suddenly be “under occupying” the three bedroom house they were looking at. So whilst we have thousands of families trying to downsize, we have thousands of larger properties unoccupied.


      Taking in lodgers is fraught with issues. Let’s start with “a lot of housing associations won’t let you do it.” If you take one in then you are in breach of your contract and can be evicted.

      If you can / are allowed to take in a Lodger, you have to declare the rent coming in. Never mind that you’re not receiving it and it’s going to the housing association, it counts as earnings. Which means your housing benefits, your council tax relief etc. will all be reduced. Suddenly it’s not £14 a week you need to find, it’s more. And if both groups are claiming benefits then both sides could get reduced.

      So a lodger isn’t really a valid solution, without considerations of “would you want to share your home with a stranger?”

      So back to those SMART objectives. Is it relieving the pressure on social housing? No, no it isn’t. It’s causing more problems, on top of the old ones.

      Is it going to save money? Well, as I said above, if you end up in private rented accommodation, your rent is likely to be higher. No saving there then.

      Otherwise it will reduce the housing benefit bill, simply because if someone’s rent is £100, and they now receive £86 then yes, you’re paying less. However it is foolish to not consider other sections of the budget.

      If someone who was getting £100 is now getting £86; this doesn’t make their rent decrease to £86. They are now need to find £14 from somewhere. If they are working the chances are that they can’t work more hours, they can’t get a pay rise, and they can’t find a better paying job. So the get faced with “not pay the rent” or “reduce another bit of their budget” which is most likely to be food. So rent or starve. If they don’t pay the electric or gas – rent or freeze / not cook. Nice choices. Council tax? Whatever happens, which ever bill you shave, it’s a bad choice and one that no one in one of the wealthiest countries in the world should be being forced to make.

      If they don’t pay, they go into arrears. This leaves the housing association and the council a choice. Allow them to build up the arrears; which means less money for the housing association to pay their bills (like the wages bill), repairs and refurbishment, and heaven forbid building more housing.

      The alternative is to evict them – which costs a lot of money in court costs, administration etc. and won’t magically give their tenant the ability to pay off what they owe. And suddenly they are homeless, and the council has an obligation to find them emergency housing – which by its very nature is *more expensive*.

      Add in the total stupidity of:

      • Not recognising that some people due to disabilities need adapted housing; need a “spare bedroom” for an overnight carer, need a second bedroom for their partner to sleep in if they can’t share a bed – and that if someone is in housing that is adapted to their needs already, making them move because a sibling has left is insane and going to be even more expensive as the council will have to adapt their “smaller” home – and remove the adaptions from the bigger one if no one with the same needs requires it.
      • Not recognising that where parents have split but both have custody rights, expecting the child (or parent) to sleep on the sofa and not have their own room when they go to visit their parent is going to adversely affect the child.
      • Not recognising that children who have gone to university may need to have somewhere to live during the holidays.

      So SMART – will it save money? No it won’t. It will cost more than it will save. It is costing more than it’s saving.

      The actual solutions to the housing benefit bill is simple. But unfortunately it will involve money being spent on the “poor and vulnerable” and not in golden bonuses for multi-millionaires. It involves:

      1: Build more social housing. Let each council assess the needs of their local population and build according to those needs. Disabled people may need adapted homes. Areas with high levels of elderly people need sheltered housing.

      2: Increase the minimum wage to a living one; give people enough money in their pockets to buy food, pay utilities, pay rent and who knows, buy new clothes or go to the cinema once a month without choosing whether to starve, freeze or sit in the dark, listening for the bailiffs.

      Building more housing will create jobs. More jobs = more income. More income = more disposable income. More disposable income = growth in other industries and areas. More growth = more jobs. It’s really not that complicated.

      What doesn’t work is fining people for their inability to be Harry Potter, pull out a wand and wave into existence a smaller property that doesn’t physically exist. This is what this policy does. It imposes a penalty, a fine, for someone who has the temerity, the audacity to be poor and / or vulnerable and need help from their community. Normally we as a society would expect a penalty or fine to be imposed if someone had broken the law. Someone ranting about parking tickets or points for speeding being a “cash cow” for councils or the police has to conceded that the fine is only imposed if you break the speed limit or park in a restricted location, even if you think the law’s stupid. Nowhere is there a law against being poor, against being disabled, against claiming housing benefit. And as for spare room subsidy – nowhere in the housing benefit legislation is there reference to a spare room subsidy existing.

      Ian Duncan Smith makes reference to families with three generations who have never worked. Various universities have researched this claim and found no evidence to back it up at all. There is this image of Mick Philpott and his ilk, and the focus shifted from “abusive controlling man tried to get revenge on his girlfriend by framing her for arson and it all going horribly wrong” to “benefit claimant who has never worked kills his children in their council house.” It leaves out the fact that his wife and girlfriend both worked. It implies that all benefit claimants have large families funded by benefits. The woman who has 12 children and needs a bigger home, that the council was going to build for her and that she rejected? The number of families with more than three children claiming benefits (not including child benefits) are in their hundreds in the entire country – to read the Tory press you’d think it was 50% of the housing benefit bill.

      You wanted to know who to listen to, and who to believe. Well the Office of National Statistics is a good start. When the public think that 24% of the welfare budget is being fraudulently claimed, the actual figure is around 1%. The ONS has actually castigated Ian Duncan Smith for his misuse of statistics.

      Listen to the radio, watch the news, read a variety of newspapers. Personally I wouldn’t read the Daily Mail, which is a shame because I miss Fred Bassett. But read lots, read blogs like Jacks, the blogs on the Guardian website in the disability section who all have their own blogs, look at the blogs that they read. Listen to what all the parties are saying, do your own research and make up your own mind about the society you want to live in. I’ll start you off – – this is my friend Emma, whose story I mentioned above. Read her blog, read the blogs of other disabled activists and see for yourself the results of IDS’ lies, manipulation and spin.

      (And apologies to Jack for the length of this comment!)

      • Thank you for writing such a clear and concise article here. It is very refreshing to realise my handful of friends are not alone. Maybe if more people read articles like yours it may help us learn how to fight these awful laws that the very people who are meant to be working on our behalf are making on our behalf! Thank you again.

      • Well put ..these are exactly the points that came to my mind when the “bedroom tax” was first muted. However I doubted myself thinking there must be some benefit to society that I am missing..because I couldn’t think supposedly educated people would implement such a policy without having the foresight to see the results we are seeing now. For a start it would have been a simple thing for them to get the info from each local housing authority regarding the housing stock available for people to downsize to. Can someone enlighten me as to what benefits have been realized with this policy ?

      • excellent post, but why has no one hit on the fact that this is victimisation pure and simple, when I took out my tenancy agreement I was renting a house not a bedroom, the government new there was not enough 1 bedroom properties for the victims of this polocy but have never done anything about it, I must admit they have been a lot cleverer than maggie thatcher, she victimised the nation, now they have split the nation and only victimised the people that cant fight back.

      • Wow – thank you. Some brilliant things in there that I’ll be using when I argue with people who believe everything they read in the Daily Mail.

      • well-informed and useful for anyone who needs to understand what’s going on re bedroom tax. What these MPs have voted for is deplorable (in my view), inhumane and, very obviously, unworkable, which makes it totally unjustifiable. How are they allowed to get away with such poorly thought through (kind interpretation)/malevolent and spiteful (not so kind interpretation) policy implementation?

      • Thanks for the info. I feel like I understand it a lot better now! I agree with a lot of what you’re saying and of course; facts are facts at the end of the day. I still feel that it is not up to anyone to pay for anyone, life isn’t all roses and rainbows and people need to get their head around it. It is sad when people – my family included – have struggled on benefits, but we only have ourselves to blame. That being said, if the government is going to pay people’s way, money would be much better spent on people that need food and shelter than on those that need a hotel to stay a few hours away from home!

      • Sadly, much of what you claim simply isn’t true.

        How many empty bedrooms should taxpayers fund? As a councillor I came across so many situations where bigger houses were blocked by a resident who didn’t need such a big house any longer while others with growing families were stuck: quite often with an adolescent of one sex sharing a bedroom with a younger sibling of the opposite sex.

        Furthermore there is an expectation that government can spend whatever it likes. It can’t: today even with the over-hyped government “cuts”, the government still borrows an extra £3,000 a second: that’s more than a billion pounds a week. Keep this up and our economy will end up looking like Greece’s. Then we’ll start to know the real meaning of hardship.

      • Just how many empty bedrooms do you think the taxpayer should subsidise?

        As a councillor, I’ve come across so many cases where people with young families need a larger house (e.g because an adolescent sibling is sharing a room with a younger sibling of the opposite sex) and yet the potential homes are blocked by people who no longer use all the bedrooms.

        There seems to be an assumption that the government can spend whatever money it likes. It can’t. At present, despite the much-hyped “cuts”, government debt is increasing by £3,000 per second, or over £1 BILLION a week. Keep this up and we’ll end up with an economy like Greece. Then people will start to know what austerity is all about.

