Mendip District Council is a good example to use for the effects of the Bedroom Tax as it has 71% of its properties owned or mortgaged and close to the national average. It also has 67% of its social tenants claiming housing benefit and that is bang on the national average.
Some 77 per cent of people on Disability Living Allowance live in the social housing sector and two thirds of the people hit by the bedroom tax are disabled. Around 100,000 households live in properties adapted for their needs, some through local authority grants at an average cost of £6,000.
The bedroom tax is an ill-conceived policy which will hurt the most vulnerable people in our society. It will cause financial hardship for hundreds of thousands of families and cause huge upheaval around the country.
The Government’s assumed savings are questionable and this policy could ultimately cost the taxpayer more in the long term. It takes no account of the fact that there are not enough smaller homes in the social sector available for people who are under-occupying to move into. For them, the only options will be to take the financial hit or to move into a smaller home in the private sector, which could lead to higher housing benefit claims.
The overwhelming majority of people claiming housing benefit are employed, and not unemployed. Cameron’s chaos has hit hard working families and the failure to properly analyse their own figures in the ONS has resulted in backtrack after backtrack due to the ill conceived notion that a saving of just under £500 million was possible, when in fact it’s costing more to the most vulnerable in our society.