Tag Archives: bedroom tax

The Independent View: The case for ‘bedroom tax’ reform is clear – the test is for Lib Dems to take it up

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 15.25.47In physics the conservation principle dictates that in closed systems, energy can neither be created or destroyed, but only turned from one form to another. New research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation examining recent welfare reforms suggest that a similar law applies to housing support costs.

Applying size limits to social tenants – better known as the spare room subsidy or ‘bedroom tax’ – aimed to do three things. Reduce costs; ease overcrowding and introduce greater fairness into the system. Specifically, if you were a social tenant with extra space that you didn’t strictly need you should pay for the advantage like all other people with housing costs.

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged | 42 Comments

Tim Farron “will withdraw party’s support for Bedroom Tax”

Bedroom tax demo , all the photos taken with a iphone 5Ok, so we’ll overlook the Guardian’s inaccurate headline. Have they learned nothing from years of watching our policy making process? Tim Farron doesn’t have the power to do what the Guardian says he’s done:

The Liberal Democrat president, Tim Farron, will withdraw his party’s support for the bedroom tax on Wednesday, saying it has caused “huge social problems.”

I think he’s right, of course. It might just about be ok if there were suitable smaller properties for people to move into, or if …

photo by: paul bevan
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Tim Farron says Liberal Democrats are likely to oppose “Bedroom Tax” in 2015

Tim Farron has said that he expects that Liberal Democrats will oppose the so-called “Bedroom Tax” in 2015. In an interview with Inside Housing, he has said that in its current form it was causing hardship and depriving housing associations of the money to build much needed new homes. While he praised the Liberal Democrats who had secured more money for discretionary housing payments to mitigate its effects, he acknowledged that reforms were needed.

He said:

I would be disappointed if we did support it in its current form.

I do not expect our party to support this policy unreformed, we must

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Opinion: Don’t close spare room subsidy loophole – just yet

In January, it was revealed that there was a loophole in the Government’s welfare reforms. The loophole relates to those people claiming Housing Benefit whilst in the same property for at least the past 17 years.

The government have indicated they will reverse this loophole as soon as possible. Reports suggest legislation will be brought forward in March.

I would call on the government to hold on closing this loophole until the independent review, ordered by Nick Clegg, has reported back on the implications of the spare bedroom subsidy.

I base this on my own experiences. Although I lost my seat in May

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Bedroom Tax no more in Scotland – with Scottish Liberal Democrat support

It’s been a big week for the Scottish Parliament. On Tuesday, Holyrood passed a much stronger equal marriage bill than we have south of the border. Yesterday it passed a budget which, with different ideas incorporated from Labour and the Liberal Democrats, will make a huge difference to many people in Scotland.

The Holyrood budget process is very different. You’d never find George Osborne publishing his budget 3 months in advance, letting all parties contribute to the process and then putting an amended budget through Parliament incorporating new ideas. It’s to Finance Secretary John Swinney’s great credit that he adopts …

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Tim Farron “set to vote against the “Bedroom Tax” while Swales, Mulholland, R Williams and Sanders table motion against it

From the Guardian‘s live politics blog (3:15)

Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, is set to vote against the government on the bedroom tax tonight, I’m told. A friend of Farron’s tells me: ”Party conference in Glasgow expressed its will very strongly against the bedroom tax and so Tim is listening to party members and will probably be voting against the government tonight. Tim is the voice of the party members, they have expressed their view and Tim wants to make sure that their voice is heard.”

Here’s the motion on the bedroom tax that the Lib Dems passed at their party

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Danny Alexander’s father criticises the Bedroom Tax

From the Independent:

The father of Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has launched a scathing attack on the “bedroom tax” in the annual report of a Scottish housing association.

