Don’t Trust Labour on the Bedroom Tax

bedroom-tax-protestAs April grows ever closer, resistance to the despised Bedroom Tax is spreading across the UK as tenants step up the fight to save their homes.

In Bootle, Merseyside this week, hundreds of people – many of them tenants and claimants who will be hit by the tax – held a furious  demonstration.  Up to 660,000 people face eviction and homelessness due to the changes in the way housing benefits are paid – which will manifest in a weekly tax paid to local authorities or Housing Associations that along with other benefit changes, could see vital support for the very poorest virtually wiped out altogether.

The millionaires in Government have glibly suggested people should downsize if they can’t afford the tax – completely ignoring that there is nowhere to downsize to.

Many claimants will also face having to pay Council Tax for the first time in April, whilst London Boroughs are preparing for mass forced re-locations due to the upcoming Benefit Cap.

Liverpool has shown the way.  A huge turn out is also expected in Glasgow on March 30th for a protest against the tax.

There has also been a day of action organised by Labour Left, a group within the Labour Party.  The same Labour Party that introduced similar measures to the bedroom tax for private tenants when they were in Government.  The same Labour Party who refuse to reject workfare and the Work Capability Assessment, the brutal regime for claiming sickness and disability benefits that they designed.  The same Labour Party that has completely by-passed the successful tenant’s movement in Liverpool and is urging people to gather under their soiled banner instead.

Labour Left was founded by Eoin Clarke and represents a few of the Labour Party members who still call themselves socialists despite being members of a neo-liberal party.  The group have produced a Red Book (pdf)*, which they hope will influence Ed Milliband in an ‘ethical socialist’ direction.  Eoin Clarke edited the book and contributed some interesting proposals for the housing sector.

Clarke correctly points out that the UK needs more houses, and that private sector rents are out of control.  He is also a keen advocate of the Right To Buy schemes that created this problem, stating: “I have no criticisms to make of the main principle of the RTB scheme.”  He even praises Thatcher herself for the initiative: “Right to Buy [RTB] scheme launched by Margaret Thatcher in 1981 was initially a good thing.”

Clarke’s objection to Right To Buy is that not enough homes were built to replace those sold.  To address this he proposes a mass house building scheme, designed to build 1.8 million homes over 18 years.

Whilst this is far too little way too slowly, it is the type of houses Clarke proposes to build which are of most concern.  Clarke wants these houses to be built by a Non Profit co-operative as opposed to local authorities, no doubt similar to the unaccountable Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) that Labour brought in to run many Council Estates.

These new houses are only to be made available to “people who were not eligible to receive housing benefit and who had demonstrated a willingness and ability to pay private rental market prices for the previous 12 months. This scheme would not prejudice any other housing scheme in which the government and social housing sectors participate. It is exclusively for hard working individuals or families who cannot afford to buy their own home.”

These are the only houses Clarke wants to build in a housing strategy that can be roughly summarised as fuck the poor.

Labour Left initially planned 16 protests around the UK to oppose the Bedroom Tax.  This number has now grown and it is unclear whether they are all organised by the Labour Party.  No doubt many claimants and tenants will want to attend even if they are should one happen in their area, which is completely understandable.  With such a crisis about to explode in people’s lives almost anything is better than nothing – and Labour’s voice can be diluted or drowned out at these protests should people choose to show up.

But it will be tenants and claimants who will beat this tax, not fake friends from the Labour Party, Housing Associations or charities.  And we should be wary of any attempt to hijack our suffering for the political opportunism of a party that deserted those with least a long time ago, if it ever really cared at all.

* Clarke’s piece is called “Private renters, the forgotten millions who abandoned Labour” and begins on page 96.

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96 responses to “Don’t Trust Labour on the Bedroom Tax

  1. EdM said at Labour conference 2011 that RTB was right and Thatcher was correct to introduce it

  2. “The millionaires in Government have glibly suggested people should downsize if they can’t afford the tax – completely ignoring that there is nowhere to downsize to.” They haven’t ignored it, it was forcibly brought up in debate when this went through the Lords. They know people can’t move so are stuck with paying it.

    • You are right about the Governments crass suggestion about downsizing,but for many people that could mean downsizing to a cardboard box,not that the mansion millionaires in charge would care about that.

      • something survived...

