The transformation of our country into Dickensian Britain seems to be the new big idea to tackle the present recession. But the planned introduction of a ‘bedroom tax’ in April promises to be more akin to Bleak House than Great Expectations.
When this is introduced in April it will cut housing benefit payments for working age social tenants who are deemed to be under-occupying their home.
This will no doubt affect thousands of people in the Dearne, who will be forced to have their income cut as they can’t find suitable smaller accommodation.
What a marvellous wheeze to raise hundreds of millions of pounds by attacking poor people.
But why stop there on our voyage into the past?
There will be little more to raise from stopping disability benefits, we are already declaring cancer patients to be fit for work.
I would like to make a modest proposal. Why not reintroduce the window tax?
Back in the late 17th Century, The window tax was a property tax based on the number of windows in a house. My admittedly cursory research suggests it was introduced in England and Wales “granting to His Majesty several Rates or Duties upon Houses for making good the Deficiency of the clipped Money”.
To avoid the tax some houses from the period can be seen to have bricked-up window-spaces (ready to be glazed at a later date), as a result of the tax.
So when we have penned poor folk in 10 to a bedroom, we can knock yet more off the benefits bill, or seal them in from the light.
When they eventually expire it will mean a net reduction in poverty, debt and evictions and inevitably less crime for the area.
To further augment Austerity Britain, the Government could also introduce an oxygen tax enforced by the attachment of battery operated breath monitors to the unemployed,
Set a limit on how much air people could breathe and reduce their benefits after a certain volume or number of breaths.
That would encourage the workshy feckless and disabled to produce less greenhouse gases, which the country could offset in carbon credits,
We are simply not using joined up thinking going forward in realising the vision of Austerity Britain.
Alternatively we could build more social housing, create real jobs and get people off the dole.
We could suggest to global corporations who make billions of profits here that they pay a fair tax rate.
We could also strip all those who have fraudulently profiteered in the banking and financial industries of their ill-gained assets.
But we won’t do those things,
We’ll put another quid on lottery tickets.