Join the protests against Bedroom Tax

Good to see the Daily Post have covered the protest in Wrexham (this Saturday in Queen’s Square from 1pm) – and a good quote from the organisers explaining why this bedroom tax is wrong. The changes announced yesterday are welcome but don’t go far enough. If someone has a good reason why they can’t live somewhere smaller or there isn’t somewhere smaller and cheaper available for them to move to, it is wrong for their benefit to be deducted.

Join the campaign on Facebook here.

2 thoughts on “Join the protests against Bedroom Tax

  1. I shall support the protest but you can be very sure i don’t have illusions about Labr’s role in it. Your party has an abysmal record on welfare (who brought in ATOS? A4E? Lord Fraud? Workfare? LHA which pauperizes many private tenants? PFI which has ruined the NHS? Who’s closing local hospitals round Wrecsam?) and i can’t be the only person who won’t forget that.
    Against the bedroom tax. Against cynical politicians.

    • Thanks Sue. Not everything the previous Government did was perfect, but there were lots of good things. My experience of talking to people on benefits is mostly of people who would absolutely love to have a job. On the other hand, most people who tell pollsters they want “to reduce benefits to scroungers” are much more sympathetic when faced with the actual circumstances faced by individuals who are either trying really hard to get work or are simply too ill to do so.

      But in 2007 before the banking crisis, the jobs market was buoyant. I was working in Doncaster at the time and lots of employers were complaining that they couldn’t fill vacancies. So it was important to put a lot of effort into identifying those people who could work and then supporting them into jobs. This has to be a combination of carrot and stick, although my personal experience is in delivering the carrots: I secured government funding through the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative to give people who wanted to work help to get there and supported business in expanding and taking on more staff.

      This is very different from what is happening now: this government’s changes hit strivers as well as shirkers. Helen Goodman sets out here how much worse it is than a few years ago. I have always been cynical about PFI and whether it would save money over borrowing, but it is important to remember that the costings were based on much higher interest rates than are available now. Saying a particular investment was a bad deal is like saying that getting a fixed rate mortgage was a bad idea in 1997. We did – and we paid more than if we had had a variable rate mortgage, but at the time we were worried about being clobbered by a rise in interest rates and that’s why we chose a fixed rate deal. The Welsh Government’s overall spending limit is set by Westminster, so while the changes to the NHS are painful, I think it is right that Carwyn and his team have shared the pain across all public services and are determined to maintain a focus on jobs and growth. At least the NHS in Wales won’t have to cover the extra costs in England which arise from the creation of a market system.

      I think it is really important that politicians are honest about what they intend to do – and then do what they said they would. I know Ed Miliband shares that view. He has been very honest about the fact that Labour won’t be able to reverse all the Tory/Lib Dem cuts because the fact that they are shrinking the economy means that the country will be less able to afford public services in 2015 than we are now, let alone before the banking crisis. I think the two big issues are to focus on jobs and growth and to promote fairness. The wealthiest in our society should be paying a higher percentage of their wealth and income than the rest of us but they aren’t – as can be seen here. The fact that the present government is about to give the wealthiest a huge tax break (average £100,000 each) at the same time as imposing the bedroom tax says it all really.

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