“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.