By Alan Wyllie
Let’s be clear, the bedroom tax is not a tax, it is a benefit cut. This cut will affect the most vulnerable in our society.
It will affect over 600,000 people in the UK. It will affect 100,000 Scots and most cruelly, it will affect over 400,000 disabled people.
The UK Government claims that the bedroom tax will save money and improve our housing system. But that doesn't tell the full story.
My local council estimates that it will lose £1.8 million in lost income due to the bedroom tax alone. That is money that should be spend on people and services in Renfrewshire that is now lost.
The eviction process is expensive to both the taxpayer and the local authority/housing association. Shelter estimate that eviction cost the taxpayers £26,000 and the housing association £6,000. That is money that you and I will have to pay. That is money that could be spend on our roads, our schools…
The Government’s own impact statement states clearly that there are not enough one bedroom flats for people to move into. It really is as simple as that. There are not enough homes for the 'bedroom tax' to improve mobility in social housing.
That will mean that people will be moved out of social housing and into PRIVATE housing. Private Housing is more expensive than Social Housing. In England the average private rent is £163 while the average social housing rent is £83. And who will pay the extra - the taxpayer.
The bedroom tax will not save money and it will not solve our housing crisis. What is needed is massive investment to build new houses. You cannot solve a housing crisis by manipulating the benefits system.
The bedroom tax will cause, HUNGER, HYPOTHERMIA and HOMELESSNESS.
People will pay the extra rent, but will not have enough money to heat or feed themselves
People will NOT pay the extra and face eviction proceedings.
There are shops in my area that sell single eggs because that is all some customers can afford. That is how hard the poorest have been hit. Families, both in work and out of work, are struggling to feed their families. The ‘bedroom tax’ will be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
I don’t view the bedroom tax as a political argument. To be honest I think party politics is detrimental to our democracy. I am extremely disillusioned with mainstream political parties.
But I view this, as others do, as a matter of what is right and what is wrong. And it is WRONG.
I am a political reformist, I believe that we need radical reform of our political system, our monetary system and our economic system.
I also believe that the large political parties only care for the party itself and the views of the voters are an afterthought. I hope that the no2bedroomtax campaign will awaken the people of the UK and return some of the political power that has been stolen from us.
It is vitally important that local communities unite and protect the defenceless in their area. That is the only way for this country to change for better.
Communities that are united are strong. Speak to you neighbour, family and friends about the bedroom tax. Set up a local meeting. Arrange a demo or a march. That is the ONLY way we can win.
Alan Wyllie is a Scot; born and bred in Paisley. He is passionate that real people can make a real difference in out politics.
Alan is also Chairperson of West of Scotland No2BedroomTax.