    • people aren’t “put” into houses, offers are made and accepted, 99.9% of those affected by the bedroom tax lived in their secure tenancy prior to this awful policy, it is not simply a case of having a spare room, children of the same sex must now share up to the age of 16, meaning anyone with an adequately sized home would now be subject to the tax, the government are making social landlords collect this tax as a way of destroying what little social housing is left, many social landlords had to quickly change their allocations policy in order to prevent prospective tenants being landed with arrears which the vast majority could not afford to repay, all at the same time as the government is strangling funding for new social properties which by the way are approximately 50% of market rent meaning they are a great deal for the tax payer, but let’s not allow facts to get in the way of ideology.

      • They do put in a bid yes, but it’s still an allocation process. For example, my friend put in a bid on one place and nearly lost it because she’s not 55, and they were looking at prioritising by age.

        Otherwise I completely concur, it’s not just impacting new applicants, it’s impacting people who have been in their property for months or years. One of the reports from a housing association states that tenants who have *never* been in arrears for years are suddenly unable to pay the entire rent.

      • Irene – who benefits? Well it depends on who you read.

        The Tories would argue that it benefits the “hard working tax payer by ensuring that their taxes aren’t used to subsidise people’s lifestyle choices.”

        Last time I looked, being disabled wasn’t a lifestyle choice. Nor was being made redundant. Nor was graduating from university to find no opportunities for paid work, and being forced into zero hour contracts or unpaid internships. There are a hundred and one reasons why someone might need to claim housing benefit, and few if any of them have to do with lifestyle choices. In fact the only lifestyle choice is the choice that a politician has made regarding their career and what their policies will do.

        Some people have argued that this is social cleansing. That it’s a way of forcing people on housing benefits into ghettos and clearing out tracts of inner London which would otherwise be desirable places to live.

        I’d love to think that this wasn’t the case, that no one would sit down and go “how do we make people leave this lovely area because they are on housing benefit and it’s driving down the price of my house?”

        On my more cynical days though I find it very hard to refute this as a concept may have some basis in fact…

    • well said. it would be nice to see how DAVID CAMERON would feel living with a total stranger living with him a mooching around his private possessions wouldn’t it, wonder how many bedrooms No 10 has

  9. Totally hypocritical. Have they no concience. This tax is affecting those on low incomes or those living on weekly £71.20 benefit.
    How can they claim expenses almost twice a low income??
    How can they sleep knowing that the two course meal they just claimed for is the amount someone needs to last a week on???
    Every MP should taste how difficult it is and walk in our shoes a while.
    Only then will they fight for what they believe to be the right thing.

  10. I would like to add to my earlier comment that I am in my early 20s and have never taken an interest in politics before. My generation gets a huge amount of stick for this and I feel bad that I don’t know much about it. I am trying to work out where I stand and it is SO HARD because everyone is so biased its hard to see actual facts and know who to trust. So here I am trying really hard to be inspired and I’m struggling to work out what is right for the people and what is best for the country and which side I should support. 🙁

    • Maria, you judge a country and party by how it treats its sick, old and poor. Can you afford to buy a house, if not is there some social housing to rent as there used to be.
      In the 50s and 60s rents of flats and houses exploded, there was a word for it, Rachmanism. Rachman was a ruthless landlord who charged high rents in unfit places to desperate people. Labour brought in controlled rents and inspectors for the poor places.
      Margaret Thatcher scrapped that, and sold off council houses at large discounts to sitting tenants. Councils were not allowed to borrow to build replacements, only housing associations could do that. Even the few houses councils were able to build could be bought by the tenants instead of being kept for what they call in the Isle of man Key workers who need places close to their work.

      That is a bit of history, now utilities and the NHS are all being or been sold off. Look on literature for your local hospital at how you can get treated quicker by going private. Often by firms like Virgin health.
      Labour wants a fairer Britain, the tories want to get rich, often by the efforts of ‘hard working people’, often on minimum wages.

    • Have a look at the Green Party too Maria, even if you don’t decide to vote for them they show that inspiring policies can be developed for a fairer society.

    • So seek out and trust the relevant experts (but you’re in for a bit of a shock if you’re expecting to find the truth lying somewhere in the middle). Read e.g. the Oxford economist Simon Wren-Lewis on the madness and evil of austerity in general, and the ‘welfare’ system expert Simon Duffy on the madness and evil of an austerity inflicted primarily, and very heavily, on the poorest. Consider, as a (potential, future) ‘hard working taxpayer’, that it’s you who has paid for all this fact gathering and analysis so that the politicians could do what’s right and best for the country, and compare it to what they actually have done.

    • ‘Bias’ and ‘truth’ aren’t really the right words for politics: there have been many different kinds of societies, there are many views on what the good life is, how much freedom we should all have and which parts of life the state should get involved in.
      So the first step is to decide what kind of society *you* want, then try to find out the best way to get there.
      There really is no ‘truth’ in that sense, only evidence on what policy should work once you’ve decided where you want to go. If you can learn to see the assumptions about what a good society that lie behind the biased views, you’ll have to tools to decide whether you agree.
      The bedroom tax is classic because it reveals the mostly unspoken assumption in the current tory party about a shrunken state, less help for the poor and lack of motivation to intervene in the real problems the poor face… Yup I’m left wing 🙂

    • Unfortunately MPs from all parties claim equally huge amounts, but no Labour MPs and fewer Lib Dems supported the bedroom tax. So they’re less guilty, rather than truly innocent, so to speak.

    • Perhaps that’s because there are more conservatives?…..I think this was originally a politically motivated comment, against the conservatives. ALL parties have their greedy MPs, claiming for all sorts of things we, as ordinary and honest working/retired/disabled etc. people, expect to pay for! It’s rare for someone to go into the political arena for truly unselfish reasons. It’s either for money or power, with a bit of ‘do-good’ing thrown in! Yes, I’m cynical, but I’m old enough to see the good and bad things that different parties have done for us….and it’s only the few individual MPs that have improved life for us….

  11. sounds like bribes for a yes vote. All these tories are morally corrupt. disgusting scroungers who have the nerve to call all poor people scroungers and the cheek to use the word ‘hardworking people’ when none of them know what hard work is

  12. My MP didn’t even turn up to vote. I shall contact him asking why.

    And thanks for this. Why is it always one rule for us and another for them, eh?

    • ‘Why is it always one rule for us and another for them, eh?’
      Because they MAKE the rules Agnes, and those who make the rules can break them and don’t have to abide by them. At the moment we are out of balance and we are run by rich posh privileged bots who have no experience of the real world. Until this changes I fear things will get worse, but there are few of them and many of us. Isn’t it time we actually lived in a democracy instead of an aristocracy? Who voted for these people? How many are now ruing the day they did? When we also stop looking to high born or powerful individuals to solve every problem we might also get real as well.

  13. Reblogged this on The Sprout's and commented:
    Grumble, gripe, grumble.
    A local to me MP is on the list as claiming up to £20,000 for his bedroom tax. David Trednnick. I can’t seem to find details of where he lives, but he is MP for Hinckley and Bosworth, a possible 2 hour car/train journey from London. ‘He claims this extra £20,000 for that small a journey. He was also one of the MP’s who accepted cash for questions, and claimed on his expenses for a course on ‘Intimate relationships’
    I’m just glad I no longer live in Hinckley.

  14. anyone who doubts how EVIL these cockwombles are, consider this: how would you feel if on top of a single loaf of bread costing 1/40 of your gross weekly income, some asshat suddenly demanded a THIRD of your income because you have a boxroom that nobody sleeps in? Actually, don’t even bother responding unless you’ve been there.

  15. Sickening….let them live a month or two in our shoes…the people whom live on a low income/poverty line and see how quickly they change their minds, its outrages, people struggling on a day to day basis, trying to make ends meet, spending what money these mps spend a 2 course meal…and claim it back…to last a week grrrrr me included, bedroom tax is the most ridiculas thing ever thought of, you are robbing the poor……

  16. You are elected in to office to best serve you constituents, and at the moment they need you the most you turn you’re back on them, SHAME ON YOU, when people are made homeless over the winter or freeze, or starve to death because you look down on the poor, the sick and the needy I hope you hang your head in shame

  17. I’d rather pay a bit in expenses and not have my MP spending 6 hours a day commenting. This article is stupid.

    • Geoff I think you have misunderstood a little.
      The article is not suggesting the should spend 6 hours a day commuting at all, but equally claiming ridiculously high accommodation costs when you live 40 mins from your work is excessive. Most of us commute 30 mins a day and those who have higher paid city jobs do 1 hour each way without blinking. And continuing to do so whilst taking more and more away from the poorest is morally wrong.

    • You appear to have taken a wrong turn the Daily Mail can be found elsewhere on the internet. You might find their political views more to your liking.

      And in what universe is 25 grand a “bit”???

