Tory Democrats withdraw Bedroom Tax support – too little, too late?


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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  1. jess April 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    So Farron is making an early move for the ConDem leadership is he?

  2. beastrabban April 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    This is indeed too little, too late, and its timing, as Mike says, suggests that it is intended to try to make the Lib Dems a bit more electable before next year’s general election. However, as Mike also states, the bedroom tax has been in effect for over a year. The Lib Dem conference condemned the bedroom tax, but the leadership ignored it. The Lib Dems also have a severe problem of credibility on this and just about every other issue concerning the Coalition’s austerity campaign. Despite their numerous protests to the contrary, they lied and have continued to lie ever since they first got into power, most notoriously about not raising tuition fees. They have continued to support Neoliberal economic policies that severely harm the poor, as well as the privatisation of the NHS. As the Angry Yorkshireman has also shown on his blog, they have also backed the Tories’ plans to set up a system of secret courts, while at the same time publicly denying they have done any such thing. They cannot be trusted and do not deserve the public’s vote.

  3. Thomas M April 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Sorry, Lib Dems-too late. If they had been against the tax from the start, it would be different. Now they are just trying to get votes, and might just turn around and support it again after the election. I don’t trust the Lib Dems one bit and will never vote for them again.

  4. Jonathan Wilson April 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Wasn’t the center for social justice the wonk tank set up by IDS to give his actions credence?

    So about as useless as throwing a man in shark infested waters half a pound of fish bait as a valid means of helping him survive.

  5. Timmo April 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    In fairness Farron has always been against the tax and consistently voted against it. which is something not all Labour MPs have taken the trouble to do.

    • Mike Sivier April 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      Is that because of ‘pairing’, in which opposing MPs whose votes would cancel each other out agree not to vote, in order to carry out Parliamentary business elsewhere?

      • Timmo April 3, 2014 at 7:27 am - Reply

        Actually I was wrong. It turns out that Farron voted with the government in favour of the Bedroom Tax on every occasion but one – the last one when Labour forced a vote after a debate on a Labour motion to repeal the Bedroom Tax. So Farron toed the line on the Bedroom Tax until recently. Perhaps he has had a change of heart or more likely is keen to jump on the anti-Bedroom Tax bandwagon, which has been increasing speed over the last year. Who knows? Certainly the Liberal Democrat membership hates the Bedroom Tax; many have transferred their support to Labour because of it.

  6. jaypot2012 April 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Lib/Dems are finished…

  7. jaypot2012 April 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    I would never believe a Lib/Dem again…

  8. MrChekaMan April 3, 2014 at 3:08 am - Reply

    The Lib Dems are doomed.

  9. hugosmum70 April 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    i believed our local lib dem and voted for him. never again/ sold down the river by em back with the labourites.
    as for this PAIRING thing…sounds like a childs game (ok they act worse than kids in the sessions ive seen on tv so not surprising) but while they are playing games, they are not doing what their constituents put them there to do. that is vote on ALL issues that come up according to what their constituents want. NOT THEMSELVES

  10. chriskitcher April 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    If we had more intelligent MP’s we would have people who could think through the effects of a policy such as this. sadly we are lumbered with the current crop of intellectual non-entities.

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