SCRAP THE BEDROOM TAX! – a third of all tenants in rent arrears

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SINCE the bedroom tax came into force this year, one in three council tenants have fallen behind in their rent, the TUC’s False Economy Campaign has revealed, and both the National Housing Federation and the TUC have called for it to be scrapped.

The National Housing Federation also carried out a survey looking at how many council tenants are in arrears.

The National Housing Federation’s Chief Executive David Orr said: ‘What more evidence do politicians need that the Bedroom Tax is an unfair, ill-planned disaster that is hurting our poorest families? There is no other option but to repeal.’

A TUC spokesperson confirmed their position, saying: ‘We want the Bedroom Tax scrapped.’

The TUC’s False Economy Campaign made Freedom of Information requests to all of Britain’s councils, with 114 responding.

The figures revealed that 50,000 tenants had fallen into arrears since 1st April, 2013, when the Bedroom Tax came into effect.

The introduction of the tax, which affects 660,000 households, means that anyone deemed to have an ‘extra bedroom’ has their housing benefit cut.

The False Economy’s report is the biggest study of the effects of the benefit change carried out so far.

None of the 50,000 tenants was in arrears before the Bedroom Tax came in.

The Tory government believe that introducing the Bedroom Tax will save them £505m in the year 2013-14, and £540m the year after.

False Economy Campaign manager Clifford Singer said the figures show that, along with other benefit cuts, the change is ‘driving tenants and families who were just making ends meet into arrears’.

He added: ‘The worst part is that these figures have been collated while councils’ emergency Discretionary Housing Payments are still available; they are being used up at record speed and when they run out, these figures will only get worse.’