water meters

give me a choice. at present i have moved into a house with a water meter i do not want and have been told by law i have no choice.on rated water i can use water sensably but without fear of the cost as i paid my rates.now i am afraid to use water as i worry about the bill.i can't change suppliers as you are stuck with the one you are with.there is now in this country water poverty.the people with money do not have to worry.when water was privetized i remember the then pm saying no person would be forced to have a meter.they lied.a tory nationalised the water saying no man should have the power of water over another.if it is going to stay private give me a choice and keep the word of a wise tory.

Why is this idea important?

give me a choice. at present i have moved into a house with a water meter i do not want and have been told by law i have no choice.on rated water i can use water sensably but without fear of the cost as i paid my rates.now i am afraid to use water as i worry about the bill.i can't change suppliers as you are stuck with the one you are with.there is now in this country water poverty.the people with money do not have to worry.when water was privetized i remember the then pm saying no person would be forced to have a meter.they lied.a tory nationalised the water saying no man should have the power of water over another.if it is going to stay private give me a choice and keep the word of a wise tory.

Immediate Clean Slate for all Non-Fraudulent Tax Credit Overpayments

Write off all non-fraudulent tax credit overpayments whilst continuing to recover those resulting from claimant fraud.  This will save innocent, hardworking families from the distress and hardship caused by system-created errors, and will save the millions of pounds currently being wasted on forcing families who spent their awards in good faith to somehow find money they do not have.  Compassion and sound economics all in one!

Why is this idea important?

Write off all non-fraudulent tax credit overpayments whilst continuing to recover those resulting from claimant fraud.  This will save innocent, hardworking families from the distress and hardship caused by system-created errors, and will save the millions of pounds currently being wasted on forcing families who spent their awards in good faith to somehow find money they do not have.  Compassion and sound economics all in one!

Stop linking benefits to children

Rather than reduce child poverty this just encourages the unskilled and least able to bring up children, to have many children to garner the benefits that follow.

All the last governments efforts to reduce child poverty has actually increased child poverty.

Why is this idea important?

Rather than reduce child poverty this just encourages the unskilled and least able to bring up children, to have many children to garner the benefits that follow.

All the last governments efforts to reduce child poverty has actually increased child poverty.

Benefits & Bills..

I would like to see utility providers and the TV licence accept and recognise, by law, standing orders as legitimate payment methods.

I work with people on benefits who struggle to pay their bills. This is not only down to the fact that they have low incomes but also because they may have mental health or substance misuse issues.  

The exisiting payment methods only work for those of us who are able to budget effectively. Direc debits are paid on the same date of each month whereas benefits are paid on the same day of each month or week. What this means is that direct debit is not an effective way to pay although for the majority it is the easiest way to pay.

There are payment cards which do work for many but i have seen lots of people fall behind with payment cards. There is a tendency to juggle payments and for one or all of the balls get dropped.

Standing orders can be set up to be paid on the same day every month or week or fortnight. This could coincide with the payment of benefit.

Providers dont like standing orders because they are not in control of them and cannot raise the amount when required. There is also an issue with provders receiving payments without ref numbers and then not knowing what account it is for. These are issues that i feel could be overcome with some organization.

So, in essence, I believe that everyone should have the right to pay their bills in any way that is convienient to them and not in whatever form is most convienient to the provider. Power to the people.

Make a Stand for Standing Orders!

Why is this idea important?

I would like to see utility providers and the TV licence accept and recognise, by law, standing orders as legitimate payment methods.

I work with people on benefits who struggle to pay their bills. This is not only down to the fact that they have low incomes but also because they may have mental health or substance misuse issues.  

The exisiting payment methods only work for those of us who are able to budget effectively. Direc debits are paid on the same date of each month whereas benefits are paid on the same day of each month or week. What this means is that direct debit is not an effective way to pay although for the majority it is the easiest way to pay.

There are payment cards which do work for many but i have seen lots of people fall behind with payment cards. There is a tendency to juggle payments and for one or all of the balls get dropped.

Standing orders can be set up to be paid on the same day every month or week or fortnight. This could coincide with the payment of benefit.

Providers dont like standing orders because they are not in control of them and cannot raise the amount when required. There is also an issue with provders receiving payments without ref numbers and then not knowing what account it is for. These are issues that i feel could be overcome with some organization.

So, in essence, I believe that everyone should have the right to pay their bills in any way that is convienient to them and not in whatever form is most convienient to the provider. Power to the people.

