This Thursday, the Central London Debating Society meets to debate the motion: “This House Would scrap the bedroom tax”
As of 1st April a raft of previously announced changes to the welfare system are taking effect. One of the most controversial changes is a change to housing benefit which has been dubbed the “bedroom tax” by its critics. Rather than a tax it is a cut in housing benefit applied to any individual or family who is deemed to be living in a house that has more rooms than they need. Those with one spare bedroom will lose 14% of their housing benefit, while those with two or more spare bedrooms will lose 25%.
The government has defended its plan on the grounds of fairness. They say it is unfair to allow people who are out of work to live in large houses at the taxpayer’s expense while some working individuals and families are struggling to get onto the property ladder. Critics say that the government is forcing the most disadvantaged people in society to move out of the communities they chose to live in. They also point to the technical difficulties in deciding when a room counts as spare, especially in cases involving carers for the disabled. So should the bedroom tax changes be kept or should they be scrapped?
This debate will be held in the Old Cock Tavern on 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA, at 7.30 pm. See here for more details on how to take part and how often we meet.