        Yay! that’s what I was going to say! But police throw away cardboard boxes and burn tents. They’re ‘so eighties, darling’, as a yuppie would say. No, they are now promoting open-plan, boxfree living on the street. Getting you out in the open! The powers that be also like to steal your sleeping bag and rucksack, and throw them away. That is when you are not being kicked and urinated on by drunks, or bitten by rats. Locals can be perfectly friendly too. My friend has a favourite doorway which he uses since it is roomy and has some heat on it. The local haters know this too. One of them brought along presumably a very large dog and instructed it to shit copiously all over my friend’s doorway. Rendering it off limits for him, and no doubt delighting the proprietors of the shop. Two nights later, my friend having moved to his ‘patch of railing by the supermarket’, I’m certain the same dog was taken (the shit pattern was identical) for a mega dump all over the areas where my friend sits or lies.

        Last year this friend was beaten up for being homeless. They broke his nose and smashed many bones in his face, and put him on crutches. Then somebody stole the crutches. Just as he was moving from hobbling to limping, someone else beat him up again. A few months after that, he was beaten up and given a black eye.
        This week he was sitting on a blanket at night, many degrees below, and some drunk students came along, poured beer over him and attempted to piss on him.

        Is it any wonder he and the other city homeless spend most days sleeping and getting drunk.

        • This is your friend and yet you let him live on the streets and be subjected to such cruelty? I’m glad I’m not your friend!

          • To be fair, what are they meant to do? Have them move into your flat/house and you lose your benefits/housing benefit too!

          • something survived...

            He’s not a friend in the proper/usual sense of the word. He’s someone whose surname I don’t know. He has a dog, I am badly allergic to dogs and can’t stand them. He has an alcohol and substance abuse problem, also mental health issues and crime/behaviour issues. The other night he was beaten up again. He’s one of around 20 or 30 rough sleepers in the city; where would the rest go? And the millions more around the world? Each time he has got a home, he has managed to lose it or get kicked onto the street. I say friend because I know his first name, have tried to help him, see him around, and have known him for a few years. (years before, I tried to help a girl on the street who was initially much further away from being beyond the chance of change, but after 3 years trying to help her, making her turn up to probation and social workers and methadone clinic; she sadly got worse instead of better and lost the home I’d helped her get. I had to be her advocate even though having no relevant qualifications, and legal aid was not available, and authorities won’t listen to an advocate who’s not a lawyer/of status. It wore me down, like it probably would anyone, and I met her by chance, didn’t ‘have to’ help, and had a shedload of my own hassles to deal with!)
            I have been homeless in the past BTW.
            I live in a bedsit with no functioning bed, the building is shared with strangers. I’m also disabled. All my time at home is in my room, which has no space. I’m not even allowed a partner in my room or any guests. I can’t have visitors. I’ve slept curled up on a third of a busted couch for several years. My room is freezing. The landlord constantly threatens eviction. I’m made to clean up after everyone else already and it takes up a lot of time. (Oh I was trying to be polite earlier, but I ought to mention now that my ‘friend’, and the girl I tried helping before, are also thieves. Their friends include really bad criminals, like drug dealers and worse, some of whom have assaulted me in the past.) Somebody was just evicted here, possibly for taking drugs or for something else. There are no cheaper places around, and nowhere that takes people on benefits. I struggle every day to keep MY home, while in really crappy health. There is a garage I have no access to and the landlord has the keys, the window in it is smashed and there’s no toilet. There’s also all my housemates’ bikes and stuff, meant to be there to keep it safe. There’s a basement flat belonging to and occupied by somebody else. The attic is the room of one of my housemates. There is a tiny outhouse (ex-toilet) with no door, and a chair covered in cat piss and bird shit. We get rats. Another small outbuilding has a communal key but that is only to access washing machines I can’t reach the meter or afford to run. And the landlord keeps his building gear there. Another old toilet was demolished.
            At home I have enough hassles, one minute it is the secret racist and the next it is the alcoholic who keeps nearly burning the place down. The guy who pisses on the floor is almost a welcome relief, when they have been a problem. The other guy I didn’t get on with has left, fortunately – but so has one of the guys I got on okay with, because of racist bullying by neighbours. I didn’t know how bad it got till I came home and somebody said he left most of his stuff and moved out. We have 2 new housemates. In case you’ve not been here long, the other month my HB was cut to £10 a week and I’m in the middle of appealing this decision. (The alcoholic, in a room the quarter of the size and with much less rent charged, gets more HB than the rent, and is working fulltime while signing on JSA.) A week into March, and at the start of the month all my benefits went on paying my rent and only the most urgent of my bills. None is left for even a modest ‘general grocery shop’. (As an aside: My ‘friend’ incidentally makes more money than me – and has a phone – he makes his money by begging, stealing, and drug selling. He can afford to buy lots of alcohol. The price of alcohol might buy ME several meals of rations, but I don’t have that. I don’t drink or smoke, and want to stay away from people ‘off their head on drugs’. My ‘friend’ generally gets to eat every day. I get to eat every 2 to 3 days. I’m veggie, he’s not. His friends think people of my orientation ought to die. I don’t know if he exactly agrees with them, but don’t want to find out.)
            I’ve taken risks even by getting people stuff like food and aspirin. I used to do sandwich runs to the homeless, till my new boss stopped it. If my LANDLORD found out I even talked to any homeless people, I’d be evicted. Just by association.
            In the meantime my aunt got cancer and died, I wasn’t allowed by DWP to visit her or go to her funeral. My bank accounts got frozen before and I’ve been repeatedly accused of benefit fraud, though there was no basis on which to accuse me. So my position is precarious to say the least, I can’t even openly confront the racist or the alcoholic in case they get me evicted, and I can’t complain about anything in the house for the same reason. Because things got too grotty my best friend left the other year. Her housemates don’t want to let me visit. The neighbours on one side have been being racist, and caused the housemate that just left to move out (before the DODGY guy was kicked out). Another kind-of friend and ex housemate lives nearby, but one of her mates is a git and threatened me when she left the room. Two people (a couple) here years ago, first her then him, got evicted for drug taking, drug dealing, and stealing everyone else’s stuff. And every previous house I’ve been in was worse than this one.

