The multiple policy failures of the UK bedroom tax

Gibb, K. (2015) The multiple policy failures of the UK bedroom tax. International Journal of Housing Policy, 15(2), pp. 148-166. (doi:10.1080/14616718.2014.992681)

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Abstract

This paper draws on recent literature systematising policy failure and applies it to recent UK experience in terms of one key example of ongoing welfare reform, colloquially known as the ‘bedroom tax’ introduced in April 2013. Espoused as a response to the problem of under-occupation in the housing sector, the UK Coalition Government reduced the housing benefit eligible to working age social tenants deemed to be consuming too much housing (14% for one spare bedroom and 25% for more than one). The policy was but one element of the Government's wave of housing benefit reforms aimed at simplifying the system, incentivising work and substantially cutting costs. While there is undoubtedly wider support for the idea of the general welfare reforms, the bedroom tax has been both unpopular and has not worked in terms of its key propositions. Drawing on evidence more than a year after implementation, this paper stands back and considers possible multiple policy failures associated with the bedroom tax. This allows more detailed consideration of the wider housing-related reforms to the welfare benefits system and its place in the broader welfare reform and housing benefit debate more generally.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gibb, Professor Ken
Authors: Gibb, K.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:International Journal of Housing Policy
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:1461-6718
ISSN (Online):1473-3269

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