Halifax MP ‘inundated’ over bedroom tax

Linda Riordan
Linda Riordan

Halifax MP Linda Riordan says her office had been inundated by people fearing the impending bedroom tax will force them to move home.

From April 1 housing benefit will be reduced for tenants in social housing by at least £12 every week if they have a spare bedroom.

Calderdale’s biggest social landlord Pennine Housing estimates 1,000 homes will be affected.

And, Mrs Riordan said more than 2,000 vulnerable people, pensioners and disabled will be hit.

She said: “I am being inundated with calls, e-mails and letters from concerned constituents who are facing the prospect of being forced out of their home.

“These figures underline just how many people are being hit by this terrible tax. I think it is a perverse and unfair policy that penalises the poor, the vulnerable and the disabled.

“There are countless stories of decent, genuine people who will be penalised by this tax.

“The best way to get the benefits bill down is to create employment.”

Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift said tenants are contacting his Labour colleagues with concerns.

“Families who need a room for a carer to stay, or those with a child with a disability who needs extra space have told us how unfair this tax is,” he said.

He said Labour councillors can be contacted via 01422 393151.

The National Housing Federation says the “bedroom tax” will hit 660,000 households nationwide and two thirds of those will have someone with a disability.

And, on average a person could lose £728 a year.

A protest against the tax outside Halifax Town Hall has been re-scheduled for Saturday, March 23, between 1 pm and 3 pm.

The Government is introducing the tax to encourage tenants to downsize and save hundreds of millions from the welfare budget.

It is currently being legally challenged.

Benefit advisors can be contacted on 0300 555 0266