Upload a photo Upload a video Upload an mp3 Upload an event


Huge Rent Arrears Expected By Berneslai Homes

Friday October 18 2013

BERNESLAI Homes is expecting to face up to several million in rent arrears when the new Universal Credit benefit is introduced in Barnsley.

Director of housing management at Berneslai Homes, Mark McGee, revealed the figure at a Barnsley Council watchdog meeting.

He was asked by Cllr Joe Hayward what the cost will be to Berneslai Homes when Universal Credit comes into force, replacing six existing benefits, including jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance, income support, working tax credit, child tax credit and housing benefit.

The change means claimants will be paid their total benefits monthly, rather than weekly, and they will be responsible for paying their own rent, rather than it being deducted from their benefit.

Mr McGee said it's the single biggest risk 'without a doubt'.

Universal Credit will be introduced in pilot areas from this month, but it will be brought in across the regions in stages, with it expected to be brought in in Barnsley in 2015.

"There's a tremendous amount of work to do to make sure people know they will have to pay their rent," said Mr McGee.

"The cost to Berneslai Homes? If everybody paid their rent it would still cost us hundreds of thousands of pounds to collect the money.

"That will not happen. We're talking about several million being lost in rent arrears."

Peter Francis, from the Welfare Rights Service, said he thinks people know the name 'Universal Credit' but not what it involves.

"Under Universal Credit there will have to be a new regime of sanctions, much more stricter than ones we are used to," he warned.

"We will see people losing benefits for three weeks to years for serious offences.

"A lot of people will suffer short-term sanctions for four weeks if they fail in their claims, such as failing to turn up for an appointment or signing-on day, there can be all sorts of reasons.

"Other bits about Universal Credit is people will have to be available and seeking work 35 hours a week and that's a huge change. They will have to claim on line and not everyone can.

"People aren't prepared yet. It's the next wave to hit us and there is an awful lot still to be done."

Leave a comment
comments powered by Disqus
63 Showing 63 comments

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:03
Please please pretty please can I be first in saying:

'Those dirty gits need to get a job and stop taking money from us there hardworking taxpayers they all smoke and drink and eat takeaways and they all have 42" tellies'

This is going to go like a Californian forest fire!!!

Reply Posted by who did it? on Friday October 18 2013 at 11:19
Oh you assumed people understood irony,

silly boy/girl

Reply Posted by emma on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:14
Excuse me i would love to go to work i have 2 children 1 goes to nusery so i woukd need a.job to work round my kids and nusery times and the.amount they pay wage wise wouldnt cover the cost of nusery fees and if they do tou have to travel atleast an hour and half to get fthere and back again

Reply Posted by Himler on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:16
Kilkenny when do you start your new job in the gestapo

Reply Posted by emma on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:17
And may i also add i dont smoke or drink or have a 42" tele nor am i a dirty git so dont judge people that you dont no or no there circumstances !!!

Reply Posted by STEVO on Friday October 18 2013 at 17:25
You don't have any grasp of the Emglish language either, 'no' or 'know' !!

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Saturday October 19 2013 at 03:49
nice try knobhead, why don't you go boil your head

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:18
@to kilkenny - I suggest you ring Barnsley Council's Adult Services if you have problems going to the toilet. They can (depending on your income and assets - never mind, I doubt that is very much) provide you with a carer that will attend to your personal needs. Many thanks

Reply Posted by Me on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:20
I think rents should be paid direct to landlords as if someone owes bank money etc..overdrafts..then they become homeless as bank takes it..if someones account became fraudly used they loose everything.plus folk who may having learning difficulties etc n dont or cant get help..wont know how to cope...so basically folk who work for council will loose jobs as theyre not needed then if folk pay direct.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:23
@Emma - (Sigh) - Can you not see the humour in my post? I was just joking. I was a parody of the stupid posts you will probably see later on this thread.

I actually feel sympathetic to your situation. In some parts of London, private nurseries cost £900 per month for mornings or afternoons ONLY. So you can imagine the sort of wages you must earn to be able to pay the fees and pay bills on top. Of course, the nursery fees would be shared with your partner (too many men think the cost of childcare should be met by the women). Imagine £1800 a month going out on childcare?

Reply Posted by kerry on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:24
Housing benifit should be paid to landlord its terrible im disabled and need 25hr care its just more stress also I dont drink smoke or have 42inch tv

Reply Posted by kerry on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:25
24hr care

Reply Posted by dedatodd on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:26
In principle I have no issue with the 'Universal Credit Benefit', it should if instigated correctly cut down on the amount of paperwork and fraudulent claims.
However I think that the government / councils have missed a trick here, they should have been 'educating' those claiming benefits, this may have been done, so rather than being a shock to the system this is a seamless transition from one set of benefits to another.

