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What next!! Pensioners to work?

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Grafter
Posts: 495
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Registered: ‎25-09-2011

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

BTL and benefit fraud in the same topic... Sore point!
Housing benefit.
Consider halving the cost of the private sector housing benefit bill?
Regularly inspect the properties rented to housing benefit claimants to make sure the rent charged by the landlords equates to the condition/value of that property - wiring, plumbing, gas safety, roof, windows, damp, leaks, etc., etc., bugs/pests, furnishings.
In short - what its worth at the *private market rate*.
Refuse to pay housing benefit to landlords who overcharge for poor quality accommodation. Offer to pay a going rate.
(Yes, money goes direct from the govt. to the landlord's bank account, the claimant does not get this money.)
Bear in mind, many (most) private landlords will not accept people on or requiring housing benefit.
Those landlords who do tend to be the ones who offer bed-sits (houses broken into rooms with 5 or 6 'flats') but charge the much higher rent of a proper furnished flat for it - knowing it will be paid by housing benefits. No-one else would pay that much for it. Often no work is done to maintain these properties and they are very grim indeed.
The claimant is well aware of it but has no choice but to accept this situation, even if its a 'trap' very hard to get out of, unable to get anywhere else.
In time these houses usually fall into semi-derelict and/or unsafe state, never being repaired or decorated. (Not to mention being an eyesore.) And eventually sold to councils or developers to be demolished. Nice little earner.
Paid by govt. for sitting on your backside....
But why do these scoundrels never have the finger pointed at them  Huh
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Grafter
Posts: 5,924
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Registered: ‎07-04-2007

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

Quote from: journeys
Only a small percentage of the "interest element" was allowed against tax, 22.5% spring to mind, but that applied to ALL, including BTL

MIRAS (Mortgage interest at source) had many changes in its life before being scrapped. At one time it was base tax rate relief on a £60,000 joint loan, £30,000 each. Over the years the rate was reduce until it was 10%. Then in 1988 the pooling of the allowance was stopped so only £30,000 would qualify. This was the main reason that house prices soared at this time.
What surprised me at the time was the interest rate was going down at a similar rate as the relief was being taped down so my mortgage repayments stayed around the same level. So did MIRAS allow the banks to have inflated interest rates?
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Community Veteran
Posts: 19,416
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Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

Quote
(Yes, money goes direct from the govt. to the landlord's bank account, the claimant does not get this money.)
Bear in mind, many (most) private landlords will not accept people on or requiring housing benefit.

Housing benefit was discussed on the radio recently and it was made clear by a number of callers that the payment was made to the claimant and not the landlord.  Undecided Undecided
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Community Veteran
Posts: 3,829
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Registered: ‎24-09-2008

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

@itsme:- MIRAS, thats what it was called, just couldn't remember the term, thanks Embarrassed
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Community Veteran
Posts: 6,718
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Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

I remember the 15% mortgage and also the other side of the coin, 12% interest on my savings.
Yes it was worth putting savings in the bank back then. Now my mattress is back to being a bit lumpy.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 6,340
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Registered: ‎08-01-2008

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

I also recall (but was not in a position to take advantage of) high savings interest rates and high mortgage rates with the possibility of getting tax relief on the mortgage interest such that the interest on the savings was actually higher (briefly and in carefully chosen accounts) than mortgage interest after tax relief.
Quote
MIRAS (Mortgage interest at source)

[pedant] Mortgage Interest Relief At Source [/pedant]
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
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Grafter
Posts: 495
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Registered: ‎25-09-2011

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

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Housing benefit was discussed on the radio recently and it was made clear by a number of callers that the payment was made to the claimant and not the landlord.

Can only assume they must not have known what they were talking about!
I know many people in this situation. And have been in it myself some time ago. (Very unpleasant.)
There was a recent instance where the payment to the landlord continued to be made for many months even though the tenant had left. It was only realised because of re-directed letters sent to the ex-tenant from the department believing she was still living there.
But in any event, the money is for the landlord. And the landlords overcharge for accomodation that is not worth the rent paid - at the taxpayers expense. And not the fault of the claimant - which was the point.
These lettings need to be assessed for their proper market value. Do you not think that would be right?
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Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
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Registered: ‎17-10-2007

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

Quote from: IanSn
Can only assume they must not have known what they were talking about!

Really?
"When the government started paying housing benefit to new private tenants rather than straight to their landlords last year, it was meant to give tenants more choice and help develop their budgeting skills - but instead it just means rents are not being paid, say some landlords."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8152937.stm
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Community Veteran
Posts: 19,416
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Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

Oh!! Thanks alanf for the link.  It was stories like this that were featured in the radio item I referred to.  Tenants must realise they have a responsibility as well as the landlords.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 5,658
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Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

Now yet another public body RIBA wants to raid the pension funds to provide social housing. A cynic might notice this raid would also provide fees for under employed architects.  One wonders what the benefit will be to the pensioners of the funds?
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
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Grafter
Posts: 5,924
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Registered: ‎07-04-2007

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

pension pots do not sit around in cash in some bank, it is already invested somewhere, and property is normally a sound investment.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 19,416
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Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

Quote from: AlaricAdair
Now yet another public body RIBA

RIBA is not a public body but the Professional association of architects.  It's effectively their trade union.
RIBA
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Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
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Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

I do find all the talk about a wealth tax rather amusing.
What is wealthy?
There are a great many elderly people in London who own a fairly modest terraced property that's now worth well in excess of £500k.
These people probably have a modest retirement income and worry about their heating and food bills.
They certainly couldn't afford to be taxed on their property value.
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Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 20,080
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

I can understand the need to tax everyone on their income but it strikes me that a 'wealth' tax on homes, etc. stems from some form of jealously Undecided
They may have a property worth upward of £500K but they would already have paid tax on their income, their savings and a higher level of council tax.
Why should they pay even more tax just because they've been lucky enough, worked hard enough or even inherited the money (don't forget inheritance tax would have been paid).
The only seemingly unfair part might be that the 'wealthy' can, potentially, pay accountants to maximize their wealth whereas the rest of us can't.
What I have seen as unfair is where many can spend all their money throughout their working lives as they get it leaving nothing for their retirement years and get every handout the state provides yet those frugal enough to want to save get very little if any help from the state.

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
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Grafter
Posts: 495
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Registered: ‎25-09-2011

Re: What next!! Pensioners to work?

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the government started paying housing benefit to new private tenants rather than straight to their landlords last year

Yes, thanks for that. I wasn't aware that new tenants had this altered arrangement. I think it hasn't been rolled out in all cases yet.
Interesting though, I'm not sure how it helps tenants to 'budget' - the same amount must be (or should be!) paid to the landlord in either case!
@Artmo
"..responsibility..."
In any other field (outside of politically-charged subjects) this would clearly be a matter of fair play, as they say in law, if not 'responsibility' because its tax-payers' money.
Its a practical issue. A pragmatism in the situation as-is, now, whether you (or I) like it or not.
Assess the rents charged to housing benefit claimants.
Its only because of unscrupulous activities (over-high rents for govt. paid rent) that regulation (or assessment in this case) is necessary.
Its made me remember... In the 19thC there was quite a political kerfuffle over the regulation of the new 'chemists' on the high-street. Poisoned customers were getting to be a problem. Of course, regulation became necessary, after many angry debates in parliament opposed to the notion. But all agreed, once they'd got over the ideological shock, that this had been a good idea...
@nager
Yes. There's a lot of ridiculous political posturing and playing to the gallery going on on both sides of the house. More than ever. I was referring to one above here, you refer to another.
I despair...