Wednesday, 27 February 2013

No to bedroom tax from #rdg Council

Last night at full Council as well as the budget we debated the bedroom tax.

In Reading we have 9636 people on the Council housing waiting list. This is wrong. And Labour must take some of the blame for this through their failure to address this during their 13 years in government.

Following the bedroom tax getting more attention in the media I have picked up casework on this issue. One person, a single parent, living in a council house with their two children. One of the children is disabled and there are good reasons for each child having their own bedroom. However, the government views this property as under occupied, and so the tenant was worried that they might lose some of their housing benefit.

I took up this case and was able to find out that this person would most likely get a discretionary housing payment which would make up the shortfall.

So, this policy caused this resident undue stress, is in this case creating no extra accommodation and leaves the resident in a precarious position – as discretionary housing payments are reviewed on a regular basis, it is also underfunded nationally and no one knows how long they will run for.

There are over 1000 households in Reading the government deems as under occupying. Many of these households include someone with a disability.

In wanting to get people adequately housed, the motivation for the bedroom tax is reasonable. But the mechanism is unfair that is why we voted against the bedroom tax at Council last night. The motion was carried.

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