More Concessions Show We Can Defeat The Bedroom Tax

The coalition has made some concessions with the bedroom tax to take some of the non-spare rooms out of the new charge. Changes mean that foster carers will not be charged for one additional room, as long as they have had a foster child or become an approved foster carer in the past 12 months and army personnel living at home will be allowed to keep their room even if they are away for over a year. Yesterday, it was announced that seriously disabled children would be considered to need their own bedroom but that will be a decision to be made by individual councils and no real definition has emerged as to what will be exempted and what won’t.

A great post here on Nearly Legal about the Bedroom Concessions and what they mean

Update: Foster Carers with more than one bedroom in use by foster children will still face the bedroom tax

These concessions show that the government is worried about the backlash over this charge and are recognising that there are far more “exceptional” cases where people need their “spare” room, than cases where they don’t and could move. Over 50 demonstrations are being held on Saturday, with Birmingham’s being held from 1pm in Victoria Square.

These exemptions remove some people but there are still many disabled people who will be charged for their “spare” room which is used for an adaptation or for equipment storage or for a partner/family member who is also a carer to sleep in. There are still separated parents with visiting children who will have to pay to keep a room for their child to stay in – and grandparents in the same situation with grandchildren. There are also people who have lived, worked and raised a family in a community that will be forced to move because there are no smaller properties available on their estate.

No mention has been made as to whether the Discretionary Housing Payment fund will be reduced, as £5m was intended for Foster Carers (*see update). This fund is supposed to cover all the exceptional cases of people who clearly do need extra rooms or those who should be allowed to remain living in their community, but was never likely to be enough. Join us on Saturday and help to ensure that it is not needed at all.

update: It has now been made clear that the DHP fund will be reduced by the £5m that was intended (but not ringfenced) for foster carers.


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9 responses to “More Concessions Show We Can Defeat The Bedroom Tax

  1. Andrew Staden

    They are making law on the hoof, Hopefully it is doomed. But the whole stinking policy has to go, not just bits of it. Everybody in receipt of housing benefit is, by definition, in dire straits.

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