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STUC 2014 Dundee

Bedroom tax: Stop this 'vicious, outrageous attack on the poorest'

Paul Gupta
Paul Gupta

Delegates condemned the bedroom tax as a “vicious, outrageous attack on the poorest” and called for it to be scrapped immediately.

Congress demanded that there should be no evictions as a result of the bedroom tax, and that Scottish law be enacted to underpin this position. It also called for a campaign across councils, politicians, the Scottish Government and tenants groups to demand back the £billions stolen by Westminster, and that Labour MPs take motions to parliament demanding a repeal of this “economically unjustified, socially destructive” measure.

Making his first speech to Congress, Paul Gupta, UNISON told delegates that “only a moron in a hurry, or someone with no trace of compassion, or sympathy, or basic human decency, or perhaps Iain Duncan Smith,” could fail to see that with hundreds of thousands of people on waiting lists, the smaller homes that people need just don’t exist, or the cruelty in forcing the poor and vulnerable out of their homes.

He said that we must prevent future suffering caused by the bedroom tax but also called for measures to repair the damage already done.

“The fear and anxiety of those who have been unable to pay their rent because of this iniquitous measure is obvious,” said Paul. “Less obvious is the struggle and sacrifice of those who despite benefits cuts have paid their rent in full,” said Paul, calling for all those who have lost out to be reimbursed.

He warned, however, that this was not a “get off scot free pledge” for non-payment of rent. “It is restitution for the bedroom tax we are talking about here,” said Paul, “Not a freeloaders’ charter.”

He asked delegates to recognise that Labour has been active on this issue in Scotland, but called for them to bring forward proposals in Westminster “to rid us of this measure before the next General Election” and to make sure all their MPs turn up to support it.


Date 15 April 2014

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