Opinion

The ‘bedroom tax’ is heartless

There are days when I hear of policies and proposals from living and breathing human beings that lead me to wonder if all the conspiracy theories of a Lizard aristocracy being in charge of our nation may indeed have some basis in reality.

To read of the new welfare reforms, eg the bedroom tax, which appears to persecute council tenants whom the government feels are sitting on spare bedroom capacity, has left me slack-jawed with amazement.

The policy, which will affect hundreds of thousands of families, may leave those receiving housing benefits to face an additional £728 annual bill to retain their home. All of which is due to the government considering the problem of “under occupancy” as a contributing factor in the slow-moving social housing market provision for today’s councils. Some individual, who presumably enjoys a government salary, possibly a pension and possibly a mortgage they can afford, sat looking at the problem by way of spreadsheets and detailed reports and they felt the best solution was to “charge” people for having the facility of spare room in their house. The policy has me wondering if this person actually has a heart. These grinches of government who dwell far from the issues they are trying to resolve are creating ideas that would have given Charles Dickens a whole new series of stories to write about.

The new rules, which will allow one bedroom for each adult or couple and expects children under the age of 16 to share if they are of the same gender and those under the age of 10 will have to share is a policy built from cold blooded numbers with an indifference of life. It ignores the realities of individuals in which not every family is equal or based on some cookie cutter template of social contribution. It ignores that the disabled, the infirm , the carers, the serving and the separated, all of whom have good reason for under occupancy and do not deserve to be tallied against a policy which mandates in sweeping measures. It is simply heartless.

Should we be surprised that this attempt at new revenue is being presented in terms of a charge based on “fairness”, a term I am sure we have all read somewhere before? The bedroom tax is a demonstration that we have a government that is better at locating beds in houses than in hospitals.

3 comments on “The ‘bedroom tax’ is heartless

  1. And next week 13,000 millionaires will get a tax cut of £100,000 (on average) – we’re “all in this together” -right !

  2. Something went wrong if you get spare rooms on social housing. Folk down my road who bought their own or private rent don’t have spare rooms – why should people get spare rooms on handout? Why should the state handout (which is a safety net) be better than what normal people can achieve?

    Agreed – charging poor people isn’t nice but there is the option to ask move into a place that is the right size for your means and free up the space for bigger families who are no doubt also in need and cannot find suitably sized accommodation. Thousands of bedrooms empty, night after night while other families can’t be homed. And that’s ok with you is it? I guess you aren’t paying attention to the amount of tax you have to pay to fund all this waste. I’d prefer it in my pocket so I can afford to buy my kids school shoes without worrying about it.

    As far as I am concerned – this policy is doing all tax-payers a favour and anyone who doesn’t like the idea of paying more for more rooms (which is what everyone in the world does) then they at least have the choice to move – which is something people not on social housing cannot likely due because of the burden of negative equity, caused by the house price boom during Labour’s last tenure.

    Cheers!

    • As a family on a low income, we simply can’t afford 3 bedroom properties in Horsham. We have been on the housing transfer and mutual exchange list for nearly 5 years and my husband and I have been sharing our bedroom with our 4 year old daughter for the last yea. Our son is starting Forest in September and needs his own space, due to the age gap. We know of several 3 bedroom houses, even a 4 bedroom house, with just a single tenant and feel that the time is right for a change. I do have sympathy for people who feel that they are being pushed out of a home where they might have raised a family, but on the other hand, they were helped in a time of need and should now give another family the same privilege.

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