A new Salford Council report lists the affects of the worst of the ConDem Government policies on the poorest families in the city. The report cites Local Government Association research showing that Salford families are losing an average of £1,600 a year in benefits, while the Bedroom Tax is costing an average of £726 for those suffering from it.
As revealed by the Salford Star last week (see here), Salford Council has put aside £1million for housing tenants' arrears due to all the cuts in benefits and rent and service charge hikes - while this latest report cites a figure of £1.2million that Registered Social Landlords estimate will be their arrears figure between April 2013 and 2014, "because of the Government's controversial Bedroom Tax".
It adds that "Social housing tenants in Salford are not able to move to smaller properties in the city, because there are not enough one-bedroomed homes available" – even though the Council is currently knocking down `one bedroomed' properties in Central Salford to build three and four bedroomed houses for private sale.
The Salford Council report - a prelude to its soon-to-be-released `Feeling The Pain' leaflet – adds that "The Government has stopped the £553,000 transitional grant funding to Salford, which means the least financially resilient residents face a higher Council Tax bill from April 2014". Salford Council voted at its last meeting to make some of the very poorest people in the city pay 12.5% of their Council Tax, rather than the current 8.5%.
The report also adds that 33% of applicants to the Council for its discretionary Housing Payments Scheme are being rejected "because of lack of available funding".
While no-one would disagree that ConDem Government policies are responsible for the increased poverty hell of Salford's poorest people, many would take issue with Salford City Council and its Mayor Ian Stewart crying over the cuts when a new £150,000 Fat Cat `Head of Paid Service' is about to be introduced (see here), and the Council is looking to fund a £2million bridge between The Meadows and the Crescent (see here).
The Council also agreed last week to extend its underwriting of the so-called Ugly Sisters buildings at the Embankment in Greengate – which could cost Council Tax payers up to £2million a year in rent subsidies for Ask Developments (see here) when the delayed carbuncles are built…