On the second anniversary of the Bedroom Tax (Wednesday 1 April), Helen Goodman, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Minister pledged to continue to fight the unfair Bedroom Tax affecting thousands of families in the North East.
Helen Goodman said:
“Wednesday is the second anniversary of the hated Bedroom Tax which has had a devastating impact on 36,000 people in the North East.
“The Bedroom Tax will cost people £3,600 in the North East if the Tories win again and 30,000 are at risk of having to pay. Labour has pledged to abolish the Bedroom Tax and only a Labour government will do this.”
“The government has imposed the Bedroom Tax on families who are already hard pressed to make ends meet. I have met people across the North from Redcar to Carlisle made homeless or hungry by it. There aren’t enough smaller properties for people to move so even the government’s own studies show that people are having to cut back on household essentials to pay it. Only a Labour government will abolish the Bedroom Tax.”
1. As of August 2014, 36,126 families in the North East were paying the Bedroom Tax according to Department of Work and Pensions statistics. On average the tax costs people £680 per year in this region.
2. There are a total of 303,628 people in social rented tenure. At least as many new people will become liable to the Bedroom Tax as are paying now if the Conservatives are re-elected. All social tenants are at risk – a family can become liable if children leave home, someone dies or their income falls.
3. People can’t move. In April 2013, just before the Bedroom Tax was introduced, there were already more households on the council housing waiting list than properties available. The Bedroom Tax added to an already long waiting list.
4. A DWP evaluation showed that 57% of claimants are cutting back on household basics but that only 4.5% had been able to move.