Bedroom tax ‘iniquitous and inhumane’, say MSPs

The bedroom tax “is iniquitous and inhumane and may well breach tenants’ human rights”, according to a new report.

The bedroom tax “is iniquitous and inhumane and may well breach tenants’ human rights”, according to a new report published today by the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee.

In calling on the bedroom tax to be abolished either by the UK government or, failing that, for the Scottish government and Parliament to be given the power to do so, the committee points to a sorry state of affairs in respect of the policy.

Among its key concerns include:

  • Many tenants are finding themselves “trapped’ into paying the ‘bedroom tax’” as a result of their not being sufficient numbers of smaller properties to move into.
  • “The level of Discretionary Housing Payments originally allocated by the Department of Work and Pensions to deal with the transitional problems” it argues, “does not match the scale of the problem.” In welcoming the Scottish government’s allocation of an additional £20 million for the payments for 2013-14 and 2014-15, the committee calls on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to increase the level of such payments.

Declaring the policy to be unacceptable, Committee convener Labour MSP Michael McMahon said:

“Treating people’s homes only as bricks and mortar, homes of around 65,000 disabled people and 15,000 homes with children, is simply not acceptable in this day and age.

“Smaller properties just aren’t available because we spent years developing our housing stock to offer homes people could grow their families in, so they could set down roots and establish communities.

“The reality for many is they cannot pay, and they cannot move.

“And to make the situation even more frustrating, it is entirely possible it is costing the public purse more to implement than it is saving.”

He continued:

“The only conclusion the majority of the committee could come to, when faced with the evidence and research we have seen, is to call for the UK government to abolish the ‘bedroom tax’ with immediate effect. And if they won’t do that, to give the Scottish Parliament the powers and resources to do so.”

Responding, a spokesperson for the DWP sought to defend the tax by arguing that “Britain has a very strong housing safety net” for vulnerable tenants. “Reform of the spare room subsidy is absolutely necessary to make a better use of our social housing when thousands of Scots are living in overcrowded homes”, the spokesperson said.

The report comes shortly after Scottish Labour and the SNP pledged to work together to fight the tax.

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2 Responses to “Bedroom tax ‘iniquitous and inhumane’, say MSPs”

  1. uglyfatbloke

    A spokesman for DWP said …..’ MPs who supported this iniquitous measure, are all quite comfortable and if people are suffering because they are poor and have no alternative accommodation it is their own fault…so there…with knobs on…’

  2. drydamol1


    Firstly lets dispel Labour and UKIP’s pretence if they
    were in power they would save the NHS .Notice your spam folders more and more
    Private Health Insurance’s advertising long waiting lists and for a small sum
    ect – Privatisation is already and waiting to take over .

    What job satisfaction or security have we got – None
    ,zero hour contracts ,Agency work whereby it is hit and miss whether you work
    one day or the next .

    Workfare were Jobseekers are being forced to work for
    free to earn Corporations Larger Profits .

    Education ,how long have the Tories been in power and
    only today made the statement we will implement the teaching of maths and
    English in schools .

    Housing , Shapps said after selling off G3 for 22.5
    Billion it was earmarked for Housing .Yesterday he lied by saying anyone votes
    Tory will get a Referendum ,what happened to the last promise .

    The Liverpool Care Pathway ,how to die in dignity –
    starved of food but still administered ‘medication’ .

    Welfare Reform – in chaos and no solution in sight . Jobs
    Market – 800,000 and again 700,000 jobs only advertised in the EU and not here

    Referendum on the EU – no chance .

    So we can forget about Poverty ,Atos Deaths ,Food Banks
    ,Benefit Sanctions ,Workfare ,Tuition Fees ,Bedroom Tax ,no Fuel Price Control
    ,Lies & Deceit and more Cuts to come it still does not paint a pretty
    picture of the Government does it .

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