Make a Stand for Standing Orders!

Remove obstructive DWP rules on CTX and other in-work benefits

 

The idea that I am proposing is that the Government should take the advice of the 2006-07 Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Committee Report and review Council Tax benefits and the tapering off of all in-work benefits. The research has been done. The Report has been published. It’s available on-line on www.parliament.uk. Look at it again and give us back our freedom to go to work.

Millions of people in this country literally cannot afford to go to work because the DWP sets Council Tax benefits (or rebates) at such a low level. Many of the people on low incomes will not benefit at all from the recently announced raising of their income tax threshold because whatever they are given with one hand will be taken away by the other in reduced council tax benefit, (and, if applicable, reduced housing benefit too.) Their poverty will be perpetuated. Yet a Parliamentary Committee investigated CTX benefits and urged the Government to review these DWP rules as a matter of urgency three years ago.

In May 2007 a cross-party Select Committee on Communities and Local Government, chaired by Dr Phyllis Starkey, launched an enquiry into CTX benefit. This followed the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government. Expert evidence and advice was given by several organisations, including the New Policy Institute, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, and London Councils.

The Committee published its Report in August 2007. Paragraph 3 of its conclusions and recommendations finds that: “The council benefit taper, and its interaction with other parts of the tax and benefit system, can act as a disincentive to work. We recommend that the Government address this issue with some urgency and recognise the detrimental effects of the council tax benefit taper in its work on welfare reform.”

This recommendation was cross-referenced to Para. 17 of their Report which stated: “Sir Michael pointed out in his report on local government that the issue of work incentives is much wider than that of council tax reform. We Agree. Any reform is best considered in the context of wider welfare reform policy, but this should not be an excuse for inaction. As the Institute of Revenues Ratings and Valuations argued, a Government review of the council tax benefit taper is long overdue but the issue has been largely ignored by Government for some 20 years.”

And how does this translate into the reality of people’s lives? It means that benefits are tapered off so steeply that the amount people gain when taking on a minimum wage or part time job is so little that it doesn’t even cover the cost of transport to work. They are even worse off than living on benefits and cannot improve their lives by working. DWP regulations on Council Tax rebates prevent people from earning their living, and create difficulties for potential employers trying to take on new staff. It also prevents many people who, for various reasons such as poor health or new parenthood, can only work part time, from taking on a job, because they become liable for Council Tax before they even start paying income tax! So they have to remain on benefits even though, with a fairer CTX rebate system, they could work and be less of a burden on the state.

The Government Response to the Parliamentary Committee’s Report was published on 15 October 2007. The DWP dismissed the Report’s recommendation on the grounds that it was not affordable and that the only route for the poor to improve their lot was through the labour market. Yet the report had gone into great detail about how the poor were unable to improve their lot through the labour market because of the obstacles placed in their way by the DWP! This circularity of thought resulted in no progress in welfare reform and public money spent on this enquiry was spun into a vortex down the drain.

Governments pontificate about “the poor” as if they were a separate species or as idle creatures who must be bullied and cajoled into working. Or they talk about social mobility as a means to remove poverty, but we cannot all be, for example, lawyers, bankers or politicians. Here’s a really simple solution to the problem of poverty: pay people enough to live on. Reward them for working. Those who work in low status jobs are providing essential services for the rest of society. This is about recognising and rewarding their contribution and allowing them to live a decent life.  If employers cannot afford to pay a living wage to their employees then state subsidies become a necessity.

But the DWP has recently decided once more that tapering off these in-work benefits more gradually was still not affordable. Surely it’s more cost-effective for the State to support those in low-paid jobs with adequate in-work benefits than it is to leave people stagnating in long term unemployment, with all the costly social problems that that entails.  In-work benefits are cheaper than unemployment benefits. Cut costs. Reduce our dependence on the state. Restore our freedom to go to work. Enable employers to take on more staff. These DWP regulations are unnecessary and illiberal. Change them. Spread the burden of Council Tax fairly so people can go out and earn their living.

Why is this idea important?

 

The idea that I am proposing is that the Government should take the advice of the 2006-07 Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Committee Report and review Council Tax benefits and the tapering off of all in-work benefits. The research has been done. The Report has been published. It’s available on-line on www.parliament.uk. Look at it again and give us back our freedom to go to work.

