The Bedroom Tax: let’s make it Cameron’s Poll Tax

The old Marxist cliche has it that history repeats itself "first as tragedy then as farce". It is hugely important that the Left continues to hammer home the point that the Bedroom Tax is grossly unfair - as the polls show, it isn't falling on deaf ears. It's increasingly clear that the Bedroom Tax is Cameron's Poll tax. The Left must ensure history repeats itself as farce, rather than as a tragedy for the country's disabled people.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been gracing the media in the past day or so furiously denying that his concession to exempt severely disabled children from the Bedroom Tax is a climbdown.

Duncan Smith announced that foster carers and some armed forces families would be exempt from the measures, which will see benefits will be reduced by 14 per cent for one room and 25 per cent for two or more bedrooms. On average, an individual affected by the Bedroom Tax will lose £14-£25 a week.

As George Eaton has pointed out in the New Statesman,

In his written statement, Duncan Smith emphasised that Discretionary Housing Payments would remain available for “other priority groups” including those “whose homes have had significant disability adaptations and those with longterm medical conditions that create difficulties in sharing a bedroom.”

But research published by the National Housing Federation shows how inadequate this support is. Were the £30m discretionary fund to be distributed equally among every claimant of Disability Living Allowance affected (229,803 in total), they would each receive just £2.51 per week, compared to the average weekly loss in housing benefit of £14.

Quite right. It isn’t a “climbdown” at all. The worst tenets of the Bedroom Tax are still very much in place (see our meme below).

The apparent concession on disabled children and carers, while welcome, appears to be little more than an attempt to take some of the heat off what the coalition correctly perceives as an impending policy disaster.

Bedroom Tax poster

We’ve covered the policy in more detail here.

Encouragingly perhaps, the policy is decidedly unpopular. According to a February poll by ComRes, just 28 per cent of voters believe David Cameron should press ahead with the Bedroom Tax in April. This is only slightly higher than the percentage of voters who backed Margaret Thatcher’s Poll Tax.

Bedroom Tax poll

It is testament to the sheer credulity of the government that the Bedroom Tax will come in in April – at a time when the government will simultaneously be giving millionaires a tax cut as the 50p top rate band disappears.

The old Marxist cliche has it that history repeats itself “first as tragedy then as farce“.

The Bedroom Tax really could be Cameron’s Poll tax. The Left must make sure history repeats itself as farce, rather than as a tragedy for the country’s disabled people.

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18 Responses to “The Bedroom Tax: let’s make it Cameron’s Poll Tax”

  1. LB

    49% Support not paying for spare rooms.

  2. LB

    So do you support not paying for spare rooms for the non-disabled?

  3. Eddy Boyband

    It seems that the 3 main party’s have it in for disabled people, after all it was labour who thought that disabled people had it far to easy so they got atos involved at a time when the economy was booming and millionaires such as the Mllibands were only paying a top rate of tax of 40p.

  4. Andy Fricker

    RReckon everyone effected should refuse to pay….

  5. Loopy

    It’s mad I will have to pay £36 even though all my rooms are filled but I need to stay here as I don’t want to uproot my daughter whilst doing great in school I was only given this house 11 months ago due to being over crowed previous now I got to go back to the same size house as before its complete madness where will it all end

  6. DaveC

    Take a look at the blogger SPeye, he has some very interesting proposals for those in social housing.

  7. Clive Arnold

    Foster PARENTS!!! Use of the word “carer” pushes us actual unpaid carers further down the list and minimises what we do. Foster —>PARENTS<— choose to, and are well paid for, fostering. We carers on the other hand get shafted and ignored for doing something we are more or less forced into doing for little or no money.
    I'm pissed off that fosterers have high-jacked the word "carer"

  8. Dan Cole

    You can Expect many people to take to the streets for this one. I just hope they keep the Peace.. 😉

  9. alan wainwright

    it’s a disgrace….my so called spare room is not spare at all and has to have the clothes dryer in it as the kitchen is so small…under occupying? what a joke…..

  10. Newsbot9

    Right – Labour’s record is none too good either. And I haven’t seen real signs of remorse.

  11. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep calling rooms which disabled people use are “spare”. The question asked was quite specific, for good reasons!

  12. Wendy Spokes

    cameron gets a x £100 for him 2d home we pay bedroom tax that sounds right lol

  13. Newsbot9

    Um, I’m not seeing appealing in clear-cut cases, costing the council cash which will need to be cut everywhere, as anything but obstructionism. The system won’t break – the budgets for other things will! And the coalition will blame councils.

    Better to do things which work against central government, not council services.

  14. John Samms

    Put Cameron and Clegg in the same situation as the people who are on the breadline worrying about how they are going to buy food. Bedroom tax is cruel, and what for? Just another kick in the teeth towards the poor yet again. What next Mr Iain Duncan Smith, do you enjoy worrying poor people? Does it make you happy?

  15. Selohesra

    Tough to avoid paying as its not really a tax but a reduction in benefit

  16. Kenn Kavagna

    Attitudes in favour of the bedroom tax stems from this idea of benefit scammers when in reality as you say there isn’t enough social housing available to allow for movement either to downsize or upgrade when needed. The bedroom tax is an ill advised tax that is trying to act as a quick fix for the shortage of social housing.

  17. Pamwe chete

    Totally agree Clive carers save the government a kings ransom to provide the level of care would cost them many times over the measly £58.45 they pay and if you are on pension credit even less,,, we really do need a revolution in this “CARING” country of ours

  18. Spiteful Tory

    Glad we are bullying the poorest, we can, and will continue, because it’s such fun to see them squirm with distress. If they have no money and are disabled who cares? We are all in this together and all wealthy, well fed, warm and powerful. So you poorest, put up with it, we are not stopping bullying you. PS. We need your votes to keep on at the poor little cretins, so they will die and save us some dosh. This is the stark truth really isn’t it?

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