Victims of the ‘bedroom tax’

Andy McSmith
bedroom 300x225 Victims of the bedroom tax

(Getty Images)

David Cameron and his Cabinet ministers were wise to steer clear of the local council and housing association estates during their visit to Leeds this morning. It has been calculated that the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ which comes into force in April, penalising people on housing benefit who are reckoned to be occupying more living space than they actually need, is going to cost 41,000 tenants in Leeds a combined £9.4 million.

The tax is a blunt instrument designed to build into the welfare system an incentive to tenants to move to somewhere smaller when the children leave the nest. By the government’s own calculation, 660,000 claimants will lose an average of £14 a week, with Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West being the regions most heavily affected.

Inevitably, it is producing some very hard cases. The Hartlepool Mail has interviewed a couple whose seven year old daughter died of cancer, but who  have not been able to face changing anything in her bedroom. They have been told that from April they will have to pay £56 a month for that ‘spare’ room. The Northampton Chronicle has highlighted the plight of a 60 year old man who gave up work to care for his wife who has a brain haemorrhage and needs a special bed. He will lose £60 a month for sleeping in a separate room. There are sure to be many more.

  • creggancowboy

    Luke 3.10 (KJV)

  • Mike Cunningham

    Stealing from the poor to fill the trough!
    And they wonder why there were riots!

  • jules

    this is a load of bull !! they say its to stop people staying in there houses once there children have left home !! no that is not TRUE my nana has a 3 bedroom house and she has lived in that house 60 years all her children have grown up and left home and she does NOT have to pay a penny even though she has 2 spare rooms due to her age !! yet i have 3 bedroom house a partner a 6 year old girl and a 3 year old boy and i HAVE to pay untill my daughter is 10 years old !!!

  • Broken

    This is tearing apart family networks and will push people into total despair. Off all the cuts to the poor this is cruel vindictive and leaves people without any roots.
    They have taken the safety net of a home from thousands.
    After having paid rent for 22 years making numerous self funded improvements raising a family suddenly losing employment and becoming disabled through a accident at work. suddenly even though there is no available to downsize too a reduction of 25% in help. heartbreaking
    for me this is the straw that breaks the camels back.
    I am ashamed to say i am planning my exit from this world.

  • carly1979

    I’m sorry but I struggle to pay the mortgage on my tiny little house that my husband and I share. We are both 33 year old graduate professionals who have worked in various part time roles throughout our studies and have been in our present full time graduate roles for 10 years. We have no hope of ever getting a big enough house to have and raise a family in, we’re in negative equity and effectively trapped, so when I see people who dont work or dont try, knocking about in their 4 bedroomed council houses with a computer room, cinema room, guest room, kids playroom etc etc I do not see that as fair. If they want those extra rooms they’ll have to receive less free handout money – they’re not PAYING extra for the rooms, they’re receiving less FREE money, that’s the difference! Obviously in exceptional cases there should be mitigating circumstances, but these are exceptions. Most people I know who are on benefits have bigger houses and more disposable income than us and they are NOT disabled, just bone idle and having baby after baby with no thought. We really want children but havent any as we cannot afford to house, clothe and feed them, I do not expect handouts and those who get them should be damn grateful for what they DO get.

  • carly1979

    May I add that disabled people SHOULD get help, I’m talking about people who just have a few kids and get a free house and benefits.

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