    • Actually, my partner commutes to London every day which equates to two hours each way. It costs 4.5 grand a year which we pay for. I am self employed and often have to go to where the work is, but spend at least 2.5 grand a year, just on petrol. So thats 7 grand on travel. Thats a lot less than 25 grand a year, if only we could scrounge off the state, like those MPs do.

    • So Its OK for politicians to expect people to commute for miles and miles to get to work, so why cant they practice what they preach.

  18. And we are ment to live on 10 to15000 a year save money for when we get old. I have thought get rid of all them keep them on job seekers at what 30 quid week let’s see that

  19. I notice both of the MPs for my town are on this list, one claiming 20K one 15K. I live 40 minutes north west of London by train! I cannot understand how they can justify claiming these expenses. I mean I was never going to vote for their party anyway, and I’m not surprised that they followed the whip and voted against, but I do feel a constituent email coming on as I am disappointed that my constituency MP is claiming so much.
    Bedroom tax is another in a long line of ill-thought out kneejerk policies brought in by this government. Another day, another brick though the telly! I really fell for everyone affected by this unjust and ridiculous policy,

    • Bedroom tax was a policy of the last government not this one. The current set have carried on with it but it was introduced for most people in 2008 and they announced then that it would be extended to social housing in due course too, as has now happened. This is one of Labour’s fine schemes, not a Tory invention.

  20. If all the money wasted by Government on expenses & the stupid schemes they implement to save money on benefit bill such as bedroom tax & hitting sick & disabled, which must have cost more in the appeal system than they have saved, people would not be having to face a day to day struggle to make their money go round. I’m disabled with a condition that will never get any better & only get worse, I have heaps of medical evidence to support this but after appealing a decision for a drop from high rate care to low rate care at a tribunal & been made to feel worthless they have succeeded in their aim as I would not put myself through this degrading experience ever again if I have to starve to death. Reading this I can only assume when they say ‘ where all in it together ‘ they mean us rather than them. I live in a 2 bed house & have to have someone to stay over at least 3 – 4 nights a week. So far I have not been affected by bedroom tax but I am wondering how long it will be before I am, which would mean I either pay it or move from a house which has been adapted with a stair lift & wet room which cost housing a lot of money or move to a ground floor flat. This would mean I would have the expense of moving, anyone staying would have to sleep on the sofa & I could be left with a bathroom that I could not use. I’m I just thick or can anyone else see that there would be money wasted. I had to go through an assessment to get my bathroom adapted & wait 2 years & I was classed as high priority, so if I moved & was assessed again housing would have to pay again for a wet room. I am very grateful for the aids I have got & know a lot of people are worse off, I have had this condition since I was 12 & worked up until it became impossible for me to carry on. I have been made to feel like a worthless scrounger, after reading this I’m enraged as even on the high care DLA which I did really need to be able to pay for some care I got no where near what these scroungers get in expenses & now rely on family & friends for any help I need with care. What a country we live in, carry on fighting Jack we need more people speaking out about the them & us attitude of this Government.

  21. If accurate, this is truly disgusting in such time of so called austerity. This coupled with the fact that these leeches expect a pay rise. Will there ever be an end to the corrupt, immoral nature of our politicians? It seems ingrained in their very psyche to exploit every loophole open to them to sponge of the tax payer and hard working people. Put them all in empty flats or student style halls. Quite simply these expenses are unjustifiable. How dare they condemn people who choose to turn their backs on politics. Is it really any wonder.

  22. I think it is not made clear enough how much of a red herring the spare bedroom tax is. In so many cases the bedroom isn’t spare at all. A single parent with two children of the same gender is only allowed 2 bedrooms, children are expected to share, equally young children of different gender are expected to share, part-time children are also not allowed their own bedroom and that you might have family staying who could support you with child care is also not an option. What they are really saying is that people who are on benefits are not allowed to have a life or build a life. I do not think a single one of those bedrooms is truly spare. If you really are looking for spare bedrooms that ought to be taxed or put to better use you should be looking in the privately owned sector, in the wealthier parts of London. In fact if you look along the Thames in the evening you will realise how many spare apartments there are.

  23. You have a point and I’ve told my MP.

    Dont forget that that what you are calling the Bedroom Tax brings public sector housing into line with what Labour did to private sector tenants well before. So your list of 169 is way too short.

    The bedroom tax is bad but the loss of council tax benefit for many more is worse. It just hasn’t got a catchy title! Can you think of one?

  24. What an informative article this is, ugly as the reality is about our political employees…leaves me stunned, with a twirling-swirling mix of anger and shame. How did we ever allow ourselves to get here where whole segments of our population are treated with such contempt? I was going to vote off-piste in the next general election but now I fear my vote won’t count…so with Labour’s promise to abolish this inhumane tax, Labour will get my vote and We The People will hold them to their promise. Thank You once again Jack for raising our awareness ~ whether it’s in the kitchen or the corridors of power.

  25. Am I correct that this bedroom tax only applies to council property? If so, firstly many of those tenants have no prospect of being able to buy a property of their own and so cannot spend their life moving from one privately owned property to another – which has considerably higher rent anyway. If the government want people with spare rooms to vacate their home and move somewhere why can’t they do so with a carrot rather than a stick – build some smaller properties for people to move into – in the same area so they don’t have to move miles away from family and friends, help financially with removal costs . Some people often forget that If you’re a council tenant you will have spent money carpeting your home, decorating it, spent time and money on the garden. Not all council tenants are feckless scroungers but all seem to be treated as if they are.

    • Yes council properties with benefit claimants….. Of course they could always go get a job and pay their own rent….. Just a thought!

      • The biggest benefit claimants are pensioners by a massive margin, closely followed by working people claiming child/work tax, then disabled, unemployed claimants claim the smallest amount of the welfare pot, yes there will be a minority who will continue to claim. The majority search damn hard for work, I really do suggest people with your beliefs do a teeny bit of research, may I suggest a non political group who find out the truth of all things political whatever the political group or newspaper

      • Well of course they could – if there were enough jobs for everyone and if it was possible to live on the minimum wage.

      • I’m lucky I have become disabled in mid life stroke and have not worked since.I was able to take a reduced pension early I paid tax & ni every week from starting work at 18 I now get minimal disability benefits which dont include housing benefit: means tested: and still pay tax -Income,council &VAT on the pension and benefits I contributed to in the past.when this govt talk about hard working taxpayers they equate this with their cronies on £150k+pa not Mr average on £25K or the ones bbelow that level who bring the average down but still pay for and need the safety net Al lof us are only a heartbeat away from lifelong ddisability.1% abuse the system at most which cant be said for MPs

    • Jennifer (and Duane) this bedroom tax applies to council houses AND social housing i.e. housing associations as well but not to private housing. In fact, if you look on most home swapping sites they all say that the offer of money is not allowed so I am assuming your carrot is of a monetary nature (I may be wrong) and should apply to Council’s/HA’s as well as the tenants.

  26. What a hideous gallery of shit-eating grins. Breath-taking nerve from a collection of steaming hypocrites.

  27. Dirty smelly thievin feckers….can’t trust any of them……..hope there really is a hell for all of them to go to. Beware all you potential politicians your gonna burrrrn

  28. What did you all expect, you vote tory, you get crucified unless your rich, they know nothing nor do they care about anyone in a lower class than them, they have cost the tax payer millions with their errors already and that’s just the ones we know about, its the 80’s all over, the conservative party are nothing but criminals! Its about time everyone in this country, no matter what class, PAY ATTENTION, SEEK THE TRUTH, THEN STAND UP AND BE COUNTED, its time for a revolt people!!!

    • It’s not just Tories,,, it’s all of them….they’re,e not interested in any of us,they are the elite…..a revolution is the only answer

  29. If you get a job in London… you move there… or is that waaaaaay too much of a riddle for these people to get their heads round? it makes me sick and we should all be throwing more eggs at MPs ALL THE TIME!

    • The thing is that we need our MPs to be local to the area otherwise they stop giving a monkey’s about local issues – so it’s a bit tricky really. People who live in London shouldn’t be allowed to claim a penny for additional housing though.

      • Come on May you dont believe that our politicians give a monkey about us Do you? It is not where they live that gives them understanding and compassionabout local issues its the size of their wage packet and thier duty towards the party whip Democracy in Britain is a sham and the only way to fix it is to tear it down and rebuild … from scratch

  30. Disgusting. These greedy, selfish and thoughtless bastards claiming for accommodation in some cases almost twice as much as many people get to pay for rent, energy, food, travel and everything else that they need to live. I believe we also pay for these items for MP’s out of our taxes.

  31. I like the idea of a block of flats, but these would not be the basic accommodation like another country has (sorry can’t think of the name off hand) so perhaps if they have to bed down after a late sitting shouldn’t it be a travel lodge or premier inn? They are clean and surely they only need a bed an a bathroom?

  32. Just sack the bloody lot we would be better off without them thieving bastards all of them, the only qualifications a politician needs nowadays is the ability to lie cheat and the ability to falsify claim forms, and being a psychopath also helps. Bastard scum all of them

    • Oliver Cromwell had the right idea, if they (MP’s) didn’t do their job honestly they were sacked. He sacked entire governments, twice, the country began to prosper, then they brought back the monarchy and it went down hill from there.

