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443,000 hit by bedroom tax

Reporter: Alex Carey
Date online: 26 February 2016

OLDHAM MP Debbie Abrahams has hit out at the controversial bedroom tax in a Westminster debate.

The MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, asked why the Government was persisting with the policy “even though evidence shows it is discriminatory, unfair and divisive”.

Mrs Abrahams told MPs taking part the latest figures for 2015 showed around 443,000 people were affected, with an average weekly income reduction of £15.27.

“That’s more than £61 a month or £800 a year — up about 10 per cent from what the Government originally estimated.

“The Government has tried to regenerate the economy on the backs of the poor and disabled.

“Like the NHS, our social security system is based on principles of inclusion, support and security for all. The Government needs to remember that and stop its attacks on the poor and vulnerable.”

Mrs Abrahams also accused the Government of effectively burying bad news, having released figures the day before the Christmas recess

“It revealed the majority of people originally affected by the bedroom tax were still affected nine months later. Of those still affected, only five per cent had found work.

“Claimants were using savings, borrowing from family or friends or accruing debt to pay rent. Three out of four families are having to cut back on essentials such as heating and food.”


spend spend spend! I wonder if Debs personal finances are in as poor a state as her party wants the country to be in? Of course not! Debs posh background and private education, plus high salary job means she has no concept of what it means to be poor!
We are currently running an enormous budget defecit so instead of telling us about how our taxes should be squandered, how about telling us what should be cut in order to pay for it all ?

No such thing as the bedroom tax

hold on a minute Debbie? 443,000 people were affected, with an average weekly income reduction

no no no! that's a reduction in benefits. if it was income they'd be out there working for a living.

again labour trying to make out the tories to be the nasty party.

ok Debbie. where's all the new social housing built in the 13 years of labours rule?
the ones built were mostly privatised housing associations.

the social housing system is flawed. if you want a house for life, go and buy one!

The government should cut the bombing of Syria to fund this. They expend money for bombs but not for the welfare of their own people. Each 6 hour Tornado mission costs approximately £508,000 .Since the commons vote on the 2nd of December 2015 the RAF strikes at targets at least once every two days. That is at least 20mil+ of taxpayer’s money being wasted. Bombing Syria has made matters worse, resulting in civilian casualties and driving more recruits into the arms of extremists. It has not made

I couldn't agree with Flake more if I tried. The only problem I have with the current government is they are not going far enough with their austerity measures. I think very highly of this Tory government. When my mate Dave finally calls time on his premiership, I hope whoever takes over breaks this over reliance on welfare. In a nut shell, if you haven't paid a penny in....you get zero out....

saheeduk you are seeing a symptom but not the cause.
The Saudi government were caught bribing the PM of Malaysia this month with £500 million. You think they're not doing similar in the West?
Why do you think it was the UK assisted the Saudis in becoming head of the human rights committee at the UN given their record?
Why do you think the UK refused to criticise the state murder of 47 victims by the Saudis?
They hate the Ahmadis and want to see them wiped out, that is why we are bombing them.

*It has not made the UK safer.The government should cut things like this instead of imposing and persisting with more taxes on the people.

Maybe if new houses were built with one or two bedroomed options there would be more choice for people to downsize but no only 4 to 5 bedroomed houses being built. Maybe look at this when asking people to move where are to move to?

Unbelievable response Saheeduk. How about we cut the foreign aid budget as well? If the people in these powderkeg Middle East countries progressed into the 21st Century and started talking to their neighbours instead of trying to blow them out of existence because they don't practise the same offshoot of Islam then the world would be safer and happier place and our aircraft wouldn't need to fight abroad. If you've got an issue with the UK bombing Syria, you need to start with IS.

A council house should never be a house for life. You should live where you can afford to live.

saheeduk I totally agree with all you have written. As for the rest of these comments, lets say if Google Amazon Starbucks et al paid their fair share of tax we would be able to look after our disabled unemployed and ill. As for the usual suspects on here, they really have no empathy, can't put themselves in these awful circumstances. Didn't New Labour with the backing of the Tories bail out the banks. Dave, the goon wanted less Banking regulation back in 2007 now that is incompetence.

flake your constant attacks on this woman are reprehensible.your confusing waffle makes no sense. she is trying to protect the poor affected by the criminal theftroom tax and you insult her for doing what you are beating your drum for.the other tory attacks are not worth a mention. ax102 what a clown you are, you think DAVE is yr mate when in fact he has no friends at all

'bombing Syria has made things worse' certainly has, especially for the murderous vermin that want to turn us all into radicalised Muslims. Money well spent.

443,000 bedrooms lie unused whilst how many people live in overcrowded accommodation?

Anyone with half a brain should be able to recognise the iniquitous nature of the bedroom tax. That individuals and families are suffering severe financial hardship shouldn't come as any surprise.

big saving could come from a massive cutting down of the
numbers of mps. lets face facts the EU are making most decisions it makes sense to make big saving there

Between March 2013 and May 2015 people on housing benefit in Oldham with 5 child dependants increased by 39.5%, with 4 children by 13.5% and 3 children by 14.5%, claimant figures for people with 2 children, 1 child & no dependents all fell. The social housing shortage and people outside "target" groups zero chance of any access, Oldham's huge benefit benefit bill, 11 years of the lowest wages in Greater Manchester all attributable to socialist policies. What will happen when Turkey joins the EU?

Let's get this straight, it is not a tax but the removal of an allowance that social housing dwellers get but private renters do not. To be fair and equal to all, if that is what Debbie Abrahams really wants, then the allowance has to be paid to ALL renters both of social and private housing. Either that or it is not paid to any. There are just as many, if not more, private renters who are as much in hardship as there are social renters.

@lakeman...hahaha. I swear he is my mate. Honestly, we go back a long way. So your the clown as he has at least one mate...me.

One of the real motives for the UK in bombing Syria is to guarantee that its energy companies have a role in post- conflict Syria.The primary beneficiaries of bombing Syria are not the people but the energy companies of the UK. Are the energy companies paying for the military action? No. The people are the ones paying for it from their taxes. The energy companies get richer as the people suffer. They just used ISIS as part of their fear mongering the gullible public into supporting them

What is the first thing the RAF bombed as soon as the vote to take military action was won? lucrative oil fields.Over 600 strikes using Brimstones missiles (£100000 each) yet only 7 ISIS killed? What is the RAF really targeting? The UK is NOT doing something noble like saving the people of Syria from a tyrant or radical groups.This is all about energy companies cashing in on Syrias oil and gas resources, lobbying their governments into misleading their people into paying for it with their taxes

saheed you are seeing the symptom, but missing the cause!
Saudi Arabia & its allies created ISIS, just as they created Al Qaeda, its massive oil wealth is just too great a temptation for greedy Western political leaders, who are paid a pittance for their efforts in comparison. Just look at how wealthy they have become after leaving office.
As far as the Middle East goes now, Saudi decides and the West complies.

As a few others have said, this is NOT A TAX, its a reduction in benefits for people living in homes too big for them. I am a private renter by choice so I can move around when I want but I have to rent what I can afford, not get somewhere bigger then expect the difference to be paid for me.

Glad_I_left I do have to say that it is impossible for anyone to survive on Job Seekers Allowance before the reductions let alone after it.
We are forced to pay an insurance contribution, which keeps going up, and yet the cover keeps being reduced!
Asylum seekers are given much more in benefits because international treaties require that they are given sufficient to survive. Giving UK nationals less than this is an admission of it being less than is needed to survive on.


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