In April 2013 the conservative government introduced the ‘under-occupancy’ charge affecting social housing tenants. Tenants receive less benefit if there are spare bedrooms in the home (14% less for one spare) but the ‘spare room subsidy’ does not affect pensioners or shared property tenants. Under tens are expected to share with both sexes, under 16s are expected to share with same sex. Adults are entitled their own room and extra rooms for medical purposes are not exempt. Ed Miliband also voted for the introduction of the bedroom tax originally, but because of the bad reception from the public, he stated he would remove it if he became the MP again. The fact he now opposes this represents the contrast between conservative aiming to please the middle class and Labor aiming to please lower/working class.
The spare-room subsidy is doable because the age ranges of children who share rooms mean they require the same needs in daily life. The tax has lead to 50,000 rooms free within the last twelve months out of the 660,000 spare rooms nationally. It has lead to an improved utilization of social housing saved the taxpayer £1 million a day. There has been increased support of the labor party among social tenants and increased conservative support among private homeowners/renters. The way that the tax benefits the middle/upper class but causes problems for lower/working class reflects Imogen Tyler’s theory that British citizenship has been designed to fail specific classes. In this instance, the bedroom tax is effectively designed to fail working and lower class people, which is why Labor opposes it.
In accordance to how people are affected in the UK, the bedroom tax affects people who live in council housing, so private homeowners don’t get affected by the policy and may not necessarily take interest in it. As a generalization, people that live in council housing are typically working class people, which are the main participants of this policy and are the general people that will be against it. If you have a spare room, you’ll now have to pay more money than before to keep it, on social media and in the news there have been vast amounts of complaints, because no-one wants to pay more money than they should; its put a lot of people in financial trouble; you may not be affected by the bedroom tax if you have certain disabilities, if you are a foster parent or if you receive a state pension. Effectively, the government are the ones that benefit from the bedroom tax because they are getting a lot more money out of each household and therefore are the ones that benefit from the policy. From this representation, we can observe that Maxim’s theory (that the oppressed will always have more power than the repressed) is in fact correct, seen as the government (oppressed) are controlling the repressed (lower/working class).
Re-written version of the policy
Britain needs sustainability. With the economy rising and the deficit lowering we need to begin to sustain our society to provide everyone with comfort and security. The bedroom tax targets people that live in social housing which have one or more un-occupied bedroom(s), it aims at getting people to pay for their unused rooms which someone else could generally benefit from. There are some that own 5 bedroom council houses but only occupy 2 bedrooms, leaving bedrooms free which is unfair to other citizens of the UK that can occupy that space fairly. Getting these people to pay for their unused rooms will eventually rise to Britain saving £1,000,000 a day and also gives everyone equal opportunities to occupy the home they need.
The tax will not affect you however, if you have been living in your home for over 10 years, a home of which has sentimental value to a family should not have to pay the tax. The tax only targets new council tenants of who have lived in council housing for under 2 years.
The bedroom tax will be exempt from people with physical disabilities that need more than one room for medical care. We will not make you pay for extra rooms if you need them for medical care.
You will be able to switch homes with other tenants if you both need each others spaces, a fair transaction between citizens will create equality in Britain as rooms will be utilized fairly.