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96,041 into 3,688 won’t go – councils unprepared for impact of David Cameron’s Bedroom Tax Councils will be unable to help 19 out of 20 families hit by the Bedroom Tax, new figures have revealed.

Labour Party FoI requests to 37 local authorities show 96,041 families will be hit by the Bedroom Tax which comes into force today.

But the figures show there are only 3,688 one and two-bedroom council properties available for families who wanted to move to avoid the tax.

The Bedroom Tax means that tenants in social housing will have their Housing Benefit reduced by 14 per cent if they have one spare bedroom, and 25 per cent if they have two or more spare bedrooms.

But this new information proves that there are not enough smaller properties for affected families to move to, even if they are willing to do so.

For the 37 councils that provided full data, 96,041 families are expected to be affected by the Bedroom Tax, but just 3,688 one- and two-bedroom properties are available – just 3.8 per cent of the homes required to rehouse the families who are hit

Another 26 councils who responded to the FOI request said that they expected a total of 45,669 families to be affected, but were unable to say how many smaller properties were available in their area.

Local authorities from all over the country, and in both urban and rural areas, are badly affected. For example:

  • In Birmingham, 13,557 households are affected by the Bedroom tax, but just 368 one- and two-bedroom properties are currently unoccupied
  • In South Lanarkshire, 5,461 households are affected, but just 245 one- and two-bedroom properties are currently unoccupied
  • In Doncaster, 3,853 households are affected, but just 92 one- and two-bedroom properties are currently unoccupied
  • In Cardiff, 3,951 households are affected, but just 115 one- and two-bedroom properties are currently unoccupied
  • In Wandsworth, 2,005 households are affected, but just 10 one- and two-bedroom properties are currently unoccupied
  • In Wiltshire, there are no unoccupied one-and two-bedroom properties at all, for 2,953 affected households


Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:

“These shocking new figures reveal the big lie behind this Government's cruel bedroom tax. They say it’s not a tax but 96 per cent of people hit by the tax have nowhere to move to.

“In the same week that millionaires get a huge tax cut, hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people will be hit by a vicious tax they can't escape.

“This wicked bedroom tax is going to rip neighbour from neighbour, force vulnerable people to food banks and loan sharks, and end up costing Britain more than it saves as tenants are forced to go homeless or move into the expensive private rented sector. It is the worst possible blend of cruelty and incompetence. The Government must think again and drop this tax now.”

 

<tbody> </tbody> <tbody></tbody>

Local Authority

Number of households affected by the Bedroom Tax

Number of unoccupied one- and two-bedroom council properties available

Argyll and Bute

826

unknown

Barnsley

3664

125

Bedford

1250

unknown

Birmingham

13557

368

Bromley

1950

unknown

Calderdale

1503

unknown

Cardiff

3951

115

Central Bedfordshire

1548

31

Cheltenham

769

33

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

300

unknown

Cornwall

3328

65

Denbighshire

365

9

Doncaster

3853

92

Dudley

4005

363

East Ayrshire

3100

189

Falkirk

3057

174

Fife

526

70

Flintshire

1152

unknown

Gloucestershire

540

3

Hartlepool

1666

unknown

Havering

630

75

Herefordshire

1278

unknown

Highland

2000

164

Hillingdon

1300

70

Hull*

4700

73

Kensington and Chelsea

1103

unknown

Kirklees

3200

257

Medway

1551

18

Milton Keynes

2104

101

Monmouthshire

636

unknown

Newham

2132

94

North Ayrshire

2645

30

North East Licolnshire

1800

55

Perth and Kinross

759

79

Plymouth

2357

unknown

Portsmouth

1550

60

Reading

1009

unknown

Refrewshire

2762

unknown

Rochdale

2477

unknown

Rochdale

2477

unknown

Salford

1714

81

Sandwell

5600

206

Scottish Border

1120

unknown

Sefton

3649

18

Shetland

175

15

South Lanarkshire

5461

245

South Tyneside

2961

124

Southampton

2064

110

Stirling

879

21

Stockton

2625

unknown

Stroud

454

18

Sunderland

5234

unknown

Telford and Wrekin

2611

unknown

Thurrock

1492

127

Torbay

685

unknown

Torfaen

1500

unknown

Walsall

4338

unknown

Wandsworth

2005

10

West Berks

772

unknown

West Lothian

2400

unknown

Westminster

1255

unknown

Wiltshire

2953

0

Windsor and Maidenhead

383

unknown

Total

141,710

3,688

Total (for those providing full data)

96,041

3,688

* Hull’s information provided by Hull City Council in a letter to Diana Johnson MP – not as a response to Labour’s FOI request

 

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