“The rise in foodbanks, the dependency on pay-day loans and the proliferation of zero-hours contracts show that the Government’s policies are forcing people into hardship. This Government knew that the Bedroom Tax would hurt communities like West Cumbria the most. Time and again, the Government have rejected our calls to get rid of the Tax, but Labour is committed to scrapping the Bedroom Tax”
Tuesday, 17 February 2015
Figures obtained by Copeland MP, Jamie Reed has shown the scale of the impact of the Bedroom Tax in Copeland. More than a quarter of those affected by the Bedroom Tax in Cumbria are in Copeland; with Allerdale and Copeland accounting for over 2,700 of the 4,600 people affected in Cumbria as a whole.
Housing statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions has shown that 1,316 people in Copeland have been hit by the Bedroom Tax with each losing on average £756 per year. The Cumbrian Welfare Commission Report raised ‘serious concerns about the actual consequences of the implementation of [the Bedroom Tax] in Cumbria and the lack of understanding of the hardship these simplistic rules’ have caused. The Commission found that there was a massive shortfall in smaller housing meaning that properties are not available for people to downsize to.
The Commission’s Report also found that ‘in some areas two thirds of those affected by the Bedroom Tax are registered disabled or long term sick.’
Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed MP said:
“The pernicious Bedroom Tax is a demonstration of the Government’s damaging social policy.
“The most vulnerable in our society are being hit with an unavoidable tax simply because there are no smaller properties available. At a time when there is significant pressure on wages, with families doing everything they can to make ends meet, many can ill-afford to lose over £750 per year.