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British Lung Foundation
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The hated bedroom tax

We will now have a choice at the next election as Labour have just pledged to withdraw the dreadful bedroom tax, which has a disproportionate effect on disabled people. Let's hope they also scrap the ridiculously expensive HR2 project and use the money to spend on worthwhile infra-structure projects, social housing, high-speed broadband for everyone not just the urban conurbations, the lack of which is a scandalous barrier to rural business. There is another way.

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43 Replies

Could not agree more!!

Labour may not be all OK but they do at least put some money into

health and education

as opposed to propping up those with....

wealth and obfuscation ... had to find rhyming word that fitted, so looked it up

Definitions of Obfuscation

1. To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand

Nuff said

Lets hope for the best

Beth xx


Here, here, flibberti. :-) :-) Alison

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Didn't we all go through this with the poll tax in the eighties,unfortunatly that's still here.never trust a politician.

They all make the right noises when they need to,then renage on all they've promised.HR2 will never happen in my lifetime.far to expensive


I don't do politics, until it is time to vote. I do have a very good relationship with my local MP and drop him an email with my thoughts sometimes.


Bedroom tax is not even thinly disguised, it is an attack on older, vulnerable people. Good idea to use homes with more bedrooms for families with children BUT where are the smaller homes? Idiots! We need to collect taxes from the rich and huge companies and stop robbing those with the least. Alison


I do think that they need your vote! so they will do as they always do. we must look at the facts that these current people are clearing the mess that labour created while they were in, vote them in for short term gains, long term pains,

The sound bite was excellent but, it worries me that if EM doesn't understand that you can't 'repeal the bedroom tax' then he's a pretty dumb politician. There is no thing as the bedroom tax. I have a spare bedroom and I'm not being taxed, my mother has a spare room and she's not being taxed! The right and wrongs of whether or not you should have your benefits cut for renting a house with a spare room is a whole different matter.


- Why not the Disabled ?

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Political decisions !! you are either for them or against them but come on folks this is NOT a political site and should NOT be.

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I think this is a site for people with lung disease to discuss what is important to them. For many, government policies make a huge difference in their lives and so can cause untold stress. ANYTHING which is important in our lives should be able to be discussed here, but particularly something which will impact on people with disabilities to a great degree.


A third of housing benefit claimants are renting in the private sector, and they have always had to 'pay the bedroom tax', which is to say their housing benefit is limited by the size of their household, regardless of the size of their accommodation.

Why should those renting in the social sector get a better deal?

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Mainly because there are no smaller properties to move into. Though this probably applies in the private-rent sector too. It is heartbreaking to me to see so many families struggling.


Abolition of the spare room subsidy and freezing of gas and electricity prices won't happen because Labour will lose the next Election spectacularly. Come back Neil Kinnock, all is forgiven!

I have never posted anything to do with 'politics', despite the temptation many times. I hope this will be an 'acceptable' exception.

But the so-called 'bedroom tax' - in reality a Housing Benefit cut - affects more sick & disabled people than anyone else [aprox 2/3 of those affected]. It is discriminatory and divisive; exactly what it was meant to be.

Only working-age people living in social housing and claiming housing benefit are affected. Pension-age people claiming hb are exempt. Single people living on aprox £70 a week have to find £12 or more from that money to pay rent, or face eviction, when there are no smaller [1 bed] properties for them to move to. There are currently some 50,000 people facing eviction over arrears caused directly by this benefit cut. Where do they go?

Many people, however, are in a similar situation to ourselves. My wife & I live in a purpose-built, heavily adapted bungalow where we are full-time carers for one of her grandsons, Warren, aged 14. He is the only person in the UK with his chromosome deletion & one of aprox 40 in the world and this bungalow was built specifically for him.

There are £25,000 of extra adaptations being added as I type, to enable us to continue to look after him at home.

Yet we are affected by the 'bedroom tax', despite having carers staying in our 'spare bedroom' overnight for 2 or 3 nights a week. We also save the 'taxpayer' at least £250,000 a year.

I have never been so angry in my life and have been thrown into actively campaigning for the repeal of this odious legislation.

