19 thoughts on “British bedroom tax makes people homeless

  1. IT feels as though the world is going mad… I may have to stop reading blogs I’m getting so depressed about arms piles in the US, cloning cows in NZ, bees dying everywhere, governments kicking their own people in the teeth…oh dear!!!!


    • Hi Valerie, I hope there will be better news next time at this blog:)

      There is also some good news in this blog post; about people resisting against the bedroom tax.


  2. The UK Government is also totally changing the benefits system, so that you can only apply on line. Of course, if you can afford a computer and on-line access, and have the savvy to negotiate the web site (bet that turns out to be a nightmare!) you probably don’t need the benefits. But you could go down to your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, except that it’s been shuttered as a cost-saving measure. Meantime, we have over 300 food banks, up from 20 in 2008. But we’re assured this is all good for some strange mythical deity called The Economy. Except it isn’t.


    • Hi Paul, thanks for the comment!

      I think that at the moment, even some people who are Internet savvy and own computers from the time when they still had jobs, need benefits now because of mass sackings etc.


  3. A point of principle to resign

    Tuesday 26 March 2013

    by Ian Mearns

    Last week I voted against the party I have represented in various forms, whether in local government or Parliament, for the past 30 years.

    As a result of my action, I regrettably and with a heavy heart resigned my post as parliamentary private secretary to Ivan Lewis, shadow international development secretary. To do this was no easy thing. But it boiled down to a simple question – was it the right thing to do?

    Much is said in political circles of the squeezed middle, and my concern as an MP is of course for those in middle and lower-middle incomes. But the welfare of those at the very bottom has to be a priority.

    Who was it that said they would be “with you in tough times?” For nearly three years I have watched the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government push through policies that will have a significant impact on those least able to weather those tough times.

    I have long talked about the coming “Black April,” when on the first of the month hundreds of thousands of families will be hit by a combination of bedroom taxes, cuts to council tax benefit and freezes to child benefit and working tax credits, as well as benefits caps, direct payments of benefits and having to apply online.

    Experience has shown us that many will simply not cope with these regimes and so will lead to significantly increased levels of hardship.

    Some are already struggling because of changes that directly affect low-income families such as increases in VAT, the capping of benefits uprating to 1 per cent and the Chancellor’s changes to the benefits system whereby benefits rise by CPI and not RPI.

    Since I was elected as the MP for Gateshead in 2010 I have dealt with hundreds of people hit by the punitive and ideological crusade of this government.

    It is still a legitimate question to ask why should people, ordinary people, at the bottom of the income scale have to pay for the huge mistakes and casino economics of the bankers which has got us where we are today?

    It is working people, and those desperately seeking paid employment, that are feeling the most pain from these policies.

    They are very often the people stuck in cycles of low-paid work and increasingly reliant on topping up shortcomings in their income with benefits and tax credits.

    So to freeze these benefits is to disproportionately hit low-income families.

    Where are families with limited incomes meant to find £20 or £30 a week to make up the shortfalls in their income as a direct consequence of these welfare reforms?

    This is a question I’ve had to ask myself a lot of late.

    For me, the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill was a moment where I had to challenge the government directly.

    Where is the fairness in retrospectively changing the law to absolve the government of responsibility for its predicted and monumental mismanagement of the workfare scheme?

    It has to be said that there is profound disagreement and unease with the Parliamentary Labour Party over the party’s position on welfare.

    Last Monday there was a meeting of the PLP, and it must be said that the overwhelming majority of those voicing concerns and unease about the Bill were not the usual suspects.

    I believe that the Labour Party has got itself on the wrong side of the argument when it comes to welfare reform.

    Instead of protecting those who are most vulnerable, it seems we’re keeping in step with a coalition government that is hell-bent on cutting the safety nets intended to help those in freefall.

    Labour needs to be a party that protects those who need protection.

    Welfare to work is a two-part equation – welfare and work. In many parts of the country, demand for jobs far outstrips supply, yet people who are desperately seeking real work are being forced to work for nothing to gain, in some instances, a very poor work experience when many others would happily do the jobs that their labour is replacing. Where there is no real work, there have to be decent safety nets for real people.

    It is of great concern that we seem to be dancing to a tune of populism that ignores the fact that these are real people’s lives that the government is ruining.

    The background

    Ian Mearns defied party leader Ed Miliband’s instruction to abstain in a Commons vote on the government’s vicious decision to prevent jobseekers from receiving compensation for the docking of welfare payments under the workfare scheme for unpaid labour.

    The Gateshead MP was among 44 Labour members who took a principled stand and voted against the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill.

    Turmoil has erupted within the Labour Party in Parliament and across the country following the leadership’s decision not to oppose the Bill.

    It was rushed through Parliament to retrospectively overturn an Appeal Court judgement which would have resulted in £130 million in benefit rebates to nearly 250,000 jobseekers.

    The court found that the jobseekers, who had been made to work unpaid for months in some cases, had been unlawfully punished.



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