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


 

Facebook   Twitter

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

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Related links:

Tax:

triangleThem & Us

triangleOsborne plans to cut corporation tax again

triangle'We Won't Move' meeting organises opposition to Housing Act attacks

triangleThem & Us

triangleSocialist inbox

Housing:

triangleWelsh Assembly to scrap 'right to buy'

triangleChild poverty rises by 200,000 in a year

triangleUnite policy conference 2016: Union could place itself at the centre of anti-austerity fight

triangleNSSN conference: Implacable opposition to austerity

Government:

triangleSanctioned - a victim of government callousness

triangleSpain: Disappointment for left in re-run general election

triangleNew threat to impose junior doctors contract must be met with strike action

Children:

triangleFight back is on to save NHS heart services

triangleStand up for education!

Benefits:

triangleBHS pensions insult

Households:

triangle148,000 households faced risk of eviction

Bedroom tax:

triangleThem & Us

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

26/7/16

Labour Party

No compromise with Labour right wing

25/7/16

Food

Food waste - the logic of capitalism

13/7/16

Labour

Labour right's undemocratic rulings must be fought

13/7/16

Racism

Police racism still lethal in Britain

13/7/16

Immigration

Majority support migrants staying - fight hate crime

13/7/16

Racism

Fight racism: for jobs, homes and services for all

13/7/16

Them & Us

Them & Us

13/7/16

What we saw

What we saw: Angela Eagle Facebook meme

13/7/16

Housing

Welsh Assembly to scrap 'right to buy'

13/7/16

Refugee

Nine-month prison sentence for fleeing ethnic cleansing

13/7/16

Child poverty

Child poverty rises by 200,000 in a year

13/7/16

Britain

Tory coronation is attempt at stability that can't work

13/7/16

HSBC

HSBC jailbreak

13/7/16

Rail

Rail fail

12/7/16

Labour Party

Step up the campaign to back Corbyn's fight

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

triangle26 Jul No compromise with Labour right wing

triangle26 Jul 'Defend Corbyn' rally

triangle25 Jul Anger against Blairite 'traitors' sweeps Portsmouth Momentum

triangle25 Jul Sanctioned - a victim of government callousness

triangle21 Jul Mood to defeat the Blairites

triangle19 Jul Trident debate shows again, Labour is two parties

triangle18 Jul Brookes workers continue the fight against 2Sisters

More ...

triangle27 Jul Salford Socialist Party: Capitalism - a failing system

triangle27 Jul Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Black Lives Matter

triangle28 Jul Newham Socialist Party: After Chilcot - hold Blair to account

triangle28 Jul Camden Socialist Party: The struggle for socialism around the world

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 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