Friday, 31 May 2013

I'm about to get all political so this could be a little boring if you aren't politically minded. Possibly frustrating if you hate the concept of social benefits.

If you haven't heard of the Bedroom Tax I wouldn't be too surprised really. Its a little change to social benefits in the UK that could really mean a lot of people can't afford to live. The government doesn't like to acknowledge it but people have actually committed suicide over it.

To give a brief explanation its a change in benefits brought about by the government. We have something known as Housing Benefit. This is where people who can't even afford to rent properties are given a little bit of money to help them along. The Bedroom Tax means that if people have spare bedrooms then they get less benefit. I'll admit this doesn't sound too bad until you consider a few things.
1)There aren't enough places with less rooms around. Its all well and good telling people to move into single bedroom places but they genuinely cannot.
2)They're also cutting benefits for under 25s. This means that people under 25 will find it incredibly difficult to move out. Effectively creating a "damned if you, damned if you don't" system.

I'm probably doing a very bad job of explaining it but I assure you its a very bad thing. Especially for low income families. Like I said, a woman actually jumped in front of a bus and left a suicide note saying these changes meant she couldn't even afford to live.

Well anyway I'm not here to tell you about that, I'm here to tell you about something brilliant the opposition party did. Our country is currently run by a coalition of the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrat Party. They aren't very well liked, especially by the lower classes. The opposition party is the Labour Party. They came up with a pretty clever workaround too.

This thing is very very specific. If there is a bedroom spare, you lose benefits. But they realised if they change the designation of a room, it's a loophole. Basically they've altered the system so that not every spare room is automatically a spare bedroom. Now not as many people are losing out. The department in charge of these benefits have said that it's up to individual councils to designate rooms. That basically means it's a "states rights" issue and it's up to each area to say how many bedrooms a property has.

Unfortunately they were only able to do it in one area but they're calling for other places to do the same.

I have to say this is an incredibly ballsy move by them to just throw a scheme by the government back in their faces.

It's a shame some other changes are probably going to come in, and they probably won't be able to work their way around them, but with any luck they'll be able to fight them.

9 comments:

  1. It's a ridiculous tax, people will be forced to move to survive!

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  2. This sounds very complicated and extremely far reaching by the government.

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  3. Does the tax only effect spare rooms, or does it include occupied rooms? For example, would a family of 5 in a 5 bed house be okay, whereas a family of 2 in a 5 bed house would be penalised?

    Even so, some people are forced into social housing by the government due to the shortage of houses. If the government are going to penalise them for where they are put, some people aren't going to be able to escape the system.

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    1. As far as I understand it the Bedroom Tax itself applies directly to bedrooms. People in social housing lose some of their benefit if there is a spare room. But there aren't enough places with less rooms to go around.

      But they have also now introduced an "Occupied Bedroom Tax" if you will. This is where parents with children over a certain age also lose out on benefits. They're actually punishing parents for taking care of their children even into their adult years. Add to that the benefit cut for the under 25's and you have a very very terrible scheme.

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  4. Sounds like more austerity measures. As long as the majority of people are dumb enough to vote for politicians who look out for the wealthy and powerful and not the average citizen, this kind of thing will continue.

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  5. Bedroom tax annoys me so much Mark, it's possibly one of the silliest and greediest things, that you can be punished for having spare rooms, just absolutely ridiculous and needs to be sorted out, seriously.

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  6. This sounds like they're trying to incite riots or something. I wonder how many similar ridiculous things have to happen before a revolt occurs.

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  7. what a crock...another way to screw the little guy as those in charge are surely covering their own asses and those willing to toss them a little money as well....oy

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  8. I'm glad you blogged about this, as I hadn't heard about it. Wow what craziness...the powers-that-be are always putting it to those in need...

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