With the aid of the Child Poverty Action Group,we are taking the DWP to the high court over this unfairness. This is a huge thing for us to do, yet we feel that we have to stand up against those who would make an already difficult life harder.

There are so many other people in our situation or similar and we hope that the outcome of our case will help those others too. We don't want 'praise' for what we do. Just a recognition from the government of what we do and an exemption from this punitive and politically motivated benefit cut for ourselves and the other sick & disabled people too.

Our story was featured on Channel 4News & you can see the film here: t.co/EEpo7Xt7LR

If anyone has any questions or needs help over 'bedroom tax' issues, it may be best to DM me. I am on twitter - @PaulRutherford8


good luck paul and god bless.xxx

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Was interested to see the film,txs for posting.I wish you all success in your endeavours,& dips me lid to you both! Warren is lucky to have you both,good luck,love Wendells xx

yes it is similar to the poll tax.my husband and I joined in the protests and regardless of huwiehex and jambo's opinions,we did achieve to abolish it,yes we pay council tax but its no where near the amount thatcher was screwing each and every individual for.If you are not prepared to fight for your rights,then what right have you to criticise anyone.Try Pastor Martin Niemollers famous speech.


Thankyou Paul GOOD LUCK x


I believe there have been quite a few appeals through the Scottish courts... and they've won. The problem, as usual, is not with the idea, but the way it is implemented without applying common sense. One disabled man on the TV used his 'spare' room for storing his hoist and various aids. In my mind this should have been classed as a store - not a 'spare' room. Ditto with you Paul. Your room isn't 'spare' eiither, it's used for a very specific purpose. On the other hand there is a young woman along the road from my mum who was given a 3 bedroom house for her and her 2 children about 8 years ago. The children were taken into care, but she's still living in the house. Why should a single woman be living in a 3 bedroom house at the taxpayers expense?

As to the poll tax, I must be in the minority. I couldn't understand what was so unfair about it ... why should a little old lady living on her own on a modest pension be asked to pay the same as the house next door with 4 working adults? Each individual was going to be liable for their own bill. With the poll tax I was actuallly better off than with the council tax!


Don't trust Labour for anything. UKIP is the only way forward.


you must be mad,they are no better than BNP,racist ignorant snobs


Can't say they are my cup of tea, seem to have shot themselves in the foot with the 'sluts' comments etc ... kind of says it all I think ... very unlikely to make a showing in general election I imagine


I think they will do very well. But time will tell. If you had listened to the transcript of Godfrey Bloom's comment, you will understand it was said in a jokey manner. However, now in p.c. Britiain nobody is allowed a sense of humour.

Hi Margo

I think we will have to agree to differ ... as you say , no crystal balls around, so time will tell.

I think the perception of what is and is not humorous and is and is not offensive changes with time and always has done, I don't think this means humour has vanished (check out KOTC on this site for starters), and I do think anyone in a 'public' position has to have the basic nounce to know what is likely to be perceived as acceptable: (...even if they disagree ... I would have thought it would be a matter of intelligence and good sense ...... and wanting to keep one's job to 'police' ones words ).

He wont be the first or the last (of all political complexions) to fall at that hurdle ... but its not rocket science is it? .... everyone, and especially 'them' knows the score.....

Hope you are well etc


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I am not mad, just want Great Britain back!

ha margo,how are ukip going get gb back,come on spit it out,great Britain sorry,bernice

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Oh dear. Aren't they the ones who censured (eventually) the party whip after he branded women at a public meeting 'sluts'. Godfrey Bloom had previously made sexist remarks and attacked Britain for sending aid to "Bongo Bongo Land" in a reference to Africa. Not really my cup of tea but each to their own kind. :)


hi carrieme,the four adults living next door to the "little old lady"were ALL paying four individual payments.If you were living in a 3 bedroom house alone and paying,say, £50 per month and the next door neighbour in the same 3 bed house with 4 adults each having to pay £50 per month =£200 per month.that "little old lady"would still be getting the same services,ie,dustbins emptied,fire service,police service,etc.The four adults next door wouldnt be getting anything extra for their £150 more poll tax.so why should they pay more than the "little old lady"? Thats why there were riots over the poll tax.!!! As for your mothers neighbour,surely thats up to your local council.

