Thursday, 28 November 2013

Almost 7,000 Kent Households Fall Victim to Bedroom Tax

6,921 households in Kent have had their housing benefits cut as a result of the Government’s bedroom tax according to figures released by the Department for  Work and Pensions (1).

The figures, which cover the period April until August 2013, are the first to identify how many households have lost housing benefit payments since the introduction of the bedroom tax in April 2013.

In August, the most recent period for which figures are available, 788 people living in Swale lost an average of £900 per year in housing benefit, making it the worst affected district in Kent.

The least badly affected district is Dartford, where 365 people have lost an average of £894 per year in benefits.

An estimated £6 million will have been slashed from Kent’s housing benefit payments by the end of the first year of the bedroom tax. The average loss per Kent affected household has been calculated to be a staggering £868 per year.

Kent Green Party Chairman and European Parliamentary Candidate, Stuart Jeffrey  said: “The bedroom tax is having a major impact on the most vulnerable and low-paid people in Kent. There are simply not enough smaller rented properties to move into, so people already living on a low income are being forced to cut back even further on essentials such as food, heating and clothing. This ill-conceived policy will force thousands of families in Kent into poverty.”

Evidence is now beginning to emerge that many households caught by the bedroom tax are falling into rent arrears. A survey carried out by the National Housing Federation estimates that more than 50% of housing association tenants who are affected by the bedroom tax have fallen behind with rent since the introduction of this policy (2).

The Green Party opposes the Bedroom Tax. It is unfair and targets some of the most vulnerable and deprived  people in society. The Party calls upon Kent Councils not to evict anyone falling into rent arrears as a consequence of the bedroom tax. The Green Party, alongside many charities, disabled groups and trade unions is campaigning for the  immediate abolition of the bedroom tax.   




Local authority

Households hit by bedroom tax

Average amount lost per year

Ashford

604

£807.76

Canterbury

534

£829.66

Dartford

365

£894.33

Dover

621

£750.90

Gravesham

712

£812.32

Maidstone

636

£904.89

Sevenoaks

480

£976.35

Swale

788

£899.77

Shepway

453

£775.12

Tonbridge and Malling

660

£1,013.02

Tunbridge Wells

458

£986.07

Thanet

610

£770.84


6,921

av loss  = £868




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