            I don’t have a flat or a house. Or a second room; and I don’t have the right, even if they were a lover, to move anyone in. (If I had one my landlord and housemates would never approve) I can’t sublet, or work from home, run a business, etc. My one room is where I eat, change, sleep, work, etc. I don’t have the legal permission to say who lives there, my landlord does. In that sense it is not ‘my’ room. I don’t even have full bathroom and kitchen rights. And I work unpaid against my will to clean for my housemates and landlord. Most stuff in my room doesn’t work properly.
            I juggle volunteer and community work with being a student, participating in work programme and jobseeking, medical treatment sessions, times when I’m too ill to do anything, catching up with computer business, cleaning up after housemates, and a lot more. Currently I have the same chest infection I’ve had since July.

            In the case of my ‘friend': I made several attempts to get him to places where he could be housed, but he turned it down. When I’m highly infectious I stay well away from him in case his immune system is weak and he gets a bug off me. I give food as and when I have it and if I see him. When I’ve been given stuff I can’t eat. I can’t do the sandwich run any more as my new boss stopped it and binned all the food rather than let homeless people have it. A catering company made it. The boss hates the homeless.

            There is no point getting yourself ‘taken out of play’, because then you are no good to anyone.

        • oh my word what such bad luck your friend has had ? but then again YOU could have offered him a bed could you not ?

          • something survived...

            I don’t have a bed. I have one third of a badly broken sofa. I’ve slept curled up on this for 4 or 5 years.
            He isn’t my ‘friend’, in that way. Even my best friends if they were in trouble I couldn’t help them in that way.
            He comes as a package deal with his dog, drugs, booze, dodgy friends and all of their dogs. On a good day he is cranky. He’s just the rough sleeper I get on best with here.
            I’d be evicted, I can’t even have a partner or have anyone visit.

  3. Labour hijacking a working class protest for political advantage? Now there’s a surprise. Smug middle-class bastards …

  4. Rosemarie Harris

    We had better find a party that we feel our more in tuned with us the “working class” as no party seems to have us in mind. Perhaps it’s time for us to form our own party and fight for the policy’s that we need .
    The labour party has not spoken for me for years,they are a has been party they need our vote but they don’t want to repensent us.
    Eat the Rich!

  5. Is there a media black out on these protests?

    • @Rosemarie Harris – putting your faith in any political party is a little unwise, as when any party achieves political power and is in government they will betray the electorate who voted them in. The only real solution is to get rid of government entirely and do the job ourselves. It’s called anarchism, and has a long history, and is a variety of political action that is more and more relevant for our times.

      @dzwasp – you can bet your life that there is a media blackout! What did you expect?

    • Bootle resident

      Oh most definitely there’s a media blackout. I was at the March in Bootle (pushing a wheelchair) and there had to be over 1000 people walking along Stanley Rd making an unbelievable racket. Later on 100 odd protesters went to Bootle town hall to demonstrate there whilst councilors made further cuts. And the only local media coverage we got was a couple of minutes on BBC radio Merseyside which basically consisted of our local Labour Council leader, Peter Dowde saying there was a few ‘drunken’ protesters who live outside the area and the police were called and they moved them on – All rubbish!

      • Noticed the black out started after the huge media interest in student marches.
        Suddenly after that no media coverage of protests.

