Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/780/17429
A UN attack we agree with
A UN investigator on housing, Raquel Rolnik, slammed the Con-Dems' bedroom tax after speaking to people hit by the tax.
Tory chairman and former housing minister Grant Schapps has attacked Rolnik and ranted about her using the term "bedroom tax" - instead of the government newspeak of "ending the spare room subsidy". But everyone she heard from called it the bedroom tax.
This included Karen from Barnsley, who spoke to the Socialist.
We went to an anti-bedroom tax meeting in Manchester. The UN officer was there to see how the bedroom tax is affecting people. She could have chosen any meeting in the country really, she just happened to choose that one.
It was very informal - like giving a testimony - very emotional for everybody there.
Both my husband and I are disabled. We're in a three bedroom house. We sleep separately because of medical conditions.
We've had some adaptations done to the property - ramps put in, a full walk-in shower, that kind of thing.
So we've been charged for two bedrooms. Both bedrooms we've been charged for are around nine foot by six foot. The only reason I can sleep in one of the spare bedrooms is because at four foot eleven I can get away with a kid-size bed. It's only five foot six, otherwise it wouldn't fit in.
I don't have any 'spare rooms' - all my rooms have a use. I really, really hate that phrase.
One woman said how she'd been told not to worry about the bedroom tax as when her husband dies she'll be able to go back to work and sort it out then!
It makes life difficult - let's put it that way. Nobody mentioned a 'spare room subsidy' or under-occupation - or whatever it is this week. It's a tax."
Search for 'United Nations Bedroom Tax Hearings 14' on YouTube to see Karen and other victims of the tax describe their situation
In The Socialist 18 September 2013:
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