Millions of people in this country literally cannot afford to go to work because the DWP sets Council Tax benefits (or rebates) at such a low level. Many of the people on low incomes will not benefit at all from the recently announced raising of their income tax threshold because whatever they are given with one hand will be taken away by the other in reduced council tax benefit, (and, if applicable, reduced housing benefit too.) Their poverty will be perpetuated. Yet a Parliamentary Committee investigated CTX benefits and urged the Government to review these DWP rules as a matter of urgency three years ago.

In May 2007 a cross-party Select Committee on Communities and Local Government, chaired by Dr Phyllis Starkey, launched an enquiry into CTX benefit. This followed the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government. Expert evidence and advice was given by several organisations, including the New Policy Institute, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group, and London Councils.

The Committee published its Report in August 2007. Paragraph 3 of its conclusions and recommendations finds that: “The council benefit taper, and its interaction with other parts of the tax and benefit system, can act as a disincentive to work. We recommend that the Government address this issue with some urgency and recognise the detrimental effects of the council tax benefit taper in its work on welfare reform.”

This recommendation was cross-referenced to Para. 17 of their Report which stated: “Sir Michael pointed out in his report on local government that the issue of work incentives is much wider than that of council tax reform. We Agree. Any reform is best considered in the context of wider welfare reform policy, but this should not be an excuse for inaction. As the Institute of Revenues Ratings and Valuations argued, a Government review of the council tax benefit taper is long overdue but the issue has been largely ignored by Government for some 20 years.”

And how does this translate into the reality of people’s lives? It means that benefits are tapered off so steeply that the amount people gain when taking on a minimum wage or part time job is so little that it doesn’t even cover the cost of transport to work. They are even worse off than living on benefits and cannot improve their lives by working. DWP regulations on Council Tax rebates prevent people from earning their living, and create difficulties for potential employers trying to take on new staff. It also prevents many people who, for various reasons such as poor health or new parenthood, can only work part time, from taking on a job, because they become liable for Council Tax before they even start paying income tax! So they have to remain on benefits even though, with a fairer CTX rebate system, they could work and be less of a burden on the state.

The Government Response to the Parliamentary Committee’s Report was published on 15 October 2007. The DWP dismissed the Report’s recommendation on the grounds that it was not affordable and that the only route for the poor to improve their lot was through the labour market. Yet the report had gone into great detail about how the poor were unable to improve their lot through the labour market because of the obstacles placed in their way by the DWP! This circularity of thought resulted in no progress in welfare reform and public money spent on this enquiry was spun into a vortex down the drain.

Governments pontificate about “the poor” as if they were a separate species or as idle creatures who must be bullied and cajoled into working. Or they talk about social mobility as a means to remove poverty, but we cannot all be, for example, lawyers, bankers or politicians. Here’s a really simple solution to the problem of poverty: pay people enough to live on. Reward them for working. Those who work in low status jobs are providing essential services for the rest of society. This is about recognising and rewarding their contribution and allowing them to live a decent life.  If employers cannot afford to pay a living wage to their employees then state subsidies become a necessity.

But the DWP has recently decided once more that tapering off these in-work benefits more gradually was still not affordable. Surely it’s more cost-effective for the State to support those in low-paid jobs with adequate in-work benefits than it is to leave people stagnating in long term unemployment, with all the costly social problems that that entails.  In-work benefits are cheaper than unemployment benefits. Cut costs. Reduce our dependence on the state. Restore our freedom to go to work. Enable employers to take on more staff. These DWP regulations are unnecessary and illiberal. Change them. Spread the burden of Council Tax fairly so people can go out and earn their living.

reforming child benefit

with the lazy spongers we unfortunately have now it is long overdue to rethink the child benefit.  2 children per family is enough to keep the population going and any more should be up to the couple to pay for.  if the parents become unemployed then that is the time for child benefit for the 3rd and any other children until work is found.

Any type of benefit should not automatically be given to those who have not paid any TAX or NI say for at least 6 to 12 months and especially for those who do not hold a UK passport.

the UK has been an easy target for too long.  We have to start saying no.

i have 4 children, work hard for a fairly comfortable life, have worked most of my adult life and paid my TAX and NI.  i would not have a problem with not receiving child benefit for my 3rd and 4th and if i was struggling, take extra care to make sure that i would not fall pregnant again.

Why is this idea important?

with the lazy spongers we unfortunately have now it is long overdue to rethink the child benefit.  2 children per family is enough to keep the population going and any more should be up to the couple to pay for.  if the parents become unemployed then that is the time for child benefit for the 3rd and any other children until work is found.

