Back in August there was a YouGov poll showing that 30% of people thought that Dr David Kelly was murdered. Following the publication of the post-mortem this week we asked if people thought it was right to release the post-mortem report (58% did) and repeated the same question as we asked in August on how people thought David Kelly died. The proportion of people thinking he was murdered has halved to 14%, the proportion thinking he committed suicide has gone from 32% to 52%. Just over a third said don’t know.


301 Responses to “14% still think David Kelly was murdered”

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  1. @Roland
    I said:

    “To be fair, I find it extraordinary that some claimants can receive very large amounts in HB, but I wouldn’t say it was ‘unfair’ that they are able [to] claim this. One has to look at the circumstances.”

    I think you also misunderstood my comment about the ‘nasty party’ epithet. If the Cons continue with a policy that could lead to many thousands of families being moved out of cities such as London, where I think some 82,000 could be affected, this could lead to some viewing the Cons as ‘nasty’ and unfeeling.

    But as I acknowledged there will be some who will see it differently.

  2. How many claims are actually made for £400 a week HB. Does anyone know? 8-)

  3. Valerie,

    I have not got the foggiest but it does seem like a staggeringly high amount of money. My sis pays less a month for a nice three bedroomed (admittedly in Ire not London but still)

  4. Valerie

    There must be stats on HB. I imagine the DWP website would be a good place to start.

  5. Mike N/Valerie,

    Yes Mike is correct, here is alink to the tables. I’ll take a look if I get a minute. The average award is c.£80 p.w. which is broadly in line with the figure I gave for my sisters…

    h ttp://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=hbctb

  6. According to Treasury 21,000 people (claimants I would guess) are affected by the cap, 17,000 of which are in London.

    Make of that what you will.

    Labour’s figures by all account refer to total people ie included children, relatives, etc

  7. Hooded,

    Two London Hilton’s run regular buy one get one night free deals @ c.£90 if your lucky… That would still be under the cap by some £3,000 and you get your breakfast included

  8. I am slightly baffled I should add, albeit with the caveat of “anecdote alert”
    My sister in law has a very nice four bed house in one of the nicest areas of Central London, great schools, most houses worth £1m plus.

    Her house rented for £300 per week, well below the cap.
    I do wonder what sort of places are being rented for more than £400 pw, and why the introduction of the cap means that said families will have to move out of London? Chelsea perhaps may be priced out , but London is a lot more than just Chelsea.

  9. Hooded Man

    Your sister has a fantastic rental agreement! I can’t believe that it is commonplace.

  10. hooded man

    Perhaps I misunderstood…does your sister rent out her property at £300 pw or she is renting it at that rate?

  11. Probably previously homeless people with deep-seated problems. Many have to rely on hotel/B&B accommodation as they find it both difficult to get regular leases, plus have trouble in leading a stable life. The owners then charge the maximum they can get away with on a nightly basis. Result? Exorbitant costs by preying on the most vulnerable, who don’t get the mansion in the sun the money suggests.

  12. Mike N,

    Don’t say that, she owns it and was renting it out !! :-)

    It is a smaller property for the area (Battersea) so below the average valuation, but a delightful house nonetheless that any family would love to live in.

    I was going to suggest we need a quick overview of the London rental Market from a property website, but then remembered the consequences of such an exercise in Brighton last time :-((

  13. Welsh Yougov poll results, Octocber 2010
    Constituency Voting Intention
    Oct (Sep) Change
    Lab 44% (44%) –
    PC 21% (19%) +2%
    Con 19% (22%) -3%
    Lib Dem 9% (11%) -2%
    Oth 8% (5%) +3%

    List voting Intention
    Lab 40% (41%) -1%
    PC 23% (19%) +4%
    Con 18% (20%) -2%
    Lib Dem 9% (12%) -3%
    Oth 11% (8%) +3%

    Referendum
    Yes 52% (49%) +3%
    No 29% (30%) -1%
    DK 20% (20%) –

  14. Family of 5 with 3 teenage children living anywhere in zones 1 & 2 will be shafted, just as an example.

    £300 a week for a 4 bed in Battersea is way below market value. Market price is generally more around £450-480 a week.