  6. I know we should be concentrating on opposing it. but what about also finding a way to work round it. There are a lot of people who look for temp accommodation, including exchange students and at moment I have just had a phonecall from a Polish person who answered my ad for a support worker. Of course people do not want people who are dodgy and put themselves and their family members at risk, but what about linking up with exchange schools and language schools and maybe cross europe employment agencies?

    Downsize does not have to happen if you can get that room reclassified or find a lodger.

    There is not enough single accommodation to provide for everyone.

    Or, what about all those people and disabled who have been made homeless, cd not a match up be made between those made homeless through no fault with those who need someone to use their spare room for a little income.

    Have to think of everything.

    • Some of us (me, for one) have disabilities which prevent us from sharing accommodation at all. Others have disabilities which make it impractical. Still others are too shellshocked from previous abuse to be able to cope. And of course, many people are prohibited from taking in lodgers by their tenancy agreements.

      The most hopeful sign is housing associations being prepared to “rightsize” houses in the tenancy agreements; I can see that being by far the cheapest option, as opposed to trying to fill in chasms in the balance sheets by pursuing hopeless legal action against uncollectable sums.

      Frankly, I don’t think this is about generating revenue at all. I think it’s about forcing evictions. If housing associations and councils adopt a policy of simply refusing to evict for bedroom-tax sums – whether by reclassifying houses as having fewer bedrooms or simply by, er, being nice – then the policy becomes pointless anyway.

      • I think you’re right. I think the real objective of the bedroom tax, is to drive as many people out of social housing as possible. The Tories despise the concept of social housing. It makes them feel sick to their stomachs that people in council housing pay less in rent than people in private accommodation and it makes them feel sick that social housing tenants are not a source of profit for their slum landlord friends and at their mercy.
        I think the ultimate aim, is to get all social housing tenants into private accommodation and all the remaining council properties into private hands. The bedroom tax is just the first part of the new wave of attacks they have got planned on social housing tenants.

  7. Could welfare reform be the catalyst of political awakenings and a movement away from the muscular liberalism of the mainstream political parties or will we all find ourselves confined to the underclass mellahs dreaming of political salvation.

  8. An interesting comment underneath the story in the Express:

    Tenants exempted from bedroom tax after landlord reclassifies properties

    Nearly 600 households will escape the bedroom tax as Knowsley Housing Trust takes a bold management decision.

    The Knowsley Housing Trust is to reclassify nearly 600 family homes as smaller properties. This will exempt tenants from having their housing benefit reduced under the so-called ‘bedroom tax’, a component of the government’s welfare reform agenda, but there were other important reasons for taking this step.

    Knowsley regularly reviews the sustainability of neighbourhoods to take account of changing demographics, tenant feedback, antisocial behaviour and local demand, and to anticipate future investment and maintenance needs.

    It had become increasingly apparent that demand for the two- and three-bedroom flats and maisonettes was virtually non-existent.

  9. i will be attending a meeting on tuesday evening with my HA, myself and many others will be taking advice from joe halewoods articles on the BT. We will be asking our HA to reclassify the smallest bedrooms, mine measures 55sqft,

  10. That’s not a bedroom as far as I recall – the minimum sq footage last I knew is 60 odd

  11. I remember the last election in the House of Commons for a new speaker, it seemed to be Labour MPs nominating Tory MPs and Tory MPs nominating Labour MPs, I thought to myself… “you would think they were all in the same party”, and then I remembered, they are ALL in the same party!!!. Folks, we live (just like the USA) in a one party state, please wake up!!!.

  12. Any or all new social housing needs to be built by councils using borrowed finance from the BoE at the same rates or even better than those given to bankers with their £385 billion bonus pot funding.
    Each and every council within the UK must be forced to build a minimum of 1,500 homes per annum Not for sale until such time as rental income has covered initial cost and repayment of borrowing.
    There should be no more than 50% discount (off the going rate at the time offered) to social housing tenants providing they have lived in the house for the full term of repayment via rent.
    Any others should be given a maximum 10% discount. Every penny recovered via sale of properties to be re-invested into more properties for rent via council.

    • Councils should each start their own bank and use it to create credit into the community. They should then create a local currency and change the newly created money into the local currency so it’ll stay in the area. That’ll bring prosperity to those areas which do this independent of government. I call this idea economic secession.

  13. Thatcher (Tories) built three council houses in Scotland in twenty five years (1982-2007) in order to escalate house prices to unsustainable and unaffordable levels.

  14. something survived...

    Surely if there is no bed then the room is not a bedroom. What about being an office, library, storeroom, utility room, gym? Or all of the above?

