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Bristol & District Anti Cuts Alliance AGM 3 comments
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Bristol & District Anti Cuts Alliance AGM 0 commentsRecent Articles about Bristol Anti-Cuts
Watch Out ??? Here Comes The Bedroom Tax
April sees the introduction of one of the most vindictive of the government's welfare cuts – the 'bedroom tax'. Tenants under 60 in council or housing association homes on housing benefit will be assessed to see whether they have a 'spare' bedroom. For example, a couple living in a two bedroom flat, or a couple with one child living in a three bedroom house will be considered to have a 'spare' bedroom. By 'spare' they mean 'surplus'. If a tenant has one 'spare' bedroom housing benefit will be cut by 14%; two 'spare' bedrooms will mean a 25% cut.
Who will be effected? Owen Jones in a recent article makes it clear. 'Nearly two thirds are sick or disabled. People with box rooms; disabled people with specially adapted rooms or who need carers to stay over occasionally; the recently bereaved; parents of soldiers; those with broken marriages who need a room for their kids to stay: all face being kicked.'
Tenants will build up debts. The threat of bailiffs and eviction will hang over them. People will be pressurised to move into smaller properties – at a time when there is already a serious housing shortage. One-bedroomed properties are particularly scarce.
In Bristol it's estimated that thousands of households will be effected. If any of these people become homeless the council will be responsible for re-housing them – at a far greater cost than their current housing benefit.
Bristol City Council has produced a pamphlet outlining what the 'bedroom tax' will mean locally. The pamphlet also covers other benefit cuts being made from April. It can be read and downloaded from here. Pages 4 & 5 refer to the 'bedroom tax'. The whole pamphlet is well worth reading to understand the scope of the government's attack on benefits.
Tenants in Bristol are starting to organise to defend themselves against the 'bedroom tax'. BADACA will be working with them. If you think you will be effected and would like to get involved in fighting back please email firstname.lastname@example.org.