The government have accused Labour of scaremongering over the so called bedroom tax, I say so called as it isn’t actually a tax, more a clawback of benefits to do with under occupancy (as the government see it)
Problem being, Labour don’t actually have to do much in the way of scaremongering as anyone who has come into contact with the benefits system will tell you…
The Work and Pensions Secretary has attacked Labour for scaremongering with claims of a new “bedroom tax” on social housing tenants.
Under Government welfare reforms that will take effect in April, tenants in council houses and social housing will have their housing benefit reduced if they have empty rooms in their homes.
Ministers say the “under occupancy penalty” is intended to ensure that the best use is made of social housing and reduce the housing benefit bill, currently more than £20 billion a year.
The DWP estimates that the change will save taxpayers £480 million a year and affect around 600,000 people. The average loss for a single empty bedroom will be £14 per week, the department says.
Thing is, it doesn’t just affect those in social housing, it affects anyone paying rent or receiving council tax benefits including those who own their own property yet have become unemployed. As for the average loss, well that’s just an average, the clawback will be 14% for a single room and 25% for two or more. The government hope it will make people consider downgrading into properties with fewer rooms thus freeing up under occupied houses for those with families where there’s a shortage. It’s one of the consequences of mass immigration and the selling off of social housing in the Thatcher years without building anything to replace the sold off stock. What it means is there are simply not enough houses to go around, well houses for growing families that is. So what will happen is that anyone who hasn’t got enough income will be forced to move out to something smaller, possibly to somewhere they don’t want to be and the place they considered their home (not just a house) that they’ve cared for will go to someone else, possibly more deserving, possibly not.
I can’t think of a better plan to lose votes assuming those losing their homes choose to vote, other than forced evictions that is.
Thing is, for all Labour are making a fuss over this can anyone see them rescinding it? I have my doubts as whatever comes in tends to remain, it just gets replaced, not axed.
What we need is to stop mass immigration and start a program of social housing building. Sadly that’s not going to happen, well, not any time soon, the government would far rather waste our money on foreign aid, foreign wars, subsidising bird mincers and keeping ministers and civil servants in gold plated pensions.
It strikes me that who ever gets in, they all have their priorities totally wrong. We need a better system of checks and balances (referism) to stop governments both national and local from simply wasting taxpayers money and we need it to force them to do what we want them to do rather than the idiocy that is party policy and dogma.
Politicians are meant to represent us, not their party and not some failed economic or social dogma.
Until that happens, this is what we end up with, attempted savings in all the wrong areas…