Welfare secretary Iain Duncan orders officials to ‘look again’ at The Bedroom Tax

Mr. Duncan Smith  has asked for officials to look over The Bedroom Tax after finding out the extent on who will be affected.

He notified the public’s anger towards the tax after receiving an open letter written to himself and Chancellor George Osborne from seven different charities these were:  Carers UK, MS Society, Mencap, Macmillan Cancer Support, Disability Rights UK, Carers Trust and Contact a Family.

Helena Herklot, the Chief Executive of Carers UK explained how the extra bedroom that families currently have, are essential.

The government aimed to protect The Bedroom Tax by creating the ‘discretionary payment’ however this will only be protecting 10% of disabled occupants.

Libby Drake who will also be affected by the tax, states

“Taking money from those most in need is not the way forward, although it will certainly rat out those who cheat the system (those that do manage to pay and still live comfortably) those who genuinely need the help like the sick and disabled will be massively effected in a negative way.”

If a solution is found before April then The Bedroom Tax may not affect as many people to the extent it will be now. According to the governments ‘size criteria’ family members will be accessed on whether all of their rooms are necessary or whether they will be charged.


MP ‘Never Heard’ of Bedroom Tax Despite Voting for it

Channel 4 news reports on a case in which Conservative MP Mark Field says he had “never heard of it” when asked about the Bedroom Tax despite it being revealed that he in fact was one of the members of parliament that voted the policy in.

Mark Field is the MP for Cities of London and Westminster and has held the seat since 2001 and sits on the Intelligence and Security Committee.

He revealed that it was simply the case that he was not familiar with the ‘term bedroom tax’ but was of course familiar with the legislation and backed it fully, having even attempted a similar policy in the west end previously.

This story brings to light a certain confusion surrounding the tax that is apparent even within the height of government.

David Cameron quizzed over Bedroom Tax

Above we have a video courtesy of the BBC in which Prime Minister David Cameron is asked a rather difficult question my labour MP Alison Seabeck.

Alison Seabeck raises the point that a woman in her constituency who’s son is in the army will now have to pay to have a room waiting for him when he returns home from duty.

This point was again raised in the house of commons by Labour leader Ed Miliband.

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Click on the above image to watch video.

Miliband brings up another case of a mother, Alison from Middleborough, whose twin sons are both serving in the armed forces who faces paying the price for having a room waiting for them after their service.

David Cameron retorts with a need to consider a “basic argument of fairness”, that “if you are in private housing and do get benefits you don’t get money for an extra room…why should we be doing more for people in social housing on housing benefits than those in private?”.

Prime minister was  told that he needed to “get a grip fast, before this scheme descends into total chaos” by shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne was questioned over ‘The Bedroom Tax’ in an interview with Sunday People.

This came when he was spoke about the potential targeting of pensioners in this new scheme.

Current legislation (item 51) states that people who have already reached “the qualifying age for state pension credit and over” are “not applicable” to the tax, meaning the Bedroom Tax would not effect them.

However it has been revealed that in mixed age houses, where one is of retirement age and another of working age the tax will still be applied as both will be treated as working age.

You can share your opinion on the bedroom tax on our online survey now.

Midlands Today on The ‘BedroomTax’.

Above we have an extract from BBC Midlands Today with a piece on the then new concept of the Bedroom Tax.

This was recorded last year when the ‘Tax’ was first introduced yet they already highlight some serious flaws in the proposal.

Elizabeth Glinka interviews epileptic Karen Firth who is one to be hit with the new Tax but explains that it is not just a spare room, it is needed. Mrs Firth lives with her husband and son in Bilston, Birmingham but insists she needs the room because when she fits she cannot share a bed.

Julie Hayward is another of those hit hardest. Mrs Hayward has had to have her home specially adapted to cater for her to live in but will be forced to move to another, unequipped home when she cannot afford the tax.

Carrin Gamble of the Bromford Living group also emphasizes that it will be disabled persons that will be hit the hardest.