Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/756/16295

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 March 2013

Scrap the bedroom tax for all!

Paul Kershaw

From April the 'bedroom tax' will mean that social housing tenants with spare rooms will have their benefits cut. This will hit 660,000 households including many disabled people and low-paid workers. Tenants are faced with an impossible choice of moving from their family homes or being left with a much smaller income.

Many will simply be unable to find smaller homes in the social sector because they don't exist. For example, in Newcastle 6,637 families are hit but there are only 50 one-bed homes available. Some will be forced to move to privately rented flats which, because they are more expensive, will actually mean they need more in benefits.

There has been a wave of opposition from working class communities. On Merseyside 'One Vision Housing' provoked protests by trying to force tenants to sign a disclaimer accepting that they would face legal action if they didn't pay rent as a result of the bedroom tax.

The resistance has already had an effect with the government saying it will introduce exceptions for families with severely disabled children and adult children in the armed forces as well as counting foster children in room allowances.

Unworkable

Some councils and landlords have seen how unworkable the tax is and have made concessions and come out publicly against the tax. Faced with a growing protest movement, Dundee council has passed a motion agreeing not to evict as a result of arrears caused by the tax for a "transitional period of one year."

The policy has been justified as a means to use the social housing stock more efficiently - given the shortage, why should people have a 'spare' room? But the shortage is a result of government policy.

This government came into office claiming it was committed to "get Britain building". In fact, house-building figures released in February show an 11% decrease in the number of new homes started in the last year, down to just 98,280.

In 2010, the government cut spending on social housing and promised that de-regulation and freeing up the market would increase house building: it didn't!

Even the CBI, the 'bosses union', has called on the government to spend 1.25 billion on building 50,000 new homes.

Writing in the Guardian, Zoe Williams recently highlighted the fact that as government support for building social housing has fallen the benefit bill has increased, and house building has collapsed. As she put it: "Let's build more homes - who wouldn't vote for that?"

Build TUSC

But it is hard to vote for it when none of the major parties stand for it. Some Labour politicians have spoken out against the hardship caused by the bedroom tax but they accept the idea of both a bedroom tax and a benefit cap - they just say they oppose this one.

That is the importance of building the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition as an alternative, arguing for homes not profit. Nationalising the banks and using them to support a programme of house building would put building workers back in work and offer a real prospect of solving the housing crisis.

See also:

Scotland anti-bedroom tax federation launched

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 13 March 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Breadline Britain... Kick out the cuts coalition

Scrap the bedroom tax for all!

Welfare Reform Act will impoverish hundreds of thousands

Stop the Con-Dems ripping up our NHS

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela after Chavez: Which road for the working class?

Portugal: Revolutionary spirit in fighting austerity


Socialist Party feature

Energy starvation and climate change


Socialist history

Three decades on: We want the truth about Orgreave


Socialist Party workplace news

20 March: PCS calls budget-day strike

DfE walkout - huge demonstration of anger

Dundee demo against construction industry blacklisting

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Victory: TUSC strikes a 'real chord' in Maltby

Student occupation continues at Sussex

Justice for Alfie? Defend the right to protest

Warrington: One rebel defies the pro-cuts Heinz 47

TUSC Gospel Oak byelection rally: Offering an alternative

TUSC leads battle to save Mid-Staffs NHS

London: Save our fire service!

Campaigning against the cuts

Victory for attendance policy campaign at UEL

Sold-out non-sexist comedy night

Building Socialist Students in Manchester

Are you sick of your boss? Join the campaign!


Socialist Party review

Film review: Spirit of '45


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 March 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Tax:

triangleMay's 'dementia tax' wobble vs Corbyn's extra funds

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleCorbyn's manifesto: An important step in the right direction

triangleTories out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

triangle1,000 super-rich own 658 billion!

Housing:

triangleGentrification, class and race in Brixton film

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Social Housing

triangleManchester: housing maintenance workers plan strikes every week

Government:

triangleObituary: Rhodri Morgan 1939-2017, architect of the 'Welsh Labour' brand

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Children:

triangleWave after wave: 5,000 at 'rock festival' Corbyn rally in Hull

triangleLabour council's threat to children's care centre

Benefits:

triangleWhat we saw

Households:

triangleThem & Us

Bedroom tax:

triangleWhy I joined: "I am a Labour Party member and I recently decided to join the Socialist Party"

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

25/5/17

Socialist

Britain's election and the coming battle for Labour

24/5/17

Tuition Fees

Corbyn's pledge: free education - May's plan: hike fees

24/5/17

BBC

The media, May and the general election

24/5/17

Oil

Tory oil spoils v poisonous air

24/5/17

Pay

Work doesn't pay: Tory policies have meant another wages cut

24/5/17

Schools

Theresa 'Lunch Snatcher' May vs Jeremy 'free meals' Corbyn

24/5/17

Socialist

Corbyn in - Tories out

24/5/17

EU

Corbyn and Brexit: Why a socialist approach to the EU is needed

24/5/17

Labour

Obituary: Rhodri Morgan 1939-2017, architect of the 'Welsh Labour' brand

24/5/17

Ttip

Single market = TTIP

24/5/17

General election

May's 'dementia tax' wobble vs Corbyn's extra funds

23/5/17

Manchester

Manchester bombing: Unite against terror, war and racism

22/5/17

Capitalism

Capitalism condemned

17/5/17

Housing

One in three borrow for rent, Corbyn pledges housing revolution

17/5/17

General election

Corbyn's manifesto: An important step in the right direction

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialism Today 209 cover

triangle25 May Britain's election and the coming battle for Labour

triangle24 May The media, May and the general election

triangle24 May Corbyn and Brexit: Why a socialist approach to the EU is needed

triangle24 May Obituary: Rhodri Morgan 1939-2017, architect of the 'Welsh Labour'...

triangle24 May 5,000 march against plans to cut teachers

triangle23 May Manchester bombing: Unite against terror, war and racism

triangle22 May Capitalism condemned

More ...

triangle27 May Southampton Socialist Party: Tories Out! Jeremy Corbyn can win with a socialist programme

triangle27 May Leicester Socialist Party: Tories Out! - How Labour's left can win

triangle30 May Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Education in crisis - the socialist answer

triangle30 May Manchester Socialist Party: Chechnya - Gay rights and the repressions

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice