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Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Changes Benefit only the Rich

In the budget, Gorgeous George announced many things to tackle the appalling state of the countries finances owing the effects of a global recession and having a prime minister called Gordon Brown.

One of the things he announced was changes to the housing benefit scheme, that will in effect cap the amount of benefit you can receive to pay your rent. People who see families with no working adults and six or seven children housed at taxpayers expense in a seven bedroom mansion in Notting Hill will of course be guffawing their approval - wont you...

But only around 30% of people in receipt of housing benefit are unemployed, the rest are on low incomes and need a little bit extra to help them pay for somewhere to live. Those living in council homes have their rent subsidised and so by and large are not affected but those renting in the private sector most definitely could be.

Private rental rates vary, depending on property location, condition, size and so on, so its hard to compare, but average monthly rental rates in this borough range from about £800-£2000 for a studio to £3500-£5500 for a three bed property. Of course one and two bed properties lay somewhere inbetween and some properties will come below and way above these amounts too.

What is known, is that housing benefit is now going to be capped on a sliding scale based on the number of bedrooms from April 2011. But critically it goes a little deeper, the number of bedrooms the benefit is based on is capped at four, and the rate at which the benefit is calculated on is based on one third of average rents, instead of one half as it is now.

Affected tenants in K&C stand to lose up to £640 in benefit as a result of these changes.On average, tenants will need to find £200 per week from their own income in order to top up their housing benefit to pay their rent. The vast majority of these are not workshy filthy layabouts sitting on their arse all day aspiring to make an appearance on Jeremy Kyle they faithfully watch every morning before collecting their giro to spend down the pub.

By and large they are decent honest pensioners or families on a low income, single parents, and just those down on their luck, maybe with two or three low paid jobs stuggling now to make ends meet with rising fuel prices and inflation.

What will happen is social cleansing on a massive scale the likes of which we have never seen before where people simply cannot afford to live in affluent areas. Come April when the changes happen the eviction notices will be flying out as people fall behind in rent, or private landlords refuse to let to tenants on benefits. But where do the people go? The exodus will descend to cheaper areas, where there is less investment, more deprivation and no jobs.

The new super London Borough of Royal-Kensington-Chelsea-Hammersmith-Fulham-and-Westminster will become like the Vatican City, a walled enclosure full of gold and splendour, with raggety beggars waiting at the gates only able to gaze inside in wonder. Those inside will only venture out in their bullet proof 4x4's with a private security escort - and only then to go to Heathrow...

Nice work, if you can afford it.


  1. amazing how this story appears the same day as it does in the evening standard

    Cllr Palmer

  2. A truly impressive contribution from one of the leading lights of the local Conservative Party there ...

    Cllr. Palmer has been elected to represent the residents of St. Charles ward in the very north of the borough. St. Charles is not "affluent" Knightsbridge, it is in fact one of the most deprived areas in the borough, if not London and the country.

    If Cllr. Palmer got out a bit more and perhaps actually talked to his constituents (rather than shout at them, allegedly) he might realise exactly who this government are about to shaft - many of the people he is supposed to be representing.

    Unfortunately if his latest effort at a newsletter is anything to go by he clearly sympathises more with the clearly immoral, possibly quite dodgy, landlords abusing the housing benefit system to rake in some nice profits at the taxpayer's expense than the tenants they are using as a means to that end.

    - Luckily not one of Cllr. Palmer's constituents.

  3. note the use of "allegedly" an opportunity to smear without any facts.

    Anyway my newsletters main story (for those who do not know) is the case of a man, his wife and their 7 children coming to live in the royal borough all paid for by you the UK taxpayer, at a cost of £2000 per WEEK (and that is just the rent)

    Perhaps Hornet would like to identify her / him / it / self and give a valid reason why this kind of expenditure should be allowed

    Cllr Palmer

  4. But Cllr Palmer, its not the fault of the family if you think the "ules are wrong" blame central government for making the rules, or the landlord for charging such a high rent.

