A new impact study from social landlord, City West Housing, shows that there's been a doubling of people in rent arrears since the Bedroom Tax was introduced last April by the ConDem Government.
Back in April there were 580 City West tenants, or 34% of those affected by the Bedroom Tax, in arrears – but currently there are 1,242 in arrears, or 74%.
The City West report, which will be presented to Salford City `scrutiny' councillors tonight, is headlined `The Scale' – and shows that 1,672 of City West tenants are affected by the Bedroom Tax, with 1,076 `under-occupying by one bedroom', and 596 `under-occupying by two or more bedrooms, with an arrears total of £421,219 – a jump of £78,660 since April.
So far, only 238 tenants have moved to smaller properties - `rightsizing moves' – and there have been 43 exchanges of homes. The report notes that there is, understandably, an "unwillingness to take in lodgers" by tenants.
Through the Bedroom Tax, City West tenants and the company are losing out to the tune of £640,661, with City West itself having to take on more staff, costing £163,464, to cope with the arrears fall-out created by the insane ConDem Government policy. Indeed, City West figures seem to show that few families have filled the vacated larger houses – costing £661,796 in lost rents.
City West states that to try and help tenants it's introduced `affordable credit' and `debt advice' but the Bedroom Tax horror is just storing up more poverty problems every day. And it's going to get worse…
…Salford Council is currently consulting on decreasing Council Tax discounts for low earning and unemployed people even further, as its current `Council Tax Reduction Scheme is "no longer affordable" (see here).
Already, since April 2013, people of working age have had to pay at least 8.5% of their Council Tax bill. From April 2014, the Council is proposing to make everyone pay at least 12% of the Tax. This could see some people who can't afford it finding a Council Tax bill of up to £122 per year – on top of any Bedroom Tax, service charge increases and rent hikes.
Saturday sees another national day of action against the Bedroom Tax with a march in Manchester organised by the Anti Bedroom Tax Federation for Greater Manchester.
March Against the Bedroom Tax with Pots and Pans
Saturday 26th October
12.30 Cathedral Gardens, Manchester
March leaves 1pm
People are asked to bring pots and pans to bang as the slogan for the day is `Feed People Not Bankers!'
For more details see the No Bedroom Tax website - click here