Bedroom Tax will penalise disabled children

Doctors have now raised their disgust on the “astounding” Bedroom Tax as it will affect the lives of children with disabilities.

Families that have a spare room in order to take care of their disabled child’s needs with be forced to pay the tax for the extra bed. As some families will not be able to support this tax, the disabled child will be forced to share a room with his/her other siblings or family members.

Doctors have argued that the implications of this new welfare reform are ‘ludicrous’, ‘unfair’, and ‘appalling’.

They believe that forcing siblings to share with their disabled other may cause family ties to break and cause a lot of extra pressure on the parents.

“Children with significant disabilities have many medical problems and particularly at night, many have mobility problems, many have epilepsy and seizures can be particularly troublesome at night.”

“For all these medical reasons disabled children often have discomfort during the night and they need much care and attention from their parents and that would be highly disruptive for any brother or sister that had to share the bedroom with them.”

To read on the case study on a disabled child that will be affected by The Bedroom Tax, click here.

 

Bedroom Tax affects disabled persons

Living alone and suffering from Asperger, a 52 years disabled women residing in a three bedroom house at Birmingham has been affected by Bedroom tax. She has one son who is married and settled in life. Her husband has passed away six years ago and continues to live in the same house facing lots of problems.

She explains her difficulties that she faces in day today life:

“I am suffering from Asperger. It has a terrible Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It takes me more than an hour to get out of my house. I am being helped by my friendly neighbour, whom i have known for the past 27 years, to reach the road from my house.

“Due to my weak health conditions, I could not make new trusted friends. I fear I will be housebound, if I could not get support of my friends.”

Being reminded of her husband, she says:

“I was with my husband for 30 years and felt terribly when I missed him 6 years back. I feel suicidal and need to have counseling and hypnosis. But my Asperger remains.

“My home is full of memories. I honestly don’t know how to cope up with the new financial constraints. I feel my husband around me all the time here. I don’t want to lose that.

“My late husband got the house as per our needs. He decked the garden and my son designed the drive way costing around 2,000 pounds. My house is not a council house to leave just like that.

“I can’t start again my life in another house/flat with decoration, carpet, and garden. And I am claustrophobic, so a flat would be out of question any way.”

Considering her family, she says:

“I have two wonderful grand kids who would like to stay overnight in my house. Due to my health problems, this shouldn’t affect the kids by not having rooms to stay over.”

The lady has approached the council and local AP expressing her problems and worries, whose response was that to stay and pay the taxes or move to a different place. According to her, The bedroom tax would cause destruction across the country.

Video: Interview with Councillor John Cotton

Councillor John Cotton from Birmingham City Council kindly gave an interview giving his opinion on the Bedroom Tax.

He raised his serious doubts and concerns with the Bedroom Tax and how it is an

“iniquitous and unfair measure that’s been brought in by the coalition government that’s going to have a terrible impact on a large number of vulnerable people”

 He repeatedly referred to the policy as a “blunt instrument” used by the government to “chase headlines” which he admitted it has, only they may not be the headlines they desired. Below is the video.

After the interview John gave a final note, emphasizing the point that there are still a lot of people out there that do not know about or understand the Bedroom Tax and that awareness is key, finishing on that anyone wishing to know more about the Bedroom Tax can visit the councils dedicated web page.

Fight to Cut the Cuts

On February 26, a campaign was held in front of Council House at Birmingham protesting against the Cuts. The campaign started from 11 am by the activists blockading all entrances to prevent councilors from entering the budget meeting. At 2 pm, Council Budget meeting was held.

From a statement on the Save Birmingham website:

“We are taking this action because austerity is economically backward and is not helping the economy. Furthermore, these cuts to Birmingham are highly undemocratic and against the will of most people living in the city – who didn’t vote for this.

The £101 m of cuts to be voted on today in Birmingham include a cut of £32.7 million to the Adults and Communities budget, £23.8 million to Children Young People and Families, and £28.3 million to Leisure Services. High on the hit list are: Voluntary Sector Funding (£4.4 m), Children Centres (£3 m), Children Residential Care Homes (£1.6 m), Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (£1.4 m), Home to School Transport (£1 m), Youth Service (£0.47 m) and reduced subsidy for the Meals Service (£0.4 m).

We must now fight these cuts on the ground service by service. Victories can be won! Campaigners across Birmingham have overturned cuts with well-organised campaigns.”

Outside Council House the representatives of the campaign placed few books, leaflets of upcoming protest, and banners. The public approached to them to share their problems and views towards various cuts.

A rally began at 5 pm outside the Council House with demonstration. It began with the speech by one of the campaigner about the cuts which was followed by many others. In the beginning; around 40 people were present which increased as the rally proceeded by shouting:

“DON’T VOTE FOR THE CUTS” 

Charlie Hayes, one among the campaign expressed his views on Bedroom tax. He considers Bedroom tax as an attack on working people. The below link is an audio on his opinion towards Bedroom Tax:


 
A retired teacher named Lynn Gregory was one of the protester giving her full support in the campaign. She expresses her views on Bedroom tax:

“It is incredible to know that people should be penalized for having spare rooms. In some situation such as foster children who live in a place are being taxed and foster families are losing money because their children being foster.”

She mentions about disabled people who were given disability living allowance in order to live independently which is also been cut. The campaign also supports the disabled people. The government needs to change the policies by keeping in mind the public difficulties.

Video: Stuart Richardson of the Trade Union Council speech at protest

Stuart Richardson, treasurer for the Trade Union Council, gave a speech this week at the protest outside of Birmingham’s Council House voicing his opposition to the proposed welfare cuts.

He spoke about the “disastrous” effects the cuts would cause across Birmingham and those in it. He describes the Bedroom Tax as

“a program of starvation, that is saying that people should live on, at worst, £49 a week, that’s virtually impossible to feed yourself on and buy any clothes on that scale of money but that is what’s being proposed.”

 

Video: Interview with protester at this weeks demonstration

This week protesters turned out in their masses at Birmingham’s Council Hall to voice their disdain with cuts, including the bedroom tax, that the government are putting through.

One of the groups that were involved in the demonstration was the Socialist Workers Party. Andrew Howard from the party was on hand voicing his outrage at the Bedroom Tax,

“They’re making working people pay for the crisis…as I understand from the Bedroom Tax that it is actually going to cost more money to implement than they’re actually going to save.”