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Councils 'unable to help people affected by bedroom tax'

Huge number of families have seen their housing benefit cut as a result of having a spare room in their council or housing association property

MP Liam Byrne

A Birmingham MP has revealed that local councils are unable to help 96 per cent of people affected by the bedroom tax due to a major shortage of available housing.

Freedom of Information Act inquiries by Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne revealed that 99,079 families living in 26 council areas have seen their housing benefit cut as a result of having a spare room in their council or housing association property.

The policy was introduced by the Government to encourage families under-occupying social housing to downsize.

But the Labour Party figures revealed that there are just 3,803 one and two-bedrooms homes for them to move into.

In Birmingham the numbers are 13,557 households affected and just 368 properties available.

In Dudley there are 4,005 affected households and 363 properties, in Sandwell 5,600 households and 206 homes and Wolverhampton 3,885 households and 289 homes.

Liam Byrne who is Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “These shocking new figures reveal the big lie behind this Government’s cruel bedroom tax.

“They say it’s not a tax but more than 96 per cent of people hit by the tax have nowhere to move to.

“This hated bedroom tax is forcing vulnerable people to food banks and loan sharks and there is now a serious danger is could end up costing Britain more than it saves as tenants are forced to go homeless or move into the expensive private rented sector.”

 

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