    What is the bedroom tax on Buckingham Palace?

    If you go bed hopping, can you defer paying some of your bedroom tax, or can you relocate your tax offshore?

    What is the bedroom tax on a one-room cardboard box after you have been evicted because of the bedroom tax?

    Ideas for new taxes we could try:
    -The limb tax: The more you have, the more tax you pay. Why not reduce your tax by sawing some of your limbs off.
    -The tax tax: A tax on the taxes you pay, the more taxes you already pay, the higher the tax.
    -The taxi tax: A tax on forced taxi use by lone parents in rural areas where the buses have been cut, to get to their workfare and back.
    -The lax tax: A tax on prolific single mothers. Especially those that refuse to obtain a male partner. In lean years, to be extended to women whose husband has died, who do not remarry, and thus commit the sin of Living Without A Man.
    -The Vax Tax (also works on owners of a Henry or Dyson)
    -The Jeremy Kyle Tax: A tax on the amount of Jeremy Kyle watched by the household. Nonviewers and those pathologically allergic to Kyle, are exempt.
    -The sax tax: A tax on jazz musicians and their instruments.
    -The sex tax: The more you have, the more you pay.
    -The Griffin Tax: A tax on all people of darker skin complexion than Mr Griffin, to increase each year, until all those affected are forced to leave the country.
    -The not spending enough tax: A tax on people not seen as enough of a proper Consumer (they are harming our sacred Economy)
    -The fruit and vegetable tax: Designed to discourage the consumption of anything healthy. We can’t have the people living too long.

    Thought: If your ‘first bedroom’ (the one you sleep in) is too poor to have an actual BED, then do you in fact have zero bedrooms?

    If David Cameron and Nick Clegg get affected by the bedroom tax, will they have to consolidate their bedrooms into one bedroom and one bed? Which one snores?

    Advertisement: Caring and compassionate conservatism
    DAVID CAMERON (V/O): This is Zoe. Zoe is a single mother, She is also a cutter. A drain on the state and on working families and family taxpayers, and on patriotic family working family families. She’s not Polish or Romanian or a gippo, but she might as well be. Zoe left school (I mean we closed her school) with no GCSE’s, got pregnant, and is now a Useless Eater. Every time she cuts, she damages the NHS, which is just for rich people in private wards to get botox and nose jobs. The NHS has better things to do than keep saving her worthless life. It is far too busy with mounds of nice orderly paperwork, than to dirty itself with such vermin as patients. What Zoe really needs is to be hauled into a jobcentre and forced to apply for thousands of nonexistent jobs, because it keeps the jobcentre staff employed. What Zoe really needs is to be dragged along to a work programme and made to feel really worthless and pathetic. This will kickstart her into finding a nonexistent job. At which point we will stop her housing benefit, ha ha. If she fails to get a job we will kick her off JSA and possibly put her in prison and take away her child. If this upsets her we will motivate her by grinding up her child in front of her and using it to grit the road. She really ought to consolidate her cuts into one big cut and cleanse the earth of her vile life. Although she is not on drugs we will write down that she is, to make her better fit the profile. Single mothers harm the family because they are poor and should have their ovaries confiscated. If they get a job we will prosecute them for abandoning their child and neglecting it. If they don’t get a job we will starve them until they jolly well get one. And then take the child. People of Broken Britain, ask not what your country can do for you – ask what body parts you can give to your country. Women with husbands who are middle class should be housewives only, because their skillset lies wholly withing the domestic sphere, and their husband will provide, and their brains are too puny to understand anything. Women who are working class should work 72 hours a day down a pit or in a toilet or anywhere else we send them. Women who are underclass are scheduled for demolition, so should stop being underclass or else will forfeit their breathing privileges. Workshy cutting weepy scroungers like Zoe belong in an oven so we can at least generate some electricity out of them. Their children are evil from conception. These deadly zygotes of Satan should be marked for Guantanamo Bay as soon as there is a positive result on a pregnancy test. Tough on problem children, tough on the causes of problem children. Thank you for listening, and kindly vote Conservative.
    V/O: This has been a party political broadcast for the Mengele Party.

  15. “For the first time the 15 biggest social landlords in London are working together to build 13,000 new affordable homes by 2015 – but they will also provide an additional 4,000 properties for rent at market prices and at least 1,100 homes for outright sale at regular London prices. It will use the profits made through these new ventures to fund further affordable housing.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/03/london-housing-associations-private-property-rent

    • “affordable” just means someone can “afford” it; it’s like “graduate job”, a job a graduate is doing.

