Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Greens Discover True Cost of Bedroom Tax on Hull Families

Data obtained by Hull and East Riding Green Party shows that Hull City Council's fund for residents in trouble with rent has already made payouts at over 300% of last year's rate since the introduction of the so-called Bedroom Tax. (1)

The tax, brought in by the Coalition as "the removal of the spare room subsidy", came into effect in April 2013, but by June almost three times as many Hull families were applying for Discretionary Housing Payments than at the same point during the previous year. (2)

The document, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveals that payouts have risen dramatically from £21,245 to £64,539, with almost 40% of the year's Discretionary Housing Payments, or DHP,  having been paid out in just three months to June 2013. (3)

Martin Deane, of Hull and East Riding Greens Party, is urging Hull City Council to follow the lead set by Green-run Brighton and Hove Council and to commit to a "no evictions" policy for all those being hit by the bedroom tax. (4)

"Hull families, the elderly and disabled are suffering under the bedroom tax, and the most vulnerable people in our community are increasingly being forced to seek emergency help from Hull City Council.

"It's time for councillors to get to work on a 'no evictions' policy - something the Green Party and Brighton and Hove Council have already pledged. It's a first step to protecting all those local people who've been targeted by the bedroom tax," Mr Deane said.

"Almost 40% of Discretionary Housing Payments have already been paid out, and when it's gone, it's gone! The Coalition has pushed through many callous policies, but this is perhaps one of the most vicious. The bedroom tax isn't saving public money, it's just placing vulnerable people across Hull and across the country under huge stresses. It's a direct assault on working families and others who have simply nowhere else to go, and it must stop."
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Notes to Editors:
Martin Deane, Hull and East Riding Green Party
Contact: 07935 036211

1. The full FoI can be seen here:http://is.gd/bYxlaX
Figures for April, May and June 2012 and 2013 are available in spreadsheet form at this link:
http://is.gd/B3px8T

2. 181 applications were made to Hull City Council in June 2013 compared to 65 in June 2012.

3. £64,539.08 was paid out in June 2013. The equivalent figure for June 2012 was £21,245.80.

3. The total Discretionary Housing Payment Fund for the 2012-13 financial year is £707,645, of which £275,276.19 has been paid out to June. The average payment per week remains similar, ranging from £9-12 per claimant.

4. A 'no evictions' policy of this sort is a pledge by the council to not enforce eviction procedures against tenants whose arrears consist only of the bedroom tax. More information is available here:
http://t.co/8ajbKvEHpw


Note: People have a right to appeal.

20 May: Labour's South Lanarkshire threatens eviction, and attempts to pre-empt poeple's appeals.
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/bedroom-tax-eviction-nightmare-labour-run-1899977

March 2013 : Councils against BT Eviction: Brighton & Hove (Greens), Darlington (Lab), Islington (Lab), and Bristol (Lab, plus Green support).  All 9 SNP-led Scottish Councils, including Dundee;
http://combatbedroomtax.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/councils-declare-no-bedroom-tax.html

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