Sunday, 17 March 2013

Stop this war on the poor - fight back against the bedroom tax!

Yesterday thousands of people in a hundred UK towns and cities came together to protest against the bedroom tax. This pernicious piece of Coalition legislation will cause harm to the 660,000 poor, unemployed and disabled people who will be affected when it is introduced on April 1st. Families who have a 'spare' bedroom will be expected to move into accommodation with less bedrooms or face a financial penalty. There are a series of draconian rules which mean the children will be expected to share a room rather than having separate bedrooms. This is a quote from the National Housing Federation website:
"The size criteria in the social rented sector will restrict housing benefit to allow for one bedroom for each person or couple living as part of the household, with the following exceptions:
  • Children under 16 of same gender expected to share
  • Children under 10 expected to share regardless of gender
  • Disabled tenant or partner who needs non resident overnight carer will be allowed an extra bedroom,
 "The cut will be a fixed percentage of the Housing Benefit eligible rent. The Government has said that this will be set at 14% for one extra bedroom and 25% for two or more extra bedrooms."

The Green Party believes we should tackle bankers bonuses and tax dodgers rather than attacking the poor and disabled

The government claims this will save £500 million pounds in housing benefit but this is nonsense. If people do move and downsize they are likely to have to move to the more expensive private rented sector thus increasing the amount of housing benefit they claim. That is assuming they can find suitable accommodation in their local area, and many cannot. The reality is that many of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK will take a further financial hit at a time when millionaires are getting a tax cut courtesy of George Osborne. 

Bedroom tax demo at the Cross in Chester
That sums up the Coalition government; benefit cuts for the poor and tax cuts for the rich. There will be many more protests about the bedroom tax, I hope you will get involved and join the fightback against this rotten government.

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