The Tory led coalition's welfare reform plans hit poorly paid workers in the UK, as much as the jobless.
Yes, as Deputy PM Clegg says, harping on, the personal tax allowance improvement has taken many people out of paying income tax, but any money gained has been quickly grabbed back by other means. VAT remains excessively high, for example.
Overall many people have taken a financial hit with indirect taxation
The simplistic approach though often serves a right-wing government well and, make no mistake, the UK ConDem coalition is a right-wing government. Cameron may be less extreme than other potential Tory leaders but he still favours the City of Westminster and its banking sector, rather than the people of the UK.
Cameron's Liberal Democrat partners are allegedly middle-of-the-road, as far as politics goes, but they no longer lean to the left. Add to this the fact that they hold a minority position in government and their political strength is questionable.
According to the coalition the UK is facing a housing shortage, and the bedroom tax is somehow going to help fight this
Well Tories of course know that there is a shortage first-hand as it was instigated by Tory PM Maggie Thatcher, when she allowed the wide-scale sell-off of council properties to occupiers. The 1980 Housing Act gave 5,000,000 council house tenants the right-to-buy. People were able to buy their council home at a reduced rate, which initially was very appealing to many tenants.
But at the same time Maggie's administration put a halt on councils building new properties. This by the way is not merely a leftist rant with no substance as this writer worked administrating housing benefits during this time. She experienced the rates, the poll tax, the community charge and the council tax first hand and soon realised that only the first one helped the vulnerable in the UK.
Housing stocks were quickly depleted. In time many people who purchased their council properties moved on, selling their home. On the surface this had been Maggie's dream, a nation of homeowners but the reality was rather different. A great deal depended on who bought the property.
Suffice to say there are now a range of dodgy landlords owning former council properties, all making money out of the flawed system. During an episode of Question Time, on the BBC, in March 2013 ahead of the bedroom tax, there was a slightly veiled accusation that some Tory ministers are the personal landlords of some former council houses. The fact this was unchallenged by panel member Tory MP Ken Clarke said it all.
As Maggie's government deregulated housing to a greater degree, fair rents became a thing of the past. Further along the line tenancy rights dwindled and many tenants now have short-term leases, six months being good in some cases.
Welfare reforms such as the bedroom tax are acting as a form of ethnic cleansing in British cities, London in particular
Consider the following
You live in a large property in London. Your children have left home and your husband dies. You are still relatively young and have little money in savings. Ill health prevented your late husband working for the last two years of his life meaning what money you had saved has gone. You need to claim housing benefit to survive. You are working but your work is poorly paid.
From April 2013 your housing benefit reduced according to the number of spare bedrooms in your home. Cameron's advice is take in lodgers or move; both, he claims, will help alleviate the housing crisis.
You and your husband have worked for twenty years since leaving school but in poorly paid jobs. Never forget we need people to do these jobs. So should you, in your hour of need, be faced with such choices as give up your home, take in lodgers or receive a reduced level of housing benefit?
If your property is council owned you can contact the authorities in order to move to a smaller home but good luck with that one.
What a good way for the government to move "unwanteds" from the city of London allowing fat friends to make a killing
Many people are being told they will have to relocate to another part of the country but obviously that is not always practical. In this writer's part of the UK, Yorkshire, one council went on record as the bedroom tax was launched to say that they had no properties available.
In April 2013 many people, thousands, deemed to live in under occupied properties faced a reduction in housing benefit or a need to move, but councils had nowhere to rehouse them.
The only conclusion is that the bedroom tax is another ill-thought Tory government policy which hits the vulnerable in society in many ways and it is not workable
The problem however is that should the next government see sense and re-think the bedroom tax where will the shortfall in revenue come from? If it is a Labour government it will not come from those already struggling to make ends meet.
Having wasted time, effort and money creating the bedroom tax Messrs, Cameron, Osborne and Clegg worked budgets out on potential revenue raised. If the bedroom tax had been scrapped we could all guess the trio's next target?
But we suggest that Ministers should be the alternative target
In the last couple of years the UK has had more than one expenses scandal involving MPs. It became clear that most were using legal loopholes to claim unnecessary expenses. Then of course there were more than a few who were abusing the system.
Some allegations resulted in court cases and jail terms. Allegedly MPs expense regulations were tightened to prevent abuse. Whether that is true or not, slashing Ministers expenses and perks to the bone would be a good place to start.
The well-stocked publicly funded restaurant and bar in the Houses of Parliament should be privatised, as after all the Tories love privatisation. The contract should, however, go to a co-operative rather than big business. Perhaps MPs could pay a subsidised price for nourishment in line with workers who use staff canteens around the UK?
MPs second home allowance
If you are an MP in the North of England it is acceptable that you may need other accommodation in London for those times you attend Parliament. The expense scandal uncovered cases of Ministers, though, buying homes in London, selling them to their parents for a reduced rate and then claiming extortionate allowances for rents and the like.
In some cases the second homes are empty more often than not.
If the government is so concerned about under occupancy here is a good place to start. Scrap the second home allowance and replace it with a basic hotel expense allowance. This would prevent claims for furniture, duck-houses, videos, painting and decorating and more.
One prime example of government hypocrisy, Tory Lord Freud
In January 2013, again ahead of the bedroom tax, the Daily Mirror wrote a damning report of Tory Lord Freud. In the report they said, The Tory lord plunging 95,000 people into poverty with his “bedroom tax” stays in an eight-bedroom country mansion ... when he’s not living in his £1.9million London home, the Sunday People has revealed.
Lord Freud was accused of being an out of touch hypocrite after provoking a storm of criticism by defending the bedroom tax which has hit some of Britain’s poorest families.
"Lord Freud owns a huge, historic country pile – one of the oldest in England – in Kent, which he uses for weekends and holidays. During the week, the father of three, 62, whose children have grown up and moved out, lives with his wife Priscilla in a four-bedroom townhouse in Highgate – that’s three MORE spare bedrooms – while working as David Cameron’s Welfare Minister on the front benches of the Tory party."
In November 2012 MPs demanded a 50% rise in second home allowances, to prevent them using public transport. MPs get a monthly allowance, from taxpayers, of up to £1,450 for a second home in London but it costs £750 a month more to rent a typical one-bedroom flat within walking distance of Westminster. They could rent cheaper flats a little further away but would then be faced with commuting on public transport with regular Londoners. Heaven forbid that; instead they opted to complain to their watchdog.
In November the Mirror reported that previously secret records "Showed that six former MPs are letting homes to politicians who are still in the Commons. And Madeleine Moon was named as the third serving MP to have rented property to a colleague in a list of landlords released by watchdogs. Two coalition peers were also revealed to be letting out properties to MPs while claiming thousands of pounds from the House of Lords’ attendance allowance. There were claims of a cover-up because at least one other current MP who lets to a fellow politician was among 50 landlords whose names were censored. The politicians involved are not breaking Parliamentary rules." Ordinary British citizens may disagree with that last statement.
Scrap the bedroom tax and the second home allowance for MPs
The bedroom tax remains in the news in the UK following its implementation. It took some people time to cotton on to the "nastiness" of this tax. Remember people's circumstances can change at the drop of a hat and you could be the next Tory victim.
Britain's "nasty party", the Tories, are running true to form as they campaign for re-election.
If they are successful the message from the people should be scrap MPs, taxpayer funded, second home allowances, ministers perks, and the legal loopholes some ministers manipulate so that the bedroom tax can be overturned.
But if you vote Labour Ed Miliband will at least scrap the bedroom tax.
Related: MPs criticised for taking extra public money so children can stay over - Bedroom tax MPs claim child housing subsidy