  33. I think this is outrageous my sister is getting evicted from her property as she can’t afford this tax. The council have not got enough properties to help these people into smaller houses. You should all be ashamed of your selfs

  34. I’m relieved to see that a) my new MP voted against the tax and b) his accommodation expenses, whilst being significantly higher than mine (as in, more than double my entire annual income), were not anything like as high as some. Thanks for this information.

  35. This week I got an email from my former MP Amber Rudd so I replied:

    Rudd: I’m emailing today to say that I have a brand new website found here: which provides more information than ever before on the work I do as your local MP and the help and assistance I can offer my constituents.

    Me: What help and assistance are you offering the people who are being pushed into poverty by the austerity cuts? At your surgery I asked you if you thought it would cause suffering and you said no. The benefit cuts have pushed 200,000 children into poverty. The Poverty and Exclusion project reported that levels of deprivation are going back to levels found 30 years ago. In my neighbourhood I twice had to help children who had been thrown out of their houses and were wandering the streets without jackets, dirty, having had no dinner, one wearing plimsoles in the snow. This was before the benefit cuts came into effect. They are your constituents. Poverty causes a legacy of mental and emotional problems. The policies that you support are condemning children for years to come. The support services that offered at least some chance of breaking out of a life condemned have all had their budgets slashed. While I was working at the Bridge Community Centre running the gardening group for people with mental health support needs, the people who were coming to me were losing their support workers. They relied on these people to them to get to projects like mine. They literally could not get on a bus on their own. I had spent time building contacts with services and clients. All of that was lost. From the Poverty and Exclusion project report: :”Welfare states depend on a fair collection and redistribution of resources, which in turn rests upon the maintenance of trust between different sections of society and across generations”. The Welfare State is one of the hallmarks of a civilised society. It is not a lifestyle choice and benefit fraud is a tiny percentage compared to the amounts of public money lost through big business tax evasion.

    Rudd: As part of my new website I’m also launching a brand new e-newsletter which provides regular updates on the work I’m doing as your MP around Hastings and Rye and what I’m doing to best represent you. If you’d rather not receive these brief email updates, please do unsubscribe.

    Me: I won’t be interested in this as I no longer live in Hastings. There is nothing you have done to represent me and you will never represent me in any way. Unsubscribe me.

  36. Just like the mugshots of other criminals down at the police station – except the criminals down there get locked up… what went wrong????

  37. disgruntled member of public.sick of being trampled by this government,afraid for the future of my country. says:

    They don’t work for us they are in it for themselves,high time this lot were rounded up and the whole system of benefits for councillors /mp,s was reviewed ,they are obtaining money by deception ,that is a criminal offence and in my mind they should not be in office.

  38. The Green Lady, love your post, it’s time all of us protested to our MPs against these cuts. People are having to leave properties with children with no means to replace carpets & curtains & decorate places. I have lived in my home 17 years & have spent money doing things to it , it was a complete hovel when I moved in but I could no longer cover the mortgage I had when I separated from my husband. I brought my daughter up from 2 years old on my own, she has had a very good education & has just got a history degree & now has a good job but no longer lives at home. As I said in earlier post live in a 2 bedroom house & am disabled, I will never be able to work again but if I have to pay bedroom tax I will be left with no option but to pay it as I have to have someone to stay the night 3-4 nights a week. I also could not afford to move & replace carpets & pay out for decorating, my parents actually paid for a new kitchen in the house I live in now because council would not do anything & it had been set on fire before I moved in. I have also had the adaptions done I mentioned in previous post. I know several young single parents who are being forced to move as they cannot afford bedroom tax leaving behind empty houses that are not being filled. It makes my sick to think of these wankers getting the amounts of money they do & still being able to sit & vote for the bedroom tax. Have these people got no morals, they are like a cancer spreading their hate for anyone on benefits, most through no fault of their own .The sooner they go the better, they get richer & I fear they’d have workhouses re-opened for anyone who dares to be on benefits which due to the low wages being paid is most families.

  39. I believe that the politicians expense claims should be looked at and decided upon by the low paid workers in the local council offices to make the decisions more fair. I mean, if the decision to pay expenses for an MP’s 5* 3 course meal was decided by somebody who was struggling to afford £3 or £4 per day for lunch in the employers canteen then MP’s wouldn’t be able to get away with it and would be forced to be more in touch with reality. If a disabled person who lives half an hour away from their closest hospital is only entitled to claim the cost of a bus ticket (even if their condition is too bad for them to travel by bus), then why should that entitle an MP to claim the cost of a second home if they live close enough to reasonably commute. I live with my partner and 5 kids and because I was struggling to afford private rent on the little wages I earn I had to make the hard decision to sell my car, using the money from it to cover moving costs from a house to a smaller flat, just so that I could save £30 a week on rent as there is no social housing available for us to move into. So I went from commuting 25 mins to work by car to moving to a flat from which I spend 20 mins walking each way to commute, because id rather walk to work than let the family starve. If I could afford to live in a house with enough bedrooms for us I would feel privileged, never mind having a spare room. Why should the minimum wage be so low when the MP’s have all of their living expenses taken from our wages. If an MP can claim a second home allowance when they only live 40 minutes away from work, where is the allowance the low paid workers can claim to help with realistic travel expenses for commuting. Not that I am saying I want to sponge by claiming for a bus pass, but in the same way, if I found a job in London (While i’m living in the North East) would that same government that treats its MP’s like royalty offer me a second home allowance? I think not. They’d make me pay a higher rate of tax for the second home by saying I don’t need it, and they’d say if I chose to buy a second home to reduce commuting I should pay for it myself, so why cant the MP’s pay for them themselves, its not like they are living on minimum wage.
    I feel that it’s disgusting that they can get away with it. The voting ballots should have an extra option (in addition to the one for each party) to allow people to make a vote for ‘No Confidence In Any Political Party’ so we can truly see how many people in this country feel that they can trust any of the political parties.

  40. Interesting to see Anna Soubry in the list there, and pretty high up too. She is my MP, and the focus of a large proportion of my blogging for the last three years. Soubry promised in 2008 to move to her constituency, Broxtowe, and used this as a central plank of her succesful campaign in 2010.

    She still hasn’t moved as promised, despite having years to do so. She refuses to vacate her huge mansion, which has multiple bedrooms and a heated swimming pools, and when I once wrote about this she demanded via her partner that I remove the article as the property was on the market. I responded by pointing out that anyone could put a property on the market, and that was not the point. I could promise to sell my push bike, but if I put it on the market at £700 rather than the £100 it is probably worth it wouldn’t sell.

    She dropped pre-legal warnings at that point.

    With a majority of 397, I don’t blame her. She has had a disastorous term as a constituency MP and its difficult to see her not being ousted in 2015. It would have been daft to move from a palatial home to a relatively poor borough. The only heated swimming pool she could find here is in the municipal leisure centre, and thats bloody cold at the best of times.

    Of course, her partner Neil Davis could persuade shoddy builders Persimmon to build a house for her, as he was on their board until recently. Though they are more famous for being Britain’s Worst Builders (according to BBC Watchdog, anyhow) than keeping Anna in the splendour she demands.

  41. I feel totaly let down and totaly disgusted to find our MP on this list…Douglas Carswell… He claims to be for the local commuity and our people…..
    ‘We are all in this together’…..guess the ‘WE’ are MP’s……the rest of us are ‘plebs’….The bedroom tax does not effect me, however i know disabled people who it does effect…they are having to pay £16 per week for a small 2nd bedroom, which is a lot of money to them. They have not been offered 1 bedroom places as there are not avalible…Our MP who could easily travel to London daily if need be from Clacton, is claiming £450 per week of tax payers money to stay in London and Voted YES for the bedroom tax……..

  42. The sooner SCOTLAND becomes independent the better away from the parasites that dont live in our world they should be bloody jailed along with there prick of a leader cameron arseholes the fukin lot of them SCUM

  43. I am extremely delighted (and I wrote to tell him so) that our MP Mr Andrew George was one of only two Libdem MPs who had the courage to vote against this pernicious tax

  44. How much more can people take from this bent government how can they justify lining their own pockets while the majority suffer huge bill increases and low wages I challenge cam or Osborne to live a year at my house on minimum wage scrimping and scraping robbing peter to pay paul they have not got a clue what are we going to tell our children and grandchildren that we can’t afford presents this year austerity my arse they haven’t got a thing to worry about sherif of Nottingham come to mind

  45. It’s just not obvious how an MP’s agreed pay package* is related to a policy change to make housing benefit in line with the number of bedrooms a family requires. You write as if the connection is clear, but it isn’t.

    *It is, after all, part of the whole package. If MPs’ salaries were significantly higher but they weren’t allowed to claim expenses, no-one would complain about this. Even though it could cost exactly the same amount, or even more.

