Monday, April 1

Bedroom tax and spare bedrooms

Today anyone who has no option but to live in 'social' housing will have their housing benefit restricted if they have any spare bedrooms. The idea is to make sure housing is used more effectively, this is because of a shortage in housing and of course to cut costs.

Meanwhile, many home owners in Havant Borough live in homes with spare bedrooms and they get discounted council tax, pensions and welfare benefits, yet they will be unaffected by this reform. Whilst this is happening and those home owners rooms remain unused, the government have changed planning law so that it is likely that more green fields will be built on.

There isn't really a problem with getting people to live more efficiently, but it is wrong to use a specific group as scapegoats (and blame previous governments for having to do it). Many people in social housing have actually worked hard and paid taxes all their life, thus partly paying for the education and health bills of many of those that own their homes and who may be supporting these changes.

Yes, if you want to move people in housing around, then do it sensibly, but don't leave out the millions of home owners that are living off the benefits and subsidies that past generations contributed to and policies of previous governments that aided home owners. Many home owners have homes because past subsidies from tax payers helped them there (including tax payers in social housing). For example if a home owner is single and living in an empty house, then they are a burden on society because they are using valuable land. If a home isn't fully utilised then it should be 'taxed', it shouldn't matter if it is social or privately owned housing.

No comments: