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.