The ‘bedroom tax’ has applied to private landlords for a number of years – this change in government policy only brings the public sector housing into the same rules – or is it ‘one rule for us and one rule for them’?
If local authorities artificially re-designate their properties with fewer bedrooms, then they are actually reducing rental income and may affect the council tax banding, which is not in the best interests of the vast number of council tax payers. If this is fair for the councils, then perhaps we can all designate a bedroom as a study or dining room etc and claim a lower tax banding, with the knock-on effect that will have on council finances.
The council’s own Local Development Framework has identified the crucial shortage of one bed homes, yet successive Labour councils have done nothing to meet this need. Indeed their push for new homes has passed plans for three and four bed houses (of which there is no shortage) and ignored those in most need.
Cynics may say that all the council wants is the New Homes Bonus and that it has no interest in those who really need help, so long as the councillors name gets into print, by blaming the government for the local authority’s prolonged mismanagement and ‘head in the sand’ attitude.
Point the finger at those who have ignored this housing shortage and caused the problem.