Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Bedroom Tax and Family Values: A True Story

In the 1950s a couple moved into in a 3 bedroomed council house with their two sons and one daughter. All of their children married quite young and they were “empty nesters” before they were 50. Under the current “bedroom tax” proposals, they would have either been subject to a rental premium or they would have been forced to move house to a smaller property.

It was a very good thing they were able to stay in that house because not long afterwards, it meant that they could adopt their grandson, who otherwise might have ended up in care.

The couple brought their grandson up as if he was their own until their untimely deaths when he was still a very young adult. Fortunately, he was able to inherit the tenancy and soon afterwards, he married and had children of his own. His successful career in the nuclear industry meant that he was eventually able to buy the council house. When he had finished renovating the house to a very high standard, he traded up to a Victorian Villa in town and he is renovating that house too.

Last time I checked, he was a Tory voter (“Nana and Grandad would be turning in their grave”). But other than that, his life is pretty sorted. How different things would have been with a bedroom tax!

Rachel Burgin

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