According to The Guardian, the Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron is set to withdraw his party’s support for the Bedroom Tax today (Wednesday), saying it has caused “huge social problems”.
It is too little, too late from the Party that Likes to Change its Mind – and one must question the timing. The newspaper states that “the Liberal Democrat conference agreed to review the bedroom tax” in September last year, but this is inaccurate; the conference passed a motion that official Liberal Democrat policy must be condemnation of the Bedroom Tax.
According to the newspaper: “In a speech that will distance the Lib Dems from the controversial tax, Farron condemns what he describes as attacks on the poorer members of society. ‘The onslaught of divisive rhetoric that demonises the poor can never help us to create a fairer society,’ he will tell the Centre for Social Justice. ‘The bedroom tax causes huge social problems and distorts the market – we as a party cannot support this.'”
But the Tax has already been in place for a year and the damage has been immense. Hardly a day goes by without a new report of victimisation. Why didn’t Farron make his move sooner?
Could it be more likely that, with elections on the way, it now seems like a good idea to get on the public’s side?
Back in the autumn, Vox Political wrote: “The tax was really brought in for several reasons: It is partly a reaction against the increase in the Housing Benefit bill to accommodate people with jobs whose wages are below their cost of living – this is due to greed on the part of employers; it is partly intended to clear housing – not for people on any waiting list but as a form of social cleansing, getting the riff-raff out of attractive parts of our towns and cities; and it is also another attempt to spite people on sickness, incapacity or disability benefits, who must either face the extra cost and inconvenience of removing special adaptations to their houses and reinstalling them elsewhere if they are able to move, or must lose the company of carers who use spare bedrooms when they have to stay over, or must pay the tax and live without food or heat, thereby risking their health.”
Nothing has changed since then.
Let’s hope the voters see this pathetic display for what it is.
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