I have been speaking and writing about the Bedroom tax for over a year now. Even so, like other folk who are going to be affected, I still managed to hide my head in the sand as much as I could. Now right at the deadline, people are beginning to worry. WE didn’t believe that they would bring this in, it was too much even for the tories, someone would stop it.
Unfortunately in just over a month it will be here and will have a huge impact on those living in social housing. The attendance at public meetings has been the biggest seen by the left in Scotland for a long time. People are desperate for information. Such questions I have been asked are will I have to share a room with my ten year old son, what happens to the spare room I have when my kids stay with me I have shared access with him. That is why it is important to read up to reassure people.
For some on the Left this is a way of getting new recruits. We are seeing the Kevin Costner effect in Scottish Politics bottom up brassed necked, and with the underlying policy. “Book It and They Shall Come”. It worked for the founders of the Radical Independence Conference and these days, put up a few posters about the bedroom tax and people will come. For most of us though it is our duty to inform and support people to be there for those we represent. That is my goal and that of many others. I hope we can work together to support as many people as possible.
How will we win? It was concerning to hear and see in the media this week the Government and DWP attempt their old tactics of divide and conquer yet again. There new take is the need for those families who need a larger home while “hundreds of millions of tenants, costing the taxpayer up to a billion pounds. (source Victoria Derbyshire phone in Radio 5 28th of February.) dare to have an extra bedroom. As usual they lined up sympathetic stories of hardworking young families desperate for more space. I like most of us can see through their dirty tricks. It is our duty to challenge their rhetoric and explain that the lack of spending in building social housing has lead to this and we feel sympathy for these young families but what about those living in fear frightend o having to move worried about finding the oney for the rent with the fear of eviction a real one. It is growing more and more obvious that the bedroom tax is more aout destroying the tenants right to an assured tenancy in Scotland which offers so much more protection than the market force leases of the private rented market.
What can we do? My friend and I had a chat. She is fairly well off, admits to living in a house big enough for her family but she also has a passion for people and social justice. She said to me that we don’t just need to hear the stories of those affected but also the condemnation by those who believe in a kinder fairer society and are happy to pay to support others. I was glad to see Sara Jane Walls from the YES Advisory Board speaking out about the bedroom tax and benefit reform. We need people like my friend and Sara Jane tell those in power that they don’t want a return to the cramped houses of our own and our parents’ childhoods. This has been one of the welfare state’s success in eradicating illness ensuring more people live in better living conditions. Never go back to the old days let such conditions exist only in museums where we remind our children never again.
The evil empire are fighting back but we know their strategies. We need to offer people hope not treat them as potential recruits. We all need to work together to support those affected. To stop evictions and the misery it brings. I am not a poverty tourist along with many of my friends I will be affected. I look forward to continuing to be optimistic and a sharing of our resources. Please read my other posts about the bedroom tax. Let me know if I can help. How we can help each other. Always though, Up and At Them. On the side of Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance always.