HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US   LINKS      
 

 
SALFORD BEDROOM TAX AND RENT INCREASE HORRORS
 

Star date: 25th February 2013

£110 EXTRA PER MONTH TO FIND – "I REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW I'M GOING TO BUY FOOD"

"The only thing left to me now is to protest and take to the streets"

Paul Hudson, of Pendleton, is in part time work and is about to get hammered from all sides…Bedroom Tax, a Council Tax benefit cut, a Salix rent increase, and gas and electricity price hikes.

On April 1st, like some bad April Fool's joke, Paul is going to have almost a quarter of his meagre income taken off him…"To me it's an expensive job being a poor man" says Paul "A very expensive job!"

Full details here…


Pendleton PFI hoarding Salford Say No To The Bedroom Tax
click image to enlarge

"We've now got the Bedroom Tax coming in and a £14 a month rent increase to live in a slum."


We're sat in the café at the Langworthy Cornerstone, and part time worker Paul Hudson is listing the extra money he's going to have to find in a few weeks time, thanks to welfare cuts by both the ConDem Government and Salford City Council. It's horrific.

"…Well there's £14 a week Bedroom Tax…that's £56 per month…plus a £14 per month Salix rent increase…that's £70…and I've lost most of my Council Tax benefits too because of the amount that I earn, so I will have to probably find the remaining £42 per month to pay… that's a total of…

We're running out of fingers…

"…£112 per month" he decides "I only earn £125 a week."

"At the moment my part time work pays for myself and helps me tick over, barely, but I can't afford to pay that" Paul explains "This will leave me with a few pounds a week to live on. At this point in time I don't know how I'm going to cope.

"I did say to a man from Salix the other day that I could see myself going to food banks in the near future to eat, because once I've paid gas, electricity and everything else I really don't know how I'm going to buy food. That is the real honest truth of the matter" he adds "At the end of the day you can go and buy the food but you can't cook it because there's no gas or electricity, or you can have gas electricity but no food. It can some weeks, literally, be one or the other."

The shocking thing is that Paul has done everything he's supposed to do to get out of poverty. He's fought his way off the dole and into part-time work. Yet he's still getting shafted from all sides, with the Bedroom Tax the biggest blow…

"Having a spare bedroom and working part time I'm going to be expected to find an extra £14 a week out of my part time earnings to pay for that supposed bedroom" Paul says "If I wasn't working it would have been taken out of my benefits but with me working it doesn't get paid to Salix, so I'm going to have to find that £14 a week out of my wages to pay direct to them.

"Yet I didn't ask for a two bedroom property ten years ago, when I moved in; I would have been more than happy with a one bedroom" he explains "But ten years ago there was a distinct lack of one bedroom social housing in Salford and that hasn't changed. It's steadily got worse."

Paul has asked to be moved into a one bedroom flat but, because he's got rent arrears, through being in poverty, Salix Homes, he says, won't help him… "and the other answer they gave was that there is a lack of one bedroom social housing properties within Pendleton and the Salford area anyway."

What is more, the flat that Paul is living in at Spruce Court is, as he describes it, a damp and draughty "slum" that doesn't meet the Decent Home Standard. Spruce Court was supposed to be refurbished as part of the Pendleton PFI regeneration but it's way behind schedule and, as the Salford Star revealed last week (see here), it has stalled again…

"If the wind and rain are going the wrong way it can be damp and draughty and horrible, and if I was to heat the property the way I want to heat it, it would probably cost me £50-£60 a month" Paul explains "At the moment I spend around £30 a month heating it, and that allows me to have the heating on for two hours a day.

"I've got an extra duvet but it's something I've got used to" he adds "Every year you're told `Next year it will be sorted out'… and now, ten years on, nothing's happened. And we've now got the Bedroom Tax coming in and a £14 a month rent increase to live in a slum."

While Salix Homes is telling its tenants that there are no one bedroom properties, three huge towerblocks, Peach Tree, Apple Tree and Pear Tree Court, are lying empty, full of one bedroom flats, awaiting demolition as part of the Pendleton PFI scheme - which will demolish more social housing properties than it is aiming to build.

