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Labour pledges to scrap Bedroom Tax which hits 653 People in Sutton

Tuesday 1 April 2014

On the one year anniversary of the Bedroom Tax, Emily Brothers, Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton and Cheam, pledged that a Labour government will scrap the Bedroom Tax which has hit 653 people in Sutton.
Since the Paul Burstow/Paul Scully backed government introduced the Bedroom Tax low-income households have been forced to find, on average an extra £720 a year. According to the National Housing Federation two thirds of households hit by the Bedroom Tax cannot find the money to pay their rents and one in seven are at risk of eviction.
Ms Brothers said:
“Britain can’t afford another year of the Bedroom Tax. 653 people in Sutton are hit by this cruel and costly tax on bedrooms. It’s time for the government to ditch the Bedroom Tax. If they don’t, then a Labour government will.
“I am particularly concerned about the impact on disabled people, many who are unable to move into smaller properties because there aren’t sufficient accessible homes available.”
Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves said:
“Over the past year half a million people have been hit by the Bedroom Tax, forcing thousands into debt and thousands more to rely on food banks. It’s a cruel, unfair and costly tax which targets the vulnerable, with two thirds of those affected disabled. David Cameron promised the Bedroom Tax would save money, but figures in the Budget show the housing benefit bill is rising, not falling, with a huge £1billion increase over the next five years.”

DWP figures on number of people hit by the Bedroom Tax:

North West 78,839
Scotland 71,683
London 52,200
Yorkshire and Humber 49,049
West Midlands 49,363
North East 37,547
South East 35,109
East Midlands 33,524
Wales 32,386
East of England 32,229
South West 26,261
TOTAL 498,190
(Figures from November 2013)

The Government’s impact assessment for the Bedroom Tax stated that two third of those affected would have a disability.
Two thirds of households affected by the bedroom tax cannot find the money to pay their rents, according to new research from the National Housing Federation. Source: http://www.housing.org.uk/media/press-releases/two-thirds-of-households-hit-by-bedroom-tax-are-in-debt-as-anniversary-appr#sthash.Ljy35ky2.dpuf
Housing benefit set to rise by £1billion over four year in March 2014 Budget (pg 132) http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2014/
On 28 March 2014 employment minister Esther McVey admitted the Bedroom Tax, ‘was never all about saving money’, despite the government repeatedly claiming that it would cut costs.
Figures contained in the Budget have shown the housing benefit bill will continue rising not falling, with an increase of £1billion forecast over the next four years.

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