Thanet Star

Letters: Reforming the Bedroom Tax

Thanet Star recently received a letter from Lib-Dem George Cunningham.

Dear sirs,

With the so called bedroom tax affecting so many people here in the Thanet area, the good news is that the Liberal Democrats have taken the first step in reforming the bedroom tax by winning a crucial vote in Parliament.

Under the proposals, which were passed recently in the House of Commons, existing tenants will not be penalised when they cannot move into smaller accommodation because this is not available or where there is a serious medical reason for an additional room.

Our plans mean that any financial penalty would go to the housing provider rather than the individual claimant. The new system would incentivise social landlords to reduce the number of tenants under-occupying their homes, freeing up bigger properties for larger families.

These proposed changes to the policy have been welcomed by a number of organisations including Shelter, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Crisis, Oxfam and the Disability Benefits Consortium

However, Conservatives have stated publicly that they oppose reforms to bedroom tax and although Labour support the removal of the spare room subsidy, they have not indicated that they would also change the rules for the private sector.

George Cunningham

Liberal Democrat PPC for North Thanet

We at Thanet Star are pleased that George is taking this issue seriously. We recently received word that Sir Gale voted to keep the Bedroom Tax as it is at the moment - a deeply unfair and broken tax.

Well done Mr Cunningham.

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Public Comments

This Normal comment was left by Tango and Cash [score: 0]:

Oh what a poorly thought out piece of legislation.

I wonder which the loudest the protestations will be, when the evictions begin, when a property is let by the room, to more than one family, or when the amount of large family homes goes into a sharp decline as landlords are forced to subdivide. Perhaps the largest protest will be about families not being able to rent anywhere, as landlords tailor their housing stock to the new market..

It't SO simple, people should not expect anyone else to subsidise them living in a house that is bigger than they need.
16/09/2014 18:15:50

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

I agree that it would be a poor use of funds to put a family of three in, say , a seven bedroom home but what the bedroom tax fails to recognise is that if there are no smaller properties (or not enough) then the choice is between helping those who fall on hard times or letting them live on the streets in boxes.

I would choose helping people every time.

If the problem is that people really are in homes that are too big (I doubt it, under used homes are too expensive in the winter) then the answer is to build smaller homes not punish those who cannot obtain what is not available.
18/09/2014 23:59:15

This Helpful Normal comment was left by willshome [score: 2]:

This tax is not about families of three in seven-bed accommodation (which must be exceedingly rare). In fact it's not about excess rooms at all. Or saving money (costs more to administer than it saves.) It's about demonising the poor as “scroungers living in luxury” as someone called them this very evening online.

The cost of a family already on benefits moving home because there is spare room (probably little more than a box room) is ridiculous and in most cases the smaller places just aren't there. So they hang on, and get into arrears until eviction.

Or if it's a widow in her family home whose child has grown up and married, who can't afford to move or pay and fears destitution, maybe they kill themselves. IDS doesn't care. Just look as his smug, well-breakfasted face. He doesn't care a jot.
20/09/2014 21:18:54

This Normal comment was left by Tango and Cash [score: 0]:

Whilst trying to portray this policy as "demonising the poor as “scroungers living in luxury” - See more at:" the reality is somewhat different.

To take an example of yours, a wisow living in a 3 bedroom house, now that kids have left home. Because she once needed a 3 bedroom home, should she still be subsidised to have a house 60% larger than she needs, whilst families wait in long long queues for a suitably sized house?

The best part, is that nobody will be dragging her kicking and screaming from the house that is to large for her, she will simply be expected to pay for the extra rooms that she doesn't need. Why should taxpayers pay for space the is not required by the person that they are supporting, is that fair?

How much to move? Hmm, how much is van hire these days I wonder? Possibly the family waiting so desperately crammed into unsuitably small accomadation might lend a hand with loading and unloading..
23/09/2014 08:13:52

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

Moving the odd few from their home just because some people are claiming the situation is suboptimal does nothing to address the real problem that under tory rule the social housing stock was sold off and never replaced.

This fictional widow would cost the system almost the same amount regardless of the size of her home. Blaming the poor rather than going after corporate tax dodgers who could actually plug the budget gap helps no one.
26/09/2014 18:20:40

This Normal comment was left by Tango and Cash [score: 0]:

If your claim is correct, - if the problem is that people really are in homes that are too big (I doubt it, under used homes are too expensive in the winter) - the the re-aligned housing payment will have no effect, and it's existence is clearly moot.

Everyone can conjour up benefits recipients that suit their cause, as you have, and as I have. The fact is, that if someone is in a family that expects benefits to be paid to keep them, and they "need" a 2 bedroom house, then that is the absolute maximum benefit that should be paid. If they would like a 3 or more bedroom, no problem at all, they are welcome to pay for as many bedrooms above those that are needed for their normal family requirements.

I really is that simple, and dragging in "tax dodgers" to muddy the waters does what little case you could claim to have case no favours whatsoever.
28/09/2014 04:51:05

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

HMRC put corporate tax avoidance at £4.1bn whereas TDC report that the bedroom tax has cost them more money than it saved. The result is that we will pay MORE council tax as a result. How is that fair?
30/10/2014 11:54:33
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