  15. Hooded man

    What happened with Brighton?

  16. Matt?
    Weren’t you heading overseas?

  17. Matt,

    Thank you for these.

    On May 2010 that is

    Reds +8%
    PC +10%
    Blue -7%
    Yellow -11%

    Two crucial developments

    1. PC overtake blue as the second biggest party
    2. LD collapse to an all time low

  18. Much of zone 3 as well, come to think of it.

  19. Mike N,

    Best not go there.

  20. @P Brown

    Yes, £2k rental a month sounds about right to me.

  21. Eoin
    “Best not go there.”
    Ok, sounds ominous..

  22. I heard on the BBC of an example of a big family in central London being supported with housing benefit to the tune of 150k a year!!

  23. @Hooded Man
    Your sister sounds like she is a rare generous and kind soul.
    Part of the Big Society, perhaps?
    It seems that she could be getting much more in the way of rent.

  24. In more detail: not particularly posh areas where families will be driven out:

    Vauxhall
    Bermondsey
    Elephant
    Aldgate
    Old Street area
    Euston
    Lambeth
    Wapping
    Shadwell
    Whitechapel
    Most of the Mile End-Bow area
    Bethnal Green
    Dalston
    The less decrepit parts of Hackney

    to be continued…

  25. @Steve
    I believe the Windsors get more than that! ;-)

  26. Kings Cross-Cally Road area
    Highbury
    Holloway
    Camden
    Kentish Town
    Tufnell Park
    Swiss Cottage area
    West Hampsted
    Queens Park
    Kilburn
    Ladbroke Grove
    Kensal Town
    West Kensington (not posh, not to be confused with normal Kensington)
    Hammersmith

    to be continued…

    (note, the areas in this post contain at least one marginal constituency, off the top of my head)

  27. Mike N,

    It was a long let rate….. :-)

  28. I could maybe understand it if it was a 6 year let agreed about 5 years ago, but anything less than that and the rate doesn’t seem to make much economic sense for your sister.

  29. I wonder how much short-term rents in London will soar in time for the 2012 Olympics?

  30. P Brown,

    Not many families who have to make a choice can afford to live in four bed houses in zones 1 and 2?

    Even with a creaky transport system London is set out for people to travel from farther away, but it’s still London.

    And people working in London accept more readily that a commute is often required if you don’t want to or can’t live in the very centre.

  31. I absolutley cannot understand how certain posters minds work. If I lived in a rented house in London, had no job and was aware it was costing the tax payer £400 or £500 per week, I would either get a job or move out. Who could think that such state of affairs would continue for ever. It is obvious to anyone such subsidies cannot be supported for other than a very short period between jobs. God knows there is no wonder this nation is a little strapped for cash when this kind of squandering of money is seen as “fair”.
    Fair on who? Not the working people of Britain thats for sure.

  32. Battersea
    West Brompton
    Battersea
    Wandsworth
    Clapham (including the less posh parts)
    Balham
    Tooting Bec
    Kennington/Oval
    Walworth
    The less dodgy parts of Surrey Quays/Rotherhithe area
    New Cross

    Apologies for any inaccuracies/omissions as this was a quick search. I didn’t bother checking obviously posh aread (Chelsea, Islington, Notting Hill etc) or anywhere too far out of the centre.

  33. Oh ye of little faith….

    The government has already found some extra money to give local boroughs in London to assist them is making fair choices between those whom presumably deserve to stay in Kensington and Chelsea and those who don’t….

    And I for one am completely sure that these wise local panjandrums – when they have a moment free from running their locally funded schools – will make all such judgments more wisely than Solomon and without the mearest hint of prejudice or pettyness.

    Afterall we’ve centuries of reliable evidence to that effect upon which we may place reliance, haven’t we?