    • Oh please – how many of these MPs have other income to rely on, how many of them are spending their time in office lining up lucrative directorships for when they stand down as an MP. There was a time when they didn’t receive a salary And that was changed so that positions would be available for the poorer as well as the rich – but it seems to have gone back to only the wealthy becoming MPs. And still they think they deserve a salary increase – do they really genuinely think they are more deserving than the rest of us? If that’s the case then shame in them and heaven help us.

  46. Public service money was not meant for greedy, imoral crooks like you and the other high earners in public services to get rich …. You are Damaging services in this country we use to be proud of, your a disgrace, how you can sleep at night and look your children in the eyes is a mystery…U should be in Jail the lot of you.

  47. Pingback: Anonymous
  48. Jack, great that you are giving this issue such a high profile. POSSIBLE NAMING ERROR though… I think Heather Wollaston (in the £25k list) should read Sarah Wollaston (she is my local MP!).

  49. The point of expenses being, of course, to ensure that politics is open to everyone – inc the poor man from the North or Scotland – but not pay for the rich man’s second home in Sussex!

  50. Try doing a job which requires you to work 3-4 days in one place (starting at 8.00am on three of those days and finishing after 10pm on another three), then 3-4 days in another place, without running a “second home”. Any business who employed somebody on that basis would pay their expenses for that second home.

    Personally, I would give MPs £300,000 a year, but make them pay all their rent, staff, travel and accommodation costs and pension contributions from it.

    It would be interesting to see who managed to make a “profit” – which would of course be the only way they would actually get paid!

  51. You are all scum. Dirty thieving scoundrels… hurry up and leave.. your no better than dogs.. your own pockets is all you think about… no respect for the working family at all..

  52. After leaving my abusive ex-husband four and a half years ago, (he is the father of my two children and we were married for 19 years) my children and I moved in with my parents. My children shared a bed and I slept on the sofa. It took three and a half years and over a thousand pounds to go to court to force him to sell the family home (it was a joint mortgage). Unbeknown to me, he took out three loans against the property so I had to use my equity to pay off his numerous debts which wiped me out financially. This all had a huge impact on my children and I, especially my eldest who now has many mental health issues. I applied for a council property and finally, after four years, we were granted a 3 bedroom home because my daughter needs a separate room from her sister. The week after we were told I qualified for separate rooms due to my daughter’s problems, I got a letter from the same council to say I had to pay the ‘extra bedroom tax’. It doesn’t sound like a lot of money to pay out for some, but it means the difference between a hot meal or not. I don’t drink or smoke, socialise or have holidays either – I wish. Someone should sort out these thieving, selfish ‘I’m alright Jack’ brigade. How do they sleep at night, in any of their houses?

  53. Simple answer (and apologies if this has already been mentioned),but why aren’t MP’s made to stay in these ‘spare bedrooms’. Would reduce their expenses and mean that the people they have just voted to tax would no longer have a spare bedroom. Win-win …

  54. I think there is a simple answer. Instead of MPs being able to claim accommodation expenses, why not make them stay in the ‘spare bedrooms’ of the people they have voted to tax. That way their expenses are reduced and the people who would otherwise have to start paying tax on a spare bedroom, won’t have a spare bedroom any more. Win-win …

    • would you want one of these slimeballs in your home?have to nail down the teaspoons & put a lock on the fridge first & ensure they brought their own towels

  55. I think we need to rethink the way MP’s manage their diaries and lives, plus look at the way they are remunerated as it is verging on criminal to consider that £25,000 is needed for them to go to London to rant in the House of Commons.

  56. I have just seen a list of our political thieves, rest assured they will always have an answer in trying to cover up their tracks, but one day, they will have to answer big time for their Greed and lack of compassion to the most vunerable.
    Rather you than me …. So enjoy your short term wealth!
    Just to finish, Charles Dickens would find that if he was alive today he would have a very good claim against our poloticiations for copyright.

  57. To Ms Jack Monroe, I was so enraged to hear what you had reported, as one of the many people suffering at the hands of these people, I took what you had written and pasted it into a petition to get the attention of the serious fraud office or the press, I am sorry for doing it without your permission, i hope you will forgive me and see that i want to bring these crooks to justice, here is my link to the petition

  58. If this statement is true and facts correct this is bordering on criminal. The British public put these people into
    Power, it’s up to the same British people to vote them out. Enough is enough. We don’t have to stand for this anymore. These politicians are criminals in e wry sense of the word. Scandalous and should hang their heads in shame.

  59. on reading this I was disgusted ……….these so called politicians package of allowances and expenses makes a mockery of the benefits that I an forced to claim due to a deterioration to my health and several surgical procedures………yet I have been fighting for in excess of 2 years,to get the correct rates paid …………… income is a fraction of the figures being claimed,by the very people who are supposed to be representing us ………..I do not think so …………..”I AM ALRIGHT JACK ” SPRINGS TO MIND…………….I am sure there are many thousands of people who share these concerns


  61. There’s a pattern there. All Conservatives and Lib Dems . Sponging of OUR money and then we suffer. Get them out!!!!!

  62. My MP is……Richard Bacon. I think he might be receiving some emails and phone calls from me next week.

  63. It’s is disgusting, people are taking their own lives for this or having to worry themselves sick. It should not be allowed. If those MP’s cut their claims by even a quater the poor and needy would not need to be put in this awful position.

  64. Be innovative!

    Move Parliament from Central London to a run-down part of the UK, thus acquainting politicians with domestic reality plus saving money, plus regenerating an area in need. That could happen on a rolling programme around the UK, every few years. The historic parliamentary buildings could become permanent self-supporting tourist attractions. Use modern technology to facilitate meetings etc so politicians can travel less & cut costs, and be on hand to work with the people who voted for them on local issues.

    A big problem with the UK is too much decision-making hinges on issues of tradition and outmoded protocol: if ordinary working people are being asked to undertake lifestyle cuts and inconveniences why should people in power be afforded automatic privileged status? It’s not appropriate to have rich people claiming huge allowances for housing which they probably don’t need financially, whilst those who are struggling are asked to pay more/give up more to maintain their already precarious situation.

    If there’s a need for more single housing then that’s a management issue for the government, how to achieve that.

    If people can’t survive on the wages supplied by ‘market forces’ ditto-84% of housing benefit claimants are working? They are trying to be independent and can’t? How is that right?

    The traditional ways of supplementing income- taking boarders, cooking meals for people, providing childcare/elder care etc have been regulated out of existence.

    What now? is a serious question for UK politicians- because they are out of touch with the general population if it is OK to give the Queen an extra handout and ask people on the poverty line to just shut up about their benefit cuts.

    History is in the past. The UK needs to continue to move into the future.

    • Tracy, we are nation of forelock tuggers and until we challenge the outmoded ideas of deference and the privileges that rich people seem to get, we will remain a backward nation. Time to question it all before we become a 3rd world country.

  65. the ex army lads could keep their rifle training up by practicing on parliament, plenty of targets !!

  66. Left wing nonsense made up by someone who knows nothing about London rental prices. If I found a place around Westminster for £450 a week I’d jump at the chance. My rent was more than that when I rented in SE London. It sounds like these fellows are quite frugal; bravo MPs!

  67. I am heartened by the fact that the politics of fear (which is also always devoid of empathy and compassion), is now coming in for real scrutiny. A passé paradigm that only ever serves the few at the expense of everyone else. Remain relentless and hopefully it will fail further and fade altogether. Alternatively, it will plague our children and our grandchildren as it has done us. We owe it to them, these guys have got to go..!!

    • Unfortunately, whatever party you vote for, I fear they will get in power again until we challenge the basic premise that only the rich and the affluent Middle class are allowed to have a future, whilst uncertainty and low wages are imposed on the rest of us.

  68. My MP is on the list so I have emailed the following to him:-
    Dear David Mundell,

    I note that you voted to keep the “bedroom tax” while you claimed up to
    £25k from taxpayers for accomodation expenses.

    Do you believe that you are entitled to such a large sum from taxpayers
    for accomodation when you are on such a huge salary? A salary that the
    majority can only dream about!

    In addition I’ve read that MP’s are getting an increase of several
    thousand per year….how much is it exactly?

    Do you believe your salary increase is warranted in times of austerity?
    Most people I know aren’t getting more money to live, most are
    complaining they’re getting less while the cost of living rises and

    I’m interested to know why it seems to be only MP’s that can get extra
    from public funds while others who are employed, unemployed, sick or
    disabled are facing cuts. Please note I have included employed in that
    comment which leads to another question. Do you believe that employed
    people should need to be subsidised from public funds eg housing
    benefit and tax credits to enable them to live?

    Do you believe that there are enough jobs in the UK that offer adequate
    remuneration relative to the cost of basic living regarding housing,
    food and heating?

    Do you believe that those affected by this “bedroom tax” policy can
    actually move to a smaller dwelling? Also if they move to a smaller
    dwelling in the private sector will this cost taxpayers more or less?

    I look forward to your response.

