Latest post on Left Futures

Government figures show bedroom tax is not working

Oppose the Bedroom taxAs Jo Moore infamously emailed at the time of the 9/11 catastrophe in the US, “now is a good time to release bad news”. The Tory government has clearly taken this to heart. Having built up an enormous fanfare to the elevation of women in the reshuffle which captivated the headlines, the Tories then used this cover to distract from two very unpleasant news items they dealt with on that same day, last Tuesday (15 July). One was ramming through the Data Retention & Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill on mass surveillance on one day in the House of Commons, and the other was releasing the figures for the impact of the bedroom tax in the first 6 months of its operation (summarised by CLASS here). Both were certainly activities of government which they were desperately keen to hide, and for good reason.

The government’s stated objective for the bedroom tax was to ease overcrowding, but the DWP’s own analysis of its operation from 1 April to 30 September 2013 reveal that it has had the opposite effect. It has clearly not reduced overcrowding, but it has caused hardship on a far bigger scale than Ian Duncan Smith (IDS) ever admitted at the outset. The figures show that out of 523,000 tenants targeted by the bedroom tax, no less that 319,000 were unable to meet the housing benefit cutbacks of either £14 or £22 a week. Four-fifths of tenants, no less than 400,00, reported that they had been forced to cut back on food and energy, or had to run up debts with friends or payday lenders in order to meet rent payments. Even if they tried to downsize, there was such a shortage of smaller properties that only 4.5% of tenants had been able to move to a smaller home.

The figures also reveal that the impact of the tax is set to intensify during this year. No less that 35% of tenants targeted by the tax were issued with eviction warning letters by their landlords in the first 6 months. That figure must be significantly higher now. But on the other side of the coin, the easing of overcrowding, most landlords told the research that the tax would have little effect. Over two-fifths of the landlords approached said they now had 3-bed houses lying empty as a result of the bedroom tax. This policy is unsuccessful in meeting its stated objective, is punitive and discriminatory, and says a lot about the Tory penchant for gratuitous harshness and unnecessary cruelty.

4 Comments

  1. Robert says:

    True so it had to understand then why Miliband back the Tories with the Data retention is it not, it’s nice to see the left within labour saying no, but you can count those on two hands and one foot, then you see the progress chair(s) and all the Progress followers come out with that great leader of the left Miliband, dear god the bloke is going to be a nightmare if he gets in.

    Well IDS may be nice to get the chap as the bed room tax is taking a toll on the Tories as their own people do not like it.

    But sadly Miliband lot may well have done the same as anyway we all say what labour had planed .

  2. Robert says:

    True so it had to understand then why Miliband backed the Tories with the Data retention is it not, it’s nice to see the left within labour saying no, but you can count those on two hands and one foot, then you see the progress chair(s) and all the Progress followers come out with that great leader of the left Miliband, dear god the bloke is going to be a nightmare if he gets in.

    Well IDS may be nice to get the chap as the bed room tax is taking a toll on the Tories as their own people do not like it.

    But sadly Miliband lot may well have done the same as anyway we all say what labour had planed .

  3. Pauline Sharp says:

    My god Glenda Jackson was absolutely superb in the commons against IDS. Why do we not have more of this passion in the Labour party. Bedroom tax is one of the m ost disgusting policies ever invented.

    1. Robert says:

      What you mean she is the last of the real socialist in a Progress One Nation party.

      Long may she carry on, even if he gives up being an MP’

© 2021 Left Futures | Powered by WordPress | theme originated from PrimePress by Ravi Varma