Letter - Labour should bear some of the ‘bedroom tax’ blame

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For a long time now we have had to listen to local Labour MP, Mary Creagh, complaining about how unfair the so-called, ‘Bedroom Tax’, is on people.

There may well be some truth in the suggestion that the under occupancy scheme can have some rather unfair results in individual cases.

Each case should be assessed on its merits in my view and the availability of suitable alternative accommodation in the local area should be a major factor.

But there is nothing wrong with the general principle that people should live in houses which suit their needs and which they can afford to live in. That is what most people have to do.

Why should it be any different if the state pays for your housing?

Despite what they may say, it is a principle which Labour actually agree with because in 2001, Malcolm Wicks, the Labour Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said this as he introduced Labour’s “Bedroom Tax” pilot scheme: “The under-occupation pilot encourages housing benefit recipients living in under-occupied social housing to move to smaller and cheaper accommodation in order to make more efficient use of housing stock. The pilot is expected to run until 2003.”

Curiously enough, nobody from the Labour Party was calling it the Bedroom Tax at the time.

Now, I accept that this pilot scheme was discontinued in 2003, for whatever reason.

But, the point here is that for Labour to pretend that the scheme is all the product of the nasty Toreez is untrue. Labour have a well-documented history of claiming credit for things they had nothing to do with.

Conversely they are equally good at denying responsibility for their actions when it suits them.

I wouldn’t mind if they were honest about it, but they never are.

Tony J Homewood

Westfield Drive

Ossett