600 Wyre Forest homes hit by 'bedroom tax' figures show

Kidderminster Shuttle: Right policy: MP Mark Garnier says the 'bedroom tax' helped free up social housing for families in need. Right policy: MP Mark Garnier says the 'bedroom tax' helped free up social housing for families in need.

MORE than 600 households in Wyre Forest were hit by the controversial “bedroom tax” in August, Government figures show.

The Department for Work and Pensions numbers also reveal the average monthly loss to the 608 families affected in the district was £61. They show 517 families were under-occupying by one bedroom and 88 had two or more spare bedrooms.

Since April the spare room subsidy, as it officially known, has meant social housing tenants get reduced housing benefit payment for any spare bedrooms. It is the first time official data has been released showing the number of people affected by it.

The National Housing Association, which represents independent non-profit housing associations in the UK, has analysed the figures and called for the “badly designed” policy to be repealed.

Conservative Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier, however, said support was available for those who needed a spare room, such as disabled people who used the bedroom for a carer or dyalisis equipment, and the policy helped free up social housing for three or four-person families living in bedsits.

Mr Garnier said: “It is right that we have welfare and house people but is it right that we pay for something people in private sector housing cannot afford?

“We are saying we cannot justify using taxpayer money to pay for it but if the person wants to finance it they are more than welcome to and it is a fraction of what it would cost in the private sector.”

He added: “There is plenty of money to help people if they want to apply for it.”

National Housing Federation West Midlands external affairs manager, Gemma Duggan, said: “For many affected, there isn’t even anywhere for them to downsize to.

“The Government says discretionary housing payments will help those who cannot downsize but there isn’t anywhere near enough money to go around.

“The bedroom tax is trapping many people in homes they can no longer afford and where they are struggling to pay rents.”

 

Comments (11)

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8:36am Wed 20 Nov 13

paulinejanet says...

i believe mr garnier claims for a spare bedroom for his children in London so that's ok then
i believe mr garnier claims for a spare bedroom for his children in London so that's ok then paulinejanet

9:07am Wed 20 Nov 13

paulinejanet says...

what I should have said is it is ok for mr garnier to claim, for a spare room for his children from our taxes so they can enjoy family life but not for people affected by the bedroom charge who if they can find a property to downsize to will no longer be able to enjoy family time with family who can not stay overnight with them due to no spare room one rule for one but we are all in it together
what I should have said is it is ok for mr garnier to claim, for a spare room for his children from our taxes so they can enjoy family life but not for people affected by the bedroom charge who if they can find a property to downsize to will no longer be able to enjoy family time with family who can not stay overnight with them due to no spare room one rule for one but we are all in it together paulinejanet

9:12am Wed 20 Nov 13

Gobby Robby says...

I think Mark Garnier was one of those on the list that claimed up to £25,000 accomodation expenses but voted for the bedroom tax. Utterly shameful if true.
I think Mark Garnier was one of those on the list that claimed up to £25,000 accomodation expenses but voted for the bedroom tax. Utterly shameful if true. Gobby Robby

9:16am Wed 20 Nov 13

Gobby Robby says...

There aren't the properties to downsize to, this information came out earlier this year. The government must have already known this so this was always just a direct tax on those least able to pay (while millionaires got a tax cut). If there's nowhere to downsize to you have no option but to pay the tax. Repulsive really.
There aren't the properties to downsize to, this information came out earlier this year. The government must have already known this so this was always just a direct tax on those least able to pay (while millionaires got a tax cut). If there's nowhere to downsize to you have no option but to pay the tax. Repulsive really. Gobby Robby

9:24am Wed 20 Nov 13

paulinejanet says...

he claims £110 per months dependence allowance so his children can stay with him in London but don't forget we are all in this together
he claims £110 per months dependence allowance so his children can stay with him in London but don't forget we are all in this together paulinejanet

10:24am Wed 20 Nov 13

grouchy old git says...

