Ed Miliband’s pledge that a future Labour Government will rescind the Bedroom Tax is welcome news to all who have been fighting to Axe the Tax since its introduction in April. The Bedroom Tax is indeed ‘a nasty Tory tax’
Opposition to the Bedroom Tax was already widespread. Last week delegates to the Lib Dem annual conference voted for ‘an immediate review of the impact’ of the Bedroom Tax policy and its ‘affect on vulnerable tenants’. The Chief executive of the National Federation of Housing Associations, David Orr, describes the bedroom tax as the ‘economics of the madhouse’. The UN investigator Raquel Rolnik reported evidence that in the field of housing ‘human right violations’ have occurred, and she recommended the Bedroom Tax be abolished. UNISON leader Dave Prentis has called on Labour Councils to make sure there is no eviction of tenants facing Bedroom Tax rent arrears. Across Scotland militant opposition to the Bedroom Tax has ensured that landlords are adopting No Eviction policies.
Support for the Bedroom Tax is now restricted to a handful of Cabinet ministers. Pressure is now on the Tories to conduct a ‘review,’ and then scrap the Bedroom Tax.
Ellen Clifford from Disabled People Against Cuts said “This is a welcome move by Labour. Not only is the bedroom tax cruel and unjust, it is also completely unworkable, costing millions more to implement than it could ever save. But people suffering under it need action now, they can’t wait for a general election. Labour councils must now pledge no evictions for anyone in arrears as a result of so-called welfare reform.”
With Labour now committed to Axe the Tax the Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation demands that:
1. Labour Councils, and Labour Councillors who sit on the Boards of Social Housing Providers, immediately ensure that there will be no eviction of tenants, and that the threats of eviction end immediately.
2. A future Labour Government must ensure that central government repays all bedroom tax amounts retrospectively to 1st April 2013, and reimburses tenants with all court and bailiff fees incurred as a result of the Bedroom Tax.
3. That revenue to pay for this should be raised by an under occupancy surcharge on owners of two or more mansions. This money should be paid direct to landlords to satisfy arrears and leave neither social landlords nor their tenants burdened with debt.
For more information contact Ellen Clifford on 07505144371, firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) The Anti Bedroom tax and benefit justice federation was launched earlier this year bringing together grassroots campaigns opposed to attacks on social security and housing from across England and Wales including Disabled People Against Cuts, Defend Council Housing and local anti bedroom tax campaigns. www.antibedroomtax.org
2) UN rapporteur Raquel Rolnik met with members of the Federation and DPAC, and heard powerful testimonies from those directly affected by it https://dpac.uk.net/2013/09/un-investigator-recommends-for-bedroom-tax-to-be-scrapped-immediately/