Glasgow: 0141 221 5562 Edinburgh: 0131 220 7660

Bedroom Tax - heads in the sand

Bedroom Tax - heads in the sand

Funny how you can stomach a rotten meal if you keep telling yourself it's not actually that bad. As the first witnesses to the Bedroom Tax Inquiry being held by the UK Parliament?s Scottish Affairs Committee last week, the SFHA's Mary Taylor and I couldn?t quite be sure what the Committee's approach would be. With five Labour MPs, three Conservative and two LibDem, would views stick to party lines, and in some cases did we even know what those lines were?

Well, it's good that disabled people are exempt, said one Conservative MP near the beginning.

Ah - actually they're not. Hardly any disabled people.

But if two adults need separate bedrooms because of their disability, surely they're exempt

As I said, I can assure you they're not.

Well thank you for clarifying that, and the point about parents with part-week access to their kids also not being exempt. Clearly these are anomalies which should be ironed out.

I think you'll find they're not anomalies or oversights. They've been deliberately designed into the system to maximise the savings to the DWP.

OK but in any case why should social housing tenants have an extra room paid for, when buyers or private renters choose what they can afford.

There was no informed choice here it was applied retrospectively. And so it went on. Politicians have too much going on to become expert in all areas, but given the high profile nature of the bedroom tax in recent times, I think I was quite surprised at what the starting point seemed to be for some members. Unless it just made some feel better to think it really couldn't be that bad.

Arguably, true colours emerged in the interrogation we received from the (Labour) Chair over Holyrood's powers to put things right. Can the Scottish Government not just compensate landlords for their losses?

Well, that would cost £50m a year, probably off the house building budget. And that doesn't include all the other benefit cuts.

So there we go -  after a two and half hour session, the bedroom tax had turned into Holyrood's problem.

All in all, food for thought for anyone harbouring hopes that the bedroom tax might one day be overhauled, let alone repealed.

Or for more information on the legal implications of the bedroom tax, please contact our social housing team.

CTA Procurement

Written by : Super User

Trackback URL