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Alex condemns the Bedroom Tax as new figures show 66% of tenants affected in arrears

The bedroom tax has this week come under renewed criticism as further information emerged about the impact of this benefit change.

Statistics produced by the National Housing Federation indicated that 66% of Housing Association tenants affected nationally by the bedroom tax are in arrears. These statistics also showed one in seven of the affected households have received letters stating they are at risk of eviction.

Leeds City Council has seen arrears from its own tenants of around £300,000 as a result of the bedroom tax. 

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Leeds City Council is committed to try and work with tenants who go into arrears in order to make sure they have financial advice and assistance, including making sure they are claiming all benefits they are entitled to.

The government has recently closed a loophole found in the legislation. This means that residents who have been living in the same property since before 1996 will once again be subject to the bedroom tax. The Council is continuing to identify cases where people are eligible for a rebate of payments they have made. The government has stated that about 5,000 households have been affected nationally by this loophole, with independent analysis suggesting this could be in the tens of thousands.

Alex has long opposed the bedroom tax.

‘I’m very concerned about the effects of this unjust tax on people here in Leeds NW. Recent figures showed that the bulk of those affected by it are disabled. Now we see yet more evidence that it is forcing people into debt and arrears. Yet the debate called by Labour at Westminster was very badly attended by LibDem/Tory Coalition members. They just don’t seem to care about the effects of their policies on real people and their lives.

I’ll continue to work to end the Bedroom Tax.

In the meantime, I welcome Leeds Council’s efforts to help those affected. But the only way to be rid of this tax is to be rid of the Coalition Government that brought it in. ‘

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