867 Putney Families Will Lose Out Through Bedroom Tax

"Not an effective or fair way forward" say Putney Labour Party


Putney Labour Party
35 Felsham Road,
SW15 1AY
0208 788 8961

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Putney Labour party have released figures claiming that 867 families in the Putney area will be negatively effected by the coalition's plans for a 'bedroom tax'.

The proposal will mean that from next month families receiving housing benefit deemed to have too much living space by their local authorities will receive a reduced payment.

Putney Labour party say, "Visitors to Putney will see spectacular views, and pretty tree lined streets. They may also be aware of the above average incomes of its residents, and the far above average house prices. However, what many won’t see or become aware of, is that welfare reform is having a devastating impact on a significant number of Putney families. "

This change affects council tenants, and those who rent from housing associations. It does not affect private sector tenants. When it comes into effect one bedroom will be allowed for each adult or couple. Children under the age of 16 of the same gender will be expected to share. Those under 10 are expected to share whatever their gender. If a household is deemed to have a spare room housing benefit is cut by 14%. If they have two or more spare rooms, the reduction is 25%. According to the government the average reduction will be £14 a week for council tenants and £16 a week for those renting from housing associations.

Labour claim that whilst families are recalculating their monthly budgets to take these new costs into account, the aim of the policy won’t even succeed on the Government’s own terms as there aren’t enough smaller homes for families to move to.

The party issued a statement saying, "So whilst not solving the problem it sets out to, the Bedroom Tax will make some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society even poorer. Two thirds of the families due to be affected are home to someone with a disability, according to the National Housing Federation 200,000 are receiving Disability Living Allowance. Separated parents with join custody and spare rooms to reflect this, will also be liable."

Putney and Roehampton Labour Party say that it supports sensible welfare reform but the bedroom tax does not pass two basic tests; it does not solve the problem it is seeking to address, and it does not impact fairly.

They conclude, "The bill for welfare needs to come down, and we will not partake in scaremongering rhetoric nor avoid responsibility to accept this. However, the reality is that this is not an effective means of tackling it. It is unfair, it hits working people, and the most vulnerable."

The government say they are introducing the measure to reduce the £23 billion housing benefit bill and free up more living space as well as encourage people to get jobs. The measure is expected to bring a saving of around £500 million per annum.

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March 15, 2013