Over the past few weeks, the press have started to explain how the ‘bedroom tax’ will hit people on Housing Benefit who live in social housing.
The Government claims that it’s to cut spending on Housing Benefit, but it will actually hit people with disabilities, families with members serving in the armed forces, parents who are separated but want space for children to visit... the list goes on. Now we have detailed figures for how many people in Calderdale will be hit, and it’s pretty frightening. We estimate that more than 1,500 across the borough will be adversely affected with more than 200 in the Upper Valley alone. The average loss is going to be around £14 a week or more than £720 a year per person. As well as the impact on individual families, it’s going to take more than £1 million a year out of the local economy. We are working hard to find ways to reduce the effects of this change, and to support people who fear they are going to have trouble paying the rent when these cuts take place. This is a huge blow for working people and families on low incomes, and it comes in at the same time as the Government is giving 8,000 millionaires an annual tax cut of more than £100,000. All in it together? The bedroom tax has now been exposed as a chaotic disaster, but it’s not too late for the Tories to do the decent thing, admit they have got this wrong and think again.
(Labour & Co-op, Calder Ward)