The Cruelty of the Bedroom Tax


6072103It is my understanding, that civilised society should be judged on how it looks after its most vulnerable, rather than how big a tax break it can offer its wealthiest. Apparently the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party take the opposite view. I cannot fathom what kind of disturbed mind a person must have, to believe that threatening to kick people out of their homes, people who are already struggling horrendously, is a worthwhile or noble cause. It is cruel extremism, and nothing less.

As the Bedroom Tax takes vitally needed money out of the pockets of 400,000 families with disabled children; our wondrous government will at the same time be handing a tax cut to 8,000 millionaires, giving them an average £107,000 more. This, alongside the Welfare Uprating Bill; essentially a huge cut to Jobseeker’s Allowance, Maternity Pay, Child Benefit and Income Support; all to pay for huge tax breaks for the wealthiest, means that whilst parents of disabled children will miss meals, and be unable to heat their homes; the millionaire Cabinet will be able to go shopping for new Yachts.

Where was the moral outrage from Tory supporters who now yell “Putting your kids in two separate rooms is an insult to the tax payer!!!” before the Tory Party actually mentioned it? Feigned outrage again.

Kicking people out of their homes seems like an easy solution, to rich men pacing the corridors of Whitehall, or maybe it isn’t even a thought whilst the millionaire Prime Minister spends £680,000 of taxpayers money making Downing Street look a bit nicer inside, including refurbishing the kitchen. But to the people who are settled, who are part of the community, whose children play on the street with their friends (i’m fully aware that children leading happy lives, is not something Liberal Democrats or Tories are really too concerned about, given the horrifically increasing rates of child poverty they have created). They are destroying homes, and applying unnecessary pressure to families already struggling to cope. The Bedroom Tax can be described as nothing more than heartless.

The IFS estimated that 3.5 million children in the UK live in poverty. The also estimate that this is set to rise steeply. 14% of children in poverty go without a warm coat during winter. 26% of parents whose children are in poverty, skip meals through lack of money even though 61% of parents of children in poverty, have at least one person in work. And now, if those people also claim housing benefit to help make life even a little more bearable, they will lose more money, or be forced to move home.

As we know, the ‘Bedroom Tax’ refers to the reduction in housing benefits for anyone who has a spare room in their council house. The idea is, people will downsize to a smaller house, or have their housing benefit cut by 14 per cent for people seen to have one spare room and 25 per cent for those with two or more. The cruelty is intense.

Whilst the most vulnerable, with very little money, and living every day wondering if they’ll eat stand to lose their home or even more money, the Chancellor will be reflecting on his “tough decisions” from his 215 acre estate, given to him to live in, free of charge, in Dorneywood….. here:
dorney_1924910c

Then there is ‘Baron’ Freud (I know what you’re thinking, he’s sure to be in touch with common folk). He is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Freud is in control of Welfare Reform. All of this, is his doing. Here is where ‘Baron Freud’ lives:

PEOPLE+ONLY+COPYRIGHT+UNKNOWN+Lord+Freud's+Kent+Mansion
– I wonder how many rooms in this massive mansion are underused. Or, how much land accompanies it, on which homes, blocks of flats, shops, businesses could be built if ‘Baron’ (seriously, he’s a Baron) Freud downsized to a property that wasn’t too big for his needs.

These are the people who run your lives. Multi-millionaires, in mansions, unsurprisingly cutting taxes for multi-millionaires, in mansions. This is Versailles. The Court of King Louis XIV Cameron.

According to the Government’s figures, 660,000 households will be affected by the changes, and of that, 420,000 are households including someone with a disability. Low income households, who have faced a plethora of cuts since the start of this monstrous Coalition, now facing a huge cut to their welfare payments.

The point of this article is to get the Bedroom Tax down from numbers (Clegg justifies his support for this idea, with numbers), and back to individual cases. People.

