My thoughts on Bedroom Tax
Many people who lives in two – four bedrooms and are either separated and have a spare rooms for them to stay and there are those who have brought their own homes but does not have children but plan to start a family and some have a disabilities and have their carer(s) live in with them yet coalition are hellbent on charging them with bedroom tax without knowing their circumstances.
Recently I had to downsize from a two bedroom flat to a one bedroom this was own the grounds that the block of flats were listed to be knocked down I’m one of the lucky ones that managed to be rehoused to a one bedroom flat. My family and myself self parted our own separate ways so I was fortunate to get rehoused very quick.
My concerns are that there is a shortage of council housing and there are a lot of people who will either pay for the extra rooms (Bedroom Tax) or downsize as this coalition will stop at nothing to prove their point that unemployed, disabled will have to pay their fair share of rent and council tax.
The coalition wants to continue acting tough on unemployed and does not care if you are actively seeking employment all they want to hear from their ears caching or in other wards “Money, money no money no talk” or in the name capitalism.
Let’s now put this into prospective the economy is flatlining unemployment continues to rise under the coalition watch and frankly the coalition are feeble on their excuses and the public patience are running out.
Recently I watched the agenda on ITV the whole panel were against the mansion tax, all were highly paid, George Osborne and Fiona Phillips ect and I’m sure all live in homes that cost a packet, they think it is unfair to tax people on their homes yet never mentioned the tax on spare rooms, the 10p tax was also criticised maybe because It would make no difference to them yet they all called for a cut in VAT which would affect them as far as I know the council tax for a house worth 300k is the same amount paid by homeowners of 1 million plus, If that is true then the council tax bands should be changed.
Secondly I’m inclining to believe what Jack Dromey Shadow Housing Minister says Homelessness rockets in London whilst one mansion alone goes up for sale in SW1 at £100 million. Yet the Government ploughs ahead with policies that have collapsed affordable house building and threaten to make thousands more homeless, whilst resisting a Mansion Tax.
I wholeheartedly support Labour Against The Bedroom Tax National Campaign delivered at a Local level From 1 April 2013 tenants of working age who are classed as having a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home will have their Housing Benefit cut. This will be a 14% cut for one extra bedroom. Here is how you can help:
Please start spreading the word about the campaign amongst your Labour members and colleagues, if you can get me a list of the CLP and Group Secretaries in your area please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can contact them with the campaign materials as soon as they are ready.
Please start collecting true stories about people who are affected by the bedroom tax – even if you see them in newspapers, but fresh ones ideally of someone you have met or has written to you, and send me the details, names, where they live (by town or city will be fine) and ideally a digital photo of the person or family with their permission to use their story as part of a Labour campaign.
Volunteers to help signpost people to their local councillors, MP and Welfare Benefits Advisors or take up their case with the appropriate organisations where there is clearly an anomaly, or help with discretionary fund applications ideally someone with time on their hands and experience of casework.
Volunteers to look for the contact details of all candidates selected in key marginal parliamentary constituencies so that we can tell them about the campaign and get them up and running – these are the areas in the country where we can have the most impact by scaring incumbent MPs into persuading the PM to think again.
See article below:
The government’s proposed change to housing benefit rules, dubbed the “bedroom tax”, is “perverse”, shadow minister Stephen Timms has said.
On BBC Radio 4, Mr Timms warned that “lots of people will face hardship when they should be getting support”.
The changes are designed to encourage people with spare rooms to downsize, but the Labour MP said there was a shortage of smaller accommodation.
Conservative chairman Grant Shapps said this argument was “absolute nonsense”.
Ministers predict that the changes will help cut the £23bn annual bill for housing benefit, free up more living space for overcrowded families, and encourage people to get jobs.
The new rules will affect less well-off tenants who are paid housing benefit to help with rent on council housing or housing association properties – but not those renting in the private sector.
Typically claimants receive between £50 and £100 a week. From April 2013 families deemed to have too much living space by their local authorities will receive a reduced payment.
‘Opposite of tax’
The clash occurred on BBC Radio 4’s the World this Weekend programme, where Mr Timms argued that the change had “not been thought out properly”.
“Take the example of Hull, which as Grant Shapps knows is not untypical,” the shadow welfare minister said.
“4,700 tenants are going to be affected by this penalty, but they’ve only got 73 one- or two-bed properties available. It is impossible for people to move within the social sector to smaller accommodation.
“We’ve argued for the last two years that it would be fine to apply the penalty where people have refused to take smaller accommodation, but to penalise people when there’s nowhere smaller to move to is perverse.”
But Mr Shapps said: “Labour have very cleverly deemed this to be a tax; of course it’s exactly the opposite to a tax.
“It’s a spare-rooms subsidy, that’s being paid through the benefits system, on a million empty bedrooms in this country, which makes no sense.”
He continued: “We’re not using the housing we have in this country in a proper way.”
The Conservative Party chairman concluded: “What we can’t continue to do, and we can’t afford to do, is pay for a million empty rooms whilst we’ve got a waiting list that doubled under the previous administration and with so many people in desperate need of a house at all.”
Housing charities are warning that the result of the changes will be higher levels of rent arrears, and greater homelessness.