Diana Jeuda, Labour candidate for Streonshalh and West Cliff writes:

I was out on the doorstep today in West Cliff and had a very good response from the people I met and talked to.
However I had one interesting and difficult conversation with a gentleman who told me that he had voted Labour for most of his life but wasn’t planning to do so this time. He told me had worked all his life, paid his taxes but didn’t feel what he felt were his taxes should go to people who weren’t working. In particular he felt that Labour was wrong to oppose the bedroom tax.
It’s clear from the opinion polls that his view is widely shared, but it is also clear that a lot of people haven’t thought through the real implications. I felt that it was important to have a discussion about it.
I told him about a young man I know in Whitby whose parents have died and as a result he lives alone in a two bedroom social housing flat. He is unemployed and is trying hard to get work, so far without success. He’s also studying with the open University to get a qualification to improve his chances to land a job. So nobody can say he isn’t trying. He’ll be hit by the bedroom tax. Moving isn’t an option for him because there aren’t any one bedroom flats available. So his benefits will be cut for no fault of his own.
I asked my ex Labour voter whether he really felt someone should be penalised for no fault of his own. He conceded slightly reluctantly that someone like this was doing all they could. I said that that most people hit by the bedroom tax were hit in a similar way. There are just not enough single bedroom social housing properties. I hope I left him thinking.
I don’t know how he will vote – but that is not really the most important thing. I hope he will maybe think again when he reads all the loathsome propaganda that suggests that people with a bedroom more than they are using are welfare cheats.
And that’s one of the reasons why I’m standing. To have these conversations!

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