Here’s something we can all enjoy:
Tomorrow – Saturday, March 30, 2013 – thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of people will be heading out to organised protests against the Bedroom Tax.
You know why.
The government has dreamed up a financial device, called variously a ‘state overoccupation charge’ or a ‘spare-room subsidy’. Under its back-of-a-fag-packet rules, anyone in social housing with more bedrooms than the government says they need will lose housing benefit – 14 per cent for the first extra room; 25 per cent for two or more.
The government thinks it is more fair to deprive people of the money to pay landlords for their homes than it is to cap rents.
The government thinks it is fair to take money from people who cannot move into smaller accommodation, more appropriate to their needs, because it simply hasn’t been built.
But then, the government thinks it is fair for MPs like James Clappison (Conservative, Hertsmere) to have 24 homes and yet still claim £100,000 in second-home expenses between 2001 and 2009. That’s £12,500 per year. People on Housing Benefit get less than £100 per week, meaning less than £5,200 per year.
Do YOU think it’s fair for Mr Clappison, with his 24 houses, to be taking so much of our (taxpayers’) money while forcing so many of us into rent arrears on the only homes we have?
Nor do I.
So please, if you live in one of the towns where a protest is taking place, go. I hope you have a great time, meet similarly-minded people, build alliances, plan future protests.
I would. But I live in Mid Wales, where there don’t seem to be any protests. Not only do all roads turn to dirt tracks before you get here; political thinking devolves to feudalism as well.
So, to all you protesters, I send you this song. It’s not mine, but the link was sent to me so I’m going to use it. I think it sets out the facts of the situation – eloquently.