In Scotland our water bills are included in the council tax so the four adults would be using considerably more water for a start. Our council taxes don't just pay for what we use ... they pay for other things like street lights, local roads, schools, libraries etc. Being silly about the figures, if there are 2 houses paying for everything in an area then, just now, each house is paying the same amount, say £50 each. But there are 5 people living in this area. Why should one person subsidise the others? A fair share would be £20 pound each - all contributing the same amount irrespective of what they use.

hi carrieme,would the said 4 or five adults not be subsidising the "one person"? you may have your water rates included in your council tax in scotland but here in England they are seperate and I may add we are being robbed blind.As for the "Bedroom Tax" I dont pay it because I own my own house,which I worked over 50 years for.but that does not mean I have no right to protest against something I feel is totally crippling every-one involved.

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Oh, I didn't think they had water rates in England anymore. I thought, or probably just assumed, you were all on water meters.

Sorry, but I still the same cost per person is fairer.

One of the most outrageous issues with this 'tax', as is the case for a family living up the road from me, three bedroom council house, middle aged couple, kids have left home ..... there are NO one bedroom council properties in this area only emergency B&Bs/multiple occupancy properties

What exactly are they supposed to do? ( I would add that I dont know they are paying for the empty rooms, I assume so), and a friend works in local housing so I know the amount of council housing is chronically short here .....

I think it is an absolute outrage


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If this middle aged couple are the ones paying rent they're not being asked to pay more because they have extra rooms - they'll be paying the going rate for a 3 bedroom council house.

On the other hand, if neither of them work and live solely on benefits why should they live in a bigger/better house than a lot of us who work can afford?

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As the "carer" of a long-term COPD sufferer as well as a tax-payer contributing to all who NEED support, be it education, NHS, housing benefit, old-age pensions, etc., etc., I have no problem assisting other sufferers who CANNOT provide their basic requirements for themselves. However, why should tax-payers struggling to provide for themselves see their taxes used to provide superior accommodation to that which they can afford? Given that the country and many of the population have grossly over-spent, racking up borrowings which few of us can repay, should we not all get real?

If HealthUnlocked is to be used for political whingers, trying to hold on to all that they have managed to get others to pay for, this site is not for genuine patients & carers seeking support...........

I didn't realise that this blog was being high-jacked by attendees of political conferences!!

I disagree flibberti .. I don't see it as a ploy to set one group against another at all. If any politician, of any party, really cared about this country and its people they would be working together to sort out all our problems - not continually trying to make sure they get into power or stay in when they are. Nothing is completely black or white, there are good and bad ideas from all persuasions, but not one of them will support a good idea from the other - because they're too busy trying to do what's best for themselves.

Maybe if they would genuinely work together, and that goes for unions and employers too, and start thinking about the bigger picture instead of their own narrow interests; maybe if everybody started taking some responsibility for their own lives and stopped looking with envy at others who appear to have more than they do - ignoring the fact that we all make different choices to have what we have; maybe if we stopped dividing people into them and us (whoever them and us are?) maybe then a lot of our troubles would dissolve.

Phew, sorry didn't mean to go off on such a rant - but I'm going to leave it posted anyway!


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I have to agree with both of you mostly! But I am firmly of the opinion that the housing benefit cut is part of the tory dogma of the 'workers v shirkers', harking back to the Poor Law policy of 'deserving and undeserving poor' in the early 1800s.

It is a great shame, but even in our small village, my wife and I have been vilified as 'scroungers' by those who ought to know better.

If this policy was fair, it would apply to ALL people in social housing & not just those of 'working age' who claim any amount of housing benefit.

There are many working people affected who would not have to claim benefits if they could earn a real living wage. Most state benefits are paid to people in work in any case: child allowance, tax credits, child care allowance, etc. Pension credits also make a huge %age of top-up benefits. Only a very small %age is spent on out of work benefits in fact.