Any type of benefit should not automatically be given to those who have not paid any TAX or NI say for at least 6 to 12 months and especially for those who do not hold a UK passport.

the UK has been an easy target for too long.  We have to start saying no.

i have 4 children, work hard for a fairly comfortable life, have worked most of my adult life and paid my TAX and NI.  i would not have a problem with not receiving child benefit for my 3rd and 4th and if i was struggling, take extra care to make sure that i would not fall pregnant again.

Abolish the regulation that prevents councils paying Housing Benefit directly to private landlords

The last Government prevented council paying housing benefits directly to private landlords even if the tenant wanted that. The result is that many landlords are not getting the rent because some tenants are dishonest or just unable to handle money correctly. Worse still, the benefits have to be paid into a bank account and are then snatched by the greedy banks claiming "charges" and "arrears."

This regulation was supposed to be applied to housing associations and councils as well, but they rebelled fearing massive extra arrears and costs.

It is not only landlords that suffer but also tenants who are evicted for arrears. Let the tenants choose if they want to have benefits paid directly to landlords. It gives most of them peace of mind.

 

 

Why is this idea important?

The last Government prevented council paying housing benefits directly to private landlords even if the tenant wanted that. The result is that many landlords are not getting the rent because some tenants are dishonest or just unable to handle money correctly. Worse still, the benefits have to be paid into a bank account and are then snatched by the greedy banks claiming "charges" and "arrears."

This regulation was supposed to be applied to housing associations and councils as well, but they rebelled fearing massive extra arrears and costs.

It is not only landlords that suffer but also tenants who are evicted for arrears. Let the tenants choose if they want to have benefits paid directly to landlords. It gives most of them peace of mind.

 

 

Prisoners To Do Charity Work

I believe it would be a good idea to give prisoners the option of reducing their sentance a little, if they manage to achieve a set amount of charity work. This may involve producing hand made nets for protecting crops, making useful tools, tents or cultivating plants for example.

Why is this idea important?

I believe it would be a good idea to give prisoners the option of reducing their sentance a little, if they manage to achieve a set amount of charity work. This may involve producing hand made nets for protecting crops, making useful tools, tents or cultivating plants for example.

Freedom from poverty

The governmnet should redognise that the biggest single limiter on freedom is poverty.

Poverty means you can't live without fear – fear of not being able to provide for ones family for example.

Poverty means you lose many choices in life – to be spontaneous, to treat yourself sometimes and those around you.

Why is this idea important?

The governmnet should redognise that the biggest single limiter on freedom is poverty.

Poverty means you can't live without fear – fear of not being able to provide for ones family for example.

Poverty means you lose many choices in life – to be spontaneous, to treat yourself sometimes and those around you.

Tenant opt-out of Gas Safety Regulations 1998 – Annual safety check by Landlords. (Statutory Instrument 1998 No. 2451)

I am a tenant.

 

Every year my Landlord is forced to inspect my gas appliances in accordance with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

 

Each year I get strongly worded letters from my Landlord about legal action if I fail to comply and my landlord's "legal duties" to inspect my gas appliances.


These gas safety checks are an unwarranted invasion of my privacy. In all the years the checks have been happening, nothing unsafe has ever been detected therefore I suggest tenants should be able to opt-out of these safety checks if the tenant so desires. These safety checks are a waste of time and money. These safety checks invade my privacy without valid cause.


I am sick and tired of being told: “Failure to allow access may result in legal proceedings and issued, the costs of which you will be liable.”


If there is anything unsafe with my gas appliances I will be the first person to contact my Landlord. Instead of this nanny-state intervention I think tenants should be free to make their own judgements regarding when their gas appliances need servicing, or at least tenants should be able to opt-out of the annual: “SERVICE AND SAFETY CHECK OF GAS APPLIANCES.”


I simply want to protect my right to a private life.

Statutory Instrument 1998 No. 2451

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998


http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1998/19982451.htm

 

See also "DUTIES OF LANDLORDS"

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1998/98245104.htm#36

Why is this idea important?

I am a tenant.

 

Every year my Landlord is forced to inspect my gas appliances in accordance with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

 

Each year I get strongly worded letters from my Landlord about legal action if I fail to comply and my landlord's "legal duties" to inspect my gas appliances.


These gas safety checks are an unwarranted invasion of my privacy. In all the years the checks have been happening, nothing unsafe has ever been detected therefore I suggest tenants should be able to opt-out of these safety checks if the tenant so desires. These safety checks are a waste of time and money. These safety checks invade my privacy without valid cause.


