I am concerned about the impact of the Government’s ‘bedroom tax’ on Liverpool Riverside. From April 1st those in social housing deemed by the Government to have an ‘extra’ bedroom will lose 14% of their housing benefit unless they find a smaller home to move in to. This policy risks homelessness and poverty.
The Government’s ‘bedroom tax’ is unfair and two thirds of households hit are home to someone with a disability. National Housing Federation figures show that in Liverpool Riverside 2,920 will be hit by the ‘bedroom tax’ losing on average £728 per year. Riverside is the fourth worst affected constituency in the country as a result of this unfair and retrospective tax.
I have made continued representations to Ministers on this issue and have signed EDM 984: Under-Occupancy Penalty and the Vulnerable which notes that withdrawing housing benefit from social tenants with unoccupied bedrooms will hit the poor, the vulnerable and the disabled hardest and penalises parents with sons and daughters in the armed forces living at home. I have also attended meetings in Liverpool and in Parliament with social landlords who are very concerned about this.
It is important that its implementation is closely monitored so that we can continue to campaign for change.