ITV broadcast the story of Tony, Diann, their three year old daughter Shanice, and their 15 year old daughter Stephanie. Stephanie has 1p36 deletion syndrome, and a mental age of four. She struggles with words, and mobility. All three bedrooms in their house are currently occupied. Stephanie requires her own room, because she wakes up around 5am and can become loud and violent due to her illness. But under the rules of the ‘Bedroom Tax’, the two daughters will be required to share a bedroom, because they’re both under 16. That, or face a huge cut to their Housing benefit payment. They will be deemed to have a spare room. Tony and Diann say the cut would mean cutting down on meals.

Maria Brabiner has lived in her home since 1978. It is indescribably cruel of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to wish to see her kicked out of the security of the house she has made a home, all because of a spare room. Do you know why she now has a spare room? It is because her mother, whom lived in the room, died recently. Miss Brabiner said:

“I’m scared of what’s going to happen to me, I’m worried about whether my electric will be cut off, whether my gas will be cut off.

– This economic violence, by perhaps the two nastiest Parties we have seen in the UK, is being forced upon a woman whose mother has recently died, and whose house is more than just a house; it is a home. Worse still, it is being forced on her, by a Cabinet of multi-millionaires, with multiple houses that remain unoccupied and included acres of land that could be used to build new houses on.

Terry Avery is unable to use the left side of his body, after a severe stroke left him needing a wheelchair. He sleeps in a separate room from his wife, because of his situation. Under the ‘Bedroom Tax’, the room Terry sleeps in, is considered ‘spare’. Which means, he and his wife either move out, or not eat. Or a third choice; Karen, Terry’s wife would have to sleep on the floor, in absolutely no room. Karen says:

“With the hospital bed, lift, chest of drawers and turning space for his wheelchair there is no space for a wardrobe which is kept in my bedroom. There is not even room for me to sleep on the floor comfortably, which I would have to do as there is no room for a second bed or mattress.”

Julia Jones is 59, and has worked since she was 15. Her husband David contracted bowel cancer four years ago. Six months after having a irreversible colostomy he returned to work. Two years later, he contracted brain cancer and sadly passed away seven weeks later. Julia is now alone. During David’s illness, Julia rejected care allowance, and spent all of her time and money looking after him. They were given the home she now lives in, because it was easy for David to get around in. David’s ashes are buried in the garden, under a rose bush planted especially for his. Here is Julia’s plea to the millionaire Prime Minister:

“The most powerful men in the country imply we are scum so we must be scum.
Do you not consider that I would give everything for my husband to be alive, me to not have incapacitating pain and we could both be the hard workers we once were? I live in small 1 1/2 bed bungalow that was built for older people. It is supported elderly living so I feel safe. It could not house a family as under 55s are not allowed.
You now want to take my home from me. The home that literally made my fingers bleed cleaning as it had been neglected for 20 years when we moved here. You want me to leave my husband’s ashes, my neighbours who take me shopping and give me some form of social life? I have no family, we could not have children.
I am living without heating at present so how can I pay what I do not have to stay in my home?”

– This is the cost, when we bring it down to a human level, of the Tory and Lib Dem Bedroom Tax. The entire debate should be framed around the most vulnerable cases, those who stand to lose the most, not just in terms of money, but in living standard, and the brutality of stripping someone, a family, children away from the home that they call their own, and the community that they love.

In the Chancellor’s own Constituency, Tim Pinder, chief executive at Cheshire Peaks and Plains Housing Trust – a housing association said:

“Many of our customers are determined to stay in their homes despite the changes, but we fear this may lead to significant financial hardship. For some households this could mean having to choose between feeding their families and heating their homes.”

– It is just another ill thought out, nasty policy, from an incompetent and nasty government.

Over two thirds of those affected, have a household income of less than £150 a week. Apparently The Liberal Democrats feel that’s too much money. They should have less. 72% of those affected, have a member of the household with a disability of major health concern. 5% of those affected, have a spare bedroom for the carer who occasionally has to stay over. 9% use the spare room to store equipment for a disability. These people are all affected by the cruelty of the Bedroom Tax.

