Pilot benefit scheme failing some recipients

  TopCat® 17:55 12 Mar 2013

This pilot scheme, introduced by the government over the last few months, has led to some recipients getting into arrears with their rental payments. Paying the benefit this way has seen a higher percentage rise in several areas where the scheme is being trialled.

Having the money in their own hands has led to some using it for other purposes, which in turn has seen a dramatic rise in arrears of rent.

What are your views on this - should the government revert to the status quo quickly or continue on with this scheme? TC.

  fourm member 09:49 14 Mar 2013


The increase in arrears is, obviously, of concern but my point was that this has occurred in a relatively few pilot areas.

A knee-jerk reaction would have been to introduce it nationwide without any study.

I wish governments (all of them) would carry out more assessments both of possible new policies and how current policies are working.

But, they won't do that if we leap down their throats when a study finds there are flaws. We should say 'Well done - you've found problems. What are you going to do to deal with them?'

If we don't do that, they'll carry on blustering that a policy works (creating numbers that seem to show that) and ignoring all criticism.

  carver 10:13 14 Mar 2013

"The increase in arrears is, obviously, of concern but my point was that this has occurred in a relatively few pilot areas."

That's a bit like the doctor saying, "We are a bit concerned that after the infection we did have to remove both legs and arms but his head appears to be OK"

This government is going ahead with this in the autumn it's part of there "universal credit" scheme designed to give people more responsibility, bit like giving a drug addict 12 months supply of methadone and say "you will be responsible with it"

So unless some body takes charge and say "stop rethink this" there is going to be an awful lot of people in arrears .

  spuds 10:15 14 Mar 2013

There are all sorts of 'pitfalls' in this pilot benefits scheme, and I am sure the local council's and national government are aware of most of the possible problems?.

On a local example, my local council had a complete change of their computer systems, and this left a large amount of claimants in arrears to their landlord's. The council were stating that no one should be and face eviction and then becoming homeless. But this statement didn't quite work out, when landlord's also had bills to pay, with no funding to pay those bills.

It's already been stated in the discussions on this forum, how some people see how others might live, and perhaps consider how they should fend for themselves. Some people can budget, and may well do, others are simply to ignorant as to their responsibilities, which then results in another right mess having to be cleaned up by someone else. When authority usually steps in, then its the taxpayer who is usually left with the burden.

What is going to happen to the people who may have the tenancy of a council property, get their council tax and rent paid because they are below the 'poverty line', and these people don't even bother to live in the property, or may even sub-let it to someone else?.

In the old days of the 'giro', I remember weekly routines, of someone claiming to have had their giro stolen, or they had just lost it, and then requesting a 'crime number' so they could go down to the DHSS for a 'top-up'.

The way I also seem to understand, is that this scheme is for those claiming benefits (housing?), anyone between 16 and 62, and have at least one spare bedroom.

This brings the other subject of spare bedrooms. I know of at least two cases, were elderly people have died, leaving one family member (son/daughter) who may have lived in the same house for years. Now being told that the two or three bedroom house is now required for a more suitable family, and that person is refused a transfer of tenancy. The council have then stated that they cannot provide a single occupancy home, because there are none available. That individual may well then become an homeless person, which in itself, may lead to that person feeling very vulnerable with life and society on an whole?.

  spuds 10:20 14 Mar 2013

fourm member

I find your comments at 9.49am rather baffling. Most people might know how governments work, but isn't it about time for change. We all have 'elected' MP's, so perhaps its about time, some of these MP's and government bodies started to listen to the people, instead of wanting a pat on the back, as you seem to suggest?.

  fourm member 10:40 14 Mar 2013


'started to listen to the people'

Frankly, I'd much rather governments listened to the evidence not the people.

  fourm member 10:45 14 Mar 2013


I've asked a number of times in this thread, of different people, what do you propose?

At the extremes you can either create camps for people who can't get jobs and don't have the life-skills to manage their money or you can just leave them to fend for themselves with no support.

Finding the middle ground is bound to result in problems but, as a former employer, I can assure you I'd be wary of employing someone who didn't have the most basic understanding of money management. A scheme intended to make people more employable has to have merit.

  spuds 10:58 14 Mar 2013

fourm member

"Frankly, I'd much rather governments listened to the evidence not the people"

Surely, it's the people who provide the evidence not a government.

It's a bit like quoting what statics say, and saying that is right, on the evidence printed. But let's face it, how many statistics are right and correct, when they are based on what the person or person's doing those statistics are trying to say?.

  fourm member 11:25 14 Mar 2013


'The people' are the ones who either distort the evidence or demonstrate by their reaction to events that they want evidence distorted before it is presented to them.

Providing it is properly collected evidence is just that.

We have to allow governments to fail as long as they then try and correct the failure.

At present, people ridicule proposals put out to consultation and then ridicule governments for revising proposals based on the outcome of the consultation.

We seem to be saying we would prefer a government that presses blindly on with a deeply flawed policy to one that has to say 'We've changed our minds'.

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