  69. An excellent post, and article in the Guardian. Thanks for joining the dots in so clearly. The ‘bedroom tax’ is no more than a nasty, spiteful way to take away from those who have little clout, blame people living in hardship for their own situation, and draw attention away from the massive and growing financial divides in this country. Righteous anger is appropriate, but action would be better. I don’t mean you – I mean me and all the others who are appalled by this. And we ain’t seen nothing yet….

  70. How can anyone trust one word spoken by an MP. This country is a joke. Just as corrupt as any other.only they make laws to cover themselves. All the education the mps have is used to scheme and plan . Not to put to good use for the people and country. Tony blair typical example !

  71. How lucky we are to have such selfless champions of the people, such servants who only ever think of the common good, such bastions of charity and compassion, such lights of hope in a dark world, such masters of the common touch, such… yeah ok, I am being sarcastic! No hardship for some folks hey? We need to start asking why democracy now only works for the rich, the powerful and the affluent Middle classes and why there is always money for those already wealthy but why those in dire need are being denied even basic common humanity and compassion.

    Please take note: after they have well and truly flogged the poor to death, they will be coming for those who have jobs. Mark my words. If you want a backward society run by the rich for the rich… be careful what you wish for. And don’t ever lose your job.

  72. This lot must think we are bloody stupid, every one of them are TRAITORS TO THE VOTERS THEY REPRESENT.

  73. Katherine Minchin:
    Not recognising that children who have gone to university may need to have somewhere to live during the holidays.
    Great post btw, but it should be pointed out that any student away from the family home for a course which lasts less than 52 weeks a year (that is, any university course), then they are not deemed to have left the family home, and that bedroom is occupied.
    It’s perfectly possible that some people may have been told that the bedroom of a son/daughter at uni is now unoccupied but they are WRONG and should be corrected. If anyone is threatened by this wrong decision they must appeal.
    That is all.

  74. Of course, whilst students should have their bedroom protected and not deemed to be unoccupied, young people leaving the family home to move to another part of the country for work should now be advised not to do so if their family are reliant on housing benefit, or might at some point in the future be claiming it. Their bedroom would then be unoccupied, their family will lose money or else be forced to move. In the latter case, if the young person then loses their job, they will be unable to claim HB in their own right if they’re under 25, and if the parent(s) have been forced to downsize, they could then find themselves homeless.
    So don’t ‘get on your bike’ to find work lest you later have to rely on HB yourself.
    Not very well thought-out, this policy is it?

  75. They are all a bunch of THIEVING BASTARDS. I find it incredulous that they can claim £8000 more than my GROSS ANNUAL salary on accommodation alone. Like many people I live a precarious life; at the moment I have a job and life is a bit easier, but despite being well educated (post graduate) I’m stuck in low salaried short-term employment and much worse off now than I was 10 years ago. I’ve been unemployed and know the stress & anxiety of trying to live on benefits (which is near impossible) with the threat of homelessness hanging over me. I find it disgusting that these MP’s can claim ANY expenses on their over inflated salaries. They should earn less than £25,000 with no expenses – that might attract some decent honest people into the politics rather than the blatantly selfish vermin we have today.

  76. This is an outrage notability Con.MP,s.they are behaving like the ruling class,an don’t give a toss,VOTE THEM OUT or it will get worse,Cameron is spawn of Thatcher,and just as deluded about the will of the people.

  77. The fact of the matter is that a reduction in benefits IS NOT A FUCKING TAX. The sooner you left-wing loonies realise that the moon isn’t made of cheese the sooner you’ll all get up off your arses and actually CONTRIBUTE something to the economy and the country.

  78. Ian says:
    November 15, 2013 at 10:49 am
    This idea has been put forward before, but it was vetoed by the Security services as it would have made MP’s vulnerable. One bomb could have done a lot of damage.

    As was said, a Great Idea haha.
    seriously though something needs to be done about the expenses racket..and wouldn’t 1 place be easier to maintain and police.
    I think anyone in their situation would also claim expenses if we could but how many of us would be so two faced as to claim and then take vote to take money away from the vulnerable. They could have introduced the bedroom tax bill with exemptions..i.e. only for tenants who have somewhere suitable to go to who refused. It could have been introduced with 2 rooms as a minimum as there are hardly any 1 bed places in lots of locations. or even just for new tenants. It was not very well thought out…probably would work in London, or in the cities, but we don’t all live there or would even wish to

  79. I think the Government should build a 100 bed hotel nr parliament and make all MPs stay there when working in London. They would save a fortune Year on Year – no more second home allowance or expenses required for running an office in London… maybe they could share rooms? It could even make money by renting out empty rooms when not in use… or using it for their party conferences… cos lets face it, when do MPs actually attend parliament other than when there’s a big debate going on or when they have to check in for attendance allowance? Money maker, and major employer… great all around really!

  80. Instead asking the MP’s who voted No to stopping Bedroom as it was expected from the condem scum, we should be asking why the 31 labour MP’s couldn’t be arsed to get up off their fat arses and make a difference to the people that voted for them

  81. idiots will still vote these scroungers in, what do they actually do with there wages seen as they claim for everything,

  82. It’s a shame. I lose £24 a week out of my benefit, which means I have to live on £47 a week (and I have all my utilities out of that too). Those bastard politions want a good hiding! Greedy turds while they screw us!

  83. this is gaulling. no one pays travel expenses for the normal working man so why can’t they commute?

  84. sleep tax next? .. then theres only passing wind, blinking and thinking to inhibit by CHARGING us for the privilege. Thought the BEDROOM TAX would have been the final sign to the courts of humanity to realize that … the government are more out of control and power starved than ever and its gone beyond a joke…. Where are the courts of human rights focusing their interests right now??? not on the rights of humans thts for sure. LIVE HOW YOU WANT , DIE KNOWING YOU LIVED YOUR WAY. That queen elizabeth should have a fair wedge to pay for all her spare rooms… absolute hypocrisy runs this planet. And I’m gonna sit in my 7 SPARE bedroom house and and turn it into a communal drop in. i’ll even apply for a bus stop!

  85. If my entire home was one big room, that is of course if I could afford to own my own home…..which I don’t,…. would I get a discount of some kind for not having any rooms? Taxes on food, Taxes on clothes taxes on babies next? Or fresh air? Oh No…may be giving them some ideas.

  86. This is a democracy is it not so should it be us who decide if bedroom tax is wright or not and about that pay we pay mps minimum pay i vote for .


  87. A lot of people seem to have missed the point of the bedroom tax from the point of view of the government & DWP.
    Every letter anyone gets from them says “The law says you need £XX.XX to live on,” or something similar the key words here are THE LAW, now they couldn’t easily cut benefit amounts without changing those laws & as there are a good number of different benefits & lord alone knows how many clauses & codicils to the laws that cover them that would have taken a lot of time & attracted far more negative attention than they would feel comfortable with especially when you consider that our benefit rates are already below those set by EU law so the question that the ConDems had was this, “how do we cut all these different benefits without actually cutting them?”
    Now I don’t know who came up with the idea but at some point some bright spark probably went to Cameron & said “how about we don’t cut ALL of the benefits? how about we just cut ONE? and better still how about we do it by fooling the plebs into believing we aren’t actually cutting a benefit but abolishing a subsidy that all those “Hardworking people” don’t get?.
    That way we aren’t taking the bread out of peoples mouths we are simply making it “Fairer” & while we are about it we can further demonize anyone claiming housing benefits by making it look like it’s their fault there are no council homes available for people because they are taking them all up, in fact lets take it a step further & not say “Council homes” but add a bit more of a spin to it & call them all “Social housing” you know make it sound as if they are being further subsidised by “Hardworking people” by getting yet more things from “The Social” that will get them all buying places they cant afford nobody will want to be living in “Social housing” will they? Nayaaa Ha Ha Haaaa (insert maniacal laugh here)
    All joking aside this was never about making things fair or encouraging people to downsize if it were than all those hardworking people who live in oversized council properties would be chased around by their local housing office to buy or move to a smaller place, I know that isn’t happening because there are plenty of people where I live who are in two, three and even four bedroom properties who haven’t had so much as a leaflet from the council suggesting they might want to downsize, it was always about introducing a benefit cut by the backdoor all the time making it look like they were doing it for the benefit of all those hardworking people.
    Well here’s the thing, I’m a hardworking person and as far as I’m concerned the bedroom tax or if you are a Tory “abolition of the spare room subsidy” is nothing short of criminal and the sooner people stop seeing it as just another unfair tax & start to see it as a fraudulent way of taking away money that the law says benefit claimant are entitled to the better.
    On a side note I used to work in a jobcenter years ago & have NEVER seen a claim form for a “spare room subsidy” I have searched & searched for mention of one on the DWP website & found nothing & even went to extent of phoning the claims line before the bedroom tax went live & asking for a form to claim spare room subsidy only to be told “there isn’t one sir” ; now if there wasn’t one I ask you all this…

    • I’ll tell you what they abolished. They abolished the taxpayer having to fund empty bedrooms. How many empty bedrooms do you think the taxpayer should fund?


