Bedroom tax hits Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 12:58 20 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:58 20 November 2013

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At least 100 families in Exmouth have lost out on £740 as a result of the ‘bed room’ tax according to new data released by the Government.

And half were unable to pay their rent between April and June

The figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions and analysed by National Housing Federation show that South West families affected saw an average reduction in housing benefit of over £782 per year.

In East Devon a total of 419 families were affected, losing out an average of £740.91.

The bedroom tax came into force on 1 April, 2013 and this is the first time the Government has released data showing the actual numbers hit.

And the figures could be even higher as it excludes those working families, previously in receipt of a small amount of housing benefit; whose have lost their entitlement.

The data follows a recent National Housing Federation survey of 51 housing associations which showed that 51 per cent of households affected by the bedroom tax were unable to pay their rent between April and June.

Disabled people are particularly hard-hit - research by charity Papworth Trust found that nine in ten disabled people would cut back on food or bills to pay the bedroom tax if they were refused a Discretionary Housing Payment.

The National Housing Federation’s South West external affairs manager, Catherine Brabner, said: “These new Government figures show that the bedroom tax is affecting people in Exmouth.

“For many, there isn’t even anywhere for them to downsize to. There simply aren’t enough smaller social homes available, and the cost of private rented housing is rising all the time.

“The Government says discretionary housing payments will help those who cannot downsize, but there isn’t anywhere near enough money to go round.

“The bedroom tax is trapping many people in homes they can no longer afford and where they are struggling to pay their rents. It is unfair, badly designed, and must be repealed.”


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