    People have to live somewhere.

    Maybe you can find them somewhere in Dalgano Gardens, I am sure its cheaper there.

  5. I suggest you read my newsletter before you try quoting from it. I make the same point you try to champion.

    Perhaps I can send you a copy of my 4 page In-Touch and you can put it up on your blog for all too see for themselves.

    I will send you a copy through your address of

    is that ok?

  6. Cllr. Palmer,

    The "problem" with your story was not the "facts"; it was the manner in which some of those facts were conveniently excused or ignored to suit your own particular prejudices (which are all too clear to see).

    Your newsletter accurately recounted how the landlord in question hiked up the rent by a huge margin when they found out the government (i.e. the taxpayer) would be footing the bill but you did not seem to consider this behaviour in any way "wrong". If I recall correctly, your newsletter does in fact state that "the landlord did nothing wrong".

    Are you sure? I would suggest that it is a perfect example of the ugliest form of avarice which should not be condoned or excused by anyone of any political persuasion. That the taxpayer is the one being fleeced and has no choice in the matter does not excuse the act of fleecing them.

    Here's a clue: "wrong" and "illegal" are not the same thing. The landlord did not do anything illegal. They did however did do something wrong with clearly negative repercussions for society at large (as we can clearly see now).

    - Not the Hornet

  7. Cllr Palmer, I already a copy of your intouch. I can send it back to with grammar and spelling corrected, if you like.

  8. Oh don't you want your readers to see the newsletter - even with mistakes.

    You could call it censorship - you reading out selected pieces of text for your audience to hear and not allowing the same audience to see / hear the full text if they want to!

    What is it that you do not want them to see - is it the other 2 pages that does a slamming attack on the Labour party?

    Oh well for those of you who are interested you can email me and ask for an electronic version of this document and I will send it to you.

    Cllr Palmer

    I note neither of the other contributors are prepared to identify themselves - Why is that?

  9. oh yes another thing, to the Contributor called "- Not the Hornet"
    nowhere in my article do I use the words "wrong" and "illegal".

    So I think all the readers of this blog might like to see the articles for themselves and they will be able to quote from it with greater authority.

    Cllr Palmer

  10. Now cllr Palmer you and I both know who I am we have had an email exchange in august on that. As for publishing your in touch, gladly for a fee of course I mesn this blog is read by many people than would your on touch so it's only right I make a small charge?

  11. Cllr. Palmer,

    The point is not whether you use the words "wrong" or "illegal". The point is that you describe behaviour on the part of the landlord which many people would consider dishonest but which you appear to consider perfectly acceptable.

    Do you really believe it is acceptable for anyone to take the taxpayer for a ride in this way? If you don't, why didn't you say so?

    - Not the Hornet

  12. Oh dear your making spelling mistakes as well - "We all make mistakes" - said the Dalek crawling off the dustbin.

    No, I do not know for a fact who you are (or indeed who the other contributers are). Those of us who play the game of guess the author have strong ideas, but it is denied. Perhaps you can send me a note from your personal email address that you keep private or have a chat with me in person at Carluccios by the town hall.

    So here we have the same old problem, someone hiding behind a blog, always on the attack, trying to be on the "take", too worried that their readership will find out that there is more to a story than their one side.

    Why not let your readers see my newsletter in full (there is also the covering letter that you make no comment about). I do not charge for my newsletter and you do not for your blog.

    Why not show your readers what the most hard working ward councillor in the borough does to keep in-touch.