  16. Richard Court

    Your comments are insulting Kevin James. why should I share my home with people not from my family do you want to take us back to the 1800 do you want us to to take foreigners into our homes who we know nothing about. I think you have missed the point this is taking money off people who are on benefits and this could leave them with £18 per week to live on. No one who has a living wage could understand how these people survive. taking in a lodger will effect peoples benefits. I am an independent Councillor and I believe that Party Politics are corrupt and they are all out for what they can get out of it even down to local politics. both labour and the conservatives are to blame for the housing shortage .

  17. local government is answerable to central government and when central government cuts local government spending the only way they can stay in business is to make cuts or force residents to cough up more and that is what is happening to those councils that allocate housing benefit to claimants, whereby those with extra bedrooms will have either a reduced housing benefit of 14% for one bedroom or 25% for two and if the tenant does not want to accrue rent arrears then they have to pay up or move, even though as jv said there is in many cases nowhere SUITABLE NOR PREFERABLE for them to move to.
    How did they ever get such a discriminatory bill through parliament? who voted for a so called bedroom tax – it will have been mp’s from all parties who see it as another way to generate money or reduce the need for house building.
    As I have stated in past posts our housing associations have been renovating empty social house properties and putting them up for sale or part rent and part sale (another con) leaving the social rental sector with an even greater shortage of rented housing, since 2005 when housing prices were starting to fall and nobody could afford to buy.
    RTB was abused by the fly by nights who saw buying a council house as a cheap first step on the property ladder or to join the buy to let to disruptive tenants within communities.
    Many of those that bought their council houses to live in and pass on to their children are seeing it swallowed up in care costs which could amount to £150,000 per couple and all of their pension to pay for limitied care, in limited spaces ,by unqualified staff, when in the past they would be cared for by the NHS.
    They are making sure working class people remain poor.

    • More importantly, they are making sure working class people remain powerless and terrified. Poverty is merely one convenient means of ensuring this.

  18. Ah, Eoin Clarke. I remember an exchange with him on twitter a year or so ago, when I pointed out that rather more people are entitled to housing benefit than he might think – and his response was basically “la la la, I can’t hear you”. As a counter-example, he quoted the figures from Derry… but without troubling to mention that Northern Ireland imposes a legal duty on landlords to inform their tenants of the right to claim housing benefit (which strongly implies that in NI, landlords can’t discriminate against HB tenants in the way they can in England, Scotland or Wales). And of course, being unable to discriminate against those tenants least able to pay will keep rents lower than they’d otherwise be – just as, in Scotland, properly secure tenancies have a similar effect.

    I came away from the exchange unsure whether the good doctor was actively lying or merely wilfully ignorant. I remain unsure – but I can say with some confidence that his first allegiance is not to the truth, and that renders him more or less incapable of even accurately identifying problems, let alone solving them.

    Needless to say, that makes him pretty much the perfect activist in the modern Labour Party…

  19. Hold on To Your Home...

    … don’t let these Nazi bastards throw you onto the street!

  20. Our homes are our homes, this tax is an affront to the people and absolutely just another way to take out the problems created by the rich on the poor.

  21. Mr Void, any chance you could do a blog reminding people that politicians ARE NOT “In power”? I’m fed up seeing people parrot this bullshit, they are elected representatives but since the coalition got in, this IN POWER comment is being used far too often.

  22. How about putting a table & chairs in the spare bedroom & calling it a dining room?

  23. Because the bedroom tax is charged on a percentage of your rent as if you were using your bedrooms for commercial usage, then an increase in rent will increase the amount you have to contribute to it:
    I.E. IF UNDER OCCUPYING BY 2 BEDROOMS AT 25% OF TOTAL RENT OF £80 = £20 PER WEEK your housing benefit will be reduced by.
    iF RENTS GO UP TO £100 PER WEEK THEN HOUSING BENEFIT WILL BE REDUCED BY £25 PER WEEK FOR TWO BEDROOMS.
    Therefore it is not even a fixed rate for a bedroom and can be increased at will if they have not successfully evicted you or forced you to downsize.
    IT NEEDS TO BE ERADICATED ALTOGETHER.

    • Fuck the "bedroom tax"

      … and what’s to say there is not an increase in the “bedroom tax”, what if it doubled to 28% for one bedroom and 50% for two bedrooms? ERADICATE IT NOW!!

      • Fuck the "bedroom tax"

        … or 48% for one bedroom and 100% for two bedrooms… then 100% for one, two and over bedrooms?

        • Fuck the "bedroom tax"

          .. then 25%, then 50%, then 100% for having ONE bedroom… once this shit gets going there is no STOPPING it!! ERADICATE IT NOW!! before it is TOO LATE!!