      • As someone who has paid a great deal more into the tax system than I have ever taken out, I am quite happy to pay for housing for people who need it. I am not at all happy to pay for empty bedrooms. So let me ask again: just how many empty bedrooms do you think the taxpayer should fund?

      • you’re not funding bedrooms. the Tories have taken all of our nationally owned assets and given them to their mates. you tax is subsidizing this so is mine. none of them has paid a penny in tax or corporation tax. they now make up the majority of the developers and slum landlords that our taxes are paying into, because it’s easy money. The Tories a whipping up a hate storm so that they can stealthily take what belongs to us. you’ve believed every word they said. nobody here is out to attack you, we need everybody on our side to get these bastards out, the baddies here are clear cut. i used to be a coal miner, David Cameron hasn’t got the right to use the term ‘hard working’. i have watched my crippled and near blind son have his benefits cut in the home where carers look after him and now his rent is cut because they say he is fit for work and can look after himself. when Gordon brown was in he handed a recovering economy to the coalition, he’d increased benefits to tackle child poverty and the figure was down to 10% he borrowed less than Osborne and more of our assets were nationally owned. the Tories have stolen half of our assets i.e. schools, post office and large portions of the nhs. he has borrowed more money than labour did and has rewarded the top 1% of society and increased child poverty and food banks by 57%. your tax isn’t going to bedroom tax that is a diversion. it is going straight into their pockets. if they are borrowing more, taxing people more and there is less assets to publicly fund then where is the money going. they have less than a year left in power and they are stripping everything they can and placing it in Cayman island accounts. there is too much evidence online for this to be idle chit chat. please look it up it is a real eye opener. we have criminals in power pulling off the crime of the century and our tax is going into their pockets, but if you still believe it is going into bedroom tax then do that, that is exactly what they want you to believe

      • WOW there are still people out there who believe this claptrap, broaden your reading material and please don’t believe a word that comes out of this governments mouths, (why do you think several of them have been warned over use of incorrect use of statistics the list goes on)

      • the tories write up a dodgy sounding excuse to penalize the poorest. Cameron enables a playground bully attack on the poor and thinks up a silly, absurd sounding tax to wrap it up in. Just think ‘bedroom tax’ how did the nation become so gullible. the he whips up a frenzy with the working class. all the while he and his cronies are sitting on a huge pile of cash they are sharing among themselves and their hedge fund,slum renters, private health/Nhs thieves, banker friends and owners of our stolen school system now calling the schools ‘academies’ all the while pointing the finger at the rest of us telling us not to be greedy, while his donor friends are given tax breaks and new tax loophole laws.and any law they feel like passing. wake up idiot i’m a taxpayer too and all i see is the poor being picked on while they stealthily rob this country blind

      • You see, all you are doing is throwing a lot of mud around hoping some will stick, while failing to answer a simple question: how many empty rooms do you think taxpayers should pay for?

      • You either don’t get it or are one of those people who reads & hears selectively.
        Where I live the difference between the rent on a three bedroom house & a one bedroom flat can be as little as £15.00 a week in some places it is even less although I’ll grant you in others it can be much more so moving from a three bedroom house to a flat can save lets say £60.00 a month, however the cost of a privately rented property even a flat is an average of £150.00 MORE than the house; take for example a couple who used to be customers when I had my pub, they had a two bedroom council flat in a block across the road he had been in a building site accident about 15 years ago & is permanently disabled, he has the use of his right arm & partial use of his left but aside from that nothing, she is his carer, the rent on their flat was a little over £105.00 a week with recent rises it is now £110.00 & some change or if you prefer around £440.00 a month (I’ll come to how I know this later) because the labyrinthine rules of bedroom tax excluded them from any exceptions they have been forced to move to a one bedroom flat, it’s a flat in the same block on the same floor in fact it is two doors down from their old flat & is privately rented at wait for it £620.00 a month.
        This is the problem with the “How many empty bedrooms do you think the taxpayer should fund?” argument, the truth is it costs more to rent in the private sector than from councils and it ALWAYS WILL councils the length and breadth of the country who are being used to enforce this backdoor benefit cut reported long before it was launched that the simply did not have the required number of smaller properties for people to move to & that situation has only become worse, councils cant build new properties & developers are reluctant to build smaller homes because on a £ per square foot of land they make much more building three bedroom family homes (albeit the size of rabbit hutches) than building one bedroom properties & they are what we are most in need of.
        So here is another question for you how many buy to let landlords do you want the tax payer to give early retirement to?
        I said I would explain how I know all those rental figures, simple I know the guy who they are now renting from, I have known him for well over twenty years he was a good friend who sadly I shan’t be seeing again; he hasn’t died far from it he has recently retired to a beautiful new home in New Zealand at the grand old age of fifty six, since the early 80’s when he bought his first property at auction he has rented hundreds of homes to people, unlike many landlords he never had a problem with renting to people on benefits as he doesn’t suffer from the prejudices so many others have & has often had less problems getting his money than from some of the working tenants, he has converted many properties for disabled people in fact he reckons about seventy percent of his estate is fitted out for people with varying levels of disability, all the properties he owns in that block of flats I mentioned are wheelchair friendly they have wet rooms rather than bathrooms several have specially converted kitchens all the doorways have been widened & all of them have door ramps.
        Ian has made his fortune out of buying selling and renting property, a good deal of it funded by the taxpayer in fact at any given time he says at least half & sometimes almost all of his rental properties have been paid for from housing benefits, he has also created employment he has five guys who take care of the bulk of the maintenance on his properties up & down the country a very nice young lady a single mum who is now his estate manager, she takes care of all the contracts arranges repairs & all the day to day things involved in renting a large number of homes, another couple of lads are his nomadic decorators/gardeners, they live rent free but move every few weeks, whenever there is a new property it’s their job to get it up to scratch ready to rent if someone moves out & the place needs work they go & get it done an arrangement that works well for everyone; all those people started out as tenants who were out of work & claiming benefits; as for Ian by his own admission the hardest work he has done since 2001 has been going to auctions & phoning building suppliers & he wont even be doing that now.
        In Australia they two offers of suitable alternative accommodation AND ONLY THEN, the system still has it’s problems but is much fairer inasmuch as unlike here it does not penalise people for being unable to move, of course that wouldn’t have worked for the ConDems as this was NEVER EVER about fairness, it was never about encouraging people to downsize, it was never about the myth of a “spare room subsidy” it was ALWAYS about cutting the benefit bill and tossing a crumb to all those people who have fallen for the anti benefit propaganda, the last thing anyone in government actually wants is for all those hit by it to suddenly move to private sector homes because that would cause a massive rise in the benefit bill they would have a really hard time explaining away, even to selective readers.

      • How many empty bedrooms should the taxpayer fund?

        ALL OF THEM you fucking areshole.



        ======================================== Message Received: Mar 26 2014, 07:39 PM

      • i agree about the swearing, but the real offense here is from a commenter who thinks the bedroom tax is just

      • GMB: Why is that an offence? Why should taxpayers pay for empty bedrooms? It’s simple waste and government finances are in dire shape already.

      • If you think LP’s comments are a bit lacking in the finesse department, you should try the comment threads on The Void blogsite. What is surely one of the best-written political sites on the internet is frequently let down by threads that descend into mindless (but, no doubt, theraputic) profanity, hate-mongering and impotent fury, where he is a relatively mild offender. Understandable in a way, seeing as most of the commenters appear to be victims of cuts to disability benefits and the bedroom tax, but there is a disturbing tendency to revel in the negativity, rather than recognise it as a problem to be overcome by enlightened thinking. A depressingly unedifying experience.

      • I agree with this comment whole heartedly,I,like you am fed up of reading a tiatribe of expletives.There are words in the English language that can be used to express dissatisfaction and anger without all the F’ing and Blinding

    • As everyone pays tax one way or another directly or indirectly WE should be funding these so called empty bedrooms until enough suitable properties are built for people to move into.
      Although in the case of some friends with a disabled son who are now heavily in arrears moving to a house with all the adaptations the son needs would cost US the tax payers 80k
      There are plenty of 3 bedroom properties available as people have left them, now no one wants them as they are to expensive, so at a cost to the tax payer yet again they are to be demolished while people live in B&B’s at a bigger cost to the tax payer
      If this policy was ever going to work it would need thousands of 1-2 bedroom properties to be built, it’s still not happened, it doesn’t make any sense financially or to people personally.

      You need to correct one of your replies to msjh you have paid more tax in than you have taken out……so far. Unless your superhuman and you know you won’t get ill or have an accident.