Gobby Robby wrote:
I think Mark Garnier was one of those on the list that claimed up to £25,000 accomodation expenses but voted for the bedroom tax. Utterly shameful if true.
Mr Garnier always votes for anything that the Government proposes. He doesn't have a mind of his own. He is a career politician attempting to get a cabinet post. He doesn't care about the people who voted him in, only about his career, but that is what you get if you vote a tory merchant banker into parliament who doesn't come from or live in this area.
[quote][p][bold]Gobby Robby[/bold] wrote: I think Mark Garnier was one of those on the list that claimed up to £25,000 accomodation expenses but voted for the bedroom tax. Utterly shameful if true.[/p][/quote]Mr Garnier always votes for anything that the Government proposes. He doesn't have a mind of his own. He is a career politician attempting to get a cabinet post. He doesn't care about the people who voted him in, only about his career, but that is what you get if you vote a tory merchant banker into parliament who doesn't come from or live in this area. grouchy old git

10:24am Wed 20 Nov 13

walkerno5 says...

"There aren't the properties to downsize to, this information came out earlier this year. The government must have already known this so this was always just a direct tax on those least able to pay (while millionaires got a tax cut). If there's nowhere to downsize to you have no option but to pay the tax. Repulsive really."

Absolutely. The cost should fall on those who genuinely under occupy and are unwilling to move, not folks who would move but can't. The savings from this though would be even smaller. Social housing provision is so far away from where it should be it's ridiculous.
"There aren't the properties to downsize to, this information came out earlier this year. The government must have already known this so this was always just a direct tax on those least able to pay (while millionaires got a tax cut). If there's nowhere to downsize to you have no option but to pay the tax. Repulsive really." Absolutely. The cost should fall on those who genuinely under occupy and are unwilling to move, not folks who would move but can't. The savings from this though would be even smaller. Social housing provision is so far away from where it should be it's ridiculous. walkerno5

11:08am Wed 20 Nov 13

CBofBewdley says...

As the other comments have said the bedroom tax is a bad policy and extremely unpopular. How can someone who gets pretty well ALL of his living expenses paid for by us vote for a bill that punishes the poor, vulnerable and disabled. Utter hypocrisy.
As the other comments have said the bedroom tax is a bad policy and extremely unpopular. How can someone who gets pretty well ALL of his living expenses paid for by us vote for a bill that punishes the poor, vulnerable and disabled. Utter hypocrisy. CBofBewdley

6:14pm Wed 20 Nov 13

Wagtail59 says...

I assume that at one time they were allocated homes deemed to be appropriate for their needs. Those affected accepted these homes in good faith, now they are being penalised. Appalling.
I assume that at one time they were allocated homes deemed to be appropriate for their needs. Those affected accepted these homes in good faith, now they are being penalised. Appalling. Wagtail59

8:36am Thu 21 Nov 13

paulinejanet says...

i believe that even if a tenant agrees to move because there are not enough properties they still have to pay the extra rent this seems very uinfair
i believe that even if a tenant agrees to move because there are not enough properties they still have to pay the extra rent this seems very uinfair paulinejanet

1:26pm Thu 21 Nov 13

Stephen Brown says...

An unfair 'tax' that penalises the most vulnerable and offers no reasonable or fair solution to those the same policy puts in jeopardy.

I am simply amazed that this whole issue has not been the undoing of this Government just as the poll tax was eventually for the last Tory Govt.

Then again it could be said that this Govt unlike the last Tory Govt have picked off those they want to attack and been very good at divide and rule - which says something equally disturbing about where our society has gotten to if we allow this kind of appalling behaviour by those elected to represent us.
An unfair 'tax' that penalises the most vulnerable and offers no reasonable or fair solution to those the same policy puts in jeopardy. I am simply amazed that this whole issue has not been the undoing of this Government just as the poll tax was eventually for the last Tory Govt. Then again it could be said that this Govt unlike the last Tory Govt have picked off those they want to attack and been very good at divide and rule - which says something equally disturbing about where our society has gotten to if we allow this kind of appalling behaviour by those elected to represent us. Stephen Brown

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