I can’t afford rent for a spare room

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The air has been thick with the stench of misdirected outrage from the Labour comrades in the Council regarding the incorrectly referred to “bedroom tax” or as it should be known “spare room subsidy” - a reduction in a state hand out is not a tax.

The facts are clear: it is not fair, it is sucking in ever more of our money, and the vast majority of the public don’t support paying for working-age social housing tenants to have one, two or three spare bedrooms. I’d love a spare room, but I can’t afford the additional rent. So why should my taxes be used to pay for someone else to have a spare bedroom? It shouldn’t. This is not a small niche problem that can simply be ignored. A third of working-age social housing tenants live in properties which are too big for them. In 2002 the housing benefit bill was £12.6bn today it stands at £23.8bn - that’s a £900 contribution from every hardworking household to pay for it. Additionally, there are 1.8 million households in England waiting for a suitable property on the housing waiting list. This is a compelling case for change. Let me be clear, this doesn’t affect those with someone serving in the armed forces, pensioners, or disabled people who need live in carers. Under Gordon Brown this policy was implemented for those in receipt of housing benefit in private accommodation, his government thought it was the right thing to do - it had cross party support. A common sense policy which Labour seem only to be objecting to out of a reflex “oppose everything” response.

Tom Lees

Deputy Chairman, Halifax Conservatives