affect Welsh households in many different ways. In a country that had nearly 25 000 empty homes in 2011, 4000 people could be made homeless by the bedroom tax according to the body representing tenants in Wales.
It's plain plain to see what's going on. The government is using economic pressure to force the conservative, old fashioned family structure on us. Something quite rightly outdated and irrelevant in today's Wales. The idea of conservatism is defined as; 'a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions'.
How can the government through economic pressure use the bedroom tax to enforce these traditionalist ideals on us? One example is how the bedroom tax could make it economically impossible for parents to separate. I can not stress how dangerous this is. The sad truth is, domestic violence is common in our patriarchal society and making it even more difficult for parents to split up can result in psychological/physical injury and even death, 2 women every week are killed by an abusive partner in the UK. With this tax, people literally cannot afford to be single parents, even if its the best thing for their children and their own safety and well being. Separated parents who share the care of their children would not both be allowed a 'spare' room for their child/children in their separate homes. There must be a 'main carer' and only that household would count. What do they expect people to do? Expect children when visiting parents to sleep on the floor?
The tax also encourages young adults who otherwise would have their own accommodation to live with their parents rather than living independently. Are we young people condemned to live at home until we get married and have children, as if we were in the dark ages? Again domestic violence is an every day occurrence in many homes and staying with parents sometimes is simply not an option.
This tax also affects disabled people and their carers. I can not imagine why they would want to target them, surely this does not fit in with their strange political philosophy? Having said that you only need to look at the far right's recent history to see their disdain for disabled people. For people struggling with mental and/or physical disabilities or illnesses the stress of being made destitute could be enough to push them over the edge. Already a man attempted suicide and a woman has taken her own life due to the financial pressures under this government, probably linked to the bedroom tax. These people seem to just be 'collateral damage' for the conservatives in their sick desire to 'reatain traditional social institustions' at the cost of our well being.
The architect of this tax, Lord Freud said to the Welsh affairs committee: Families hit by bedroom tax 'can go out to work or use a sofa bed'.
Doesn't this say it all? The people that created this tax might as well
be from another planet. This bedroom tax is just another attempt to make
the poorest most vulnerable people pay for the mess the capitalist
system is perpetuating. There are more than enough resources to go
around. Many homes are empty, food is thrown away on a massive scale. These are but a few examples of how inefficient capitalism is.
Being involved in the bedroom tax campaign, hearing harrowing stories of the government bully's targeting vulnerable people has become the norm. People with disabilities and their carers, as well as older people whose children have left home seem to be the most vulnerable to being made destitute by this tax. That's why we all need to support tenants. Who knows what the government will do next? An injury to one is indeed an injury to all!
One thing that has given me hope was the 'Mass Sleepout' against the bedroom tax last Saturday night, the 24th of August. This took place outside Cardiff city hall. From what i understand there were also mass sleep outs in Swansea and Wrexham. We had people from all over Cardiff, Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydful as well as Aberdare at the sleep out. Plenty of good food, music and conversation was shared. There was an action that night on the lawn outside city hall. 'AXE THE TAX' was spelt out in edible plants on the lawn opposite city hall. Such creative, fun protest is much needed in today's rat race atmosphere that permeates activist groups so often. There were more than 60 sleep outs all across the UK but unfortunately (and predictably), the mainstream press showed no interest.
I myself am looking forward to the next steps in the campaign. There are a lot of exciting ideas. To keep informed join this page on facebook about events around Cardiff or search online for a group near you.
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