Iain Duncan Smith: There is no bedroom tax

“There’s no such thing as the bedroom tax. It’s nonsense. There is no bedroom tax.”

– Iain Duncan Smith.

I believe that the Under Occupancy Penalty is a tax. It will deduct 14% or 25% of a household’s rent from their housing benefit if they have a spare bedroom and live in social housing.

Tax is defined as:

“A compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions”

The bedroom tax for many people is impossible to avoid since there are few available one bedroom homes. Money that is deducted from housing benefit as a penalty for having a spare bedroom will contribute to government. Housing benefit is income. (Albeit income that is all passed on to the landlord to pay rent.) I believe that the under occupation penalty fits the definition of a tax.

In any case, it does not matter what the government choose to call something. The community charge will forever be the poll tax. Enforced unpaid work for benefits is always referred to as workfare despite the best efforts of the DWP. In two hundred years the under occupancy penalty will still be known as the bedroom tax and will be seen in history alongside the window tax.

What is the bedroom tax?

Author: Latentexistence

The world is broken and I can't fix it because I am broken. I can, however, rant about it all and this is where I do that when I can get my thoughts together. Most of the time you'll find my words on Twitter rather than here though. I sometimes write for Where's The Benefit too.

6 thoughts on “Iain Duncan Smith: There is no bedroom tax”

  1. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to revolt! I do have to hold in utter contempt those who are essentially fiddling their own council tax and then make a succession of sweeping statements, as here, who are simply lying through their teeth when it comes right down to it.

  2. Is that all Iain Duncan Smith has to say on this serious matter? I would have expected a more intellectual answer from someone who’s parents no doubt spent a fortune of his private education.

    It does not matter whether it is a tax or not, it is a catch 22 punishment for most! The question that should be put across is for those of us willing to downsize, where are we to go when there is no 1 bedroom properties available? I can possibly get a 2 bedroom property but that would mean even though I downsize I will still get punished by having to pay £14 a week for the ‘spare bedroom’ so why should I bother as it will still leave me in debt.

    Come April I will be left with £36 to pay my food and utilities, I scrimp now to pay for my internet to look for jobs so that luxury will have to go, making it harder for me to apply for work, Is that fair? Also, I spend 3 hours daily looking and applying for work, any work, even if that means cleaning public loo’s etc… but it is very rare I even get a reply to my job applications, maybe employers do not want people in their 50’s preferring the younger generation, I do not know the answer to this, so what is one to do? This is making me and people I know in the same situation suicidal!

    P.S: When I do find work, can I opt out of paying my dues to the government? after all you are now opting out of paying me my dues in my time of need.

    1. When you start paying me to run a national news service you can choose to be disappointed in my output. Otherwise, I’m just one angry sick person doing my best to draw attention to injustice and I write about whatever I have the energy and motivation to focus on.

  3. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a tax is a “pecuniary burden laid
    upon individuals or property owners to support the government. a payment
    exacted by legislative authority.” It “is not a voluntary payment or
    donation, but an enforced contribution, exacted pursuant to legislative
    authority” and is “any contribution imposed by government, whether under
    the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom,
    excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or other name.”

    This is a reduction of money many people need, it eats into their meagre
    income and drives down their living standards. There is a choice for
    those that can find alternative accommodation or afford the difference
    but there’s no choice for many where smaller accommodation isn’t
    available, there’s no choice for those in accommodation that’s been
    adapted to their needs. So a charge which benefits the Government (by
    reducing the Welfare Bill) that people don’t have a choice about is a
    tax.

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