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UN housing expert says "bedroom tax" should be axed

(31 Posts)
MurderOfGoths Wed 11-Sep-13 12:48:34


"Rolnik said she was disturbed by the extent of unhappiness caused by the bedroom tax and struck by how heavily this policy was affecting "the most vulnerable, the most fragile, the people who are on the fringes of coping with everyday life".

During interviews with council officials, she noted that they were struggling to cope with the fallout from the policy's introduction, not least because there was a shortage of single-bedroom properties into which tenants might downsize."It's so clear that the government didn't really assess the impact on lives when it took this decision … The mechanism that they have in place to mitigate it – the discretionary payment that they provide the councils with, it doesn't solve anything, it's for just a couple of months, and the councils cannot count on that on a permanent basis, they don't know if it's going to be available next year, so it's useless," she said.

Historically, "the United Kingdom has much to be proud of in the provision of affordable housing," she said, but its reputation was "being eroded from different sides". The state had an obligation to "put in place safeguards to protect the most vulnerable and what I am seeing here is quite the opposite – the most vulnerable are having to pay for these cuts". The country was "going backwards in the protection and promotion of the human right to housing".^"

And Grant Shapps has responded by throwing a temper tantrum and demanding an apology. hmm

JessePinkmansBitch Wed 11-Sep-13 12:56:22

Very typical of a Tory to throw his toys out the pram when someone points out publicly what utter selfish wankers they are.It's good that the UN have seen that the bedroom tax is a load of shite, but I don't think it will make any difference to the way it's implemented. The Tories always do things so that the rich are better off and the poor are punished for not being born from a gold plated fanny.

MurderOfGoths Wed 11-Sep-13 12:58:46

The hope is that those currently going through the courts about it will be able to use the findings in their favour, once the courts start finding in favour of those badly affected by the change then maybe it'll have to be stopped, rather than losing so many court cases.

TheOrchardKeeper Wed 11-Sep-13 13:11:23

It's awful that it's come to this and that someone is stating the obvious.

Surely it's common sense though, you don't create a tax on spare rooms when there's not enough social housing for people to move into to avoid it. So sad to read about how many vulnerable people have been affected & I know quite a few people personally that have been well and truly screwed by this sad

The news coverage has been crap lately too, despite it still being a massive issue for so many. But then most media is owned by those who swing to the right, so it's depressingly predictable...

TheOrchardKeeper Wed 11-Sep-13 13:12:23

Hopefully this will change things, even if only a little.

GobbySadcase Wed 11-Sep-13 13:13:35

I know.
Whoda thunk the UN were commies? wink

MurderOfGoths Wed 11-Sep-13 13:17:59

Right now any improvement is better than the alternative.

longfingernails Wed 11-Sep-13 13:19:39

The UN proves itself to be even more of a farce.

She doesn't even know the difference between tax and benefits.

stubbornstains Wed 11-Sep-13 13:20:20

Gird your loins for the flood of anti- UN propaganda soon to issue from the Daily Heil.....

stubbornstains Wed 11-Sep-13 13:21:44

She apologised for referring to it as the "bedroom tax", admitting that she had adopted the colloquial phrase in general usage.

MurderOfGoths Wed 11-Sep-13 13:22:27

You didn't bother reading the article then? Because I don't see anywhere she referred to it as a tax, the title of this thread is using the phrase because that's how it's become colloquially known. I assume the article is using it in a similar way. Rolnik isn't quoted as using the phrase at all.

MurderOfGoths Wed 11-Sep-13 13:22:48

Ah, there you go.

meditrina Wed 11-Sep-13 13:24:13

The UN official has apologised for elements of what she said.

And speaking on the 1 O'Clock npNews, the Shadow Housing Minister has said Labour have no plans to repeal the measure.

GobbySadcase Wed 11-Sep-13 13:30:51

Which directly contradicts Milibean last week * face palm *

funnyossity Wed 11-Sep-13 13:34:53

Surprised at shadow housing minister.

It is a plain stupid (if not cruel) plan as there is not enough alternative housing to move into.

stubbornstains Wed 11-Sep-13 13:36:46

I don't think there's much this Government has done that has angered me as much as this, and that's saying a lot. I think it's the demanding of an apology that gets me.

As far as I can work out, if Raquel Rolnik was trying to determine the effects of the bedroom tax, she had no need to meet with any Government officials- what she had to do was what she did, which was listen to the testimony of hundreds of people affected.

If you go over to "Relationships", people who get aggressive when someone raises a perfectly valid point and start demanding an apology, rather than concede that they may be in the wrong, are universally condemned as abusive bullies. And that is how I see Grant Shapps's behaviour. Arrogant and bullying.

MurderOfGoths Wed 11-Sep-13 13:37:52

Agreed stubborn

edam Wed 11-Sep-13 13:41:11

The more high profile organisations that point out the cruelty and stupidity of this policy the better. She seems to have hit Shapps where it hurts, by his response. Good.

Btw fussing about the name is a distraction - how many people remember the PR-friendly official name for the poll tax?

funnyossity Wed 11-Sep-13 13:50:43

What are Labour playing at though?

MurderOfGoths Wed 11-Sep-13 13:51:02

Don't think even they know funny

stubbornstains Wed 11-Sep-13 13:53:42

Yes, the political capital they would gain from removing the bedroom tax is immense. It's not that it saves much money, or has much impact on waiting lists. I had a total facepalm/ yelling at the radio moment when I heard Miliband saying that they weren't planning to scrap it. D'oh! In fact, d'oh cubed....

MurderOfGoths Wed 11-Sep-13 13:55:29

I think the problem is that labour quite like putting the blame on the poor/vulnerable too, I remember some of the shite they were saying before the last election. It's just they don't do it to quite the same scale as the Tories, so come across as more caring, which is also bollocks.

longfingernails Wed 11-Sep-13 14:01:34

It's apparently a 'human rights issue'.

I must have missed the UN declaration of the human right to have a spare bedroom paid for by the taxpayer if you happen to live in a council house.

MurderOfGoths Wed 11-Sep-13 14:06:14

The human rights issue is that people are being told they have to move or forced to pay out of money they don't have, when they is nowhere else for them to go. If people can't pay this extra then they are at risk of losing their home and becoming homeless.

funnyossity Wed 11-Sep-13 14:07:13

I can't believe the modern L.Party.

I suppose it comes of none of them having experienced any hardship themselves, unlike (some of) the old style Labour. If they would bother to have a word with Dennis Skinner he'd put them right!

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