LETTER: Setting out the facts on the Bedroom Tax

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I READ with interest Ian Graham’s letter “Bedroom Penalties” last week, in which there are some “factual inaccuracies” I feel need clearing up.

I wouldn’t suggest for one minute this clearly very honest gentleman would purposely mislead your readers, but maybe he just needs a hand clearing up the facts. He states it will affect service personnel’s families, the disabled and foster parents.

1) It is not a tax. The definition of tax is “compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions”. Reducing someone’s benefit is not a compulsory contribution, or a tax. It is reducing the amount of taxpayers’ money given to them.

2) Service personnel will be specifically excluded from the benefit reduction.

3) Adults with carers and disabled children will be excluded, too.

4) Foster families are also to be excluded.

5) The Royal Family do not live in social housing.

This measure has been introduced to re-profile the allocation of social housing, of which there is a great shortage with many families on waiting lists while three bedroomed properties are occupied by just one person.

The statements made by Ian Graham are absolutely typical of Labour.

They take a policy which is aimed at social mobility, and take the most extreme example of who it may negatively affect, and turn that into the norm.

If Ian Graham or the local Labour Party need any further assistance in getting their facts straight they know where I am. I don’t hold it against them. Getting their facts straight is something Labour has struggled with for decades.

As Churchill once said: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”.

COUN. JOE COONEY

Leader, Pendle Council