The new duty will plunge Britons into poverty, including members of the armed forces, the disabled and elderly.
The new law, so-called “bedroom tax” will be imposed from April by the Guvernment.
All social housing tenants of working-age will have their housing benefit docked if they are judged to have a spare bedroom. For 670,000 households already struggling to pay bills and rent while feeding themselves or their children, that means losing an average of £14 a week, and up to £80 a month. Misery awaits.
The policy has two stated aims: firstly, to bring down the housing benefits bill; secondly, to free up under-occupied social housing to help overcrowded families. The Government is absolutely right to argue that £21bn worth of taxpayers’ money is wasted on housing benefit. But it is paid out because our economy is blighted by a combination of high unemployment and underemployment, low wages and excessive rents, leaving large sections of the population unable to afford their housing costs. A huge chunk of housing benefit has become a subsidy for private landlords who scrounge off the taxpayer, knowing they can charge extortionate rents and the state will pick up the tab. Controlling rents – as in Germany – would be a more effective and humane way of reducing the bill.
Tags: bedroom tax
, housing benefits