  34. Hooded Man

    Take the hypothetical example of a family with 3 teenage children, 2 parents working reasonably decent jobs, scraping by in order to live in, say, Caledonian Road, where they were born and raised and are very happy in.

    Say they both happen to lose their jobs within a short period of time.

    They are instantly screwed. Since they have just been scraping by, they don’t have enough in the way of savings to pay the month’s rent after their last pay packet.

    Say it takes longer than a week or two (almost certain given the state of the job market) to find a new job in their field – given the % of salary they’ve been spending on rent, working in a pub won’t be enough. They are utterly shafted, without attempting to drain the system in any way.

  35. @P BROWN
    Your post reminds me of the 2nd great miners strike in the early 80s. Welsh mines were closing and miners were required to travel a few (and it was a few) miles to the next pit village to work in that coal mine. Transport provided of course. Oh no boyo, I and my father and grandfather and all their brothers worked in this pit, so I am not working 4 miles away at Aberpontewriwithgogogog . Therefore, I will end my working life at 38 years of age. This “mentality” was approved of and condoned by the same people who now think £100,000 PA housing benefit is reasonable.

  36. @Roland Haines

    And not to mention the policy of the then govermnment which actively encouraged miners to claim incapacity benefit in order to reduce the numbers claiming unemployment benefit….

    There was more politics in the economics of this than you’re allowing for in that post…..

    In Ireland there were always be those who preferred to remain where they were born, in hopeless poverty, rather than risk starting afresh….

    Such choices do not make people less human nor their needless poverty less degrading…

  37. When was the date of the Welsh poll (data gathering) please?
    Where can I find the table Matt (or anyone?

    I have looked at the YG site but I don’t seem to have the knack. I don;t have a Barclay card either though.

  38. Roland:

    So, in my situation, they now have to move to, say, Turnpike Lane while at the same time trying to look for a job full time.

    Unfortunately most landlords in London are very reluctant to take people on LHA so they will have to look doubly hard for somewhere to live – while at the same time both looking for work – easy, huh?

    It’s not a case of refusing to move your workplace 4 miles, as chances are in London that if you have any sort of white-collar job you will be working somewhere in the centre no matter where you live.

    It is a case of being forced to take you and your family out of the area they have lived all their life, while at the same time having no work and no money.

    I am by no means suggesting £100,000 in housing benefit is reasonable, but what I am suggesting is that it occurs in probably a single-figure number of cases.

    What I am also suggesting is that the outrage caused by headline-grabbing figures like this serves to cover up the very real and very painful dilemmas like the one I have outlined.

    What we should have is either an exemption from the cap that lasts for a few months, or vary the caps by area depending on market rental values.

  39. c As with all these schemes, it’s how it works out in practice. What if the family (I assume there are children) can’t move, refuse to move. Do the children come into care at a cost of £700-800 each? Do the family get shipped out to Margate or somewhere? Who actually moves them? What if they won’t get on the train or into the van?

    If they get there who is going to support them? I can’t see Margate council being to pleased with this sudden influx and of course Council tax will be frozen.+
    I believe there will be an enormous fuss about all this and the cash saved will be miniscule.

  40. P Brown

    Do you think your hypothetical family with decent jobs, scraping by in Caledonian Road are currently paying in excess of £400 pw in rent?

  41. @Roland Haines

    I find myself agreeing with you on the £400 per week cap.

    The problem is that the £400 cap issue has been allowed to obscure a raft of other changes to housing provision and housing benefit which together, IMO, amount to the biggest attack on social housing since 1945. Not just the 10% loss of hb but also ending housing benefit for single people under 35, the forcing up of council and particularly housing association rents to near market rates, and the almost complete cessation of funding for building new social housing (which hasn’t stopped the coalition clegging on that more social housing will in fact be built).

    Ed M has very unwisely or ineptly allowed Cameron to fight the housing battle around a popular issue of Cameron’s choosing, of almost no relevance beyond central London at the expense of highlighting changes to housing which will hit many millions adversely.

