‘Cameron’s government destroys UK poor day by day’

The bedroom tax is the most devastating act of the “vicious, anti-poor” UK government of David Cameron, Sheffield City Council member, Neale Gibson, told RT, saying 75 per cent of those affected by it would be working people on low-paid jobs.

The levy, which came into force in UK on April Fool's Day, is no laughing matter as, according to the so-called Bedroom Tax, the social housing tenants will have their benefits slashed if they have a spare room.

The move comes among a raft of welfare changes expected to affect low-income households across Britain.

Sheffield City Council member, Neale Gibson, believes that the time has come for the British people to realize that Cameron’s government, which is waging a war on poor people, must be changed. 

RT:People have already been hit by soaring utility bills; won't this tax just drive them further into poverty?

NG: Absolutely. It’s unbelievable that in a week that this government is giving millionaires tens of thousands pounds back in tax, they’re imposing a tax on the people, who are the poorest in the society. Most of the people affected are people, who are working, but in very low-paid jobs. And they need these benefits to help them survive and get by. 

RT:Could there actually be a positive effect from this? Could it motivate those who are taking advantage of the welfare state to seek jobs?

NG: Where I am in Sheffield, we have hundreds of disabled people, who are going to be directly affected by this. These people can’t work. They are physically disabled through no fault of their own. They survive on very low benefits. And now they’re expected to have to pay for an extra room in their house they need for their caretakers to stay in or they need it because they have got children that don’t live with them or for whatever reason. And 75 per cent of the people affected by this are working people. There are a small number of people, who aren’t, but most people affected are working families, who don’t earn enough money. 

Anti-austerity cut protestors demonstrate outside the offices of the European Commission Representation in the UK in central London (AFP Photo / Leon Neal)

RT:Could the long-social damage outweigh the short-term gain for the national budget?

NG: I think it’s the most devastating thing this government has ever done. It’s in the week that they’re giving hundreds of thousands pounds back to the millionaires, they are changing the national house service, they’re imposing taxes on the poorest people in the country. It’s going to have a devastating effect on the most vulnerable people in this country. 

RT:We've seen large-scale protests across the UK in reaction to the tax. Is this a sign of deeper social unrest to come?

NG: I think the country is coming to the realization that we have the most rightwing vicious anti-poor government we ever had in this country. If we thought Margaret Thatcher was bad – it’s nothing to how bad Cameron and Clegg are. They’re destroying the poorest people in this country, crushing the people, who can least afford to live. They are being crushed day, after day, after day by this government. 

RT:What do you think the next step for your country should be? Do you think you Britain should hold a new election? 

NG: I, personally, hold Nick Clegg entirely to blame for this. He misled the country. He lied to the people of the country. He told them that he’ll be a restraining force on the Tories, instead of which his gone along with every rightwing, nasty, evil policy that they’re imposing on the poorest people in this country. The Lib Dems need to pull out of government. They need to pull away from the Tories. Then they need to call a general election. But that can’t happen because the government had fixed it. So they can’t call a general election until 2015. The best thing that could happen is the Liberal Democrats pull out of the government and call a ’vote of no confidence’ in the Tory Party and bring this government down and let the people of the country again decide, which government they want to govern them.