Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/774/17123

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 July 2013

Non-payment soars in Scotland : Stop all bedroom tax evictions

Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland

The majority of Scottish councils have reported a significant increase in rent arrears since the bedroom tax - a housing benefit cut for under occupancy of 'spare bedrooms' - was introduced in April.

A CoSLA (the Scottish local authority umbrella body) survey shows widespread non-payment of the bedroom tax.

Three quarters of councils reported rises in rent arrears. Four out of five local authorities report collecting 50% or less in rent due from tenants affected by the benefit cut, three in five report that they have collected as little as 40%.

CoSLA has stated that the bedroom tax will result in arrears of 25 million a year for local authorities.

Non-payment of the bedroom tax in Dundee has already cost the council 250,000 since April, with arrears rising at 21,000 a week.

A June survey by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations showed similar increases in arrears.

The Glasgow Evening Times reported that 101 out of 146 bedroom tax affected tenants at Blairtummock Housing Association (HA) in Easterhouse are in arrears.

The non-payment levels show that tenants cannot afford to pay, but also widespread defiance where there are strong local campaigns.

The non-payment levels should also be seen in the context of local authorities and Housing Associations harassing tenants with letters threatening eviction.

In April and May, 22,000 local authority tenants in Scotland put in discretionary housing payment (DHP) applications (four times the number received in April/May 2012).

But, according to the Public Finance website, CoSLA expects a maximum of 44% of applicants will get DHP, which is set at different levels depending on individual circumstances and only lasts for six months.

And with councils not having enough staff, DHP applications are taking weeks and months to be processed.

The CoSLA survey shows that 2 million of the 10 million DWP assistance fund has already been spent by councils in Scotland.

Even when the 10 million is distributed it will only cover 15p in every 1 cut from the housing benefit of the 105,000 households affected in Scotland.

Pressure builds

Social landlords, SNP and Labour politicians are coming under huge pressure to take non-implementation measures and protect tenants.

The Scottish Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation has organised lively, well-attended lobbies and pickets. MSPs and councillors have found their surgeries and constituency offices becoming post boxes and burning sites for harassment letters.

The pressure has forced the SNP to refer the Govan Law Centre petition - calling on the Scottish government to amend the housing act to prevent evictions - to the Scottish Parliament Welfare Committee.

The Labour council in Renfrewshire has reclassified some of its stock as "one bedroom". Some HAs, including East Lothian, have decided to protect some of their tenants from the cost of the bedroom tax, although at the discretion of the management, a measure calculated to be a cheaper alternative to chasing rent arrears.

But these measures are not enough. Socialist Party Scotland calls on the SNP Scottish government to amend section 16 of the housing act to prevent evictions.

The SNP government should use the 179 million budget underspend and other reserves to protect tenants from the cost of the bedroom tax and fight for the money back from the Con-Dems in Westminster.

Councils and HAs should use their borrowing powers and reserves to protect tenants, increase funding for emergency payments and reclassify properties; they should campaign with tenants, trade unions and communities for an end to cuts and increased funding for public services.

Socialist Party Scotland supports standing candidates that will refuse to make cuts. If Labour and SNP politicians won't fight the Con-Dems, we need our own anti-cuts, trade union and socialist candidates that will.

Over the last few years we have worked with others to offer an electoral alternative by standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, Scottish Anti-Cuts Coalition and Solidarity.

With the Miliband-led Labour Party pledging a Labour government will continue with the cuts, and the SNP doing the same in Scotland, it is clear we need to build a new mass workers' party.

socialistpartyscotland.org.uk


The bedroom tax has caused misery and sparked fury across Britain. Thousands have protested against people being forced out of their homes or robbed of 14% or 25% of their housing benefit by millionaire Con-Dem ministers, many of whom have spare houses, never mind spare bedrooms.

But we can stop this attack! Twenty years ago a mass campaign defeated Thatcher's hated poll tax. Led by the Socialist Party's predecessor, Militant, a mass campaign of non-payment made the poll tax unviable.

While the bedroom tax is different in many ways, one thing is clear - if we get organised we can defeat it.

We demand:

Send us your bedroom tax stories to: editors@socialistparty.org.uk
Get in touch for campaign resources including leaflets and posters:
info@socialistparty.org.uk 020 8988 8777

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


In The Socialist 17 July 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

'We've had enough' - All strike together!

Urgent - trade unions must build a political voice for the working class

Fire cuts, pay cuts, pension cuts, job cuts

MPs' pay to rise to 74,000...

Another drugs company scam

G4S tagging scandal: another failure of privatisation

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Zimmerman, Trayvon and racism

'Black July' - Sri Lanka 1983 and the beginning of civil war


Socialist Party feature

End violence against women!


Socialist Party review

The story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs


Socialist Party workplace news

Lecturers in Wales expose working conditions

Victory for teachers at UEL

Equinox workers strike again

Fight Royal Mail privatisation!

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Greens rejected in Brighton

Bedroom tax non-payment soars in Scotland: Stop evictions

Councils: Don't do the Con-Dems' dirty work!

'Sick Of Your Boss?' week of action reports

Durham Miners' Gala shows mood for new party

Campaigning against anti-LGBT bullying in schools

Lincolnshire - save our libraries

Building the Socialist Party


Readers' comments

Who are the real criminals?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 July 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Bedroom tax:

triangleThem & us

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleTories out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

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

triangleCourt win against bedroom tax not enough

Tax:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTrump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

triangleThem & us

triangleTrump's tax attacks

Scotland:

triangleWhat does the left victory in Scottish Labour mean?

triangleScotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Catalonia, Scotland and Wales

Evictions:

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

triangleHomelessness and evictions soar under the Tories

Tenants:

triangleThem & us

Housing:

triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

SNP:

triangleWhere is Scotland going?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

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

V2