I WAS surprised to read Cllr Tickridge’s letter, (Guardian, January 29), describing changes to housing benefit to reflect under-occupancy (bedroom tax) as ‘callous and illogical’ bearing in mind its principles originated under the previous Labour Government.
These came via a pilot project in 2001, changes to local housing allowance in 2008 and also Labour’s part in the recent changes to the housing register in Cheshire West, as follows: 1. Labour’s 2001 pilot said: “The under-occupation pilot encourages housing benefit recipients living in under-occupied social housing to move to smaller and cheaper accommodation in order to make more efficient use of housing stock”.
2. The present Government’s reforms are based on the bedroom requirement principles Labour itself introduced for social tenants of private landlords in 2008 Local Housing Allowance.
3. The recent changes to Cheshire West’s housing allocation policy which Graham Evans MP mentioned but Cllr Tickridge curiously omitted were agreed by a cross-party working group of Cheshire West Councillors i.e. both Conservative and Labour.
I am aware the recent changes to housing benefit and the housing allocation policy have caused difficulties, as no doubt did the changes to local housing allowance in 2008 however as has been seen recently in this letters page, Labour and Cllr Tickridge appear to have selective amnesia when it comes to anything before 2010. The impact of the previous Labour Government and the legacy of the decisions they took still affect us all now in the difficult decisions Conservatives make for the country’s long term benefit.
Clr Charles Fifield Weaver and Cuddington Ward