Reply Posted by Himler on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:29
Kilkenny..I am 60 yrs old and worked all my life till I had a stroke earlier this year, I was diagnosed diabetic and am blind in my left eye.. My wife divorced me as she felt unable to care for me.. I exist on £72 per week..I like Emma do not drink smoke or eat takeaways.. I dont own a TV ...and my home is spotless ...please keep your uncaring thoughtless comments to yourself.

Reply Posted by emma on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:30
Well putting a stupid comment like that just for humour reasons really and i dont need your sympathey thanks nor did i comment to start a debate or arguement i commented because not all people are the same some of us are genuine !!

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:31
@kerry - I was joking.

I am also a landlord. I get housing benefit directly sent to me. I love a Housing Benny tenant. Guaranteed rent. The council always coughs up on time too.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:37
I give up. I always stick up for the unemployed and disabled on threads on here. I usually get slated for it with comments asking if I am unemployed! I thought I would get in first and parody the usual brainless comments you get from the average WABer on threads like these.

Reply Posted by bobbie on Friday October 18 2013 at 13:07
@Kilkenny-please read your posts,you are the brainless one,go back to the hole you live in,ex Barnsley ,no longer wanted in Barnsley,you lying spineless cretin,,we of Barnsley are sick of your comments,stay away

Reply Posted by Purple Haze on Friday October 18 2013 at 15:58
Kilkenny you are wasting your breath mate. I understood the irony of the comment but unfortunately the very people you were lightly teasing do not have the intelligence to comprehend that. Sad but true. Keep going mate though as it is nice to see someone using good grammar and spelling for a change.

Reply Posted by Tommy on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:44
@ Emma, perhaps the childrens father could look after them while you go out to work rather than rely on a state funded nursery place. Just a thought.

Reply Posted by Himler on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:45
mistake Kilkenny humour and suffering..dont go together.. learn from it an get back to supporting the oppressed dont sulk ..we need supporters against this tyranical government and their policies..

Reply Posted by Tommy on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:47
@Himler Perhaps during the 40 plus years of your working life you should have saved some of your wages towards your later years, rather than spend it all and rely on support from benefits?

Reply Posted by sam on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:50
@kilkenny it was clear you were being sarcastic. Some people clearly haven't woken up on the right side of bed this morning.

People have been able to choose to have their rent benefit paid directly to them and not the landlord for years and years now.

Reply Posted by bobbie on Saturday October 19 2013 at 12:24
@Kilkenny obvious you reply to your own posts,do you think the @ gives it away,numpty

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Saturday October 19 2013 at 12:32
@sorry to all my fellow WABers if I offend you with my childish comments,,i moved away from Barnsley in the 90s,and now regret leaving such a close knit community,where I live now it is all a bit of mad rush,lneighbours don't talk,people in the street don't talk,you sould be very lucky to live in a friendly town,chin you WABers,and goodluck in the future,,

Reply Posted by Himler on Friday October 18 2013 at 10:51
@Tommy I have paid into the system for 40 years I had hoped that I would have continued working for another 10 years... I hope to live further than that.. my planning for the future was built around that.... caring people like you who clearly has NOT read my circumstances make me sick..

Reply Posted by frankii on Friday October 18 2013 at 11:21
So what? My wages get paid monthly and I have to manage everything on a monthly basis with the exception of shopping. Wake up and smell the coffee. Universal credit is the best thing that could happen! Start teaching the scroungers to budget OUR TAX that they recieve!!

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Friday October 18 2013 at 11:27

Universal credit is the best thing that could happen! Start teaching the scroungers to budget OUR TAX that they recieve!!

Higher band taxpayer are we love? I doubt it. I hope you never fall on hard times. See the first post on this thread. You are the type of uneducated person I was imitating.

Reply Posted by .... on Friday October 18 2013 at 12:30
I can't even be arsed with your bear-baiting anymore WAB

Reply Posted by :-) on Friday October 18 2013 at 13:21
Threads like these are always a good read! It's like pouring petrol on a fire.

Reply Posted by Tom on Friday October 18 2013 at 14:05
Due to over a DECADE of above inflation rent rises, whilst wages have been falling in real terms, many full time workers are now eligible for housing benefit. Even single ones!

