Tuesday 16 December 2014

The bedroom tax is the right thing to do

Labour are spreading lies about the bedroom tax on Twitter this week saying that two thirds are affected are disabled. If you look at the statistics, it actually says it included those who "do not currently have difficulties with daily activities". The Equality Impact Assessment report also notes that a bedroom for a non-resident carer will also be taken into account in determining the relevant size criteria where that carer provides necessary overnight care for the claimant or their partner.

So really it is wholly immaterial whether it affects disabled people (as though they were elevated to sainthood). There is still a large number of disabled persons under-occupying social housing designed for families.

Moreover the statistics also include those presently registered for depression, which you won't be surprised to learn is in high concentrations in remote former industrial areas where unemployment is high. One of the crucial effects of the bedroom tax is to remove the viability of long term welfare dependency in these areas, spurring people to move to smaller properties closer to jobs. It takes the disabled off the warehouse shelf and recognises that they can and should make a contribution.

Labour is moving to end the policy. Labour needs a constituency of helpless serfs who need their local authority overlords to look after them. Labour doesn't want independent disabled people. Nor does Labour want to end welfare dependency. Labour wants disabled people continuing to believe they are helpless clients of the state. It doesn't care who it has to use or how to win power. Their powerbase comes from welfare dependency and they need you to believe disabled people are victims.

This policy is controversial, but it is fair to the taxpayer, good for the economy but most of all, reintegrating long term welfare claimants back into the economy, getting them economically mobile, and getting them out of welfare slums in the valleys is the right thing to do. What people actually mean when they say there is a housing crisis is that there are no large properties exactly to specification in the location they want them, paid for by somebody else.

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