Sunday, 15 September 2013

Bedroom Tax 10 Reasons why it should be banned.

1. Bedroom Tax is targeted to victimise the most vulnerable members of society. Two thirds of the victims of Bedroom Tax were receiving Incapacity Benefit: over 440,000 nationally.
2. An extra bedroom is not an extravagance if you need additional space for medical equipment, a room for carers to sleep in or live in a household where an ill person is too unwell to sleep in the same room as their partner and to do so would negatively affect the health and wellbeing of both.
3. Bedroom Tax will not resolve the housing crisis. We do not have enough homes of the right size, in the right places at affordable cost. Local authorities’ housing stock has been smashed apart in the last thirty years through the Tory Right to Buy policy. Councils have been unable to build new homes because they have been inadequately funded.
4. Bedroom Tax is intrinsically unfair because it does not apply to every social tenant. Pensioners  have been, cynically, exempt only because of the millions of votes they hold in their hands. But bringing pensioners under the tax is not the solution; that would merely spread the misery, fear, indebtedness and social upheaval.
5. Bedroom Tax wastes millions of already scarce public resources on making new adaptations and undoing perfectly good existing modifications. It can cost £30,000 or more to adapt one home to make it bespoke for a tenant with a disability. How can government justify this unwarranted and undesired profligacy?
6. Tenants have invested time, money and personal commitment in their homes, gardens and communities. In parts of the country where housing is expensive most social tenants cannot afford private rents so the only option is to ship out. Croydon Council suggests that tenants who can’t downsize move to the seaside. The ToryCentre for Social Justice reports these same seaside towns, have become “dumping grounds” for the vulnerable and those in poverty.
7. The social cost of the policy is incalculable. Family support mechanisms collapse when grandchildren are prevented from visiting. Fathers or mothers involved in a family breakdown no longer have acceptable accommodation for their children to visit. Unpaid friends and relatives who enable disabled families on an informal basis will no longer be able to provide respite for main carers.
8. The myth that no one will fall through the safety net must be exposed. Government double-speak reassures us that Discretionary Housing Payments, Hardship Funds and phased introduction will enable victims to gradually adapt to the changes. Why then have tenants around the country fallen into rent arrears for the first time in their lives? Why have applications for one-off grants rocketed? Why are Pay Day Loan companies rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of ever-greater demand for their reprehensible ‘services’?
9. Bedroom Tax is only the first in a raft of cuts thinly disguised as reforms. We have yet to discover the impact of slashing Council Tax Benefit, introducing Universal Credit, increasing the shared room age limit from 25 years to 35, the benefit cap and changing the direct payment of Credit to tenants rather than straight to landlords.
10. The changes massively increase the potential for fraud. By imposing online management of the forthcoming Universal Credit along with centralised processing the vast pools of local knowledge are negated at a stroke and the scope for fraud balloons colossally.
11. As the UN has stated Bedroom Tax is unlawful, how can any UK court enforce and Eviction? We need a legal Challenge once evictions start. People Before profit have set up rapid Support Teams inh London to mobalise people to stop our neighbours being evicted. please email or follow me on twitter to get in touch.
@Raywoolford . email; raymondwoolford@aol.com .www.peoplebeforeprofit.org.uk
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