A nuclear family with a couple of children in a council house and both parents working are entitled to housing benefit, tax credits etc., as their wages are insufficient to pay the rent on this so called subsidised housing.

These people will be soon claiming universal credit.

Ironically it is often these people who claim they are sick of their taxes being spent on benefits (whilst being net benefit recipients), and they are going to get a huge shock come the introduction of universal credit, because they will find it isn't the single unemployed people on benefits of £70 a week who will be facing the largest benefit cuts. It is them, whose combined tax credits, disability benefits and housing benefit exceed the benefit cap. It is the tax credits that exceed the dole that are to be cut.

When your tax credits exceed your income taxes, you need to realise you're a benefit claimant, and it is you who will have your income cut, come universal credit.

So when you say, "I work hard to put food on the table and look after my disabled children, and I agree with benefits being cut." Just bare in mind, that your probably the one whose benefits are going to be cut, and you are actually celebrating your own benefits being cut in the near future.

And Bernselai homes will soon be a laughing stock, as their rents continue to rise above inflation, whilst wages continue to fall in real terms, holding back rises to private sector rents.
Already so called subsidised social rents are overtaking private rents. It won't be long before people refuse council properties because they are too expensive.

You have to laugh at the madness of this system, where so called 'subsidised' property is more expensive than 'non subsidised' property.
And where the people championing benefit cuts, are the ones who are going to lose out.

You don't laugh because it's funny. You laugh because you don't know how to respond to the madness.

Barnsley children will soon be able to go to university, get into tens of thousands of pounds of debt, have a brief spell on the dole, then get a job for Bernselai Homes as a benefit advisor and rent a council house, and have to claim benefits to pay their rent and top up their income. And maybe their partner will get a part time job at the job centre, then have to sanction themselves for not doing enough to find work.

Reply Posted by Jayne on Friday October 18 2013 at 15:13
All these people complaining about benefits being cut really need to look at what you have got. You have a home, food, warmth and clothes. Your kids have an education and you are given money to take care of them. In other countries you would be left with nothing. Think about it, you get it all without having to lift a finger. The benefit system has been abused to with an inch of its life and the ones who abused it are the ones to blame. Look at the person who lives near you not working but off on holiday no 4 and sat in front of there new tele. There's the reason we are in this mess. Not the workers or the ex workers and you all know as well as I do that something had to give. Stop blaming each other and blame the liars who don't care if the honest go without as long as they are ok

Reply Posted by J on Friday October 18 2013 at 15:39
I think this is a good thing cos am sick of hearing I only get so much a week to live on. What you dont see is how much get paid for you like your rent and council tax, how can you expect people to be responsible with money when things are getting paid for them I think this will help people learn to manage their money better like everyone who dont get benefits to if its weekly or monthly dont make a difference.

Reply Posted by Purple Haze on Friday October 18 2013 at 16:06
I think the main problem with universal credit is that people not used to budgeting and who have been given money weekly, will now be expected to manage larger sums and make those sums last for a month. Unrealistic expectations for alcoholics, druggies or for those who have never handled wages.
Some may manage but most wont. You only have to look at how badly people are not handling their bedroom tax payments.

Reply Posted by sick of dummies on Friday October 18 2013 at 16:39
purple haze..what a lot of dire shite..

Reply Posted by x on Friday October 18 2013 at 16:46
you are so right tom working people who claim top up BENEFITS because thats exactly what they are BENEFITS, are in for the shock of their lives when they realise just how much of their BENEFITS they are going to lose,and i suspect they will then wish they had supported other benefit claiments in their fight against this government,because working or not you will be affected.and no im not unemployed before people start wrongly assuming i am.

Reply Posted by PRICELESS on Friday October 18 2013 at 17:02
x spot on,the workers who claim top up benefits,which is probably over 70% in Barnsley,most of them come on wab slating the unemployed,if only there realised,any working person sould be able to live a decent life,be able to buy luxuries etc,but no not in 2013 because the wages are below the threshold to be able to survive,so the government top this up,jobs sould pay a decent wage for a decent days work,,not peanuts,

Reply Posted by high horse on Friday October 18 2013 at 17:26
Tom, x, priceless all correct, but getting it through the thick skulls of the brainwashed on here? Doubtful

Reply Posted by x on Friday October 18 2013 at 18:27
its so sad high horse that by agreeing with this government they are now more than likely going to lose a sum of their own tax credits etc,its such a shame that they cant see that its not the unemployed who are responsible for their wages its the government, and getting benefits cut is not going to put extra money in their wage packets.people should be fighting for decent living wages not less benefits

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Saturday October 19 2013 at 14:26
People HAVE to claim Tax Credits because wages just don't stretch far enough today.
If there was a living wage of £8-£10 an hour (ambitious I know) but that would negate the need for people to claim Tax Credits and would save the taxpayer BILLIONS.
These days though employers will only pay the minimum wage (especially in our town) as they know they can just get away with paying the MW as many people are desperate to work.
The next thing is zero hours contracts, how anyone with a family whose main breadwinner works on a zero hours contract can actually budget and pay their bills is beyond me.
Employers use zero hours contracts to save money end of!

