The bedroom tax is starting to bite. Nowhere more so than in the Caerphilly Borough.
Two thirds of the households hit are home to someone with a disability, families of soldiers serving our country or foster parents.
David Cameron’s bedroom tax is probably the most unfair measure this Government has introduced. The other week, I referred, for the second time, in the House of Commons to the case of Mr and Mrs Goodwin of Blackwood. They are both registered blind and have lived in their council property for 26 years. They now have to pay the bedroom tax on two bedrooms which the Government now classifies as spare.
When I first raised this with David Cameron, he said that he would look into all such cases which were brought to him. Following this promise, Mr and Mrs Goodwin’s family wrote to the Prime Minister. He did not reply or even acknowledge their letter.
My question of the other week to the Prime Minister was "Why didn’t he keep his promise?" His answer was waffle, waffle, waffle.
But not only is the bedroom tax fundamentally unfair, the policy doesn’t make sense. The aim of the bedroom tax is, we are told, to ‘free-up’ spare bedrooms for the thousands who need accommodation. But it simply is not possible for Mr and Mrs Goodwin for example to move into a different and smaller property. The local authority just hasn’t got smaller properties and even if they did, Mr and Mrs Goodwin would find it extremely difficult to move away from their friends and family whose support they need. This means that Mr and Mrs Goodwin will have a significant decline in their standard of living as they struggle to pay their bills.
Other vulnerable families will be pushed into expensive private rented accommodation and the taxpayer will end-up paying more.
The bedroom tax is a terrible law and that is why pressure needs to be put on the Government to abandon it.
This article was written for the Rhymney Valley Express.