Monday, 11 November 2013

Rugby Greens calls on Pawsey to vote against cruel Bedroom Tax

Mark Pawsey MP for Rugby who asked Tax  Payers  to pay £80 towards his heating bills
 as people face eviction due to the cruel Bedroom Tax

Open letter to Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby from Rugby Green Party regarding Bedroom Tax

Dear Mark,

On Tuesday, 12th November, all MP’s can vote on the need to scrap the Bedroom Tax.

Nearly 900 households in Rugby,  including many people struggling on low wages, and/or disabled people , have been hit  by one of the most uncaring acts of the Tory and Lib Dem Government, by cutting from 14% to 25% of the Housing benefit contribution to keeping their home.

 It’s not a "life style choice" to be chronically sick or disabled, and it’s not a matter of choice to be one of the estimated 4.8 million Britons (20% of all employees) working below a living wage of £7.20 per hour, and so needing to claim housing benefit to keep a roof over their head.

Mr Pawsey, the Bedroom Tax was rushed through in the knowledge that the supply of smaller accommodation needed ( without the so called luxury of a spare room) , does not exist in reality.
The tax makes the poor bear our public financial burden, and will not achieve redistribution of public housing.

It seems to many of us in the Green Party that the sick, disabled and low paid are still being made to pay most heavily for the British bankers' gambling debts ; in stark contrast to the proposed ill timed and unjustifiable big pay rise for MP’s.  Rugby people will also note the £80 you personally got paid as an allowance to cut your own heating bill.

Also, before you  try to claim that the Government has provided a cushion fund for councils, it would be only fair for you to admit that any possible grants in this small fund can only be one-off, only last up to  3 months , and are very much discretionary – so little help in reality!

The Green Party- led Brighton & Hove Council has a "no eviction policy" for their tenants who are thrown into arrears by this tax, and you may be interested to know that we persuaded both Tory and Labour Councillors to vote for our stance in Brighton.

Rugby Green Party will be writing to the leaders of the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems on Rugby Council to ask them to follow  Brighton's position, and stand up for the most vulnerable people in Rugby.

A growing numbers of other Councils have now followed  Brighton's lead, and are gaining support from more politically aware Tory Councillors who have come out against the Bedroom Tax, and want to see it scrapped.

 Rugby Green Party have also provided a Facebook site ’Rugby Against the Bedroom Tax - Protest and Advice’ for current information, and  have produced a guide to appealing against the tax, by using definition of a bedroom including the room size limits, the need for a room for a disabled person to store equipment, when and if it is a good idea to take a lodger in.  Also how to claim for the 3 month additional housing support. 

Mr Pawsey, do you want to prevent sick and disabled tenants from living (and in some cases ending their lives) in inadequate rented housing, or even living rough on the streets of our town?

Rugby is a marginal seat; if you  really believe that voting to keep the Bedroom Tax would be a sensible way to proceed, you will not only be acting in an uncaring manner, but also will likely lose your seat at the next election.

The people of Rugby care about our neighbours and friends and we trust that you will vote to scrap the Bedroom Tax.

Peter Reynolds
Chairperson - Rugby Green Party

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