Sunday, 17 March 2013

Northumberland Labour Councillor for Cowpen Ward, Susan Davey said. "I am very supportive of both foster carers and armed forces parents being made exempt from this tax.

Northumberland Tory MP Guy Opperman has come out in the press this week stating that a huge sum of money is available to support discretionary relief for Bedroom Tax victims in Northumberland.

Northumberland County Council did receive notification that £415,000 would be made available to help those worst hit by the Tax on people claiming housing benefit for having a spare bedroom.  The County Council is currently in dispute over figures with the National Housing Federation about the number of benefit claimants affected across the County with Northumberland saying they have 3,379 victimised families whilst the NHF say there are 5,222. Using the Councils figures the Bedroom Tax in Northumberland is worth approximately £4,000 per week.

On 12th March the Coalition Government decided to make foster carers and armed forces personnel exempt from the tax. People who are approved foster carers will be allowed an additional room, whether or not a child has been placed with them or they are between placements, so long as they have fostered a child, or become an approved foster carer in the last 12 months and Adult children who are in the Armed Forces but who continue to live with parents will be treated as continuing to live at home, even when deployed on operations.

 

Councils were immediately written to by the Government to say that costs for this group of claimants will be removed from the support grant. Northumberland Labour Group believe that because the County is an exemplar for military recruitment and has high numbers of foster carers the assistance fund will disappear.

Northumberland Labour Councillor for Cowpen Ward, Susan Davey said. "I am very supportive of both foster carers and armed forces parents being made exempt from this tax. Both groups have enough pressure on them without the worry of being forced onto the streets, but as one of the Labour Councillors for Northumberland's largest Council and social housing areas, Cowpen/Kitty Brewster I was hoping that some level of support for victims of this unscrupulous tax would be available.

This is a prime example of what the Liberal Democrats voting with the Tories in Parliament can do to ordinary people here in Northumberland. Its 257 miles or 413Km from Cowpen to Parliament yet we can feel the hot destructive breath lashed by the forked tongues of both Cameron and Clegg wafting through the streets of our County."

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