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Bedroom tax is a grim measure that will cause uncertainty and anxiety

YOUR editorial on the so-called bedroom tax shows that it is indeed a grim measure, hitting those with least financial resilience ("Grim reality of the bedroom tax", The Herald, February 14).

Typically, the Westminster Coalition is using a financial mechanism to achieve a social change – smaller households move to smaller properties if they can't afford the one they're in. But these smaller properties do not exist – or not in the numbers that would be needed.

For years, councils and housing associations have provided two-bedroom homes and larger. This recognises that households are not static units – people's housing needs change as they form partnerships, have children, break up. Bigger homes (and two bedrooms is hardly a luxurious provision) allow for some of that to happen without people having to move house.

There may be some smaller units in the private sector – but that will drive the housing benefit bill higher, as rents there are almost double those in the social sector.

The bedroom tax, as you correctly point out, is a misnomer – it's a change in the benefit entitlement. But whatever we call it, it is causing uncertainty, anxiety and worse amongst those who face a cruel 14% cut from April 1.

Alastair Cameron,

Chief executive,

Scottish Churches Housing Action,

44 Hanover Street,

Edinburgh.

I'LL be happy to vote Yes in the coming independence referendum, as a result of the grossly iniquitous economic saving justly called the bedroom tax which has been foisted upon us.

The Coalition Government says we are a rich country yet, in Britain, it is willing to dislodge folk from their homes on the grounds of having one extra room. That room is frequently used for carers, family members visiting (often those who have had to relocate to earn a living), helping out in the family or utilised when illness strikes.

As for the suggestion posited by some political representatives that the room could be let if there was no alternative housing option, council tenants may not sub-let, or has no-one told them?

Jane MacLennan,

12 Penrith Avenue,

Giffnock.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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