Poll: Is it time the Government scrapped 'The Bedroom Tax'?

On the first anniversary of the controversial cutback, which is described by ministers as the removal of a "spare room subsidy", Iain Duncan Smith's department released figures showing that almost half a million households were having cash deducted from their benefits.

Bedroom tax cases considered
Placards from a demonstration against the government's 'Bedroom Tax' last year.

Under the new rules, social housing tenants deemed to have one more bedroom than they need lose 14% of their eligible rent and those with two or more lose 25%.

DWP figures showed that in November 2013, some 498,000 social housing tenants in England, Scotland and Wales were having their benefits reduced under the policy.

This figure was 50,000 down on numbers affected in the first month of the policy's operation, suggesting that tens of thousands of tenants have moved to smaller accommodation.

Changes to housing benefit in the social rented sector are expected to save £490 million in 2013/14 and a total of around £1 billion by the end of 2014/15, equating to more than £1.3 million per day, the DWP said.

Critics said the tax was forcing disadvantaged tenants into rent arrears, putting them at risk of losing their homes.

A recent survey for the National Housing Federation found that 66% of housing association residents hit by the bedroom tax were in arrears and more than one in seven (15%) had received a letter warning them they were at risk of eviction.

We want your views. Cast your vote in our poll now:

Comments for: "Poll: Is it time the Government scrapped 'The Bedroom Tax'?"

babs.commins

for sure it is .... right from the get go where are these people meant to move to as the local councils tell us there are long waiting list to home any one and that about older people that aint many people moving from 2/3 bed homes to single bedrooms ..... what about older people that live close to family that help out with day to day living ...... council no longer building but still selling of home ....... come on

people get in the real world

PJW Holland

Albeit it is not a tax... but a benefit deduction...

Replace it and Housing Benefit as a whole with a simple "Householder Allowance" for those on benefits who are also the householder. A fixed sum no matter where you live and not related to the size of the property.

Such an allowance would most certainly not be likely to be sufficient for benefits claimants in London but would serve handsomely for everywhere else. That is the way it should be. No-one, in London, is more than half and hour's journey from good well paid work (skilled or un-skilled).

markie

I agree to an extent, perhaps the new universal benefit will tkae this on board.

StJoe

Another Tory Joke by IDS.!!

Crell

Define well-paid work in London.

The Voice of Reason

Keep the bedroom tax. Scrap it for those who are over 65 and those who are registered with a real, actual disability. Punish those who refuse to work.

w0lvesno2

Your an idiot i have worked and are now not able do you realise howm much money i have lost through not working it is a struggle as it is then we have epole who have been brainwashed by the tories into thinking ev1 on jsa is work shy and worse and i go into a pub while i was working and got called scum!(obviously they didnt know i had started work)!now if all these people suddenly found himself on jsa and got an injury with no prospect of getting a job again i wonder if they would be so idealistic?

Crell

So what about people having children for religious reasons.. how will it address that? How does it address so MANY homes being allocated for immigrations? You say punish those who refuse to work - WHAT jobs are there? It's simply a case of refusing to work; it's about livable salaries. Most people on benefits are in work, not out.

charlie17

It would seem that their are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the country and hundreds of thousands of people travel thousands of miles from Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Russia to fill them but our own unemployed do not appear to want to travel a couple of hundred miles to find work because they can live in comfort on benefits.

barcrest

You cannot work for the wages that these immigrants will work for. They will have 5,6 maybe more people in a 2 bed house and pay what, £300 a month rent and £100 council tax. So if all 5 guys are picking up £150 a week that is only £20 to cover the rent and council tax each. If that was a family with both parents working bringing in £300 a week a more than quarter of their money has gone on rent and council tax. There would also be child care to pay if they were both working. This is why people are travelling here to work, they are not doing high paid jobs they are just been exploited and paid far less than a normal parent could work for.

bitsie

This reduction of peoples housing benefit was not thought through properly before being implemented, there are not enough smaller properties available. The planning and development are still giving the go ahead , where there is no plans for 1 bed properties it does not make sense.

markie

I'm sure it was thought through, but it is a long term plan. It will take some years to work its way through a bit like a long chain in a house purchase.

StJoe

Nothing has been thought through by IDS..Even his Universal credit has fallen flat on its face.

markie

Universal credit is not dead yet. At least IDS has been brave enough to try to sort out the benefit system which has been in decline since the 1966 Social Security Act.

Beveridge never expected it to pay not to work when the modern benefit system started in 1948.

Even Mrs Thatcher avoided this issue.

It will take decades to sort out over 45 years of decline and there will be a few mistakes along the way, but not to try would be the biggest mistake of all.

charlie.bear.5836

Any reduction in free money handouts is excellent news.

If anyone really wants to "scrap the bedroom tax" maybe they could abolish the "cost of living crisis" while they're about it.

They're both figments of fertile imagination after all!