The human cost of cruel Conservative and Liberal Democrat policies, is heart breaking. It follows the narrative that has sprung to the front of political discourse since 2010; that the poor, the most vulnerable, the disabled must be stigmatised and demonised. It is a horrid tactic that takes the focus away from the people who caused the economic mess in the first place; very very wealthy individuals and friends of the Tory Party. We note this week, that Anthony Jenkins, the boss of Barclays, was paid more than 80 times the salary of the lowest paid. Whilst Jenkins makes £1,100,000 basic salary, alongside £4,400,000 share award, and £363,000 pension contribution, the lowest paid makes just £13,500 a year. Couple that, with the announcement that Barclays intends to cut 3700 jobs, and you start to see a bit of a problem.

This is what Tories do. We shouldn’t be surprised. They are a modern day nobility. The most vulnerable will always suffer under the nobility. When we elect a Conservative government, we must expect heartless policies, rising child poverty, a distinct lack of empathy, and a woefully underfunded NHS. That’s just what Conservatives do. So Progressives must focus their anger at the Liberal Democrats. It is shameful for a ‘progressive’ party to have so utterly abused the votes of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 by supporting policies that I would take a confident bet that less than 1% of Lib Dem voters would ever have supported. They cannot be allowed to forget the scale of the betrayal they have inflicted. This week really does sum up exactly what the Liberal Democrat Party has become, the moment Nick Clegg showed vigorous support for the Bedroom Tax.

For a party that apparently bases itself on getting government out of the lives of the individual; in a few months we’ve had Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke wishing to tell Welfare claimants where they can spend their money (whilst himself, claiming tax payer funded expenses to pay for his licence fee, a bunch of Tory MPs telling you that you don’t deserve the same Rights as them if you happen to be gay and now a Tory coming into your home, checking who’s in the bedrooms, forcing your disabled partner with all his/her equipment to move back to one room with you, and telling you to pack up and move out if you dislike it. These people thrive on government interference. These are very wealthy, very privileged people and with that, has come the most cruel government the UK has seen in a very long time. When we speak of the nasty party, we must include the Liberal Democrats in that.

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22 Responses to The Cruelty of the Bedroom Tax

  1. david middle says:

    a good piece and if everyone affected was to say ok I’ll move the LA would not be able to cope

  2. Reblogged this on ThePoliticalIdealist.com and commented:
    The Bedroom Tax is sadly being underreported. It epitomises Conservative divisiveness and their attempts to make life much harder for people who can least cope. I understand that the families of soldiers who have died in service will be caught out by the tax, as will people in the situations featured in this article.

  3. denise mitchell says:

    well im in a one bedroom he be saying we dont need that next we will be forched into small rooms anyone in one bedroom can go in small room you waite and see it come

  4. leo Duffy says:

    I sympathise with some over this tax such as disabled who are trapped into a corner and have no choice. However, it makes me sick when people who are well able to work are complaining about this cut in their housing benefit. People should work, go and find a job and you will have extra money to pay full rent instead of moaning about your benefits being cut. If you put enough energy into finging a job as you do about moaning about your benefits then you would find yourself in employment!……

  5. morry says:

    Human beings are like parts of a body
    Created from the same essence
    When one part is hurt and in pain the others
    Cannot remain in peace and quiet
    If the misery of others leaves you indifferent
    And with no feelings of sorrow
    You cannot be called a human being.

  6. denise mitchell says:

    YOU A ASS HOLE THERE ARE NO JOB ABOUT WHAT THAY SOULD DO IT SATOP GIVEN HOUSE TO ALL WOMAN HAVING KID FOR THE STATE TO KEEP AND STOP GIVEN THEM HOUSES

  7. Ian says:

    Leo Duffy.
    Your comments are sadly immature and clearly indicate a low IQ. Perhaps we should introduce a law that says anyone with a low IQ should not be allowed to vote, work or have children. If you didnt like it you could always go off and read some books ! The point I am making here is that the benefit system should weed out those who take advantage and not punish all for the sake of a few. Oh and by the way before you comment on my disposition I am in work and own my property.