I am sick and tired of being told: “Failure to allow access may result in legal proceedings and issued, the costs of which you will be liable.”


If there is anything unsafe with my gas appliances I will be the first person to contact my Landlord. Instead of this nanny-state intervention I think tenants should be free to make their own judgements regarding when their gas appliances need servicing, or at least tenants should be able to opt-out of the annual: “SERVICE AND SAFETY CHECK OF GAS APPLIANCES.”


I simply want to protect my right to a private life.

Statutory Instrument 1998 No. 2451

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998


http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1998/19982451.htm

 

See also "DUTIES OF LANDLORDS"

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1998/98245104.htm#36

Child benefit for one child only

Families should get much more help with the first child.  They should get much less help with subsequent children.  Having a large family is a lifestyle choice and should not be subsidised by the taxpayer.  Of course this is only fair if contraception is free, and easily available.

Why is this idea important?

Families should get much more help with the first child.  They should get much less help with subsequent children.  Having a large family is a lifestyle choice and should not be subsidised by the taxpayer.  Of course this is only fair if contraception is free, and easily available.

Stop evictions or home repossessions due to rent /mortgage arrears

To stop the use of evictions to tenants or home repossessions of home owners who fall behind on their rent or mortgage payments this is not in the interests of anyone, it also causes more and more people to fall deeper and deeper into the poverty hole.

Why is this idea important?

To stop the use of evictions to tenants or home repossessions of home owners who fall behind on their rent or mortgage payments this is not in the interests of anyone, it also causes more and more people to fall deeper and deeper into the poverty hole.

Replace DWP Social Fund loans with grants

The Social Fund is a small but vitally important part of the much-needed social security system.  It is means-tested and consists of many different types of payments to assist the very poorest in society in their time of dire need.  Unfortunately, the majority of those payments take the form of loans and MUST be repaid by the recipient even if they remain in receipt of State benefit.  These repayments reduce the already paltry amount of cash available and no relief is given in Winter months when fuel bills are punishingly high.

 

I propose we scrap loans to poor people completely and establish a system of grants.  What's good enough for our numerous millionairre Members of Parliament who get similar grants for similar items also paid for from the public purse, should be good enough for our poverty-stricken too.

 

Further information on the Department for Work & Pension's Social Fund Crisis and Budgeting Loans is available from the DWP in the 195-page pdf dated April 2010 at Parts 3 and 4 respectively

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/social-fund-guide.pdf

Why is this idea important?

The Social Fund is a small but vitally important part of the much-needed social security system.  It is means-tested and consists of many different types of payments to assist the very poorest in society in their time of dire need.  Unfortunately, the majority of those payments take the form of loans and MUST be repaid by the recipient even if they remain in receipt of State benefit.  These repayments reduce the already paltry amount of cash available and no relief is given in Winter months when fuel bills are punishingly high.

 

I propose we scrap loans to poor people completely and establish a system of grants.  What's good enough for our numerous millionairre Members of Parliament who get similar grants for similar items also paid for from the public purse, should be good enough for our poverty-stricken too.

 

Further information on the Department for Work & Pension's Social Fund Crisis and Budgeting Loans is available from the DWP in the 195-page pdf dated April 2010 at Parts 3 and 4 respectively

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/social-fund-guide.pdf

Change restrictive planning laws that constrict housing supply

People are in poverty because the cost of living relative to income is too high.

The single biggest cost of living is housing.

To bring down housing costs, you have to build to meet rising demand, and build cost effectively.

The biggest cost of building is usually the land which is only in short supply due to highly restrictive and conservative planning regulations.

Why is this idea important?

People are in poverty because the cost of living relative to income is too high.

The single biggest cost of living is housing.

To bring down housing costs, you have to build to meet rising demand, and build cost effectively.

The biggest cost of building is usually the land which is only in short supply due to highly restrictive and conservative planning regulations.

Removal of Squatters rights

I cannot see why squatters have any rights to occupy unused land. Almost always the land is occupied by illegal means and then this is then covered up making proof of this impossible. That land is someone's property and oppupation of it amounts to theft in my eyes. There should be no provision under the law to allow someone to do this.

Why is this idea important?

I cannot see why squatters have any rights to occupy unused land. Almost always the land is occupied by illegal means and then this is then covered up making proof of this impossible. That land is someone's property and oppupation of it amounts to theft in my eyes. There should be no provision under the law to allow someone to do this.