  42. The HB cap is irrelevant in most of the country as the LHA payments are under it. The effects are concentrated on inner London though there is some effect on large houses with 4 or more bedrooms in all of London and parts of the SE.

    London is split into 13 Broad Rental Market Areas of which Central is the most expensive by some distance. Even in London the cap really doesn’t change much for smaller properties but starts kicking in as the number of rooms increases. It is only in the Central London BRMA that it caps every type of property.

    I put the capped rents into Rightmove and set a 3 mile radius around Westminster to test availabilty. ( @HM- I know after Brighton that I am living dangerously). I thought that a 20 minute cycle ride was a fair outer limit whilst ignoring public transport. The number of available properties came back as 1000+ for the one-bed market so we can say that the cap is reasonable at that level. There were 383 two-bed flats for small families. 127 three-beds and only 32 four-beds as family size increases. This is only one site but it highlights the supply at the cap level clearly.

    The cap really bites on properties with 5 or more bedrooms for large families. I believe that the LHA has put upward pressure on rents across the country but I think that the distortion is greatest in these large houses because the supply is so limited. The landlords have been naming their price. Consider the Central London BRMA where the current LHA rates per week are £350 for a one-bed, £480 for two, £700 for three, £1000 for four and £2000 for five. It would be cheaper to find two three-bed houses side by side at £1400 pw and knock a wall through rather than pay £2000pw for a five bed house. The old HB would have been set at a much lower level with some regard for what was being provided rather than some automatic formula. IMHO LHA has been responsible for the rise in rents for these very large properties as no-one else except the bankers can realistically afford them.

    The changes to LHA will lead to lower rents in time but the transition process will be difficult.
    There will be big problems for larger families but the council still has a legal obligation to rehouse so they will need to find a solution. The council could make direct payments to the landlord at some agreed lower level. A direct payment unlike LHA, paid to the tenant, has increased value to the landlord. One outcome will be a reappraisal of planning laws by local authorities to take account of demographic changes.

  43. Sorry, they won’t be able to move to Turnpike Lane actually, nothing there under the cap that I can find.

    Wood Green, maybe, which is a complete hole.

  44. Hooded Man:

    Yes, if they have a 4 bed flat in Cally Road they are almost certainly paying over £400 a week rent. If they both had £23k jobs, they would be paying around 50% income as rent which is not uncommon in London, I’ve done it myself when I was younger.

  45. @JOHN MURPHY
    I am sorry Mr Murphy but I disagree totally. People in this category do not suffer “needless poverty”, they suffer self inflicted poverty. My immeadiate forebears were in coal mining on one side and agricultural labourers on the other. This was only 100 years ago, but we as a family moved on. Basing a nations strategy on the lowest common denominator, using “fairness” from a very left wing viewpoint, is not an answer.

  46. Julie Rugg(?) University of York (she has just completed a study of the private rental sector) speaking on R4 PM…

    the rhetoric is based on a few exceptional examples, but the argument is based on faulty premises (ie that housing benefit claimants are lording it up in properties way beyond the reach of ordinary families). Housing benefit claimants are at the bottom of the pile already, landlords discriminate against them, they take the properties that no one else wants.

    It is now being estimated that these changes will affect 3/4 million claimants.

  47. Aleksandar,

    I’ve been using a different site but I’m willing to bet the majority of those 32 4 bed properties are in Brixton, Camberwell or Peckham, while several are likely to be the same property marketed through more than 1 agent.

  48. Matt

    Interesting similarity between the tendencies in the Welsh and Scottish October polls.

    Partly, I suspect, as political focus moves away from Westminster, and people begin to look at the effects of Coalition policies within the nations.

  49. the only problem with the HB cap is that it’s too high

    it’s time that rents went down way down

    stop giving money to srounging landlords

    ok off out now

  50. P Brown

    Well it’s much more than 50% of net income.
    I can’t believe there are many such examples…..

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