"It does seem ludicrous" Paul agrees "What they're saying is that the ones they are knocking  down are not fit for purpose - but we fought to keep three concrete towerblocks [Sycamore, Mulberry and Magnolia] that they've done up; they're structurally sound and they're fit for purpose. Why couldn't that happen with the other three blocks?"

Salford Council is trying to blame all Salford's woes on the ConDem Government but Paul's case, in particular, shows that's it's a complicated poverty web that all public bodies have spun.

"Salford Council will say they are doing something by not increasing Council Tax like other councils but they've just increased the rent instead" Paul argues.

Meanwhile, Paul is stranded in a two bedroom flat waiting to get hit at the end of next month by Bedroom Tax, a Council Tax Benefit cut, a rent increase and escalating heating bills for a non-decent flat. And he's in part time work…

"To me it's an expensive job being a poor man – a very expensive job!" Paul decides "I said many months ago, when the riots happened in Salford, that it was the wrong time to protest and in the wrong form. I've come to the conclusion that the only thing left to me now is to protest and take to the streets - and I shall be doing so on March 16th at Albert Square in Manchester.

"It's a case now of the Government not listening to civilised comment about this any more, so it's time for people to say `Enough is enough!'" he concludes "In my eyes the Bedroom Tax is David Cameron's Poll Tax."

 

See also previous Salford Star feature on the Say No To The Bedroom Tax speech at Saturday's rally against the cuts - click here

Sal Ford wrote
at 12:56:09 PM on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Paul. Fact is most local authorities are making plans to receive virtually nothing at all in bedroom tax or council tax shortfall. That is the fact of the matter. Salford will be doing the same. Remember the old refrain - can't pay, won't pay? F*ck em. Just don't pay it. You think the council has the ability or the budget to chase you? Do you think they are not shaking in their boots about thousands upon thousands of benefits claimants suddenly receiving all of their money - rent, council tax, benefits - in their hand at the end of the month? I know for a fact Manchester Housing and Council Tax Benefits dept have absolutely no plan in place. They know they cannot physically collect on these debts so they are just hoping against hope it doesn't happen. Can't pay. Won't pay! Simple. And what are they going to do? Evict you? And then have to rehouse you? You might as well play it smart and get into a cycle of magistrates court hearings, promising to pay £2 a month of your debt, pay it for a month, then stop, then let the process start again, and carry on like that until we have a new Labour government and they realise that it is costing more trying to retrieve owed money from these years of insanity than they are getting back. Fuck them all till Tuesday is what I say.
 
Bernard wrote
at 10:02:55 AM on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
hawksmoor, I'd write a longer reply to your post, but unfortunately I don't understand gibberish.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 12:53:42 AM on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
See Truth About Cuts comment below- you wrote that we should check it out - so we are. As soon as we've done that it will be posted. Hope that's ok!
 
TruthAboutCuts wrote
at 12:51:12 AM on Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Why was my comment removed? It contained the truth, nothing was untrue I posted about priorities. If the council have an issue with that, they can change their priority order rather than give the most dangerous criminals who prey on vulnerable people priority housing above all others rather than bury their heads in the sand and pretend it doesn't happen.
 
