The bedroom tax was a disaster foretold, but that won’t stop the misery it’s causing

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I opposed the bedroom tax from the outset. At its core is a logic that concepts such as 'home', 'place' and 'community' do not matter to people in receipt of social security. They are something that, apparently, can only be enjoyed by those on whom good fortune shines. That has to be anathema to anyone who appreciates the contribution each can make to the world we live in.

But I also opposed it because of its inherent unfairness. Charging a significant flat rate tax without consideration of the means to pay and the ability of the person charged to avoid the liability (because of a shortage of alternative accommodation, which shortage was well known) always made this a callous charge.

And so it has proved to be. As the Guardian report today:

Two-thirds of households in England affected by the bedroom tax have fallen into rent arrears since the policy was introduced in April, while one in seven families have received eviction risk letters and face losing their homes, a survey claims.

Being in uncontrolled and uncontrollable debt is a condition of considerable stress. It erodes the meaning of life. The stress it creates is a cancer to well-being. The fear it induces destroys hope. And that will be the consequence for all those who face this situation.

It is bad enough to face the problems of low income. It is so much worse to know that you are being penalised for doing so for no fault of your own. But that is what this government is deliberately doing to hundreds of thousands of people.

And in my book that's unforgivable.