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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 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

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