      • Fuck the "bedroom tax"

        .. or what about a 100% reduction for having the audacity to enjoy the luxury of an INSIDE TOILET!!

  24. Angela

    If they are elected representatives how come they do not represent me and many others. They are power hungry pragmatists most of them. No wonder people are refusing to vote.

  25. ps that should read “power hungry protagonists not pragmatists.

  26. I don’t have a bedroom… I have a “prayer room”……. :-)

  27. “This is vital as we head towards the 2016 decision point on whether or not Trident should be replaced. Vast sums of money are being poured into developments at Aldermaston, even before any decision is taken on Trident.”
    “The total cost of a replacement for Trident would be over £100 billion. At this time of cuts to jobs, housing and public services think what else Trident’s £100 billion could be spent on! We say it’s time to scrap Trident, and on April Fools’ Day we’ll be telling the government to ‘stop fooling with nuclear weapons’!”

    http://www.cnduk.org/campaigns/no-to-trident/item/1566-time-to-scrap-trident-stop-fooling-with-nuclear-weapons

    A TOTAL waste of money…

  28. So where are the tens of thousands of rent defaulters going to go, will there be evicted families randomly walking the streets 24/7?

    This is madness beyond madness.

  29. Protests will never be covered on TV unless they are racist and/or violent to make protest seem bad. Labour died and was buried on Iona with John Smith.

  30. Landless Peasant

    I have contacted the Labour Party four times now to ask if they support ‘Workfare’ type schemes, and why all their MPs haven’t signed EDM 1072, also contacted their Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton, but have yet to receive a reply from them. And they wonder why they lost out to George Galloway’s Respect Party. I am already reluctant to vote Labour, having been forced to endure the mental torture of New Deal four times under their reign.

    • Good luck in getting a reply as I suspect they support the workfare scheme in one form or another (UKIP do – it is in there manifesto).
      I think all partys support workfare in one guise or another.

      • Obi Wan Kenobi

        But there are degrees – the one we have at the moment is disgusting.

        • I agree it is bloody awful.

        • As an individual looking for PAID employment my position is that workfare (working for benefits) is wrong, no degrees of ‘wrongness’ or ‘rightness’ are acceptable. Workfare imposed by any political party other than the tories is still wrong.

  31. rainbowwarriorlizzie

    Reblogged this on HUMAN RIGHTS & POLITICAL JOURNAL and commented:
    In Solidarity!!

  32. Pingback: Don't Trust Labour on the Bedroom Tax | Human Rights & Political Journal | Scoop.it

  33. Landless Peasant

    The aims of the Bedroom Tax, to force unemployed people into either work or to move house, isn’t going to work, for reasons that are quite obvious. In my case, I shall simply have no choice but to pay it, and in order to do so will cut-back on other things, such as my phone/internet, hot showers, etc. as well as spending longer in bed during cold weather to save on heating, and so I expect will many others. This will damage the Economy even further, as everyone affected will spend less on other things.

  34. Jesus H. Christ

    If the Council Stasi come to evict you because of this, video them and put it on Youtube! See how those petty tyrants like that. You will also have a handy bit of evidence for future Court proceeding, if they overstep the mark.

  35. i recall on the news not so long
    the ex head of the cbi lord digby
    jones say that the unemployed
    should be starved…
    bet these evil asswipes like digby,
    jones, bliar,lord fraud,ids etcc
    dream at night of masses of the
    homeless+poor+disabled invading
    their little gated homes ..
    whilst parliament resembles 1834
    …burning to the ground..and the

    crowds cheering..which they did!!

  36. Pingback: Don't Trust Labour on the Bedroom Tax | SteveB's Politics & Economy Scoops | Scoop.it

  37. I haven’t voted Labour since John Smith died, detesting them BLiar onwards, and since Kennedy left leadership we can all see how easily an ounce of power has corrupted the LibDems. I’m fully aware Labour has jumped in on the bedroom tax protests, but at least by showing some signs of listening to the left of the party like Eoin Clarke, they are moving a tad away from the BLiar/Brown years. That should be encouraged shouldn’t it?

    We need change. We need an alternative, urgently. Where is it going to come from? How can it be different and not get sucked in by the power it wields? How can it truly represent us and prove difficult to corrupt/closed to corporate lobbyists? We need the protests to be en masse to force the government to back down, but we also need an alternative to the Coalition, one that could garner enough votes from all directions, in order to get rid of them come the next election.

