Calderdale councillors concerned about bedroom tax impact predict local economy will lose £1m a year

THE local economy in Calderdale will lose £1m as a result of the bedroom tax, councillors say.

THE local economy in Calderdale will lose £1m as a result of the bedroom tax, councillors say.

Councillors are worried about the impact of changes in how housing benefit is awarded.

People who receive housing benefit who ‘over-occupy’ their home will lose some of their housing benefit – 14% if they have one extra bedroom and 25% if they have two or more spare bedrooms.

It is a government-led welfare reform and has been dubbed the ‘bedroom tax’.

Calderdale Labour councillors say that more than 1,500 families in the borough will lose, on average, £14 a week.

They say that money is being taken out their disposable income to spend in the local economy.

Clr Tim Swift, leader of the council, said: “The bedroom tax will hit families already struggling hard.

“Tenants are already telling their councillors how this will affect them. Families who need a room for a carer to stay, or those with a child with a disability who needs extra space have told us how unfair this tax is.

“The council does have a small pot of money that we can use for discretionary housing payments, but that is only enough to help a small fraction of the people who will lose money.

“I would like people to tell their councillors their stories so that we can target the available help as well as we can, and so we can give the strongest possible messages to Government about the disastrous impact of these plans.”

The changes affect tenants who have social landlords, such as Pennine Housing and other housing associations.

The change does not apply to householders with pensioners who are currently claiming housing benefit – only families of working age.

It will affect families with disabled children, foster carers and separated parents who share custody of children.

However, the Labour Party says that when housing benefit is included within the Universal Credit from October, pensioners who claim in the future will be affected.

The bedroom tax is meant to encourage people to downsize, but there is a shortage of smaller properties available in Calderdale.

 

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