Skip to main content

The Twitter debate about local benefits tourism

Followers of my twitter feed will have noticed a discussion between the local Labour candidate and myself about the way in which she was rehousing people living in Sandwell in Birmingham so that they could claim more benefits.  Specifically to claim more council tax benefit.

This was based upon a speech that she gave on the subject of Children and Families with no recourse to public funds at a City Council committee in 2013.

She explained how she didn't rehouse anyone living in the refuge she managed in Sandwell into Sandwell itself, but instead housed them in Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton.  She said that this placed an even greater burden on Birmingham's resources.

She is now claiming that she was not doing this for reasons of finance, but instead because of safety issues.  According to what I have been told, however, she made no mention of safety and merely mentioned differential rules in terms of benefits.

Debates on Twitter are in public, but are constrained by the limit on the number of characters in each response.  However, the above is I think a fair summary of what happened.

Clearly it is only right that each local authority should aim to resolve the problems faced by that authority and that people should not be encouraged to move around to claim more money.  As she said this places a heavy burden on the resources. It also drives either more cuts or an increase in taxation.

There are very rare exceptions where for safety reasons someone needs to move out of their local authority area.  Normally moving to Birmingham would not be far enough to achieve this.  However, the debate at the Scrutiny Committee, which I think was on 4th October 2013, was not considering safety issues merely the question of being able to claim more benefits if you moved.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

Statement re Police investigation into Harassment and Perverting the Course of Justice.

It was recently reported that the police were not investigating the allegations of Perverting the Course of Justice that I had made. This came as a surprise to me as I had been told for some time that my allegations were to be considered once the VRR had been rejected. I have now had a very constructive meeting with Staffordshire police on Friday 29th June 2018 and the misunderstandings have been resolved. At that meeting the evidence relating to the perversion of the course of justice and the harassment campaign against my family were discussed. The police have decided to investigate both the perversion of the course of justice and also the harassment campaign. I would like to thank them for changing their decision and I accept their apology for the way in which they did that. I am also in possession of written confirmation a police force would be investigating allegations that a vulnerable witness has been harassed for trying to expose the campaign against me. I hope that the aut…

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).

KING’S BENCH DIVISION

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

LORD HEWART CJ:
It is clear that the deputy clerk was a member of the firm of solicitors engaged in the conduct of proceedings for damages against the applicant in respect of the same collision as that which gave rise to the charge that the justices were considering. It is said, and, no doubt, truly, that when that gentleman retired in the usual way with the justices, taking with him the…