Labour brands ‘bedroom tax’ in county ‘chaotic and unfair’
‘Council has ‘lost’ 1825 families hit by ‘bedroom tax’ – Grant Davey
The Labour party in Northumberland have uncovered a ‘major black hole’ as the Liberal run administration in County Hall struggle to come to terms with the impact of the so called ‘bedroom tax’. Figures show that families will face penalties of £496 per year for 14% ‘under occupancy’ by one bedroom and a whopping 25%, £886 per year for those who ‘under occupy’ by two bedrooms
The ‘tax’ brought in by the coalition government to tackle ‘under occupancy’ has been branded as ‘a chaotic and unfair tax on struggling families’ by Labour in Northumberland.
The council estimated the ‘charge’ would hit 3,397 families across Northumberland but Labour has uncovered a ‘hidden group’ who the council didn’t know existed. Figures released by the National Housing Federation show that the actual figure impacted by the bedroom tax is 5,222.
The council now face accusations that ‘they’ve lost control and have seriously underestimated the impact of the tax on Northumberland’.
The storm over the impact of the tax also extends to the lack of affordable housing available in the county as the council also acknowledged in its Housing Needs Survey that it would need to build 240 homes every year for decades to meet the need for affordable housing.
Labour are demanding council leader Jeff Reid makes a statement clarifying the true council’s true position on the impact of the bedroom tax and its impact on the recently agreed council budget.
Labour group leader Grant Davey said
‘The council has ‘lost’ 1825 families while it has been preparing for the impact of the bedroom tax. How can we have confidence that the council is ready for the ‘tsunami of misery’ unleashed by this regressive tax? Jeff Reid needs to get a grip on his council and come clean about the true impact of this raid on the living standards of people living in social housing’.
Notes to Editors
Attached letter to Ronnie Campbell MP which gives the number affected by the ‘under occupancy’ charge as 3,397 across Northumberland
Source: See attached letter
Research for NHF shows that in
1. Wansbeck – 1355 households will be affected
2. Blyth – 1321 households will be affected
3. Berwick – 1335 households will be affected
4. Hexham – 1211 households will be affected
Total affected – 5,222