    • You really do refuse to get it don’t you.
      As long as the alternative to empty rooms is more expensive for the taxpayer then as far as I’m concerned we can carry on paying for them until the cows come home for those people in need of housing benefits whether it be for weeks, months or in the case of people who are entirely unable to support themselves forever.
      If there is no suitable housing available to offer people then why should the be forced to pay for the failure of successive governments to build?
      Why could we not have a system that only charges people when they have had a realistic alternative offered & chosen to turn it down?
      Why should the taxpayer pay more to a private landlord for them to move to a smaller property? all you are supporting is a get rich scheme for those in the position to buy property to rent out.
      Why should ANYONE support a tax which was invented simply to take away money that THE LAW says people are entitled to?
      Give a sensible well thought out answers to all those questions along with my previous one “how many buy to let landlords do you want the tax payer to give early retirement to?”
      If all you can do is blindly trot out the party ideology & lines you have picked up from the papers then perhaps you should spend less time in front of your PC & more of it taking a look at what is actually happening in the real world not the one you are being fed by the Tory media machine.

  88. KevC: I used to be a local councillor. It was quite common to have a young family in social accommodation who needed a bigger home. However, these homes were often blocked by older people whose children had left home but who didn’t want to move.

    What is being cut here is simply paying for something that is no longer needed. This year we will pay £75 BILLION in interest on accumulated government debts: cuts need to be made and they are hurting everyone.

    • While I sympathise with your plight & more so with that of those waiting for a home I have to say that having been one of those people waiting an eternity for a large enough home for my needs TWICE I still vehemently deny the fairness, need & technically the very legality of what is undeniably a benefit cut brought in sneakily through the back door.
      When I was in my teens the waiting list in my town for a family home was around three years for a flat it was around the same & bedsits were more or less given out like sweets. by the time I was in my twenties that had doubled & even a humble bedsit was a four year wait, this was a direct result of the right to buy.
      That housing list in real terms for a couple without children is now TWENTY SIX YEARS according to one estimate given by the housing department.
      Where is the national programme of investment in building all those homes we are still owed as a result of the “sell one build one” promise made by the Thatcher government? how many tens of thousands of jobs would that create?
      Where was the national programme of encouraging mutual exchanges that should have happened before anything as barbaric as bedroom tax was introduced? the government seem to have the money to beat plenty of other drums in the media why not that one?
      How can anyone justify the stealth tactic of reducing benefits that the law says people are entitled to with the introduction of a tax that hits only those least able to bear its weight?
      Not everyone has an income that allows them to get on the property ladder, that is a fact of life & no matter how much the government bleat on about enabling people to buy some of those people will never be able to do so, others have that path blocked by having to fork out ridiculous rents in the private sector essentially siphoning all the money from their pockets they would otherwise be able to save.
      Now you keep trotting out the same question again & again & I have given you my answer, how about your reciprocate by answering all of the above questions as well as the ones I asked before?. remember only well thought out original answers will suffice, simply trotting out the party line will consign you to the void populated only by Daily Mail readers, fans of benefit slagging pap TV & people who start sentences with “I’m not racist but…” just before they say something incredibly racist.
      In case you have forgotten them the previous questions were:-
      If there is no suitable housing available to offer people then why should the be forced to pay for the failure of successive governments to build?
      Why could we not have a system that only charges people when they have had a realistic alternative offered & chosen to turn it down?
      Why should the taxpayer pay more to a private landlord for them to move to a smaller property? all you are supporting is a get rich scheme for those in the position to buy property to rent out.
      Why should ANYONE support a tax which was invented simply to take away money that THE LAW says people are entitled to?

      • I wouldn’t let his repetitive whining bother you LP, msjh seems to be stuck on the same question without being prepared to answer any himself, he sounds like a toddler who has just learned to say Why? repeating himself over & over again never paying attention to the answers.
        While that is pretty typical of the sheep like mentality of the weak minded individuals who believe every bit of hate filled propaganda the ConDem media machine spills out I have to say that I’ve never experienced such one dimensional thinking from any councillors I have met, even those so entrenched in party ideology they had all but lost the ability to think for themselves; this if nothing else leads me to question his claim to have been a councillor.
        I reckon he is simply a media led troll,otherwise he wouldn’t think he can repeat his question ad nauseum without so much as answering a single one himself.

      • Where exactly do you want these houses building.Bear in mind doctors surgeries are not taking on new patients,schools are struggling to educate the children (who attend).This “NEW BUILD”is taking place in my locality……I now live between 2 building projects…..both of which are de-valuing my property,yet these new houses are in the £300k bracket…………..use the housing that is actually available would be one solution .

  89. I’ve not read through this thread, so it might have been commented upon already but, interestingly, apart from one Independent MP, these are all Con Dem MPs. Not a single Labour MP on the list. Not that they’re paragons of virtue or anything, but it tells its own story…

  90. As much as I look at this with contempt and disgust (especially with the amounts concerned, I fail to see any labour MP on this list. In the interests of parity and fairness, there should be labour MP’s on here too… They are all scumbags of the highest order, with the exception of very few!

    • I think you may have missed the point, this is a list of MP’s who voted in favour of the bedroom tax thereby taking away money from those least able to afford it to pay for the failure of successive governments to invest in building new homes to replace those sold under Thatchers right to buy and yet feel quite happy to claim as much as £25k for accommodation for themselves out of the very same public purse.
      I don’t think you will find any Labour MP’s voted in favour of it so they wouldn’t be on it would they?

  91. I keep banging on about this – why can’t they have a halls of residence style system? Doesn’t have to be all broken curtains and shared bathrooms like the old student days but would be a much fairer system. Also no more of a security risk than the House of Commons, one building is easier to police than several.

    • Makes sense: small bedroom with separate study/lounge and kitchenette. I suspect the problem is that these would all be fitted out in luxury style.

  92. This is OUTRAGEOUS! John Redwood lives in Wokingham, its an hour by train and he claimed up £15k in hotel expenses. He could get a taxi to Westminster every day for work and it wouldn’t come to that much.
    Hang your head in shame Mr Redwood.

  93. There were also 46 Labour MP’s who didn’t think enough of their constituents to even appear at the vote to introduce Bedroom Tax. Amongst them, Anas Sarwar, MP for one of the poorest areas in UK. He claimed £24,759.40 for accommodation in 2013/14.

    Or Jim Murphy who also failed to vote against the introduction of the Bedroom Tax. He claimed £19,953.35 for London accommodation in 2013/14, despite owning a flat in London.

  94. Make them all payfor their own accommodation out of their own salaries/wages, like the rest of us have to. What a bunch of thieves, lining their own pockets with tax payers money. These MPs need to be banned from claiming any expenses whatsoever. That would save the country a lot of money and make these thieves contribute like they should.

  95. The raised retirement age means a couple is liable for the Bedroom Tax, after 7 years denied state pension payout from women’s lost payout at 60 from 2013, then the wife’s NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE with no pension for housewife, widow or divorcee, or to the poorest workers.

    So keep Second Home Allowance that is the true Spare Room Subsidy to the wealthiest of MPS, but then all MPs get about the same money as the lost state pensnion payout, that is sole food and fuel money in old age for a great many, in 2015 as an 11 per cent pay rise.

    Women MPs kept their works pension payout at 60, as did men MPs at 65.

    And it gets even better, because a historical figure called Cromwell abolished the House of Lords (900 on expenses soon to grow to 2000) whent he people’s parliament was begun back in the 1600s. Sves on expenses and on subsidised private restaurant.

    And then we have the expenses of the business class travelling MEPs to Europe.

    Multiple layer councils in England, when Scotland has unitary councils. Sves on councillor and Council Leader expenses, plus expenses of employed management.

    Have I paid off the national debt and put the nation into surplus?

  96. well least we know who it was now my self and my wife are both disabled and had to prove with medical evidence why we needed 2 bed rooms wich we did and still had to pay for 2nd bedroom when i wrote to cameron aat no 10 he dint even bother to reply to answer my question of why he thought that this was such a good idea instead he got dwp to send me a load of rubish that never answered my question so those of u waiting for ana nswer dont hold your breath

  97. Typical of these greedy people, I fell foul of the bedroom tax whilst undergoing totally debilitating cancer treatment, hardly able to walk I faced homelessness, only saved by a small increase in benefit intended for my mobility goes to my landlord instead leaving me housebound.

  98. I think you may have been somewhat misinformed on the background data.

    The bedroom tax, certainly badly executed but this is a matter for voters at the ballot box.

    Regarding travel expenses, having done a lot of rail travel, £450 pw for a 3 hour journey, twice a day for 5 days a week looks proportionate for standad class travel.

    It would be reasonable to expect such MPs to have investigated the cost of a season ticket vs ad hoc travel costs. Even then, there are significant savings to be made if tickets are obtained in advance. It would be reasonable for this to be done, given that MPs have access to a diary and can collect tickets from ticket machines at their convenience.

    There is an issue over the expectation of the tax payer paying for 1st class travel for an MP vs standard class. 1st class is appropriate if you need to get a laptop out and work, standard class is useful as a reminder of what the voters are expected to endure. Again, a matter for the ballot box.

    In terms of the expectation that MPs can bill their accomodation costs to the tax payer, it may be worth looking at the Japanese approach, where MPs are assigned a flat. If they do not wish to use it, they are free to use alternatives, at their own expense.

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