Di Alexander is the chair of the Lochaber Housing Association and in its annual report, he has this to say about the Bedroom Tax and other aspects of welfare reform:

The Association has also been facing up to the considerable challenges presented by Welfare Reform changes. The first of these to be implemented – the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ – is particularly unfair in that it penalises both our tenants and ourselves for

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Michael Moore “turned down chance to resign Cabinet post”

A report in today’s Herald suggests that former Scottish Secretary Michael Moore was offered the chance to resign from the Cabinet rather than be sacked. A “spend more time with his family” scenario was apparently Nick Clegg’s first choice method of removal. Moore, though, was reportedly not having any of it:

In what might have been meant as a conciliatory gesture, Mr Clegg offered his Cabinet colleague the chance to resign. But friends of Mr Moore made clear the Borders MP rebuffed the offer immediately, telling his party leader: “If you are going to sack me, sack me. I won’t

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Bedroom tax: Lib Dem conference says no – as do 53% of party members

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Almost 700 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Lib Dem conference representatives voted overwhelmingly to review the controversial policy known by most as the ‘bedroom tax’, by some as the ‘spare room subsidy’ and by no-one at all as the ‘under-occupancy charge’. Here’s how the BBC reported it:

In the last of a series of debates at the party’s conference in Glasgow, delegates voted overwhelmingly

Posted in LDV Members poll | 10 Comments

Opinion: Ten reasons why the bedroom tax must go

The conference amendments can only be an expedient stop-gap to complete repeal. Here are ten reasons why the bedroom tax (also known as the spare room subsidy) should go.

1. Bedroom Tax is targeted to victimise the most vulnerable members of society. Two thirds of the victims of Bedroom Tax were receiving Incapacity Benefit: over 440,000 nationally.

2. An extra bedroom is not an extravagance if you need additional space for medical equipment, a room for carers to sleep in or live in a household where an ill person is too unwell to sleep in the same room as their partner and to do so would negatively affect the health and wellbeing of both.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 46 Comments

Lord German writes… Monitoring the removal of the spare room subsidy

Like many people reading the front page of the Guardian this morning, I was worried by the headline on the pronouncements by the UN special rapporteur on the removal of the spare room subsidy. But it is important to look behind the headline to see that these comments were based on a very brief visit from this adviser, who did not have the time for a detailed discussion with the Department for Work and Pensions to understand the policy. If she had done she would have been able to understand that this policy brings the rules for the social …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 33 Comments

Opinion: Let’s have some facts on the ‘bedroom tax’

One of the ‘facts’ about the ‘bedroom tax’ which is becoming increasing accepted is that 9 out of 10 disabled people affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ and refused a discretionary payment are going without food.

There is a rather good graphic, much shared, on Facebook illustrating this and it has been added to the Labour rhetoric of the all round wickedness of the Coalition.

Posted in Op-eds | 47 Comments

Letter to Nick Clegg – Secret courts and bedroom tax

Dear Nick,
Following the vote in Parliament last night the Prime Minister demonstrated how to graciously step back from a position and accept the will of our democratically elected representatives that Britain should not engage in the folly of military intervention in Syria.To step back, accept that you have lost the vote, and so quickly return to the task that parliament has set is not in my view a sign of weakness, it is a clear sign of strength and dignity that will serve the Prime Minister well.

At our Spring conference this year you faced two major votes where you disagreed

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Lib Dems secure £35 million extra funds to help those affected by Bedroom Tax

The arguments over the so-called Bedroom Tax have been rehearsed on this site on many occasions and it’s been in the news today, with the judgement that it does not discriminate against disabled people.

The Department of Work and Pensions has separately announced extra money to help those worst affected. This will be given to Councils to give to those most in need. I understand that ministers did consider further exemptions but felt that it was fairer to allow councils to make the decisions because they were dealing directly with the tenants concerned and knew more about their circumstances.

The extra …

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Lessons of Coalition: what do the Lib Dems need to learn from the first 3 years?

ldv coalition lessonsWe’re more than three years in. What started in the Rose Garden has turned into a bed of thorns. The quieter summer weeks are as good a time as any to reflect on the key lessons the Lib Dems need to learn from this stint in government. Who knows? We may have a second chance after 2015: best to plan ahead now to avoid the obvious pitfalls we fell into this time (tuition fees, NHS Bill, secret courts) as well as to max-out the successes we’ve delivered (tax-cuts for the low-paid, the ‘pupil premium’, new apprenticeships).

Over the next few days, we’ll be running a daily feature, ‘Lessons of Coalition’ to which those of us who contribute to LibDemVoce will be adding. But we welcome reader contributions as well. The word limit is no more than 450 words, and please focus on just one lesson you think the party needs to learn. Simply email your submission to [email protected] Here’s mine for starters…

Stronger policy development and campaigning on issues that matter to the public (AKA where’s our liberal equivalent of the benefits cap?)

