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Sunday, 03 May 2015

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Bedroom tax anger clear at Barrow event

RESIDENTS due to be affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ are being urged to send their cases of “injustice” to the prime minister.

From April, working-age people renting from councils or housing associations face losing up to a quarter of their housing benefit if they have one or more spare bedrooms.

People will lose 14 per cent for one spare extra bedroom and 25 per cent for two or more extra bedrooms.

David Cameron has offered to personally listen to cases of “injustice” caused by the under-occupancy tax.

Risedale Labour Councillor, Kevin Hamilton has asked affected tenants to fill in a form explaining their case and he will send them to David Cameron.

He said: “I’ve been asked numerous times by people wanting to know how they’re going to afford it.

“I think we’ve (council housing department) got 10 void properties now because people have gone into the private sector. This comes in this April – the exact same week as millionaires get a tax rebate.”

Borough council officers Caroline Wagstaff and Janice Sharp answered questions on the tax during a public meeting at Four Groves Community Association on Monday night.

A total of 388 tenants are going to be affected in Barrow – 302 with one bedroom under-occupancy and 86 people with two bedrooms.

Gaynor Giddings, of Vulcan Road, Barrow, told the meeting: “Ultimately, what worries me is what happens to the people where there is no property to downsize to and they still can’t afford to pay rent?

“I know that worries a lot of people who are worried that they are going to end up on the street if they can’t afford it.”

Ms Wagstaff said that, as of last week, the council had been able to contact everybody affected bar 80 households, and they will be visited.

She said: “The majority of people have said they want to stay and accept the reduction in benefits.

“There are some people who have told us they can’t afford two bedrooms under-occupancy but can afford one.

“We accept it’s going to be difficult times for everybody.

“But as long as people are working with us, then we can’t ask any more than that from them.”

l See today’s Big Debate on page 13 to read a letter about the bedroom tax by Iain Duncan Smith, the government’s work and pensions secretary.

Have your say

Maybe if the people that are going to lose some of their handouts cancel their Sky, give up the fags or a night in the boozer then they would not be so badly affected by this deduction (not a tax). I work hard, 40 + hours a week travel over 200 miles a week to do so. I'd be better off on benefits, but I have my pride and dignity and thats worth so much.

Posted by martin on 2 April 2013 at 10:04

Thank you for your concern Dan, but I was brought up in a working family, in a house with a mortgage, and was educated to work in order to obtain the same. I didnt expect to get the same as i was brought up in by becoming a benefit seeker. I have standards

Posted by Worker on 28 March 2013 at 11:16

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