Thursday, 4 April 2013

A week that defines the Conservatives: bedroom tax and millionaires vs mums

This week millionaires are getting a tax cut worth an average of £100,000 and meanwhile new mums on statutory maternity pay (of which I have to sayI am one, indeed I had to leave a recent council meeting during a debate on the topic because I have what is called a 'pecuniary interest') are having a real terms cut in our maternity pay.  The government doesn't seem agree that this is the wrong priority - I have signed the 'mums not millionaires' petition and I will be asking people in Whitleywood to sign it too on Sunday by going door to door and I will also be outside the coop at the bottom of Northumberland Avenue at around 11am, if you want to pop by.  If you agree that the government has got this wrong you can sign the petition  here.

Meanwhile the bedroom tax is coming into effect.  I proposed a moderate motion on this asking the government to suspend this policy that the Conservative and Libdem councillors absolutely attacked me on last month, (although a few small concessions have been won) and there is no sign that the government is listening to anyone on it.  I actually can't understand why the government is doing this - it is wrong in every respect, and most people hit are disabled.

Anything I write will be seen as partisan so instead I quote what David Orr, the Cheif Executive of the National Housing Federation (a politically neutral body) said last week:

The bedroom tax is one of these once in a generation decisions that is wrong in every respect.  It’s bad policy, it’s bad economics, it’s bad for hundreds of thousands of ordinary people whose lives will be made difficult for no benefit – and I think it’s about to become profoundly bad politics.

If you are in two minds about whether the bedroom tax can be justified in any way I would urge you to read what he has to say in full.  If you are in Reading and you are angry about hte impact of the government's policies on the disabled Berkshire Disabled People against the cuts have organised a protest on Saturday .  I am going to try to go if my ward surgery finishes in time.