Crell

So many people coming into this country and having children, at the nation's expense. That's the reason for this mess. The government doesn't have the guts to address the issue properly, because all this government wants to do is prosper from out misery. All population predictions point to IMMIGRATION as being the driving force behind MILLIONS of people set to add to the population. Don't expect the host nation to stick it's head in the sand and drum up stupid bedroom taxes whilst the promiscuity including in the name of some moon God results in umpteen bedrooms without question. The majority know what durex is, obviously, and they're not the reason there's a housing crisis.

springfever

The bedroom tax does not apply to people of pensionable age it also hits working families.... As for punishing people for being workless what punishments would you suggest. I mean we could, stone them or if that's a bit too messy, we could just starve them or freeze them by taking away any form of shelter. I know we could round them up and put them in an air tight shed and pour some form of poison over them.....Hmmm now where have I heard that before.......let me think.... It would also be interesting to hear what your take on a "real, actual disability," is, and what medical qualifications you have to back up your diagnosis of " real, actual disability". May I also say if I have offended you I truly don't give a monkeys. I wish you continuing wealth, health and employment, because God forbid you should find yourself in the same position, that thousands of sick, disabled, working poor and destitute people of this country find themselves in on a daily basis under this Governments policies.

Ivor

I've got to ring my building society and tell them as I don’t use the back bedroom, I want a reduction in my mortgage.

Dave W.

Remember the poll tax riots , another badly thought out tory scheme to rob people , this bedroom tax STINKS OF THATCHER.

Stanna

As with a lot of the policies of this government this has not been thought through.

Without an extensive programme of building / converting / supplying many thousands of single bedroomed accommodation for downsizing. This policy was always going to be unworkable and extremely costly.

These policies are about to come home to roost. Families who find themselves in arrears and about to lose their homes will be a big problem for councils, local authorities have a responsibility to accommodate those who find themselves homeless, especially those with younger children, sometimes it means placing them in B&B's at the expense of council tax payers.

The future looks bleak.

Margaret Hamilton

One of the more revolting attacks from this so-called "Government". Stop it now, compensate for any losses, write off the debts caused and pay for the funerals of the ones who took their own lives. Then resign.

charlie.bear.5836

You want to compensate benefit recipients and write off debts?

At least the funeral costs won't be very much but it's always someone else's money - isn't it?

Margaret Hamilton

Don't you understand what has happened to the "Bedroom Tax" victims? It's even been in this newspaper - only 6% moved house (at their own expense), there are no smaller places for them to go to anyway, 3/4 have debts they didn't have before IDS and this vindictive gang chopped their entitlements. The suicides are always glossed over. You don't care because it isn't you. Thank the lord there are some people who do actually care about others. Also reported in this paper have been lots of cold hard facts about facts about not enough tax being collected. If ONE YEAR's uncollected taxes were collected, - no deficit, no need for savage cuts against those who are skint. The philosophy that you appear to support lets them get away with paying no tax, it also kicks in the groin those who can't help it. Disgusting I say - self, self, self! So, let's summarise - Tories rob all the money by not having their taxes collected, they then attack the least fortunate in society because they can't do anything back. Those poor victims are at their wits end, they now have even more unnecessary debt, many of them can't afford a removal van to move to somewhere where they don't want to live, into properties that don't even exist. They are also not able to pay their utility bills, which in turn will make yours go up. You choose to live in a society which is intelligent and compassionate enough to collect taxes to pay for the things for the common good and to protect the vulnerable, to educate, protect and police etc etc. Some of our money each week goes towards this. It's all paid by someone else's money. This "unelected" government ARE nasty and vindictive, they are Tories, and that's what they do. They shaft people to enrich themselves and the monied classes. I don't that that's funny or clever, and it's certainly nothing to be an apologist for. Still, you're OK aren't you because it isn't you. One day, when you are lying up to your neck in your own poo and pus and you can't afford the private nurse you might look back and think how you never appreciated the wonders we had.

markie

What about all of the jobs that have been created.

The labour party like to control people and love to encourage dependancy. By creating jobs dependancy is being avoided. It has been shown that people in work

lead healthier and longer lives.

If people are encouraged to rent properties that are the right size this will release larger properties that bigger families

need.

Making people dependant on the state is not helping them one bit. Encouraging people back to work and helping them to be independant from state dependancy is much more caring.

I have not heard of anybody taking their lives because of the removal of the spare room subsidy. If anybody has I am deeply sorry. The cause though is more likely to be depression due to the feeling of wortlessness brought on by not being in employment.

charlie.bear.5836

Were all taxes collected BEFORE the present coalition government was formed?

Maybe if all council tax was paid, in full, councils would have a bit more money to waste.

julia.jones.798

Ivor, I assume you chose your home, with its spare bedroom. Social housing tenants do not have that choice, they get what they are given. They didn't ask for a spare bedroom but now they are being penalised (the correct name is Under-Occupation Penalty) for something they didn't have a choice in. Be grateful for your home, your mortgage and the health you have and the job you have to pay for it. 2/3rds of bedroom tax victims are disabled and would love the life you have.

Ivor

Julia I did chose my home, a 2 bed terraced one I can afford.

NO one has ever offered me a free 4 bed with double glazing and central heating for me to live in on my own.

All paid for by the tax payer

StJoe

I was under the impression that tenants get given according to their needs. You won't get a three or four bedroom house if you are a married couple without children. Most of what has happened is children have grown up and moved on, leaving the parents with a larger house than they now need.Some can down grade and other cannot due to the lack of hosuing, yet they are still punished by this tax. If they refuse to move and there are properties for them to move into , then that is when this charge should be uesed and not untill!