A Labour shadow minister will be in Bristol today to highlight the party’s campaign against the government’s so-called ‘bedroom tax’.
Jack Dromey, the Shadow Housing Minister, will be in the city to meet prospective parliamentary candidate for Bristol North West Darren Jones, who this week has been living on a disposable income of £18.
This figure is the amount campaigners say some families will be left with after the introduction of the Bedroom Tax in April.
From next month, an under-occupation penalty will be served on housing benefit claimants in the social rented sector with a spare room or rooms in their homes.
Around 660,000 will be subject to the penalty, around 20% of social housing tenants. One spare room will result in a 14% reduction in benefit. Two or more spare rooms will see a 25% reduction in benefit.
Research from Labour suggests more than 4,700 households across Bristol will be affected by the Bedroom Tax, costing households an extra £2.5million a year.
Mr Dromey will meet families due to be affected by the changes, alongside Mr Jones and Labour’s candidate for Bristol West Thangam Debbonaire. They will call on people affected by the Bedroom Tax to write to Stephen Williams (MP for Bristol West) and Charlotte Leslie (MP for Bristol North West) to call on the government to rethink its plans.
“I agree that we have social housing that is under occupied. I agree that we have families requiring homes and homes that are of sufficient size for their families and I agree that, if you rent in the private sector, that you won’t get extra space that you don’t pay for,” said Mr Jones.
“What I disagree with is the solution being offered. Adding the Bedroom Tax to already hard-pressed family budgets is not the solution.
“This is a problem created by politicians, not people in Bristol North West. The solution should be to build more houses, not to make life more difficult for those who had no role in creating the issue in the first place.”