Labour loses Bedroom tax debate

“Progress is not an illusion; it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.” 
George Orwell

It was hoped that Lib Dem MPs would rebel and vote against the spare-room subsidy – the bedroom tax..

After hours of debate and hearing accounts of the hardship of those who have been affected by this unjust tax MPs voted to keep the bedroom tax by a majority of 26. The government usually achieves majorities of more than 50, which shows some Lib Dem members voted against the coalition government or abstained.

I cannot understand the mentality when it is clearly demonstrated that the bedroom tax causes enormous suffering, particularly, but not exclusively, to disabled people. It is often said that the government are out of touch with what life is like for most people. I say that the government know perfectly well what life is like for the vast majority of us including the sick and disabled, the unemployed and the low paid and they do not give a dam. I have to say that I strongly consider most of their polices are intended to bring about as much suffering as possible, to reduce people to poverty, to bring about low wages and virtual enslavement. The Nazi style propaganda to turn the public against benefit claimants is a perfect example of this government’s underhanded tactics to divide and conquer.

What is the point of all the debating, the arguing, the persuading when each and every MP who walks through the door and takes his or her seat in the house of commons knows perfectly well how he or she will vote – usually in accordance with the partly line. How is voting as you are told to vote a democracy when it is only a few who make the decisions ?

Read about the debate
Live: Bedroom Tax protest and debate as Labour calls vote on controversial policy
12 Nov 2013 13:05
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/live-bedroom-tax-protest-debate-2783462

Hear the Debate
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=14103

At the present time about 600,000 people have had their housing benefit cut by an average of £14 a week. A so-called spare bedroom means a reduction of 14 per cent of housing benefit. The government claims it is making housing benefit fairer by ensuring that taxpayers are not subsidising social housing tenants who are living in homes that are too big for them. There are many MPs and other well-off people living in homes that are too big for them. An extra room is often required for sick and disabled people and frankly in a rich country such as the UK surely it is too much to expect that everyone have one spare room for the pursuit of hobbies, privacy and even work. Spare rooms are often not much bigger than cupboards in the tiny and cramped houses built nowadays. The problem is as always, there are people who consider that they have the right to far more than they need while others have to live their lives in what passes as a rabbit hutch – incidentally I don’t like hutches for rabbits either – while multimillionaires live in houses with many spare rooms. How many spare rooms does Cameron have or Miliband for that matter while homelessness rises?  How many spare houses do they have?

Time to build more homes for people, homes where people can live meaningful and fulfilling lives not tiny cramped quarters which are nothing more than dormitories in which to sleep while slaving away their entire lives providing wealth for those who have far more than they need and who live in homes far larger than is necessary while others live in cramped accommodation or  are homeless, such as the unfortunate people who have to resort to sleeping  in caves near greater Manchester:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/people-living-in-caves-as-uk-homelessness-reaches-five-year-high/5342441

Labour have promised to reverse the bedroom Tax
“Let me be very clear – if I am secretary of state in 2015, this will be the first thing that I will do, reverse this unfair and pernicious tax.”
Rachel Reeves Shadow work and pensions secretary

That however is a long time to wait for an end to this gravely unfair tax concerning which there are many heart breaking stories  including that of the Shadow Northern Ireland minister Stephen Pound who told MPs that his brother, who has kidney failure, faced losing his home of 20 years because he has a spare bedroom he uses as a dialysis unit.

More stories
I had to stop eating to pay bedroom tax’ claims Morley woman
http://www.morleyobserver.co.uk/news/local/i-had-to-stop-eating-to-pay-bedroom-tax-claims-morley-woman-1-6222350

Disabled man told ‘pay £78 or we’ll evict’ says he is a victim of the “bedroom tax”
http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Disabled-man-told-8216-pay-78-8217-ll-evict-8217/story-20033798-detail/story.html

Action You Can Take
Despite the unfavourable outcome of the debate we can continue to take action

Labour Bedroom Tax action
“On Tuesday, Labour MPs forced a debate on the Bedroom Tax in the House of Commons and voted to scrap this unfair, cruel policy.
The government could have abolished the Bedroom Tax, but instead they voted to keep it. Tory and Lib Dem MPs defended a policy that inflicts hardship and suffering on children in poverty and people with disabilities.
This is just the start of our campaign to scrap the Bedroom Tax. Labour will see this through to the end — and if we win in 2015, a Labour government will scrap the Bedroom Tax immediately”
http://action.labour.org.uk/page/s/bedroom-tax-vote?source=20131105%20Bedroom%20tax%20vote&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=20131105%20Bedroom%20tax%20vote

While Labour promise to scrap the bedroom tax if of course they are elected they have no plans to scrap other benefit reforms and I rather think that they will continue where the Tories left off in this regard.

Don’t forget you can still write to UN representatives

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises the right to housing as part of the right to an adequate standard of living. It states that:
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control”.

Raquel Rolnik, wants evidence of how the bedroom tax, council tax and welfare reforms have impacted on you
Raquel Rolnik’s email address is :  srhousing@ohchr.org

More information:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/11/bedroom-tax-should-be-axed-says-un-investigator

You can also write to United Nations Secretary-General:
His Excellency Mr Ban Ki Moon
United Nations Secretary-General
UN Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
USA
E-­mail: sgcentral@un.org

United Nations Enable
You can write to the  United Nations Enable concerning the detriment of the bedroom tax on the sick and disabled
Write to Enable:
http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=175
Also see
http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=150
http://www.un.org/disabilities/

Now I know to many that it may seem rather way out to write to the UN but please do so. Some time ago now I wrote an extensive e-mail mentioning all the so called welfare reforms including the bedroom tax . You do not have to be an expert just write and express your concerns, your own experiences and perhaps highlighting some of or even all of the issues. Regardless of experience or even writing skills the more letters they receive the more someone way take notice.

You might not get a reply, I did not but it is still worth writing, particularly now the problems have been highlighted by Ms .Rolnik’s visit back in September. Do not be deterred, unless we speak out nothing will happen.

Please Complete Bedroom Tax Survey

Bedroom Tax: We will be heard Bedroom Tax survey
There are about 660,000 households directly affected by the bedroom tax both able and disabled. The bedroom tax is a serious detriment and everyone effected suffers in some way or another. For people claiming benefits who have seen a reduction in income as a result of benefit reforms or, increasingly more common as a result of benefit sanctions, no income at all this is an extra burden and all of them are suffering in different ways.

“Please take the time to be a part of something special. To help make a difference to the lives of so many people. Thank you for you help, together we can achieve change.”
“We are proud to present the most comprehensive survey to date regarding the Bedroom Tax. We need as many people as possible to complete this survey in order to demonstrate what is happening to everyone affected by it. This is extremely important, not only to help those in higher positions to understand the impact of it, but this survey is also a way of identifying how the Bedroom Tax is affecting a cross-section of society in a very detailed way.”

Read more and please complete the survey if you are affected by the bedroom tax:
http://wewillbeheard.org/

Please consider joining the letter writing campaign http://wewillbeheard.org/the_personal_petition.html you need not be personally affected by the bedroom tax to write the more public support the better. Like all social injustice whether or not we are affected makes no difference, we need to stand up for what is right and protect those who suffer form this grave social injustice.

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