The Bedroom Tax and its impact on Westminster – letter to the Prime Minister

Rt Hon David Cameron MP

Prime Minister

10 Downing Street

London SW1

Dear Mr Cameron

The Bedroom Tax and its impact on Westminster

I am writing to you to urge you to abandon plans to introduce the Bedroom Tax planned to take effect in April 2013.

Over 420 Westminster families will lose nearly £18 a week and a further 91 families will lose nearly £35 a week when the new Bedroom Tax is introduced in April 2013, according to figures released by Westminster City Council.

In all, 515 Westminster Council tenants will be caught by the new Bedroom Tax which reduces Housing Benefit if tenants are deemed to be under-occupying their homes by one or more bedrooms.

Westminster Council says that it will try to offer smaller homes to all 515 tenants by April 2013, but I believe that there is no way that this can be achieved in the next 12 weeks, particularly as in the past 8 months the Council has managed to transfer just 34 tenants to smaller homes.

Residents have asked me to make the following points which, so far, have remained unanswered;

–         If a tenant does manage to find a property to downsize to, will they be compensated for the money they have spent making their house or flat a home, over many years, as they were told they had ‘lifetime’ tenancies? Will the new flat be re-decorated to the same high standard as the flat that they have vacated?  Will their removal expenses be met?

–         If a tenant is willing to downsize, but the Council does not have the available homes for them to move to, what will be the outcome of that situation? Will there be automatic discretionary payments to meet their rent payments as, in this situation, it will be of no fault of their own?

This is a truly appalling situation where some of the very poorest Westminster residents will lose nearly £18 a week through no fault of their own. The Bedroom Tax will push more people in to poverty and in to debt and into the clutches of legal and illegal loan sharks. It makes no sense to force through this mean and nasty change in the rules when it is impossible for the majority of Westminster tenants to move even if they wanted to. There simply are not enough homes available to enable tenants to move to smaller homes but, as the rules currently stand, the poorest families will still have their benefits cuts.

This is a shameful and disgraceful way to treat the most vulnerable people and I urge you, even at this late stage, to abandon the Bedroom Tax plans.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg,

Leader of the Opposition

 

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6 Responses to The Bedroom Tax and its impact on Westminster – letter to the Prime Minister

  1. If I ever meet you, I will shake your hand in thanks.

  2. Lyn McKenzie says:

    Well done Paul. I am delighted that you have questioned the Governments actions. We need more people like you.

  3. Lyn McKenzie says:

    I meant to leave this link to our site – please have a look and it will give you deeper insight into where people are in relation to Welfare Reform.
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/antibedroomtax/

  4. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write to Mr Cameron. It is very much appreciated. I hope more Councillors follow your lead and do the same.

  5. Deb Davis says:

    Many many thanks Paul.. this is what we need.. unity in a big way! Is there any way you could urge ALL labour councillors and MP’s to write to the Prime Minister echoing your/our concerns? This could have the impact we need… we know of numerous people who have run into the depths of despair anxiety wise, this tax is wrecking families/lives and the mental health of so many,,

    Thank You again Paul, we need more like you….

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