I WATCHED Prime Minister’s Question Time with dismay on Wednesday, February 27th.
Several members (Labour and Liberal Democrat, never Conservative) told heart-breaking stories of constituents with health problems and disabilities. It was all about the “bedroom tax” on people living in social housing.
Their benefit allowance will be reduced if there is an empty bedroom. One couple were both blind and had lived in the same house for 30 years. Can you imagine the stress and difficulties they would face having to relocate? If they can find a smaller place, they will have to feel their way around to find toilets, cupboards, doors, bath and the exterior pathways.
David Cameron responded with several plausible reasons why this was a necessary road to travel. The fact that 250,000 people were living in overcrowded conditions and 300,000 could not get on the housing list. This seems reasonable until you realise we can house terrorists who are resisting deportation and, if we cannot fit in a lady who has children in double figures we can build her a new, larger house.
At the same time as all this is happening, the Coalition Government is promoting the right to buy the few council houses we still have. To help the tenants achieve this, there are bribes of up to £75,000. A friend of mine whose wife had left him got the chance to buy his two-bedroom house of which he would have been the sole occupant.
This tax is hitting the poorest people and most vulnerable, an easy target because the press never represent them. They mostly vote Lib-Dem or Labour so it does not affect the chances of a second Conservative government but it may rebound on the Lib-Dem chances. I hope Nick Clegg gives this some thought when the voting happens.
Folly Lane, Barnoldswick