Zero hours contracts need abolishing IMMIDIATELY!

Reply Posted by x on Saturday October 19 2013 at 14:51
ok so we do away with benefits, put everyone who's not working in gas chambers, stop all tax credits as these are benefits, so now all we have left are children and workers,but can i ask what have all us low paid workers actually gained our pay packets havent got fatter the cost of living hasn't gone down we are still paying taxes,the only difference is youv'e lost your tax credits, so in actual fact your worse off .youll have your choice of thousends of council houses mind,well thats if you can afford the rents ,because if they arnt getting rent from benefit claiments where are they going to get all the money they've lost from,guess what,i reckon you lot who did nothing but moan about a couple of pence of our taxes being used to support those less fortunate.who,s going to pay for the rocketing prices in our stores when they put up prices to cover the millions lost that benefit claiments spent,why arnt people who are supposed to be educated thinking about the knock on effects of these things.if the poorest people of this country had stood together and said to this government no we will not be treated like this we would not be in the mess we are in.and for all you cameron lovers who dont already know, this mans father is being paid £1000 a day for having a wind turbine on his land and he as the nerve to say we are all in it together £365,000 a year for a wind turbine,but you are going to get your tax credits cut

Reply Posted by barnsley bob on Saturday October 19 2013 at 17:37
oh dear our hard working wab members delude theirselves into believing they are better than those unlucky enought to be on the dole.well all i can say to these hard hearted people who at this moment time who lucky to have job is what goes around comes around and hope they find themselves on the dole and have to go through the intimadation that those sub humans who call themselves jobcentre advisiors put even the too ill work people through.

Reply Posted by x on Saturday October 19 2013 at 17:41
these people are so full of greed and hatred barnsley bob they can't see whats happening under their own noses

Reply Posted by sid on Saturday October 19 2013 at 18:34
Orrr Bob and x, that's too much of a sweeping statement. I for one don't fit your description of those lucky to have a job. Its appalling. I and many many more feel for the unemployed. If both,or either of you are unemployed, I sencerly wish you luck. As things stand, most family's in the area have unemployed relatives so no,I think you're wrong there.

Reply Posted by jackie on Saturday October 19 2013 at 20:05
me and my partner both work,we have a small mortgage,a 56 reg car,we don't drink or smoke,do not have a lot spare every week for luxuries,on the same street as us,a family have just moved in and renting of a private landlord.62reg peoples carrier,iceland delivery,asda delivery,bingo 4 times a week,both have sticks(when there remember were there left them),have a tourer up the drive,the point is why do we work?when these people are a lot more financially secure than us,

Reply Posted by bunty on Saturday October 19 2013 at 20:34
Hurts eh? Report em if they're doing owt wrong luv.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Sunday October 20 2013 at 11:40
@bobbie - if you post in my name at least try and make the posts look like they come from me.

Clearly you are one of those thick people who think that Londoners don't talk to each other. Wrong. I have seen more community spirit here in my part of London than I ever did in Barnsley. I suggest you get out a bit more mate.

Reply Posted by LONDON TOWN on Sunday October 20 2013 at 12:03
reply to Kilkenny..i live in Brixton,i am very sorry you are talking bull,we cant even communicate due to the language barrier,,

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Sunday October 20 2013 at 11:42
@jackie - and you are envious of a family who get deliveries from Iceland? Seriously?

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Sunday October 20 2013 at 12:23
@LONDON TOWN - But Brixton has lots younger English people now. It has gone quite trendy in places, especially towards Brockwell Park. I live in one of the most diverse boroughs in London and have Iranian, American, Norweigan and Japanese neighbours. I can communicate with them all.

Reply Posted by barnsley bob on Sunday October 20 2013 at 12:54
me old dad used to work 15 hours aday so that meant we never saw him as he used to come home every night when us kids were in bed,we only knew he was our dad y a photo my mum had on the wall.for years we were covinced bobby moore the football player was our dad,we even told our school friends our dad was a famous footballer.

