PRESSURE is beginning to build against the vindictive bedroom tax and it’s getting the Coalition Government rattled!
Councils who are trying to find ways of getting round the tax are now being threatened by the government.
Minister Lord Freud says that councils found to have helped families dodge the bedroom tax will face a financial penalty.
But councils like Bristol voted recently to continue a ‘no eviction’ policy.
They are reviewing a local definition of a bedroom and reclassifying small rooms as box rooms or non-bedrooms. Ground floor bedrooms will be classed as non-bedrooms.
They are building a campaign to lift government borrowing restrictions on housing revenue accounts to provide more money for the building of affordable homes.
Bristol councillors agreed almost unanimously to continue with this policy because they feel the bedroom tax is unworkable.
They say it will lead to an increase in public expenditure as tenants are forced into the more expensive private rented sector.
Leeds Council has reclassified a relatively small number of bedrooms and are amazed that such a small change should lead to this reaction by the government. Peter Gruen, council executive board member for neighbourhoods said: “If they spent as much time on stopping companies avoiding taxes then the country would be much better off.”
Many more councils are also considering reclassifying housing stock and we hope Kirklees will be among them.
And at their annual conference, Dave Prentis, National Secretary of Unison, called on Labour Councils not to implement the bedroom tax.
The message to trade union and council leaders from anti-bedroom tax campaigners in Huddersfield and everywhere else has to be to stand firm and help us get rid of this rotten tax.
It is cruel and unworkable. It is reducing council revenue as people fall into arrears and this is likely to increase as the appeals start to bite.
Don’t waste taxpayers’ money on this rotten piece of legislation. It is more about further undermining the power of local authorities and blaming the poorest for the crisis. We will be behind you!
Kirklees Axe the Tax
Electric’s not for me
AFTER reading the PR jargon on the new BMW i3 electric powered motor car I have come to the same conclusion that this, at present, is not the way forward.
However, our Examiner columnist Dave Himelfield seems to be sold on the idea of electric. Besides, it’s about more than price and practicality says he.
Well, at £30,000 for a range of 100 miles and a blistering speed of 0mph to 62mph in about eight seconds I beg to differ.
Also if Dave wishes to make friends and influence people he really needs to stop making statements such as: “All except the most wilfully ignorant accept that climate change is a) real and b) a threat. Even the ostriches are resigned to the fact that fuel prices will only increase.” Because people have differing ideas does not make them ostriches.
Have you forgotten how the cost of all energy increases at an alarming rate?
If the whole country bought into the electric car idea how many extra power stations would be required to keep those wheels turning?
Trust me, I know of someone who has an electric car and they are constantly sponging lifts from a friend because the battery is flat or on charge or they had to abandon the vehicle when it ran out of power.
Yes, these incidents do happen.
Don’t forget if the distance you wish to travel is greater than 50 miles forget it – you won’t be coming home in the car.
One issue that a change of power source will not change is the congestion on the roads.
Oh, and Dave, this climate change issue it changes every single day. It’s called ‘weather’ and it’s nothing new.
R J Bray
Ideas on smoking
I WAS astonished by the outbreak of commonsense from a Liberal Democrat MEP in Monday’s letter column.
The idea of making electronic cigs a medicine and therefore harder to obtain while keeping tobacco products on open sale is absurd.
As a believer in people being able to make decisions for themselves without state or, in this case, supra state involvement then it makes sense for both products to be freely available.
As a firm non-smoker I would not want to deprive anyone of being able to blow puffs of smoke in the air.
I am a member of a club that would like to be able to allow its members to freely smoke within its walls but is forbidden by the state to do so.
Can one hope that there are enough politicians in Parliament who will allow individuals and groups to be allowed to enjoy what is a legal product, namely cigarettes, without state interference; that members’ clubs be allowed to make the rules about what they will allow under their roof; that allowing that e-cigs are healthier, people be allowed to indulgence themselves without having to go a chemist to be frowned on by the health police.
ON Saturday, June 15, we held our second music festival in support of The Welcome Centre, a local registered charity that supports local people in Huddersfield giving out food, toiletries and other items – 5,600 packs were given out last year.
The event at Lockwood was organised by Mithu and Andy Komarnyckyj, our chair Melinda Sharpe and a fantastic team of volunteers at Lockwood Rugby Club.
It was a great day with fantastic children’s activities, good food, drink and bands, raising much needed funds for the centre.
We were delighted to hear that the local community (Letters, June 24) enjoyed the fantastic music that was also delivered free of charge.
We would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved and can’t wait until next year for another boogie (or does that show my age).
For information or donations call 01484 515086.
Welcome Centre Manager
Great charity event
GRATEFUL thanks to the Rotarians for their annual charity event on the Brook Street market site on Sunday.
There were plenty of stalls and the band played the wonderful music of the 1950s.
Worth shopping there to hear that, though there were plenty of bargains too.
MR AND MRS PALMER