A Pig for Every Chicken
One fact shines through the fog of statistics. The Bedroom Tax amounts to approximately £15 for 1 bedroom per week, for people already on subsistence levels. Meanwhile, the difference in rent between a 1 and 2 bedroom council flat in an average inner-city London borough is often much less than £10. Then how is it justifiable to charge over £15 on a room the landlord says is only worth £5? I can’t see how it is even legal, let alone moral. Claimants are being clearly robbed to fund George Osborne’s new budget aid-package for property speculators. A ‘subsidy’ trickling up from the poorest to the richest, as usual.
This is the modern equivalent of seizing a cow for every goat the peasant owns. Not even the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham was stupid enough to impose a tax rate of over 100%. Many are already totting up their meagre savings, and comparing the rates of their local loansharks.
The Real Vandals
It’s not as if the Tax can ever work or save money, even if it doesn’t spark a new season of riots. But the nastiest revelation of all is into the minds of those who created it. They obviously believe that tenants have no emotional attachment to their homes since they are expected to abandon them as a matter of course, like grateful cattle. It follows that social housing can never be a ‘proper’ home, because it is not owned by the inhabitant. Victims of the Bedroom Tax are to be therefore cleansed away where they will do least harm to property values – and most harm to community spirit.
In fact, far from the media stereotype, many of those targeted were responsible for salvaging entire run-down inner-city areas in the 80’s and 90’s. And were encouraged by their councils with offers of an extra bedroom allocation in hard-to-let blocks. They created the newly desirable postcodes from which they are now to be exiled. In the supreme twist of spite, they are now being punished for their dedication to communities which are about to be destroyed. By rights, they should present a hefty bill for their lifetime of service.
Every Man Is An Island
The big lesson of the cuts is that this economy runs on hate. If we don’t hate each other, we won’t fight for scarce jobs and homes, and might start working together instead to create them. So the problem is how to convince private tenants and council tenants that they aren’t rivals, when the artificial housing shortage created by the government and banks is designed to create conflict.
Osborne believes that people who live in social housing are lazy and worthless because they own no property, and that social housing is a charity or temporary stop-gap to be avoided at all costs – not the vital social infrastructure it truly is, and backbone of long-term community values. That is the message being pumped into every school-leaver – the same mad dogma which caused this Depression. Osborne thinks it can still be our saviour. Only those feeling the pain can shake his faith.