This policy was definitely part of the conservatives' attempt to 'make work pay' as clearly stated in the legislation itself. The problem is that many of those affected ARE working.

There are many, many older people of pension age, claiming hb and living in social housing, with 'spare bedrooms' and who are exempt from this benefit cut. That is unfair.

We ALL pay taxes like vat and many working people pay no, or very little income tax.

We are ALL in this together and the social divisions caused by politics are getting worse. That saddens me very much indeed. Very much. We ALL need support from each other. ALL of us, no matter our personal politics or opinions. A good, 'healthy' discussion never hurt anyone :)

Sorry to have also ranted,but as a severe CB sufferer, I also think we have a right to talk, sensibly, and discuss here matters which are not necessarily illness-related. I have been reading posts here that have upset, angered, intrigued, informed and inspired me. I hardly ever post. But on this subject...

I'm done!!


Harking back to the Poor Law - hits the nail right on the head.


Good luck Paul, I am also affected by this totally unfair bedroom tax. The room in question is under 50 square metres and should be classes as a box room rather than a bedroom. I am told by my local mp that the guide lines used for overcrowding are not applied to under occupancy. WHY NOT?

This government has extended the time I have to wait to get my old age pension to age 66. I have been unsuccessful in two claims for DLA despite suffering with COPD, diabetes and osteo-arthritis, as this government is tightening up on disability benefits. Just to make my life a little more unbearable, I now have to pay £14 per week out of my £112.00 (for 2 people) ESA benefit. I am supposed to move house, but cannot afford the removal costs or find a 2 bed house in my town. If I could afford to, and find a 2 bed house (most of which charge more rent than my house) I would then have to move again the following year (when my son leaves home) to a 1 bed property (although there are very few of these around) and pay removal costs again.

I have lived in my home for three years and my husband and I have bought flooring, re-tiled the bathroom and had a shower fitted. We have re-planned the garden and added a patio area,all because we were making this house into our home. I would not have done any of this if I had known I would have to move in a couple of years and then again a couple of years after that. I would have considered I was living in temporary accommodation, instead of making a home for my family. Surely other people will feel the same way and take no pride in their home if they are forced to move every time there is a change in their family circumstances. This is not practical or affordable and will create slums in the longer term.

Incidentally, my husband and I have worked most of our lives, but now that we are in our late 50's with health problems, our country's support system is letting us down badly.

So sorry to rant, but this is a subject I feel VERY strongly about.


what exactly did we expect from the Torys,they are so busy lining their own pockets,dining out at top restuarants,several holidays a year,lovely big "second" homes,even bigger salaries.what the heck do they know of ordinary people.more to the point they dont want to know.


There are now 7 millionaires in the Labour Shadow Cabinet. Tell me again how Labour's all for the working man? They're living off of a reputation that goes back 50+ years. Did Neil Kinnock and his wife not earn £1/2 million each as MEPs? Tony Blair, poor working man?? John Prescott???? Then of course there are the Union Leaders ... Arthur Scargill taking the NUM to court to continue getting his Canary Wharf flat paid for. Prentis, Bob Crow, all earning £100k with associated perks. "We're all equal brothers, it's just that some of us are more equal than others!"


Hi fishtail

I think ... once upon a time , Labour politicians were of a different breed, most tho not all, from literally the 'working classes', I think those days are now mostly gone, and (although I will ....with some reluctance .. vote for them as usual .... as, as far as Health and Eduction goes ... best of a bad bunch) ), not so different from the Tories ... ie 'Career' politicians ...ie School... . University (front bench Oxbridge) ... and straight into politics ... not much experience of 'real life' e.g living on a wage of less than £35K for example

I think going into 'politics ' is now seen as a lucrative career option, along with going into the 'city', 'corporate law', etc ... sure there must be exceptions ... but I think politicians in all parties are , once on the front bench, going to be earning a lot of money one way or the other


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I totally agree with all that you have said and as always I too will vote Labour,mainly because they are the best of a bad bunch.

Why, because I don't like hypocrisy - whoever it is?

Anyway, that's me finished on my soap box this week. It can go back in the garage and gather dust for another wee while. :-)

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