The under occupancy charge is brilliant

Bedroom Tax 512

Some people (far too many) have their housing rental paid for by other people (the taxpayer). In many cases these people are squatting on rooms that they don’t need. This is incredibly unjust and unfair. Firstly because other people are paying for these extra room and secondly because there are many people who desperately do need the rooms.

The under occupancy charge (sometimes called the spare room subsidy) was invented and first applied to private rented accommodation by the Labour government. Malcolm Wicks MP, their Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said on the 19th December 2001: “The under-occupation pilot encourages housing benefit recipients living in under-occupied social housing to move to smaller and cheaper accommodation in order to make more efficient use of housing stock”.

The coalition’s Welfare Reform Act of 2012 extended the coverage of this to include publicly owned accommodation. The penalty for unfair squatting is pretty low. The amount of rent that can be claimed for housing benefit is reduced by 14% for one ‘spare’ bedroom, 25% for two or more ‘spare’ bedrooms. There are many exemptions for pensioners, foster carers, disabled people etc. Also for the far too many people who have lived in the same home and have claimed housing benefit continuously from before 1 January 1996.

As you can see this is a brilliant and fair system. The available stock of rental rooms that the taxpayer is financing is much more fairly distributed among those who need them.

Amazingly the left call this system a “tax”, which it definitely isn’t. There can only be two possible reasons that they are doing this. The first is because, as they have proven repeatedly, they don’t understand economics. The second is because they could possibly be lying again and trying to mislead the British public for political reasons, which is strange when it is their idea.


  1. If i see that depressing pyramid of intellect one more time on twitter I’m going to top myself. The fact that you have to keep on posting it as a natural response to someone who has a different view to yours in itself shows that only person who is at the bottom of the pyramid is infact Brucey himself. Bruce you are quite unbelievabley nasty on twitter and your trying to paint yourself as an intellect who has his own website with all these riveting articles ? Bruce – they’re terrible and your terrible. You are living in your own Pyramid of denial and ignorance. – This is probably the first serious comment you’ve ever received on this site….and sadly I think it will be the last.


    1. What a curious communication full of self righteous claptrap. If you feel like topping yourself every time you see something on Twitter you don’t like I would strongly advise, on health grounds at the very least, that you close your account. That is the whole wonderful point of Twitter so that even people like you, full of indignation and impotent fury, can have their say. The rest of us can, and do, ignore you.


    2. ps the delicious irony of being harangued by someone who can’t spell is exquisite


  2. I am a victim of the bedroom tax (or underoccupancy charge or whatever you want to call it). We have 3 bedrooms in our house (owned by a building association), two of which are used for sleeping and one of which is used for storing. We don’t pay double BT because this is a carer’s household.

    I simply don’t see what I or my family have done wrong to warrant the benefit cut. You can wrap it up in nice language, and forget about the real living victims of the cut, but for me it will remain a vindictive attack on the poor, and on social housing.

    Thankfully all parties except the Tories are committed to scrapping the BT – its days are numbered.


    1. Storing what? Why should the taxpayer pay for you to use a bedroom as a storeroom? There is no way you can justify that. You think you’re the victim but taxpayers are, in fact, the victims. Plus those families forced to live in cramped social housing because of other people selfishly hanging on to SOCIAL housing too big for their needs.


  3. I agree wholeheartedly with the spare room subsidy for the following reason; all those unfortunate families who are currently living in squalid conditions because they are unable to gain accomadation with a sufficient quantity of rooms able to accomadate their families are being deprived because others are not downsizing.
    The only proviso, I would make the charge payable only when suitable alternative accomadation was offered and refused.


  4. Its an absolute disgrace, taxing people if they’ve got a spare room, people have lived in there homes for years and years and are now being forced out of their homes because this horrible government need to make cuts, but at the same time give tax breaks to there bum chums who wouldn’t know what its like to live in the real world.. The Conservatives are the biggest con -men going and the sooner there voted out the better.


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