hawksmoor wrote
at 4:11:51 PM on Tuesday, February 26, 2013
A fine slum eh a wonderful view over Chapel Street elavators an inside lavatory hot and cold running water the only rodents those hoodies hanging around the local 7 /11 shop you people dont know your born fighting for tallys outside the dock gates to get bitten by rats in the bannana boats festering slums crumbling brickwork bugs in the wood work mice in the pantry diesel fumes mixed with coal smoke you could cut with a knoife and the only benefit you got were an hour in front of a roaring heap of nutty slack the heat were so intense in the hearth and so cold any where else in the crumbling edifice we called home that chill blanes were an ineviatable feature of life karl Marx by passed our house because it were so poor he couldnt categorise it no dvds no blade runners no disabled second life if you were handicapped you stayed handicapped. I am now the product of those years as cuise the streets of Salford for.....................victims to be my victims...................
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star contact details
Deli Lama
Salford Star photo stories
Cornerstone advert
Mary Burns Publishing
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD TALENT SHINES FOR ALAN HENNING
Great work from everyone involved and a fantastic night too :)... [more]
article: SALFORD PHOTO ARCHIVE GIVEAWAY
At least two generations of Oram lived at 17 Grecian Street even Lord street between 1850 and 1890 - James William Oram married to... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL FOLLOWS TORY HOUSING POLICY ON STOCK TRANSFER
Just a quick update for all Salford Council Tenants. After Informing Dr Sharples, that Canon Hussey Court still had it's "No to Pr... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL FOLLOWS TORY HOUSING POLICY ON STOCK TRANSFER
Oh but it does matter what you said Dr Sharples. You have managed to turn the "yes" tenants into the "No" tenants. You have humili... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL FOLLOWS TORY HOUSING POLICY ON STOCK TRANSFER
Just so that we know; is Dr. Steve Sharples the Director of PS Consultants, the social housing and urban regeneration company he... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD TALENT SHINES FOR ALAN HENNING

Star date: 31st October 2014

BROUGHTON STAGES TALENT SHOWCASE

Last night, at St James Church in Higher Broughton, a talent showcase was staged featuring everyone from May Aston, who's been singing for fifty years, to young local rapper Stephen Miller.

Altogether over a dozen acts took part and all the money raised from donations on the night is set to go to the family of Alan Henning. Great evening, great cause...

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL FOLLOWS TORY HOUSING POLICY ON STOCK TRANSFER

Star date: 30th October 2014

PUBLIC MONEY PRIVATE GAIN – THE IDEOLOGICAL ATTACK ON SALFORD'S SOCIAL HOUSING

The ballot on whether to transfer the remainder of Salford Council's housing stock ends on Monday November 3rd. If tenants vote `Yes' they will see the culmination of a massive ConDem Government attack on social housing in the city that will in future see more expensive rents, less secure and fixed term tenancies, and a social housing company acting like a private developer.

The vote isn't necessarily about the present rights of tenants, it's about the rights of future generations of Salfordians...

Full details here...

SALFORD COUNCIL HOUSING TRANSFER VOTE NEARS WITH RENT HIKES ON THE AGENDA

Star date: 29th October 2014

`SOCIAL RENT' OR `AFFORDABLE RENT' IF SALIX WINS TRANSFER VOTE?

As tenants are urged to vote `Yes' or `No' to the privatisation of 8,500 Council homes in Salford by next Monday, November 3rd, there's still question marks over the future ethos of Salix Homes, the company that intends to take over the properties.

A clue is given in the Business Plan which will see 120 properties that are currently `social rent' tenancies on the Beechfarm Estate in Swinton replaced by 106 `affordable rent' properties. `Affordable rent' is way more expensive than `social rent'.

Full details here...

THE SALFORD WALL MUST BE REBUILT

Star date: 27th October 2014

RECLAIMING CHAPEL STREET REGENERATION

As the blitz of old buildings in Chapel Street continues and bits of old Salford disappear to be replaced by unaffordable apartments and chain store shops, one project is kicking back.

The Salford Wall, a five year event almost, numbered and saved bricks when the Old Bank Theatre was demolished, and now aims to use those bricks to build a community monument near the original site. The project needs Salford people's ideas for what should be built and volunteers to help sort the bricks.

Full details here...

SALFORD OLD CLOTHES COLLECTION TO SEND KIDS TO BLACKPOOL

Star date: 26th October 2014

OLD CLOTHES AND STUFF WANTED FROM KERSAL, LOWER KERSAL, WHIT LANE AND BROUGHTON

WKD KOLLECT
Tuesday 4th November

A new community initiative will see a van touring around East Salford on Tuesday 4th November picking up clothes, shoes, belts, towels and curtains, recycling them and using the money to send local kids on trips to Blackpool.

WKD Kollect, with its slogan `Charity starts at home', will collect bagged up stuff or it can be left at set drop off points.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx