On Thursday 21st March, Kidsgrove Town Council voted overwhelmingly to damn The Bedroom Tax that is due to come into effect on the 1st April 2013. The controlling Labour group put forward a motion that was supported by the majority of parties on the council. Many councillors spoke of how unfair the new system would be and how so many people will be struggling to make ends meet. Councillor John Taylor seconded the motion and spoke of how people in Butt Lane and the surrounding area will struggle to pay their bills whilst the Tories give millionaires tax cuts. Below is a copy of the motion that was passed by the council:
This Council notes that:
The Coalition government’s bedroom tax will bring disastrous consequences to the country and to Kidsgrove specifically.
· Two thirds of the households hit are home to someone with a disability
· Weekend mums and dads will have to try and find additional money to enable their children to stay with them.
Further, the policy is being introduced at the same time that millionaires are being given a tax break of £100,000 per year.
This Council believes that:
It is not fair to residents in social housing that they should be financially penalized on the basis of the house in which they have made their home and in circumstances which they are confronted through no fault of their own.
That it is cynical and shameful for the Coalition government to deliberately implement a policy that it knows cannot possibly lead to the desired outcomes of that policy – namely that people should be forced to downsize their homes on the basis of financial penalty when there is not sufficient stock of housing to permit such downsizing.
This Council resolves that:
The clerk should write to the Secretary of State to condemn the bedroom tax and its impact on residents in Kidsgrove, Ravescliffe, Butt Lane, Talke and Newchapel.
That the Council will publish detailed statistics of the impact of the policy on residents of the town once the tax has been implemented.
Last night I took the opportunity to attend a North Staffs Against Cuts meeting at Newcastle Fire Station. I think members looked surprised to see a Newcastle Labour Councillor at their meeting. There was a lot discussed about the cuts to public services and how people were suffering from unfair decisions made by the coalition government.
We then led onto the Bedroom Tax that is due to hit families that live in social housing. Whilst the government has made some concessions in recent months due to protest it is not enough to stop the damage this policy will cause.
What angers me the most is that separated mums and dads are at risk of paying more and will have to try to find additional money to enable their children to stay with them at weekends. The establishment talks about broken Britain and how families are breaking down. This awful policy only makes that worse and scares parents into choosing between food on the table or kids in their home. Children will suffer because they won’t be able to have a bedroom at both properties. When I was young my mum and dad were separated and I had a bedroom at both houses. They shared what days they would have me so I could see each of them as much as possible creating stable family life. I know how it would have made me feel to choose between my parents. What a situation to put young children in. What is this government thinking!!!
The bedroom occupancy rules state:
Children who have a main residence elsewhere (for example, because their parents live apart) cannot be counted as needing a bedroom at the secondary address. The bedrooms that they use at the secondary address will be counted as unoccupied.
So now it’s a call to action. On Saturday 30th March, 1pm outside the Guildhall in Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre we will be protesting against the Bedroom Tax. North Staffs Against Cuts and I will be shouting out loud and clear about how we feel about this attack on the poor. Together we will be setting up a petition to ask councils across the region to condemn the bedroom tax. A ludicrous policy targeting the poor whilst David Cameron gives 13,000 millionaires a £100,000 tax cut on the 1st April. Please join us and help us make a stand.
Joan Walley MP has today revealed National Housing Federation figures which show 1295 Stoke north and Kidsgrove residents will be hit by the government’s ‘Bedroom Tax’ losing on average £728 per year.The Bedroom Tax will hit 660,000 households, two thirds of them home to someone with a disability, at exactly the same time as the Government gives a massive £100,000 tax cut to 13,000 millionaires.
“David Cameron’s Bedroom Tax will hammer families in Stoke-on-Trent and Kidsgrove already struggling to make ends meet, and could actually risk costing tax-payers a fortune in higher private rents. These ill thought out plans will hit hardest in the areas with the greatest need and show a blatant disregard for the most vulnerable people.
“The majority of the households hit are home to someone with a disability, and the families of soldiers and foster parents will also be hit. Yet at the same time prisoners get off and millionaires are getting a massive tax cut. How can that be right?”
Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne said:
“David Cameron’s April tax plan is simply not fair. From next month, 13,000 millionaires are getting a tax cut worth £100,000 a year on average while over 600,000 armed forces families, disabled people and foster carers have to find £728 a year to pay a new bedroom tax.
“Yet the plan is such a shambles that someone who’s been to prison on a short sentence won’t have to pay. How unfair is that? Millionaires and prisoners are looked after but vulnerable people, carers and armed forces families get hit.
“Labour plan relentless pressure on this out of touch government until Ministers see sense, admit this policy is totally unfair and think again.”