Social Liberal Forum welcomes change of tack on “Bedroom Tax”

Social Liberal ForumFollowing yesterday’s press release from Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander regarding the underoccupancy charge (known colloquially as “Bedroom Tax”) we’re delighted at the Social Liberal Forum.

The policy was introduced as a follow up to Labour’s introduction of the ‘Bedroom Tax’ for private tenants, and has left people with little housing options being penalised for being unable to move. Far from saving money, it simply created hostility in the social housing sector and brutally discriminated against those in poverty.

Members in the party have been lobbying on Bedroom Tax for some time, with the motion to Brighton in 2012 and the motion put forward by the Social Liberal Forum on Food Poverty by Ros Kayes and myself at York in the Spring.

Internally, discussions about getting the bedroom tax reviewed have gone on at length, and I’m sure we’re all delighted at the news that the Lib Dem Parliamentary Party will finally be following those rebels, Tim Farron and Greg Mulholland amongst them, in retracting support for this government policy.

At the Social Liberal Forum Conference on Saturday, I will be hosting a panel with Trussell Trust CEO David McAuley and Baroness Claire Tyler on poverty and ways to address this through policy. This is one thing we can strike off our list.

* Kelly-Marie Blundell is a member of Federal Policy Committee, Vice Chair of the Social Security Working Group and previous parliamentary candidate

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9 Comments

  • Kevin White 17th Jul '14 - 6:22pm

    Stop messing about. Just scrap it !

  • Joshua Dixon 17th Jul '14 - 7:10pm

    I don’t agree that one can strike off the list. In fact until its scrapped completely (not just promises of reform) I can’t say that there is much reason to celebrate at all.

  • Peter Hayes 17th Jul '14 - 7:47pm

    For gods sake keep Danny off the TV news, his channel 4 news reply was embarrassing. Let’s just say the Tories wanted it and we did not have enough MPs to stop them.

  • Peter Hayes said : “Let’s just say the Tories wanted it and we did not have enough MPs to stop them”. Please show us the arithmetic: how many Labour MP’s voted for the bedroom tax in this Parliament so that the Tories didn’t need the LibDem votes to push it though?

  • I agree that Danny was embarrassing on Channel 4 News tonight. The problem is that our MPs supported it. They didn’t support it because the alternative was worse. They supported it because they believed it was the right thing to do.

    These MPs don’t really have a place in the Liberal Democrats. This was an illiberal policy which we should only have supported because the alternative would have been worse. The removal of the spare room subsidy didn’t increase freedom and liberty, it penalised the poor (i.e.those receiving housing benefit) and restricted their life choices.

  • ErnstRemarx 18th Jul '14 - 1:25pm

    @ David Beckett – the policy is retrospectively vindictive. If there is insufficient housing to downsize to, then tenants are stuck. Furthermore, the alleged ‘protections’ for the disabled are a figment of Cameron and Clegg’s imaginations, as they don’t exist, nor do exemptions for carers.

    It is regressive, illiberal, absurd, punitive and failing policy, given that only 4.6% of tenants have moved. If that doesn’t ram it home for you, then I suggest you, as a councillor, go and have a nice chat with social housing tenants in your ward. I’m sure they’ll give you a very warm reception if you repeat your views to them.

    As for Beaker on C4 News, words fail me. Condemns the tax but won’t vote against, with Clegg trying to heap blame on both the Tories and Labour. Who damn well voted for this idiotic measure? You and you parliamentary colleagues in the LibDems.

    And people will not forget that.

  • Chris Randall 31st Jul '14 - 7:20pm

    Cllr David Beckett this stupidity will not solve the housing crisis caused by 30 odd years of governments ignoring it, Allowing Landlords to profit with high private rents using housing housing benefit to buy homes. The truth is we need a minimum of 3,000,000 homes in this country and soon, it is fast becoming the biggest problem in society and getting a few people to downsize will not solve anything. What it needs is a party with an housing policy rather then none.

  • A Social Liberal 31st Jul '14 - 9:12pm

    Councillor Beckett – you could always try building some council houses !

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