  8. denise mitchell says:

    THAT WHY YOU NOT BOTHERD DONT YOU THINK THAY SOULD STOP ALL THE YOUNG TEEN HAVING KID TO GET HOUSES I CANT WORK NO FAULT OF MY OWN I HAVE A MILD LEARNING DSABILITY SO TAKE TAKE THE PISS OUT OF THAT SOME POEPLE NEED A SPAR BEDROOM ARE YOU A CAMRON VOTER YOU ASS HOLE

  9. “However, it makes me sick when people who are well able to work are complaining about this cut in their housing benefit. ”
    – There are 2,000,000 people chasing 500,000 jobs. How are you going to decide who is and isn’t worthy of a house? A new department of government to investigate every unemployed person, to look at their house, or what they spend money on? How expensive is that? And given that the attempts to regulate DLA ended up with ATOS mis-diagnosing people as “fit to work”, i’m not sure I trust that.

    “People should work, go and find a job and you will have extra money to pay full rent instead of moaning about your benefits being cut.”
    – Not true. Wages have been stagnating for the past twenty years, and sinking, in the past five. Whilst rents have increased, fuel has increased etc. Tories claiming people are “better off” on benefits…. is absolutely true….. because private sector pay has been fucking appalling since Thatcher’s era.

    “The point I am making here is that the benefit system should weed out those who take advantage and not punish all for the sake of a few.”
    – According to the Governments own figures:
    “the estimate for the percentage of total benefit expenditure overpaid due to fraud in 2010/11 has remained the same when compared to the 2009/10 and preliminary 2010/11 estimates, at 0.8%”
    – £1.2bn is actually representative of just 0.8% of the total benefit expenditure. If the total benefit expenditure was a £1 coin, less than 1p would be lost to fraud. People aren’t cheating the system on the level the Right Winged Sun Readers like to suggest.

    According to the tax justice network’s report into tax abuse, the figure of £25bn, when added together with tax evasion (the likes of Labour candidate for Mayor; Ken Livingstone accused of using a tax loophole to save up to £50,000) costs us £69bn.
    How many of those tax avoiders do you think have fucking massive houses, with many many unoccupied rooms, and acres of unused land? This is where the real benefit culture lies. The very wealthy who use a well funded public service framework to help them up the ladder, and then proceed to kick it away, refusing to pay into it, the moment they get rich, whilst buying up property and land that inevitably makes the cost of living far higher for the rest of us. It’s those arseholes that shouldn’t be given a vote.

  10. leo Duffy says:

    ….classic, I obviously touched a nerve with my comments sparking such rude replies. If you take the time to read my comment and absorb it, you will see that I am not a fan of bedroom tax. I think it isn’t a fair tax to those who have no choice such as the housebound and disabled. I’m not interested in what you do or if you own your own property as you seem to think I might be. I know for a fact that there are people making a stand against this proposed cut in housing benefit who are fully able to work. I personally think that benefits should be taxed (just like wages)…..sounds harsh, but I see so many people getting hundreds of pounds in benefits and spending it in the pub, and then moaning the next minute about bedroom tax!…….the benefit system isn’t fair to some people (who genuinely need benefits such as the disabled and elderly); however, there are too many people who could easily get a job who are shouting from the rooftops about this ‘unfair’ tax…….its not what you want to hear I know, however I am entitled to my opinion too am I not??

  11. denise mitchell says:

    WELL WHO WOULD TAKE ME ON WITH A LEARNING DSABILTY WHAT I WANT TO DO I CANT I LOVE TO OWN MY OWN HOME BUT HAVE TO LIVE IN SOCAIL HOUSING I LIVED IN SOCAIL HOUSING ALL MY LIKE NO BY CHIOCE I CAN TELL YOU

  12. “There are too many people who could easily get a job who are shouting from the rooftops about this ‘unfair’ tax”
    – Regardless of what you think, the figures show that only 0.8% of those claiming benefits, are cheating the system. Less than 1p in every £1. It isn’t some sort of crazy epidemic, as you and the Daily Mail and the Sun like to suggest. You are entitled to your opinion. Thankfully, opinions don’t impact on facts. I am entitled to say the Earth is a square. The fact remains, i’d be wrong.

