As Westminster slowed down for Christmas, so too did the Raise the Roof Campaign. I’m happy to announce that we’re picking up speed again and we have a few things to report.
Firstly, we’re still getting letters and emails from MPs in response to the letters we sent in November. Many of these are encouraging whilst a few are more hesitant to support anything that involves increasing a tax threshold in the current economic climate. With responses from all three main political parties, Treasury, HMRC and DCLG we’re confident the message is starting to get heard in the right places.
Following an informative and productive meeting with DCLG we did some polling (at their suggestion) to gauge the likelihood of an increased threshold for the Rent a Room Scheme leading to an increase in the supply of rooms becoming available. We asked:
Would you be more likely to rent out your spare room if filling out a tax return wasn’t an issue?
87% of those who responded said yes with just 13% saying no, a clear indicator that those who see no real evidence that an increased threshold would have the desired effect need to think again.
The next stage for the campaign is to get a supportive MP to table an Early Day Motion (EDM) so we can demonstrate the level of parliamentary support the campaign has. We’re in the process of discussing this now and will hopefully have more news in the next week or two.
That’s it for now. If you haven’t signed the petition yet there’s still time and more letters to MPs will only add to the level of awareness. In an election year any issue MPs see as important to their constituents is seen as worth investigating by them (especially in marginal seats where a few hundred votes could make the difference).
Cheers (and Happy New Year)