At the beginning of February this year I wrote in my blog a post titled, The Spiteful Tax. For those who didn’t manage to read it, There is a section devoted to Iain Duncan Smith and another detailing the “Tax” and its implications.
The Heading of this post suggests the intention to kill or harm, which is held to distinguish unlawful killing from murder.
Yes, it is a term in Law but I use it because, in my opinion, the unlawful killing off of the Welfare State is exactly what this odious Coalition Government is trying to do. The Bedroom Tax or Spare Room Subsidy, whatever you want to call it, is a spiteful tool designed to save the Government money. Iain Duncan Smith can paint as rosy a picture as he likes but the bottom line is, it is another penalty brought about by a minority which affects the majority!
Mass, uncontrolled immigration with no thought as to how to accommodate the thousands of people arriving on our shores is the root cause of the problem. The previous, Labour, administration gave instruction to prioritise immigrants for Social Housing above the indigenous population. So what? You might ask, we are a free and generous society. Yes, I would agree but as the bankers found out to their collective costs, you cannot give away money without first ensuring that you can adequately replace it. The same argument applies to housing stock.
People in social or privately rented accommodation who have rooms to spare are, by and large, in a cleft stick situation. They have to rely upon the Local Authority or Housing Association to rehouse them in smaller properties containing the correct amount of rooms for their needs. (As described in the, ‘This is how many rooms you need to be comfortable’, Government guideline booklet.) The main problem here is that there are just not enough smaller houses available. This is not the fault of the tenant or the Authority. The blame lies squarely at the door of the Government who look at the housing market through ‘rose tinted glasses’.
In their cosy world, Ministers believe that everyone should be in employment and, because of this, everyone should own their own home. Utopia! Further, notwithstanding Government and Opposition posturing as to who has built the most social housing, the facts are that neither Labour nor Tory have built enough to satisfy the needs of the market.
Because of successive “bad” Government there are few jobs, even fewer people educated to a level acceptable by industry should jobs become available. This country is over populated, over regulated and overstretched. For George Osborne to announce that housing was at the heart of his budget was an insult, especially when he claimed that home ownership was key to his vision of an ‘aspiration nation‘.
I took that phrase to mean that we are all finding it hard to breath under the weight of the austerity measures the clueless Coalition is burdening us all with!
My main argument with the Bedroom Tax is that the people are paying for the mistakes of Government. Not just, Mistakes, we have been purposely deceived for the last fifteen years or more. Lulled into believing that no matter what our circumstances, the State would care for us. How soon we fell for the lies, the mis-truths, the deception. It was soon forgotten that the Welfare State was designed as a safety net and not as a means to earn a living.
While amnesic Labour are very good at berating the present Government for implementing this unfair tax, don’t forget that it was their very own duplicitous Tessa Jowel who proposed exactly the same. This was when Labour decided to forcibly remove old people out of their homes, through a bedroom tax by any other name, to free up social housing.
So, is it fair to single out I.D.S as the perpetrator of evil? Yes, I believe that it is. He has always argued for a minimal Welfare State. Preferably one in which the public pay a high premium for. He is a typical ‘look at me, haven’t I done well?, type. If we could all marry into the right families through which to cultivate the right contacts in the right places then, maybe, we could all do well. Note that he wasn’t shy to use the Benefit System when he left the army, having served as an officer. This at a time when jobs were abundant especially for ex officers. The man is nasty and spiteful, if, as he and his cohorts on the Front Bench, declare – we are all in this together – then surely anyone who lives in a property be it private, social or otherwise should only have enough rooms for the size of the family. This might then go a long way to stop the them & us, culture fostered by successive Governments.
I, for one, do not care how much Duncan Smith earns in a week or, whether or not he could live on £57 a week. I do care for the people who will be adversely affected by this added burden to their finances at a time of deep austerity. You can only beat a dog so many times before it bites back and that is what I fear could happen in this country. Short sighted policy made by unworldly career politicians will lead to civil unrest and the people caught in the middle will be the poorest in the community.
Damned by their situation and Damned by an uncaring Government elite!