Bedroom Tax – How dare you Frank Field!!!

Frank Field is a dangerous buffoon and I am being extremely generous and polite in saying that – something he does not deserve.


He has just put out in the Liverpool Echo THE most deluded call for a legal challenge to the Bedroom Tax that beggars belief in its naivety.  It is, without a shadow of a doubt, THE most inept, offensive and dangerous article I have ever read abut the bedroom tax.

He is calling for a legal challenge to the bedroom tax so that it only applies if you have 2 or more spare bedrooms and he is a deluded out of touch and dangerous idiot for calling for this and I quote from the article:

The reforms proposed by the anti-poverty commission include changing the size criteria, so that the tax applies only to households with two or more spare bedrooms. This, it says, would stop poorer families from being penalised for having one spare bedroom through no fault of their own.

Mr Field said: “Having borne the brunt of the Bedroom Tax over the past three years, I hope Merseyside will now spearhead the campaign to protect poorer families from the heart-breaking effects that have been reported to the commission.

“We are calling for a series of reforms from the Government to deliver greater fairness, and for families who may meet the criteria for exemption to help us mount a legal campaign.”

Any families or legal specialists who wish to respond to the commission’s appeal, can contact Frank Field MP on or 0207 219 6636.

Where to begin on this is difficult as this is so so bad and without any doubt THE most dangerous and stupid article I have ever read about the bedroom tax and I have read literally thousands of them.

Firstly, the text makes clear that (a) this has been approved if not co-authored by Frank Field and his team by the inclusion of his contact details; and (b) that Frank Field is seriously considering a legal challenge for the bedroom tax to only apply if the tenant has more than 1 spare bedroom.

Any such legal challenge will fail even if it ever sees the light of day and I would bet my shirt that no such legal challenge will materialise.

Secondly, and this is my main issue, is the hope it will give to anyone affected by the bedroom tax given the credibility that Frank Field has.  There is not a hope in hells chance of this ever succeeding yet Frank Field in an MP; he is the chair of the DWP Committee in the House of Commons; he is the former head of the Child Poverty Action Group – He has credibility that as this article shows is wholly unwarranted and he is delusional.

So many will get hope from this and every single person that does will be disappointed and have those hopes trashed.

Thirdly, even allowing for journalistic license, this article says Frank Field is shocked that parents have gone without food or heating in order to pay the bedroom tax.

  • Shocked! FFS – On what planet has Frank Field been living the past 5 years since the Liverpool City Region Life Chance and Poverty Commission was set up with him as chair?
  • Shocked that 44 months after the bedroom tax began Frank Field is shocked by the eat or heat posit that was apparent 44 seconds after the policy began if not before!
  • Shocked that the 20,027 households in the Liverpool City Region recorded at the latest HB figures (and a further unspecified number hit by it on Universal Credit and thus not recorded in the HB data) who have to date had around £56 million taken off them in bedroom tax are in poverty!
  • Shocked (and happy with?) the views of 135 households in this research – which is just 0.67% of the bedroom taxed cohort in the Liverpool City Region – that parents skip meals and wrap their children up in blankets!

Allowed one ‘spare bedroom?’

This notion (which has never had a hope in hells chance of succeeding, even if it was possible to mount a legal challenge which it isn’t) was the line taken by the National Housing Federation and especially by Riverside from whom I suspect this hare-brained notion originated and was first stated by Hugh Owen at Riverside.

According to the DWP impact assessment 81% of bedroom tax cases have 1 spare room and 19% have 2 or more so this would mean taking 81% out of the bedroom tax.  That was never going to happen for that reason alone and the idea has always been stupid for that reason.

This article says the research comes from 4 large housing associations across the LCR and makes the out to be just as deluded as Frank Field as they, by extension, will be pilloried for the legal challenge and for the ‘shock’ issue … and very unfairly so too!

The Real Life Reform project that was undertaken by LCR housing associations (and others) that will have been put to Frank Fields commission was and is a particularly worthy piece of research that housing associations deserve credit for; yet now the credibility that Real Life Reform had is besmirched by its linkage to this truly dangerous article and campaign intent.