  13. Please try to refrain from racism on my blog. Thanks.

  14. denise mitchell says:

    I WAS IN A TWO BEDROOM BY MYSELF I GAVE IT UP FOR A FAMILY AS I ONLY NEED A ONE BEDROOM I DONT AGREE WITH POEPLE GETTING BENEFIT AS YOU SAY CAN WORK WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TEEN HAVING BIG FAMILY AND COVERMENT KEEPING THERE KID PLEASE SAY

  15. Your comments will now be deleted.

  16. denise mitchell says:

    WHAT A MATTER DONT LIKE WHAT IM SAYING CAMRON DOWN WITH CAMRON YOU MUST BE A CAMRON SURRPORTER A ASS HOLE TO

  17. leo Duffy says:

    ….have your benefits, but pay tax on them just like I do from my low wages, and be made to work for your benefits such as keeping the streets clean or crossing patrols etc……this country is too soft on the unemployed and thats why many young people find being on benefits so appealing…..and thats why the ecomomy is in the state it is in…..

  18. morry says:

    Unfortunately they are discussing bringing in dining room tax now also???????

  19. morry says:

    Most of the homes being taxed that we speak about are generally 3 bed (as there are little or no 1 or 2 beds available) BUT, apparently one of the rooms that is being taxed in the 3 beds is under 70 sq feet. so in the housing law for overcrowding 1985 it is not classed as a full bedroom and again according to the housing law an adult cannot occupy that small space, however a small child up to the age of 10 is allowed because it is classed as half a room. So technically and within the housing law we are talking about 2 and a half bed house. It is assumed that the Government knew what they were doing because they would not state what was classed as a bedroom as the repercussions of doing this would lead them into hot water and thus left it to the landlord’s discretion, perhaps knowing full well that they would not want to down size it and thereby lose monies coming in. However it is still against the law and so people should not pay tax for half a room that an adult cannot occupy. So if a home is 2, 3, 4 bed, whatever the house size any room under 70 sq ft cannot be used to house an adult.

    Bedroom Tax – Overcrowding law –
    If you have a spare room in your house under 70sq ft. then it cannot be classed as a bedroom under the housing act 1985 section 326, instead it’s classed as half a bedroom or box room and you cannot be charged for a spare room on this room. Also if a tenant or landlord of any kind does put a lodger into a room less than 70 sq ft they are breaking the law and can be prosecuted for stating that it is a full bedroom when in law it is actually stated as being half a room. Last year a Redhill resident (Landlord) was convicted of breaching overcrowding notice and fined £2.500. Also to be honest who in their right minds would want to rent a bedroom that small and where would they put any personal items????

  20. denise mitchell says:

    DONT UNDERSTAND IT MYSELF IM IN A ONE BEDROOM BUNGELOW NOT MINE RENED AND MY LIVING ROOM IS BIG ABOUT 22 FOOT LONG TO ME

  21. denise mitchell says:

    OH VERY FUNNY I WILL PORPERLY MY PLACE IS NICE FOR ME TO BIG REALLY I BET IN BRING IN TOILET AND KITCHEN TAX

  22. morry says:

    One does not find value of self doing nothing; it is a slow death, a miserable death. Compact that with certain disabilities it’s a painful death. Compare that with the knowledge that you worked all your life, had a career , had your own home and then out of the blue lost it all including your health, then you become obsessed with when will you die, will it be soon, is it now, no maybe next week. You decide to not think about it or try until you find yourself in agony, cannot move, cannot breathe, at times you beg for it just to take the pain away. No one defiantly wants to have some value but when it is all stripped away???????? Try not to be too judgmental, it can happen to anybody, even you (however I hope not). Best Wishes.

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