John demands Cameron thinks again on bedroom tax

Labour MP John Denham is today highlighting the number of households which may be affected by David Cameron’s ‘bedroom tax’ in Southampton.

Two thirds of the households affected in the UK are home to someone with a disability and David Cameron is hitting families of soldiers serving our country who will have to find extra money for their son or daughter’s bedroom, and foster families helping children in need of a home.

This isn’t about tough choices, it’s about the wrong choices.

And at exactly the same time as the Bedroom Tax comes into effect David Cameron is giving thousands of millionaires a tax cut of £100,000 a year.

In Southampton,

  • Southampton City Council estimates that as many as 1456 council properties may be affected.
  • For housing associations, an additional 588 properties may also be affected.
  • The expected annual increase in rent for a property with 1 extra bedroom will be £583 a year.
  • For 2 extra bedrooms, it will be £1041.

In the South East, it is estimated that over one fifth of working age Housing Benefit claimants living in the social rented sector are likely to be affected by the measure.

The scheme is now so chaotic it could actually end up costing more than it saves in many parts of the country. If families are made homeless or pushed into expensive private rented accommodation the tax payer could actually be left with a higher bill – and still the problem of under occupancy will not be solved.

John says:

“As I have said previously, the best way to bring down the benefits bill is to get people into jobs. That’s why Labour is calling for a tough but fair compulsory jobs guarantee. We would offer anyone who has been out of work for more than two years a real job – one that they would be required to take, no ifs and no buts.

“The Bedroom Tax is now in total disarray. Ministers must now admit they have got this horribly wrong and think again – before it’s too late.”

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