Reply Posted by barnsley bob on Sunday October 20 2013 at 13:01
our house was so old that it had no roof,we had to make a tent out of the overdoats on the bed.we fell asleep many a night underneath the stars.

Reply Posted by x on Sunday October 20 2013 at 17:32
i am employed sid and like you i desperately feel for people who are unemployed or ill through no fault of their own,the problem is not enough of us who are lucky to have our health and a job are coming forward to defend the genuine claiments from the continual onslaught from people who think they are better,but at the same time claiming tax credits, working families tax credits, help with childcare costs, housing benefit etc,these people need to think about what they stand to lose when all these benefits are cut

Reply Posted by john boy on Sunday October 20 2013 at 17:40
well said x.but you are wasting your breathe,the people are to dumb to understand till the benefits are cut,there will be crying on WAB soon,

Reply Posted by x on Monday October 21 2013 at 11:58
i fear you could be right and sooner than people think john boy,and then in the near future when they are crying what are we going to do now,the ones who are asking for their support now will turn round and say where were you when we needed you. dont say you wern't warned. stop it now before its too late support each other

Reply Posted by Lucy on Monday October 21 2013 at 21:30
I cant work and get next to nothing to live on. I dont know how I will cope having to pay rent myself as I struggle to remember to take my medication or eat or even go to the loo. Being on benefit is a living hell. I dont smoke or drink or have a social life. I cant afford to put the heating or hot water on. I really h8 my life and spend most of my days wishing there was a way I could get better and get a good and maybe have a life. I seem to be constantly filling in forms 1 for ESA 1 for DLA 1 for housing benefit 1 for council tax 1 for DHP coz they think I have an extra bedroom even tho my kids here every weekend and holidays. another letter to appeal a housing benefit decision then a tribunal. a tribunal for ESA coz they say I can work. Im in constant pain and cant even get up to go to the loo at times but they think I can work. Its constant stress. I panic every time I get a letter thinking its another bill or ive got to fill another form in. It would be a lot less stressful if i did have a job.

Reply Posted by concerned on Monday October 21 2013 at 21:38
Lucy, you need help with your life. What a sad post. You need help firstly from your GP who should be able to get you some help from social services. Are your kids able to help you at all? Also there will be help at the benefits office regarding your forms. Be brave and get some advise. This is so wrong that you have such a stressful and painful life. Go see your GP asap love.

Reply Posted by Lucy on Monday October 21 2013 at 21:57
I am trying to get help but struggle to get out and they only give you a short time to get things sent back. my daughter helps me just by being there tbh. shes only 10 but does her best.
I have fibromyalgia so GP cant do anything other than give me medication.
I dont mean to upset ppl I just want ppl to understand that being on benefits isnt an easy life.

Reply Posted by concerned on Monday October 21 2013 at 22:06
There is help Lucy. Start with the GP, ask him to increase your meds so you can cope better and ask for social services to help. Email who ever you need. Read all the info. This is such a sad example of this cruel government. Best wishes to you and do keep trying. Don't be a victim, find your strength.

Reply Posted by kilkenny on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 00:56
@Lucy - What a sad post love. The disease you have is extremely serious. Your poor daughter aged 10 has to help you. Please take the advice of concerned above and get the help mentioned. Also, can you get a benefits advisor to help you with the forms for benefits. Those bloody ESA ones are a nightmare to fill in. I hope you get the help you deserve soon love xxx

Reply Posted by anon on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 10:37
so every1 guna b responsible for payin there own rent rather than takin straight out of there benefits so all landlords guna lose out now then as I'm sure a lot won't pay there rent n just spend it stupid idea that tax payers will end up footin the bill for yet again idiot

Reply Posted by jim on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 10:45
anon,you and the bloody taxpayer....everybody pays tax,ie petrol,food,homes,utility bills plus many more,,so even them on benefits pay tax,idiot

Reply Posted by x on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 11:31
can i aask anon,do you by any chance recieve any form of tax credits,family allowance housing benefit working families tax credits etc,because i think you will find if you do tha unless your on thousends of pounds a week the tax's you pay will not actually cover the extra you recieve,and if that is the case anon any taxes you pay are actually only covering your own benefits,in other words you are paying nothing towards anyone elses benefits at all,and that goes for every single tax payer who recieves any form of benefit and recieves more than they pay a week in taxes

ipso Regulated