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Well done, Ed Balls. He’s opened up space for a proper welfare debate. Lib Dems now need to claim that space.

Ed Balls has done us all a favour. His announcement last week that if he were Chancellor he would put a stop to winter fuel allowances for well-off pensioners means Labour has joined the Lib Dems in saying we need to focus the welfare budget where it’s needed most, not keep on re-distributing from the worse off to the better off in the name of universalism. It’s why I chose him as my 38th Liberal Hero.

And yesterday he was at it again, highlighting quite how much of the welfare budget the state pension represents — some £74 …

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LibLink… Danny Alexander: Coalition tackling housing crisis

Danny Alexander writes in today’s Scotsman about the benefit reduction which has become colloquially known as the Bedroom Tax.

He argues that the Coalition had to take action after Labour mismanagement and failure to build houses:

However, they may not know that Labour also left a legacy whereby hundreds of thousands of families in Scotland are waiting for a house that is big enough for their family to live in. The government has a responsibility to make sure that we change housing benefit rules in a careful, sensitive and managed way. But we also have a responsibility to those families.

Housing benefit is

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Margaret Thatcher, the 1983 election and the ‘bedroom tax’

margaret-thatcherLike Caron, I spent more than a healthy amount of my Bank Holiday Monday watching BBC Parliament’s re-run of the 1983 general election.

It’s not an election I remember (I was 6). But the symmetry of yesterday’s hyperbolic Guardian (‘The day Britain changed’) front page and the televised reminder of Margaret Thatcher’s first landslide seemed calculated to confirm the left’s view that 1st April 2013 marked the ultimate victory of those on the right who wanted (and still want) to destruct the welfare state.

What Mrs T, Geoffrey Howe …

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LibLink: Danny Alexander – Bedroom blockers and tax dodgers will pay

Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander has published a robust defence of the Coalition’s welfare reforms in The Sun on Sunday. Here’s how it starts:

Last week a young woman came to talk to me about her housing situation. Her frustration was obvious. She was working hard in a low-paid job and was stuck in an overcrowded home with a young family and desperately needed to move to a bigger home. She couldn’t understand why she had to wait so long to get a home that was the right size for her and her family. It’s a story

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | 50 Comments

Opinion: The ‘Bedroom Tax’ does not pass the Fairer Society test

The leadership’s positioning over secret courts has angered many of the party faithful over the past week, but for me the major disappointment  has been our uncritical support of the Tory inspired ‘spare bedroom subsidy’ policy or how I think more accurately describes it – the ‘bedroom tax’.  Our leader Nick Clegg used the provocative ‘spare bedroom subsidy’ term in a Q&A session at last week’s Spring Conference, and it has been repeated by senior Lib Dems including Mike German on Newsnight in the days following.

The policy, which is part of the government’s welfare reform package, will cut the amount …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 48 Comments

“Bedroom Tax” – should social landlords be doing more to encourage swaps?

The “bedroom tax” which is not actually a tax, but a cut in Housing Benefit if a tenant in social housing has more bedrooms than they are deemed to need, has caused much anxiety and disquiet in recent weeks. Its introduction in April means that tenants in social housing will need to find around £60 a month on already hard-pressed budgets. If they are unable to pay the extra, then they face eviction. Even ifsocial landlords decide not to evict and merely to pursue rent arrears, the stress of that debt and its impact on a family’s ability to keep …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 69 Comments



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    Stephen: I agree with your premise about the nature of Liberalism. I disagree with how you apply it to the debate over Jeremy Browne's book....
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    @Malc. Totally agree with you - great poster and get Charles Kennedy and Alistair Darling out there more. I really hope that Scotland votes to...
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    Michael Moore says - "--Currently, our British forces are strategically structured and positioned, not on an arbitrary national level, but on military logic........" Ah yes,...
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    Thanks for these. Interesting stuff I note that the quality of the 1931 film of Archibald Simon is much better than the 1967 film of...
  • User AvatarRC 18th Apr - 7:51am
    I would echo what George Crozier says. From the door knocking I have done, when you get to speak to them, people I have met...