Bedroom tax debate
Bad for families
The increasingly mean spirited ConDem Government has implemented a raft of policies which will make life more difficult for millions of citizens who are already in financial difficulty.
This was on the same day when Cameron, Osborne, Clegg et al give their fellow millionaires a massive tax cut.
The most pernicious of these cuts and changes is the bedroom tax which imposes cuts of 14 per cent or 25 per cent on social housing residents, depending on how many spare rooms they have and will hit as many people who are in work as out.
It ignores the complex needs of real people and could break up families while pushing more people into the private rented sector thereby perversely increasing the housing benefit bill.
It has been described in the following way “a once in a generation decision that is wrong in every respect, is bad policy, bad economics, and bad for hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens whose lives will be made difficult for no benefit.”
The person who made this remark is not an opposition politician or anti-cuts campaigner.
He is David Orr, the head of the umbrella group of UK social housing providers the National Housing Federation.
It is a very fitting description for a particularly vicious policy which is on a par with the hated poll tax.
Blackpool against Cuts
Long waiting lists
Leaving aside the debate as to whether we call it a bedroom tax or a spare room subsidy, I’m glad attention is being focused on the need to ensure social housing is allocated with need in mind.
We have too many on waiting lists for social housing in inappropriate rented housing, including families with disabled children, because they can’t access the right size of social housing.
One aspect of the debate wholly overlooked is the Government almost tripled the amount given to local councils for what is called ‘discretionary housing payments’.
This is designed to deal with those marginal cases where the room may be needed for health or disability reasons, and we have exempted many other groups , including pensioners, altogether.
Anyone who feels Blackpool or Wyre Councils are rejecting requests for Discretionary Housing Payments inappropriately should contact my office on 01253 473070.
Scare stories should not be allowed to get in the way of better allocating scarce social housing, and we have to start changing the approach sooner rather than later.
Paul Maynard MP
Blackpool North and
No smoking signs
Car fumes worse
The controversy about no-smoking signs came about because it was totally unnecessary to put them in the parks in the first place.
We know smoke dissolves in seconds, not like car fumes or festering dog mess which is much more harmful than an occasional smoke.
But bashing smokers has gone on over the years.
However, well done to Blackpool Council for deciding to have smaller signs and fewer of them.
But if we are honest about it we should not have to have any of the signs in the first place.
C. Victor De-Nagy
new speed limits
Stupid and costly
It’s not often I find myself agreeing with Coun Liz Oades, but her point about the new 20 mile per hour speed limit was spot on (Gazette, March 29).
She is right on both counts. It is stupid and extremely costly.
The £19m invested on this scheme is a disgrace and I hope voters will show their feelings in the appropriate manner at the next elections.
living on benefits
Choices are unfair
Is it just me or does anyone else feel they have stumbled into a wardrobe and found themselves in Narnia?
It’s cold and miserable, little hope of things getting better and those in charge appear to care little for your suffering.
Unfortunately, this is not fiction but grim reality.
Existing on benefits, let’s not call it living, is demoralising and very unhealthy.
Choosing whether to heat or eat is a choice many are forced to make.
Demonising the unemployed as not doing the right thing is cynical politics and at a time when few are secure in employment, is not very clever either.
Thanks to this coalition government who nobody voted for, far too many of our citizens will die prematurely through chronic ill health and many more at their own hand.
Unfortunately Aslan is not going to come and save us so it’s time for us to say enough is enough.