    I don’t trust Labour. I detest the cruel and brutal loop of the WCA and fear for my brother with the new DLA/PIP regulations which will hit him badly. I was also angered by the erosion of civil rights, the wars-for-oil and the stupidity of the nanny state. However, if they have their listening ears on, then I’m willing to talk to them at least.

  38. They can listen but will they act?

    “Just to recap the new strategy for Scottish Labour as set out by Ms Lamont:

    Abolish free care for the elderly
    Abolish free concessionary travel for the elderly
    Introduce top-up fees for university students
    End the Council Tax freeze
    Reduce the number of apprenticeships
    Reintroduce charging for prescriptions”

    Sourced from the left leaning Reid Foundation.

    http://reidfoundation.org/2012/09/is-this-the-end-of-scottish-labour/

    Ms Lamont is Johann Lamont, leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, she of the ‘something for nothing society’.

  39. HI Refusenik, Thanks for responding. Ms Lamont seems more like the true daughter of Thatcher reading that, v. disturbing that she’s Labour Leader for Scotland. As I said, I remain suspicious of the lot of them… likely they are having some power struggle between left and right of the party. I’d love to see an entirely new party with some sort of humane credentials and co-operative basis appear out of the fog. Just desperation takes hold at the thought of what this shower would do given another term (shudder to think).

  40. labas

    It was digby jones when speaking on behalf of the CBI that said prostitution should be taxed, as opposed to promoting the cause as to why one needs to prostitute themselves.

  41. Jane Crow

    Labour may be jumping on the stop the bedroom tax bandwagon now it wants votes, but how many voted for the bill that encapsulated it?

  42. JV

    Sex work such as that in spearmint Rhino etc, is not the same as prostitution.

    • was making the point that there are lots of people, not just working in lap-dancing bars but selling sexual services who pay tax, prostitution is legal and already taxable

  43. Pingback: Bedroom Tax links | Double Karma

  44. that’s news to me – ddi digby get his way then?

  45. labour can’t be trusted. new labour and
    their betrayal of the poor..bliar being a
    fan of maggie…price of getting into power
    like a faustian pact with big business..
    ” it was a wall street government” as the
    saying goes. lord fraud, evil architect of
    welfare war on the poor was with
    labour before joining torys and being
    made a lord.labour hasn’t changed.
    with homelessness going through the
    roof..up 100% here in manchester
    just in the last 12months..mind boggles
    what the level will be in just another
    12month…condemn party change the
    law on squatting not so long ago…
    a whopping 5 grand fine or 6 months
    in jail..so that avenue is closed for the
    the homeless….can see them knocking
    on the door of the salvation army or
    ymca….”got a room for the night…?”
    ” yeh…work and grovel for us for free
    and we may..in our ashtray hearts
    let you kip for the night”.

    all this media saturated demonizing
    of the poor ..easy scapegoats ..and hardly
    anyone on the news,tv,papers saying
    the obvious..the true parasites are the
    bankers,big business mafia clans,and
    their stooges..the politicians…
    not the poor and destitute…who the
    fuck in their

    ” well…..if you work for us for free……
    the uk has got real punitive…who

    a whopping 5 grand fine or 6 months
    in jail….so that avenue is closed for

  46. Eoin Clarke & his gang set up a whole series of fake events with no local backing including one in Brighton. After loads of local people got interested & posted on it, someone slagged off Labour (as they deserve) so Clarke deleted & reposted the event, wiping hundreds of posts.

    People were so angry at this that Brighton Benefits Campaign set up a seperate event (which LL won’t publicise as part of the day of action & now they’ve removed their fake one!)

    We’re hoping to get a good response as the bedroom tax affects so many people in social housing & is so patently unjust.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/449552485116401/

  47. Reblogged this on themodeofthought and commented:
    Now we must fight the Bedroom Tax. What next! the Toilet Tax?

  48. The bedroom tax an obscene ideological Govt attack on the vulnerable

    * contains strong language :-)

    • taxi driver..youre spot on.
      the politicians are a bunch of crooks..
      the bankers are lined up for a
      ‘ vultures picnic’ in april with their
      three billion give away while the poor
      are starved,demonized,scapegoated.
      made homeless at the same time..
      how fucking obscene…
      barely a squeek in the media.
      the condems l hear got plans to
      make the disabled,sick,low paid,
      part time workers work for fuck
      all after universal credit starts…
      lord fraud in his 8 room country
      mansion is an obscene worm..
      uk will be a workfare nation for
      the poor..a british gulag..
      the poor are like the jews in nazi
      germany in the 30’s…demonized

  49. Pingback: Ten Questions | A Wilderness of Peace

  50. Pingback: None of the above – why I spoiled my #indyref ballot paper | Fleabite

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