People hit by Bedroom Tax choosing between eating and heating

People hit by the hated Bedroom Tax are choosing between eating and heating, with three quarters cutting back on food bills, according to a new report.

People hit by the hated Bedroom Tax are choosing between eating and heating, with three quarters cutting back on food bills, according to a new report.

Meanwhile half of those hit by the policy are borrowing money from family and friends to pay for essentials.

According to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), the Bedroom Tax has forced 100,000 people to take a cut in their benefits because a shortage of available social housing stock has left them stuck in a larger home.

Meanwhile half of those hit by the tax have gone into arrears in the first six months of the policy due to an average £14 per week benefit cut.

The research also found that the Bedroom Tax was making it harder to get the poorest into social housing, as providers have to check more rigorously whether new applicants can afford to pay the rent.

The policy is expected to save the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) just £330 million in its first year – £115 million below its initial target and a figure which the JRF says will decline in the coming years. Fewer people are also paying the charge: 498,000 have been affected by the policy – lower than the 660,000 estimate by DWP.

Commenting on the report, Labour’s shadow welfare reform minister Chris Bryant MP said the “ill-conceived policy has been mismanaged from the start”.

“It’s failed to free up larger properties because there simply aren’t smaller proprieties to move to. It’s hitting the most vulnerable hardest, and failing to save the money that David Cameron had predicted. The government has no reason to keep it – if they won’t repeal it, a Labour government will,” he added.

And policy and research manager at JRF Kathleen Kelly warned that the worst effects of the Bedroom Tax had yet to materialise.

“A particular concern is the stark choice landlords face as to whether they can afford to house the poorest. The time is right to take stock of the policies and alleviate their worst effects,” she said.

2 Responses to “People hit by Bedroom Tax choosing between eating and heating”

  1. Bill Kruse

    And how many of these people are aware of the recent Bolton UT decision which states that bedrooms must be being used as such and if are spare rooms (or whatever) then they aren’t liable? How many of these people are paying the BT because their landlords, a third party who shouldn’t be being consulted even, have told the council that such and such a room is a bedroom when in fact it’s nothing of the sort, a fact which could easily have been ascertained by the individual inspections which councils ought to be making but aren’t bothering with? Appeal appeal appeal and this absurd and unworkable policy will disappear and hopefully take the careers of Smith and Freud with it. Then we can get on with the serious job of prosecuting them and all the others involved with the WCAs, politicians of all political persuasions, civil servants and businessmen. .

  2. Guest

    No doubt ids. Is delaying the spread until after the election because when the consequences are seen across the country the Tories will pay the electoral price

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