1,500 to be hit by bedroom tax

bedroom protestAlmost 1,500 Herefordians will be hit by the so-called bedroom tax, which comes into force tomorrow (1st April).

Figures released by the National Housing Federation show that an estimated 1,441 people will lose out – 12% of all claimants.

The bedroom tax, also known as the under-occupation penalty, is part of a wide range of welfare reforms and will cut the amount of housing benefit tenants can receive if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom.

The National Housing Federation say the average family living in Hereford with one extra room stands to lose £591 a year.

Many local housing associations have told the Heckler that they will be working with tenants who fall behind with their rent as a direct result of the benefit changes.

However, Fife Council in Scotland have gone one step further and ruled out eviction altogether, creating a £1m discretionary housing fund to help affected tenants. Herefordshire Council on the other hand seem more concerned with helping the friends at Waitrose and Debenhams trade rent-free in the city.

Housing benefit claimants in Herefordshire have shot up since the beginning of the financial crisis from 9,520 in November 2008 to 11,780 in November 2012.

Almost one-in-four claimants in the county are now aged 70 or above (2,740).

Thousands of people took part in protests across the UK again this weekend to voice their opposition to the bedroom tax.

Noreen Aslam, 41, a working mother of four from Manchester was in London with her family. “We heard this was on and wanted to come. I think its a disgrace what they’re doing, it’s the poll tax all over again. Homelessness in Manchester used to be just the occassional person you’d see, now it’s the normality to see people sleeping on the streets. It’s all over the place. I think its disgusting.”

John MacDonald, 66, travelled from Norfolk. “I’d like to know if the second homes we pay for for MPs are all one bedroom. It’s a disgrace. This government is dead in the water because we won’t forget what they are doing to working class people,” he said.

Yet as the government continues to pick on the weak, the man behind the reforms is living a very nice lifestyle thank you very much in his £2m country house … with at least four spare bedrooms!

Nice, eh? Time to evict a millionaire we think.

2 thoughts on “1,500 to be hit by bedroom tax

  1. Whilst I agree with you ref. MP’s second homes a part of me has to think this is a good idea in principle! If you and you’re family of three children were crammed into a two bed house living next door to an older couple(whose children had left home) living in a four bed house, wouldn’t it make sense to swap them round, perhaps making people pay extra for spare bedrooms is a way to make them downsize giving extra room for families that need it?

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