Labour’s Tax Fantasy #1: The Bedroom Tax

Having encountered a number of claims from Labour about new taxes being imposed on the people of these fair isles, I thought it may be prudent to run an expose on some of their wildest and whackiest claims. These articles will all be headed “Labour’s Tax Fantasy #x” and will be interspersed amongst the ususal comments, wit and observations on this blog.

For those of my readers who may not fully understand the principle of taxation (yes, I know there are some Labourites amongst you), it is where the the Government collects a proportion of the money you have earned in order to pay for communal services.

Labour have attempted to label recent changes to housing benefits as being a ‘bedroom’ tax. The ‘bedroom tax’ is of course a complete fabrication by the Labour Party in that if it were a bedroom tax it would be imposed on every household.

If you don’t receive housing benefits, or you are in receipt of a state pension, or you live in private accommodation, or you don’t have a spare room, or there are medical needs requiring the spare room then you don’t lose anything under the new proposals.

The changes to housing benefit may result in some modest savings to government, though this is unlikely, but what they will do is ensure that we make better use of the limited social housing stock. The government will not be collecting any extra money off people.

So, why do Labour create these fantasy taxes? Well, if you tell people the Government will only pay benefits to cover actual needs and opion is on the side of Government, tell people the government is taxing people and opinon is on the side of those being taxed especially if you can frighten people into thinking that they will be amongst those being taxed when in fact it is not a tax and it doesn’t affect them.

Imagine what would happen if Labour came out and said that “The government are no longer prepared to use tax payers money to pay full housing benefit to those of working age who have a bigger home than they need and Labour don’t like it very much”.

What sort of outcry would there be then? Well actually, none. Indeed it is not so long ago that Labour allowed social landlords to move tenants who were underoccupying social housing to smaller properties in order to free up the larger properties. If Labour policy had worked properly then the number of people affected by this change to benefits would be zero.

There are only three ways to win in politics.

  1. Work damned hard to help the community you seek to represent;
  2. Bring forward radical big ideas that will draw people to you; or
  3. Create Grimm fantasies of gloom and doom about your opponents to keep people from voting for them.

Say ‘bedroom tax’ and suddenly we’re all a bit scared. People go running to the hardware store for lump hammers to knock down internal walls so that they can tell the tax inspector “it’s not a bedroom, just a really wide hallway” or to get a cheap bath for the kids room so they can claim bedroom three is actually an extra bathroom (all of which would technically be tax avoidance if there were a bedroom tax and you did it, but there isn’t so you can though there isn’t really much point unless you need a wider hallway or an extra bathroom).

Labour thrive on fear, lies and half-truths, they can’t win elections with with big ideas, they haven’t got any and so they rely entirely on their Tax Fantasies.

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