Open letter to Gordon Henderson MP about the bedroom tax from Cllr Mike Haywood
It’s naughty of you to claim that you didn’t support the Bedroom Tax. It’s a matter of public record that you voted for the Welfare Reform Bill in 2011. Thanks to your support the Bill was enacted and we have the Bedroom Tax today which is hitting so many disabled and vulnerable people in Swale.
You mentioned you voted against the Government. I assume you mean the minor clauses which only you and one other Tory MP voted against after the Bill had made its way through Parliament?
If so, that’s a silly thing to say. Had you been concerned about the very poorest people in our community and about forcing them to move without a place to go to, why you did you vote for the Bill in the first place?
You can pick a public fight with me but what it is wicked for you to pitch people renting privately against those living in housing association homes in our borough.
The Bedroom Tax needs to be scrapped because it does not deal with the problem of under-occupation and is likely to end up costing taxpayers more. The Government’s own calculations predict people will not move into smaller homes because there are simply not enough for them to move into.
We have a changed housing market with fewer affordable homes and more people in greater need. The way we should deal with under-occupation is by helping people in local authorities like ours with the cost of moving to more suitable accommodation. We can do this by using the money currently being wasted paying for Discretionary Housing Payments.
People want local politicians to offer solutions not create artificial divisions between them. If you don’t understand this then you are failing before you start.
Cllr Mike Haywood
Leader of the Labour Group
Swale Borough Council
The original letter from Gordon Henderson can be viewed here