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Worcester City Council leader Adrian Gregson slams the bedroom tax
THE leader of Worcester City Council has launched a fresh attack on the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ - calling it an “assiduous” attack on the vulnerable.
Councillor Adrian Gregson claims the policy will “cost more than it will save” and has made an appeal for it to be axed.
During a full council meeting, he also said 673 tenants in the city are currently affected by it, which means a reduction in housing benefit for any spare bedrooms.
Of that tally, the amounts of money owed varies from £700 to £1,250 during an entire calendar year.
The figures follows revelations in your Worcester News in October that 1,000 households across south Worcestershire have been stung by it.
Coun Gregson said: “A number of issues arise from the introduction of this assiduous tax.
“The only people who are going to benefit from it are private sector landlords because the costs to the public purse will increase.
“The whole process of implementing this tax has cost more than the savings.”
Worcester Community Housing, the city’s main social property provider, says 45 per cent of its 460-odd tenants affected by the bedroom tax are currently in arrears.
The other householders who have been hit with bills from it are in properties owned by rival housing associations.
Under the policy, officially known as the spare room subsidy, tenants get a 14 per cent reduction in housing benefit for having an empty bedroom.
If there are two spare bedrooms the cut is 25 per cent, and the resident has to fork out to make up the difference, or face falling into arrears and eventual eviction.
The Government does offer help with extra discretionary housing payments for disabled social housing tenants.
A Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “The removal of the spare room subsidy means we still pay the majority of most claimants’ rent, but the taxpayer can no longer afford to pay the £500m cost of claimants’ extra bedrooms.”
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