I know I’ve been M.I.A. lately, with so much studying to do and family meals to attend to celebrate the eggiest holiday of them all, I simply haven’t had a chance. I’m sorry I haven’t been about, but now I am back!
I can sense how thrilled you are. In fact, let’s have a picture of a party hat.
It’s even got a tassle on top. Don’t say I don’t think of you guys.
So…London based news. There are going to be protests over the next few weeks against bedroom tax. There have already been a few around the country. Everyone is fuming, and rightly so.
The whole idea of it is to make people pay for the privilege of having a spare room. Including those that have a child in, if that child is not sharing. And this horribly unfair rule includes children with severe disabilities, who have a room specially adapted to their needs – and as such there is no ROOM for anyone to share it.
It also includes people whose children are serving in the armed forces FOR OUR COUNTRY and are currently on a tour of duty, and foster parents. One woman, with MS, has a spare room where her medical equipment is kept. She isn’t exempt either. And frankly, I’m disgusted.
How can they be so damn ignorant? How can they think this is a good idea? If there were some more sensible exemptions, I’d perhaps understand it better. I wouldn’t like it. But I could at least get my head around it. But it seems like a blitz attack on the poorest and most vulnerable in this country.
You see, what gets my goat, so to speak…in fact not only gets my goat, but gets it, eats it, and leaves it’s bony carcass behind to infuriate me, is the fact that many of the Conservative party will not be paying this tax. For example Iain Duncan Smith. Charming man. He lives in a 2 million pound house with 4 extra rooms. Will he be hit by tax? Hell, no. Neither will the other millionaires in this country. In fact, they’re getting a tax cut worth – wait for it – £1000 A WEEK. Something seems a bit backwards here.
Whilst good ol’ Iain and his cronies prance around their bloody great mansions, some are forced to rent out their homes, some are forced to move – although this is not an option for most. In one constituency of Durham, over 1000 households will be hit. There are only 100 smaller properties available to move into. Now, it may just be me, but those numbers don’t seem to add up. And then some, some will become homeless.
But what to the Tories say? Despite how obvious the issues are here. they’re view is that people ‘can always move’. And they argue that it will free up space for overcrowded families.
What they’re blithely forgetting, is that the overcrowding issue is mainly in one part of the country – LONDON, as well as on a much smaller scale in a few other cities. But in general, Northern England is underpopulated. Northumberland is the most sparsely inhabited country in England. Scotland has fewer people in the whole country than in London. And people living in a 2 bedroom flat down South, probably aren’t going to uproot their whole lives, move up North where – funnily enough – there are no jobs.
The government also say this will encourage people to get jobs.
Excuse me, what jobs? They seem to think the unemployed are a bunch of lazy lollygaggers (I like that word), and I will grant, that some are. Some. But those are the minority. Most job seekers would LOVE to have a job. They’d love to be able to afford to go out and have fun, to buy enough food for the week, to heat the whole damn house. But the simple fact is right now, there are not enough to go around. And the government’s manipulation of figures is astounding. They crow about having increased employment, but they failed to mention the massive increase in part time jobs, and the fact that they included those on the work scheme for the job centre – who weren’t even getting paid.
One MP for Labour, she decided to try to understand what her constituents will go through due to bedroom tax, and lived off £18 for food, for a week. She kept a video diary of her experience and everything. And she came back with the message that it isn’t enough. The £21 that people had to feed themselves in 2006, would get the same amount that £28 would now. Compare that to the £18, and it is not anywhere near enough. People across the country will be going hungry. I love this MP for what she did, Helen Goodman from Durham. She rocks.
But the Conservatives? David Cameron and George Osborne and their band of merry men? (and they should be merry, most of them are benefiting from the millionaire tax cut) – they all seem blissfully ignorant to the problems we face today. I’m all for encouraging people to get jobs, but not like this. I’m actually pretty horrified by the depth of their…of their sheer stupidity. Which is surprising, old Davy went to Oxford. You’d think he’d have some spark of common sense in there.
Thing is, I’m sure they’re wonderful family men at home. I’m sure their friends love them. And I think, since they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, that they genuinely just don’t know. I wonder what would happen if we made them live life in the day of an old age pensioner, or someone on job seeker’s allowance, or even a homeless man in a Newcastle winter. I wonder if it would make them think again.
So…a week tomorrow I will be attending a march. I’ll wave my banner, and I’ll join the nation in making a fuss. Because – even if it won’t work…well we have to try, don’t we?
Image from The Guardian