Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Bedroom tax challenge to Wrecsam council

The campaign against the bedroom tax is being taken to Wrexham's council estates with Plaid Cymru producing thousands of leaflets challenging the local authority.

Plaid Cymru councillor Carrie Harper said: 
"The Bedroom Tax is hitting the disabled and sick disproportionately.  It is not, as the Tories claim, seeking to end the 'spare bedroom subsidy' otherwise they would have introduced it for pensioners too. But they know that pensioners are more likely to vote and didn't fancy dealing with that.  Public pressure has already helped win some concessions (e.g. for serving military personnel and foster families) but these affect only a few thousand of the 660,000 UK households hit."

She said an estimated 28,000 people in Wales were affected by the cuts in Housing Benefit yet research by the BBC had revealed that there were only 400 homes available throughout Wales for those wanting to downsize to a smaller property. Cllr Harper said: 
"In reality there is no choice for people but to pay what might be as much as a sixth of their income on this punitive tax."

Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, is now calling on Wrexham Council's leader  Neil Rogers to follow other councils in  pledging not to evict people who cannot pay the extra money. The SNP-controlled council in Dundee and Green-controlled council in Brighton has already pledged to do this. Cllr Harper said: 
"Wrexham Council can do the same. It can also choose to  reclassify council housing to ensure nobody loses out. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done, Knowsley Housing Trust has done it.  For example, a bedroom that is smaller than 50 square feet - or 70 sq ft if it's for two children under 10 - can be made exempt because it can be re-classified as a boxroom. This prevents people from falling into arrears with the council or housing association and facing eviction.
 "We're aware there are some council housing in the borough where small boxrooms are being charged at the full bedroom rate. This is something we're urging people to check for themselves and get their local councillor on the case. Plaid Cymru is trying to get information to every household affected - if you need more information contact our Bedroom Tax hotline on 07747 792 441.
  "Plaid is committed to supporting people every step of the way with this punitive tax. We will show how people affected can delay and stop those imposing the bedroom tax. The challenge is for the local Labour-run council to play its part."


Anonymous said...

Actually a room of less than 50 sq ft is not classed as a bedroom, no matter what. Rooms of less than 70 sq ft are fit only for children under the age of ten.

Shambo said...

That's funny. I thought there was only one Plaid Cymru councillor on Wrexham CC and that he was part of one the independent groups.

Anonymous said...

Is your hotline registered for data protection purposes as you will be gathering sensitive information about people's housing and finances?

Anonymous said...

My house is anomaly. Gorgeous 10 roomed, 3 bed, 2 bathroomed detatched Edwardian villa and still owned by a housing association. With Bedroom tax looming I tried to be re housed in a 2 bed new build close by. With still only 50 points for empty bedrooms, I will never achieve any where near the points others are allocated a property on, I simply dont have the issues and knowledge of how to work the system to get points. Im staying put because I can, happy to be depriving and blocking the type of applicant who would be moved in. At the end of the day I have my big fat lovely house to rattle around and everyone else can sit on the waiting list. I feel totaly smug and empowered by all the changes!