Labour's Bedroom Tax promise: keep up the pressure

Submitted by Matthew on 25 September, 2013 - 11:35

That the Labour Party have finally announced they would repeal the Bedroom Tax if elected at the next election is very welcome, but not before time.

That Labour have adopted this is down to pressure from tenants, campaigners and the Labour left.

Much more meaningless was a vote by Lib Dem conference to oppose the Bedroom Tax at the next election. That pledge is worthless while the parliamentary leadership of the party is supporting policies like that are destroying people’s lives now.

It all begs the question for Labour and Lib Dem councils which still control their own council housing. If they are against the Bedroom Tax, why are they implementing it? A number of Labour councils, including Renfrewshire and Bristol, adopted a no evictions policy, though Bristol seems now to be rowing back from this. 

On the other hand, in Barnsley and elsewhere some housing associations and councils are obtaining possession orders against their tenants in arrears. This is the first part of the eviction process. The intervention of the left, unions and campaigners in support of tenants can be decisive in trying to stop these processes, putting massive pressure on social landlords and ready to throw bailiffs off estates if necessary.

If tenants, socialists and unions ratchet up the pressure further we can defeat this unworkable and deeply cruel policy. Let’s make that our mission for the coming months.

• Scottish Anti-Bedroom Tax conference. Saturday 5 October, 12-4pm, Carnegie Theatre, Glasgow Caledonian University. Email anti-bedtaxfed@gmail.com.

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