Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 February 2014

Time to strike the bedroom tax a killer blow

Glasgow demonstration against the bedroom tax, photo Jim Halfpenny

Glasgow demonstration against the bedroom tax, photo Jim Halfpenny   (Click to enlarge)

Elaine Brunskill, Newcastle

Across Britain the implementation of the bedroom tax has created seething anger.

A survey by the National Housing Federation (NHF) shows that since its introduction last April, a staggering two thirds of homes affected by the policy have fallen into rent arrears.

One in seven families hit by the tax are being put under enormous stress as eviction risk letters drop onto their doormats and they face the possibility of losing their home.

The report also highlights that an estimated two thirds of the 413,000 people in England affected by the bedroom tax are disabled.

Yet, according to disability charity Papworth Trust, many disabled people have been refused emergency financial help, and are struggling to pay the tax by cutting back on food and household bills.

In Newcastle one woman told us that on a recent visit to her mother, who is affected by the bedroom tax, she was appalled to realise that her mother had no food in her cupboards!

Con-Dem ministers, living in their mansions, have said people facing the bedroom tax have the choice to move into a smaller home or pay.

This is a lie! There are not enough homes with fewer bedrooms for people to move into.

A BBC news report revealed that housing estates across the country now have larger family homes lying empty because tenants in receipt of housing benefit cannot afford to move into them. The boarded up houses are dragging down housing estates.

Local residents in Carlisle who want to move into smaller properties were angered when single bedroomed flats were demolished, to be replaced by two and three bedroomed houses. At the local anti-bedroom tax meeting they asked: "Where can we go now?"

The defeat of the bedroom tax in Scotland has given a welcome boost to campaigners in England and Wales.

This is coupled with the revelation that a loophole in the government's welfare reforms means that the bedroom tax does not apply to tenants who have lived in the same property for more than 17 years.

It has been estimated that around 50,000 people have been wrongly held liable by this shambles. This loophole is causing havoc as it seems most councils will not have kept records dating back to 1996.

Another loophole has been highlighted by the Bolton Upper Tribunal which has judged that a bedroom is "a room furnished with a bed or used for sleeping in".

So if the room is used for another purpose, such as for storage, it should not be subject to the bedroom tax.

Loopholes such as these are to be welcomed, and appeals should be lodged. However, the Con-Dems will undoubtedly attempt to rectify these glitches with new regulations.

It is therefore imperative to step up the campaign. Alongside public meetings and protests, local anti-bedroom tax groups should consider standing in May's council elections as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

The Con-Dem government has been put on the backfoot. Now is the time to strike a killer blow on the hated bedroom tax.

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

In The Socialist 19 February 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Floods chaos: End cuts now!

Floods reveal rottenness of government cuts

High rents + low wages - End this housing misery

Scotland: 'Project Fear' goes into overdrive

Affordable childcare? And where are the jobs?

Barclay's bonuses - laughing all the way to the bank

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Bosnia: mass protests show potential of working class

Socialist Party workplace news

Doncaster care workers vote for seven-day strike

Care worker action escalates in Glasgow

Runcorn: Workers' solidarity scores victory

Newham primary school strike over new pay scheme

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Time to strike the bedroom tax a killer blow

Service users "terrified" by cuts in Worcester

Kent: Marching to save children's centres

Anti-cuts councillor exposes devastating cuts plans

Councils pass on Tory pain

Medway council will "rue the day" they attacked library

Fast Food Rights day of action

Stop the deportation of Jermaine Strachen

Socialist Party conferences prepare for year ahead

The Socialist readers' comments

Working nights is bad for your health

Cuts make the job impossible

Cycling deaths must be stopped

'Criminal' waste and 'legal' waste

Campaign against "Lobbying Bill"


Home   |   The Socialist 19 February 2014   |   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


triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: How we beat the Poll Tax

triangleTurn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangleThe Socialist Inbox


triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

triangleNewham academies strike continues with three schools to strike together


triangleHaringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

triangleRent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions



German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more



Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success



Nottingham hospital black alert


East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference


West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference



Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead



Bradford protests against kids' service cuts


May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!



Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget



Save Salford nurseries!



Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved



Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation



Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!



Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

February 2018

January 2018