The RLR has published six reports from 2013 to 2105 and tells us far more and in much greater detail than this Frank Field folly and the timing and content of this commission call to arms is truly bizarre.  The ‘shocking’ issues it contains were published over three year ago in RLR … and  … why call for challenge to the bedroom tax now when the much higher risk to poverty and life chances in LCR is the benefit cap which is now in operation in 5 of the 6 LCR council areas with only Liverpool yet to be hit?

Part of me suspects that Frank Field will inform us all in 2022 that Theresa May dissolved the Poverty Unit in 2016 and how shocked he is by that!!!

In summary and MOST IMPORTANTLY if you are affected by the bedroom tax do not under any circumstances believe that the bedroom tax will now have a legal challenge or that you are allowed one spare bedroom (however defined!) as a result of this truly offensive and dangerous piece by the deluded buffoon called Frank Field MP.

Though if you wish to express your anger at his deluded fuckwittery he has included his contact details if you wish to tell him what a buffoon he is! Any families or legal specialists who wish to respond to the commission’s appeal, can contact Frank Field MP on or 0207 219 6636 … er …


How nice of Nick Atkin to confirm who the 4 large housing associations are (Halton Housing Trust, Riverside, Liverpool Mutual Homes and Liverpool Housing Trust) and regrettably how typical they have this so so badly wrong!!!





16 thoughts on “Bedroom Tax – How dare you Frank Field!!!

  1. Unfortunately, a lot of people, who are not affected by the bedroom tax, will think Labour and Frank Field are doing a good job, in seemingly challenging the bedroom tax. There has been little objection from Labour MPs against the bedroom tax and benefits cuts and sanctions. And I do not see that changing under Corbyn, as the Blairites are so entrenched within local and national Government.

  2. Who pays this idiot’s salary? People with a far better grasp on reality and a functioning brain have been fighting this for nearly four years and he has not twigged in all this time? Finally, after four years he pulls his head out from wherever he has had it parked,, blinks his eyes to gather his wits and announces there will be a legal challenge to the bedroom tax? He’s had four years to challenge what has already been battled over and lost, what does he think the commission he chairs was set up for? FFS how do such dimwits ever get into a position of responsibility in the first place.
    This is all grandstanding and being seen to do the right thing, but after more than four years, it’s a tad late, especially as the Labour Right passed over many opportunities to do something about this state of affairs. Still it will impress the gullible.

  3. I pay £24 per week bedroom tax for 2 rooms, if I only had 1 spare room I would be paying £14 per wk. My maths tell me, that I am poorer by paying for 2 rooms, rather than 1. I cannot afford to have my heating on over winter, my home is so cold, every room, has mould. And as for eating, thank God for food banks.

  4. Yes, this is a disgraceful state of affairs, Frank Field´s comments are unhelpful to say the least. When is a leading politician of any party going to do something to get this horrendous bedroom tax removed, not any time soon is my guess.

  5. I believe that way back when, when this was first being debated in parliament (possibly even prior to that), the lords tried to argue/amend that one spare bedroom should allowed before charges were applicable… the gov basically said “fuck off” and struck it down as it would hit so few people that there would be no point in the legislation as it would cost (directly) a lot more to administer than it would “save” (ignoring the fact that there is no saving, just costs pushed on to different departments or different levels of Gov.).

    They also tried to argue for some reasonable “loopholes” such as the charge was only applicable if an offer had been made and was refused (again shot down as Gov knew that there where not enough single room properties to free up the two bedrooms, to free up the three bedrooms, etc.).

    I’m not sure which world Frank has been living in these past few years, but obviously on his return he didn’t bother to look into his brief to find the facts of past historical events as the bedroom tax progressed from a twinkle in the eye of IDS and Fraud, through bad legislation and lots of arguments, to now.

    This has obviously been released as a “look we are doing something” by the hard right Frank who has frankly (no pun intended) agreed with most things the gov has put forward in the way of “benefit reform”…. and now he’s trying to look all lefty and helpful. Instead he is just setting up a load of people for even further disappointment.

    Seriously if most of the more emotional and deserving challenges, such as safe rooms, have been shot down in all the courts of the land, the chances of “1 spare bedroom should be, you know, be really nice if, it could be not bedroom taxed” as a legal argument have between “fuck all” and “no fucking hope”s chance of winning.

    Frank is an idiot!

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