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Friday, 18 April 2014

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‘Bedroom tax’ will hit Barrow residents

By Gareth JonesBARROW residents could be set to lose some of their benefits under a new ‘bedroom tax’, according to a housing association boss.

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CLAIRE STONE

An upheaval of the benefits system is due to take place in the new year with a universal benefit replacing individual payments.

Accent has around 500 properties around Barrow, but the changes will affect anyone aged between 16 and 61 claiming benefits.

The changes are known as the “welfare reforms”. The under-occupancy, or bedroom tax, and the new benefit cap are set to be introduced in April.

The bedroom tax means residents will lose some of their housing benefit if they have a spare bedroom, whether it is used as a bedroom or not.

The benefit cap will put a new limit on the total amount of benefits a household can claim.

Accent Foundation managing director Claire Stone said: “More and more we are seeing our role as not just as a housing association providing good quality homes, but as a welfare and advisory service to our residents. Many of our residents in Barrow will be affected by the benefit changes, and it is our responsibility to support them in whatever ways we can.”

Accent has produced information and advice for residents, and staff are talking directly to residents most at risk, but the association is concerned that the message is not really getting through.

Ms Stone added: “One thing we have seen is that some residents didn’t think they had a ‘spare bedroom’.

“Some thought that if they weren’t using their ‘spare bedroom’ as a bedroom, or it was used when children or other relatives stayed who didn’t live there, or for medical reasons, the bedroom tax wouldn’t affect them. This simply isn’t true.

“The government has decided how many rooms it will pay housing benefit for depending on how big a family is and what the mix is.

“If residents have more bedrooms than what the government thinks they need, their housing benefit will be cut.”

Anyone who is worried can speak to Accent’s housing team on 0845 678 0599.

Have your say

yes well to hit the disabled.on bedroom tax is appaling why not hit the foreighners.instead of pampering them.and this so called third world.ive lived in most of the middle east.its sickeningmake them pay. by working.theres always a way.so stop hitting the wrong people.ive one foot in the grave so im not botherd.but the poor people will probably will take to suicide.

Posted by frances ward on 1 February 2013 at 19:03

Problem is there are 2 types of claimants.
1. Genuine people, who have worked and put something into the system.
2. People milking the system who have put nothing in and have no intention putting anything in. These people have never contributed in any way to society, but expect everything back in return. They have become the problem with the system.
I know of no other system that would allow you to obtain money when you have not put anything in.
The government has no choice than to make some radical changes, whichever goverment is in charge.
Generational benefit claiments (and we all know a family fitting this discription), who have never worked, never contributed,and show no signs of looking for work. These seriously need to be looked at as these people are the ones who usually moan and say tax the high earners more. What for? To ensure they can carry on sponging from the state? They are already paying tax, and the main thing is, they are working and contributing to society.
I cannot understand anyone who wants to spend their life on benefit, claiming everything from free glasses, free perscriptions,free dentist, free housing,no community tax to pay to winge that they might have to contribute £5 towards their rent. Come on, is it really a reason to moan when you are a free loader!

Posted by jjj on 2 January 2013 at 14:03

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