443,000 hit by bedroom tax

Reporter: Alex Carey
Date published: 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.”

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