The Bedroom Tax looms this April.
A family living in a council property, with a soldier son on duty in Afghanistan, will be charged because his bedroom is empty. A family with a paraplegic child in a wheelchair, needing round the clock help will be charged if they use a bedroom to store bathing, hoist and other equipment. A widow whose husband dies young, like my father did, whose children have left home, will be charged for each empty bedroom even where she has lived in the same house for 35 years.
You read that correctly. People who have lived in the same council house for 35 years and are not yet pensioners, will be charged extra for every empty bedroom, even though this has been their home for most of their lives. Even when their grandchild regularly stays the night.
It is the most evil of Government cutbacks, so let’s take a look at the Cabinet members who brought it in.
You, the taxpayer, paid for David Cameron to have a second home with plenty of bedrooms. Bedrooms that are empty for most of the year.
You paid for William Hague to do the same, but Hague has no children. Neither has Liam Fox and several others. Some never had children, others have children who have left home. Yet most of them claimed accommodation costs from the taxpayer for additional bedrooms.
It is unfair that any MP who did this can then vote through a tax on people like those I have already referred to. In fact it is not just unfair, it is outrageous.
I have put forward Bills calling for large numbers of small eco friendly bungalows to be built, both for sale and for rent. Free to heat, cheap to build. Parliament and Government have refused to pass these proposals.
Many pensioners would like to downsize into a bungalow, but cannot get one.
Instead the Government hits people who have paid their rent, looked after their property and get on with their neighbours. I have invited Cabinet members to debate with me in Bassetlaw and defend their decision. Don’t hold your breath in the wait for a positive response.
The man responsible, Eric Pickles keeps hiding from me in Parliament.
I have caught him out following his introduction of two new taxes on housing and he is very aware of the damage that this Bedroom Tax will do.
He comes from Yorkshire, but now claims that Essex is much better and he will never return to the North.
That says everything you need to know about Eric Pickles. He is the one who should have the guts to debate me, but I bet he refuses.