Nobody voted for the ‘bedroom tax’….

So… Scotland’s Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess has argued that the ConDems should abandon the bedroom tax. She says:

It is completely unacceptable that vulnerable people in Scotland should bear the brunt of this ill-considered and damaging tax. Our clear position is that this punitive and unfair policy should be scrapped.  However the UK Government seems determined to press ahead, and the current constitutional arrangements mean there is nothing we can do to stop them.

And the increasing justification that the policy is all about reducing overcrowding simply does not stand up to scrutiny. For a start it is disproportionate, with a much smaller number of people living in overcrowded homes than will be hit by the tax. And second, it assumes that geography is no issue and people can simply swap houses.

Very true. But you have to remind yourself that the instigator of this oppressive policy is an unelected minister to the ConDems, Lord Freud. Freud has never stood for an election and was never voted for. He’s never had to sit in a constituency surgery being confronted by ordinary people. He’s not a democratically elected politician yet an important policy was pushed through parliament. Nothing about the bedroom tax in Tory 2010 manifesto. Nothing in the Coalition Agreement. The bedroom tax was not put forward to the electorate, the ConDems were therefore not democratically mandated to implement this regressive policy. Freud said the major problem with social housing was under occupancy. What is this based on? Where is the research?

Nobody voted for the bedroom tax!

The ideology of the bedroom tax is an attack on social housing. ConDems want us to see having a home of your own as being a luxury that should be denied to ordinary people. If someone else has a home of their own let alone one with a spare bedroom as a result of the policy of having social housing you are meant to bitterly resent it. The demand that should be made of the economy of course is that there should be enough housing for all. Housing should mean having a home of your own i.e. a dwelling that is for the exclusive use of one household.

And according to Joseph Rowntree Foundation Chief Executive Julia Unwin warns that with the bedroom tax, attacks on council tax benefit, benefit cap, food prices rising, benefit sanctions regime and the list of attacks is endless will lead to:

…a decade of destitution. I believe we will witness people in the sort of poverty we did not expect to see on these shores.

See the following articles/research:

The Links Between Housing and Poverty

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

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