Abrahams backs call for ‘bedroom tax’ changes

Date published: 04 April 2014

OLDHAM East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams has welcomed a report by the Work and Pensions Select Committee that the “bedroom tax” is causing hardship.

The cross-party committee of MPs said the decision to reduce housing benefit payments for social tenants considered to have a larger home than they need, has hit disabled people who were not the intended targets and who have little hope of moving to a smaller property.

Mrs Abrahams, a member of the committee, said: “Oldham Council identified 2,417 households in 2013 who are under-occupying their home and will be subject to the tax. In any one year there are only 500 properties available for downsizing.

“Disabled people are particularly affected, especially those who have adapted homes or need a room to hold medical equipment or accommodate a carer. Our report recommends that anybody living in a home that has been significantly adapted should be exempt. We are also urging the Government to exempt all households that contain a person in receipt of higher level disability benefits.

“60-70 per cent of households in England affected by the SSSC contain somebody with a disability and many of these people will not be able to move home easily. They have to remain in their home with no option but to have their housing benefit reduced.”

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