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Three local authorities on Teesside have been forced to use their own funds to top up discretionary housing payment funding because of the Bedroom Tax, shocking figures from the Department of Work and Pensions have revealed.

Ministers repeatedly claimed discretionary housing payments would help people who had lost out because of the Bedroom Tax, and Liberal Democrats in Redcar and Cleveland tried to claim the Labour-led council had underspent. But figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions have shown our local authorities have been forced to use local taxpayers' money to top up inadequate discretionary housing payment funding because it was not sufficient for the scale of misery caused

The three Teesside authorities affected were: Redcar and Cleveland who were forced to find an extra £5000, Middlesbrough who spent an additional £37,420, and Hartlepool who had to find the huge sum of £115,239, all while facing substantial cuts to their own budgets.

Anna Turley, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar said:

“David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s Bedroom Tax has been a disaster for the hundreds of thousands of people hit by the cruel levy and it has come at a huge cost for local taxpayers.

"The government’s own figures have shown their Discretionary Housing Payment funding has failed to cover the huge costs of the Bedroom Tax and Teesside councils have had to pick up the tab. So instead of freeing up housing and driving down costs, the Bedroom Tax has left people trapped in their homes, forced into poverty, with local authorities still having to foot huge bills.


"At next year's election, the British people face a choice about whether they want to keep the Bedroom Tax. Only a Labour government will scrap the unfair Bedroom tax. The Tories are committed to keeping this cruel and costly policy in place, and their Lib Dem partners happily assisted them in introducing it in the first place.”

Ends.

Notes for editors:

The government’s discretionary housing payment data is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-discretionary-housing-payments-2013-to-2014

Huge cost of Bedroom Tax for Teesside councils revealed

Three local authorities on Teesside have been forced to use their own funds to top up discretionary housing payment funding because of the Bedroom Tax, shocking figures from the Department...

One in 10 patients on Teesside waited seven days or longer to see a GP the last time they tried, an official NHS survey has found.

14.5 percent of local patients faced a wait of a week or more when they phoned for an appointment in the last year in the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group area.

7.6 percent of local patients in the South Tees area face a wait of more than 7 days.

 

Labour has pledged to invest £100 million in GP surgeries - saved by scrapping David Cameron's NHS market rules that waste millions on lawyers fees and contract tendering - to guarantee appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it.

The annual NHS England survey, released earlier this month, also revealed that local patients struggle to see the family doctor of their choosing. 35% of patients who have a preferred GP had to see another doctor when they last went to their surgery. The next Labour Government will also give patients the right to book ahead with the GP they prefer to see.

The delays have left nearly 9% of local people saying they would not recommend their family's practice to new patients.

Now, Labour's General Election candidate in Stockton South is calling for action.

Louise Baldock said:

"David Cameron has made it harder for people in Stockton South and across Teesside to get a GP appointment - proof he can't be trusted with our local NHS.

"Within days of the last election, he scrapped Labour's appointments guarantee and now thousands of people here are waiting over a week.

“Residents in Ingleby Barwick regularly wait up to three weeks and I was shocked to hear from a Yarm patient recently about an eye watering four week wait.

“Labour will scrap David Cameron's NHS market and invest the savings in helping people get a GP appointment within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it."

Louise Baldock has launched an online survey at http://www.louise-baldock4stocktonsouth.org.uk/healthsurvey as part of her campaign to improve access to local GP services.

Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said:

"This NHS survey confirms what Labour has been saying.People want to be able to see the GP they trust, and who knows their family history, but are left phoning the surgery day after day only to be disappointed. Patients are waiting days or even weeks for appointments and that is forcing people to A&E in record numbers.

“People know from their own experience that the NHS is heading downhill under this Government."

Ends

Editor’s Note:


GP survey statistics - NHS England CCG Report (July 2014): http://gp-survey-production.s3.amazonaws.com/archive/2014/July/weighted/July%202014%20CCG%20Report%20weighted.xls

 

Call for action as thousands of Teesside patients wait over a week to see GP under David Cameron

One in 10 patients on Teesside waited seven days or longer to see a GP the last time they tried, an official NHS survey has found. 14.5 percent of local...

Labour members in Penrith and the Border have selected Lee Rushworth to be the party’s candidate at the 2015 General Election, the Labour Party announced today.

Lee has been a Civil Servant for over ten years having worked in the retail sector previous to that. He is an active member of his union, PCS, having been a work place representative for them. He is married with two grown children and currently lives in the Wirral.

Lee Rushworth said:

“I am delighted to have chosen by members in Penrith & The Border to be their Labour candidate at the General Election. This government has let down our rural communities. The cost of living crisis facing families is even greater for those living in rural areas. As Labour candidate I will be a strong voice for those left behind by this out of touch government and I will campaign for a fair deal for Cumbrians.”

Bruce Wylie, Chair of the Penrith & The Border constituency said:

“I would like to congratulate Lee on being selected. In Lee we have a fantastic candidate who will take the fight to Rory Stewart. Lee is deeply committed to Penrith & The Border constituency and we look forward to campaigning alongside him over the next 10 months.”

Labour select Lee Rushworth for Penrith & The Border

Labour members in Penrith and the Border have selected Lee Rushworth to be the party’s candidate at the 2015 General Election, the Labour Party announced today. Lee has been a...

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In Pictures...

The Northern Line

Market_Square__Penrith.jpgCould you be our candidate in Penrith & The Border at the next General Election?

We've just opened up our selection process to pick our candidate in one of the most beautiful constituencies in England. 

Applications Close: Fri 6 Jun 2014

Shortlisting Interviews: Mon 09 Jun 2014

Final Hustings and Count: Thu 10 Jul 2014

To apply please send a standard parliamentary cv to Hannah_Johnson@labour.org.uk

You can download the standard parlimentary cv from the Labour Party website at http://members.labour.org.uk/parliamentary-selections (Labour Party members only) 

Stand for Labour in Penrith & The Border

Could you be our candidate in Penrith & The Border at the next General Election? We've just opened up our selection process to pick our candidate in one of the...

Harriet Harman, our Deputy Leader visited Lee Sherriff in Carlisle earlier this week. 

Here's our Storify with the local press coverage...

Harriet on Ice

Harriet Harman, our Deputy Leader visited Lee Sherriff in Carlisle earlier this week.  Here's our Storify with the local press coverage...

A selection of images from Labour North Regional Conference 2014

Pictures from Labour North Regional Conference 2014

A selection of images from Labour North Regional Conference 2014

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