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

triangleThomas Piketty: The new Marx?

triangleTax dodgers feel the heat

triangleBirmingham: new Socialist Party branch

triangleReport shows huge support for taxing rich

Housing:

triangleCampaign steps up on New Era estate

triangleHackney tenants get organised

triangleReinstate Bryan Kennedy

triangleThem & Us

Government:

triangleGovernment's economic mirage as election approaches

triangleWe can't live on poverty pay!

triangleIraq: Only united action can stop sectarian war

Children:

trianglePoverty Britain

triangleSocialist Party Summer Camp 2014

Benefits:

triangleThem & Us

Households:

triangleHousing crisis hell: a worker's view

Bedroom tax:

triangleThe great British housing disaster

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

20/8/14

Pay

We can't live on poverty pay!

20/8/14

Economy

Government's economic mirage as election approaches

20/8/14

Scotland

Socialist policies needed to answer Project Fear

20/8/14

Mental health

Scandal of underfunded mental health services

20/8/14

Pay

Them & Us

15/8/14

Self-determination

Socialism and national rights

15/8/14

Iraq

Iraq: Only united action can stop sectarian war

6/8/14

Pay

Unite to fight pay robbery

6/8/14

capitalist crisis

Capitalist crisis continues

6/8/14

Energy

Energy giants' profits continue to defy the laws of gravity

6/8/14

Scotland

Scotland: Countdown to independence referendum

6/8/14

Banks

Regulating the banks? Don't make me laugh!

6/8/14

Minimum wage

Them & Us

6/8/14

Austerity

Labour policy forum: continuing Tory austerity

31/7/14

Gaza

No more carnage in Gaza - Mass struggle to end the siege - Stop Israeli state terror

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

triangle29 Aug Fast Food Rights Day of Action

NHS workers on strike on 30 November 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle20 Aug We can't live on poverty pay!

London Gaza demo 19 July 2014, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle20 Aug Capitalism means war: Join the Socialists!

triangle20 Aug Fight for real jobs

Women munitions workers during World War One

triangle20 Aug Protests, strikes and equality: Women in World War One

triangle19 Aug The People's March for the NHS

triangle19 Aug BT CWU members vote for strike action in latest consultation

More ...

triangle30 Aug Newport: Anti-NATO demonstration

triangle3 Sep Mansfield Socialist Party: Save our NHS

triangle3 Sep Salford Socialist Party: Marxism in today's world

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice