More than 2,000 people in Croydon hit by £1,000 Bedroom Tax

At a time when precise, hard details are hard to come by, as our local and national politicians duck and dive around issues, here’s two stats:

  • Flats-to-let-007According to the National Housing Federation, 2,908 people in Croydon living in council homes or housing association properties will be hit by the government’s Bedroom Tax.
  • And according to the government’s own assessment, the Bedroom Tax will cost 80,000 Londoners an average £1,092 a year.

The Bedroom Tax is the part of Conservative-led government’s welfare changes, aimed at cutting the amount of benefit that people can get if they are considered to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home. It is introduced in April.

Nationally, the Bedroom Tax will hit 660,000 households, two-thirds of them home to someone with a disability.

Here’s some more facts: the National Housing Federation figures show 1,061 people in Croydon North, 951 in Croydon Central and 896 in Croydon South will be hit by the Bedroom Tax.

Croydon North’s Labour MP, Steve Reed, unsurprisingly, condemned the proposals. “David Cameron’s Bedroom Tax will hammer hard-pressed Croydon families who are already struggling to make ends meet.

“The Bedroom Tax could actually risk costing local tax-payers a fortune in higher private rents and covering the cost of driving people out of their homes.

“Two-thirds of the households hit are home to someone with a disability, and the families of soldiers and foster parents will also be hit. Yet at the same time prisoners get off and millionaires are getting a massive tax cut. How can that be right?” Reed asked.

Liam Byrne, Labour’s shadow work and pensions spokesman, described the measures as a “shambles”, as more than 600,000 armed forces families, disabled people and foster carers could face added bills of hundreds of pounds from next month, yet at the same time, 13,000 millionaires will receive tax cuts of £100,000.

“The plan is such a shambles that someone who’s been to prison on a short sentence won’t have to pay,” Byrne said of the Bedroom Tax. “How unfair is that?

“Millionaires and prisoners are looked after but vulnerable people, carers and armed forces families get hit.”

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7 Responses to More than 2,000 people in Croydon hit by £1,000 Bedroom Tax

  1. This is a particularly nasty piece of Tory spivvery.

    Let me explain. When a family – let’s say a couple, an aged parent and three children – is offered a four-bedroom property they are told that, if their household circumstances change, they may be required to move. They sign an agreement that includes a clause to that effect.

    Imagine the situation 25 years later. The aged parent has died, the three children have all moved away and the tenants are rattling around the property like peas in a drum. They are asked to move; they object; this is their home; their councillors raise the matter; as does their MP. The local paper writes a story about infringement of human rights. The public sector landlord is pilloried as the darkest kind of villain.

    In reality a local authority or housing association is unlikely to ask a tenant to move in anything other than extreme circumstances. It will not be managing its housing stock with down-sizing in mind.

    As a result, I suggest that if all the over-occupied tenants in Croydon asked for a move to smaller accommodation, their landlords would be completely unable to satisfy their requests.

    Mr Cameron talks about a withdrawal of subsidy. No sir! At least have the honesty to tell the electorate the truth: your government, that is arguing against earnings rules for multi-millionaire bankers, is simultaneously raising extra taxes from the elderly and the disabled.

  2. There is no such thing as a “Bedroom Tax”.

    I live in a house with a spare bedroom and I haven’t received a tax bill yet. It is in fact a Spare Bedroom Subsidy Benefit reduction. People should be grateful that they live in a country which is prosperous enough to be able to pay them such benefits in the first place.

  3. The thing is, if you are renting a house in the private sector, you are unlikely to pay for a big house with spare rooms (if you don’t have a lodger) when you can’t afford to pay for it. You are likely to downsize to a house you can better afford that better suits your needs. Though it is a blunt tool and needs refining, I presume that is what the Spare Room Tax is for. I’m not sure of how otherwise to encourage people to stop hogging houses they no longer need (obviously military personnel, disabled people, foster carers and anyone else with good cause to need an extra room should be exempt from such things)…
    In times of housing crisis – I don’t think the fact it has been someone’s home for 20 years is enough to keep someone there

  4. First how is it a tax ?
    Second in these time of austerity why on earth should someone who is being gifted a free home (when millions of us pay for ours) have the luxury of spare rooms?
    Its a very sensible move. Only the financialy inept can defend the rights of spongers.

    • When you manage to find any examples of members of the armed forces, nurses or teachers, or ordinary, hard-working people, who live in social housing, and are being “gifted a free home”, as you put it, do come back and let us know. We won’t hold our breath.

      We’d be interested to hear from soldiers and sailors, nurses, teachers and others about what they think of being described by “Diddy “David Hamilton as “spongers”.

  5. Pingback: Tory Austerity and the Croydon Economy | Croydon Assembly

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