    Cllr Palmer

  13. Is this the same Cllr Palmer who made sucha mark in the Apprentice. Eb=ven the awful Sugar found Palmer more awful than him-quite a challenge

  14. - Not the Hornet

    Another person in hiding or should I call you Emma.

    anyway let me give you a simple GCSE level economincs lesson - A price is worked out by the amount a purchaser is prepared to pay for a product / service. In this case it is the goverment who is doing the paying and therfore the supplier is upping their bill. Quite simple

  15. Out of curiosity why does CLLR Plamer never comment on stories relating to his friend Daniel Moylan.He never seeks to defend him, Cockell or the way they rip off residnets with their huge allowances

  16. Yes Cllr Palmer I did make some spelling mistakes, thats because I was typing the message from one of these smart phones and wasnt paying attention.

    As you can see with my nice shiny laptop there are no spilling mistakes (!) and my grammar is more or less accurate, apart from the missing apostrophe.

    Its not my job to publicise your newsletters Matthew Roundell now is it. If I did it for you I would have to do it for everyone which would take, I dont know, maybe 20 minutes.

    Far more interesting to read the other stuff, dont you think?

  17. I will answer what needs to be and until you answer my question "Who are you" I see no reason why this should be a one side discussion.

    Please reveal your true identities

    Cllr Palmer

  18. Cllr. Palmer,

    We have met before although as I am a mere "pleb" you no doubt do not recall.

    You appear unwilling to reveal your true views by answering two simple questions. I am however, and unfortunately, already familiar with them as you have been less reticent to reveal them on other occasions.

    I was, for example, one of the many who overheard your less than genteel comments about Council housing following the trouncing you received at the May elections. Now that wasn't a very nice way to talk about some of your constituents was it?

    And whilst I do not need a second-rate lecture from you on basic economics you clearly do need some work on your ethics. I suggest a quick search on Amazon and some light reading over Christmas.

    - Not the Hornet (not a woman either)

  19. - Not the Hornet

    You may call yourself a "pleb" if you want to.

    In your first comment you said

    "If I recall correctly, your newsletter does in fact state that 'the landlord did nothing wrong'".

    No I did not say that - so all your questions are totally flawed.

    Now I repeat my question "Who are you" I see no reason why this should be a one side discussion.

  20. Hornet

    For those of your readers who do not live in St Charles they will not get the opportunitiy to read my publication.

    Your blog (that is always looking for new articles) could allow them this opportunity.

    The fact you are using weasle words makes you more partisan than most of your readers think you are!

  21. Why would we wish to read the word of one of Merrick Cockell's 'aides'?
    The Hornet, over the last few months has raised many questions concerning the probity of the leadership of RBKC. Yet not once has Cllr Palmer has responded to those claims.Just recently the Hornet raised the question of the vast fees being paid, at the instigation of Cockell, to Tribal. But silence was the stern response.
    Come on Mr Palmer, deal with the very many issues of concern raised by the Hornet.
    All my friend are avid consumers of the Hornet's wisdom and tell me they will vote for an Independent at the next election so disgusted by the greed of the current cllrs

  22. Wow! The rebirth of political debate in K&C

  23. I have been re-elected on a Conservative Manifesto and despite much huffing and puffing from various pseudos they did not stand themselves.

    I see no reason as to why I should get into a debate with people who are not prepared to identify themselves.

    Cllr Palmer

  24. Cllr Palmer

    You talk arrant nonsense.The Conservative Manifesto has never included councillors grabbing vast emollients that make neighboring boroughs look pauperish. And do you really think that your leader spending
    $200 on a dinner for 2 with the crook Clements hardly smacks of David Cameron's ideal of self sacrifice?
    Start to take a critical look at the Masonic way RBKC operates, and then ponder as to why no one bothers to stand.

    Justin Downes

  25. Dear Mr Downes,

    I am sorry that you have found need to become abusive.

    I was totally unaware that this $200 issue was for a meal with Mr Clements - if so please give me your evidence.

    as for your Free Mason point - Not being a free mason has not stopped me from getting elected and re-elected. If you spend your time from the outside attacking the conservative group is it a surprise you do not get invited to join?

    Perhaps you can claim ownership to previous postings that you written - and I will try and answer them


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