Petition Campaign Against “The Bedroom Tax”
On 14th April 2014 Bromley Benefit Justice Campaign handed in a petition of 635 signatures to Bromley Council at a full Council meeting.
The bedroom tax, or “Spare Room Subsidy Removal” as the government call it, was brought in on 1st April 2013. Under the bedroom tax anyone living in social housing who is judged to have a spare bedroom has money taken off their housing benefit. They are left to make up the shortfall in their rent themselves.
Two thirds of the people affected by the bedroom tax are disabled. Some people use their extra rooms to store equipment like wheelchairs or dialysis machines. Some people use the rooms for family members and friends to stay over to help them.
For most people affected by the bedroom tax there are no smaller homes for them to move to.
This means they are left having to find money to make up the difference between their housing benefit and their rent. As the amount people get in benefits goes down while the cost of living goes up many people simply do not have this money. Research has shown people affected by the bedroom tax are going without food or heating and they are mounting up debts.
The Benefit Justice petition called on Bromley Council not to evict any resident or force them to move to areas outside the borough because of the bedroom tax.
Bromley Council say they are working with residents affected by the bedroom tax to support them to find ways to pay it. They say they agree with the government policy.
To see an interview with Paula Peters who handed the petition in to the Council go to: http://occupylondon.org.uk/bromley-bedroom-tax-petition-by-paula-peters/
To read the speech Paula made at the Council meeting go to: Paula’s Speech to the Counsel
To read Bromley Council’s response to the petition go to: Petition Response to Bedroom Tax 120314(4)