Bedroom tax affecting people’s ability to pay rent in Wigan

  • Figures have found that almost half of people affected by the bedroom tax in Wigan are struggling to pay their rent.

    An impact of the controversial bedroom tax has been found in a report by the council, reports Wigan Today. bedroom_tax.png

    Local authority officers have calculated more than 1,400 under occupying social housing tenants in the borough are now in rent arrears. In a report submitted to the Confident Council Scrutiny Committee this week, it was revealed that 3,319 households are classified as “under-occupying” causing a financial penalty of between £517 and £1,273 per household per year

    44% of those tenants are now in rent arrears.

    The report states many of those affected may have been forced to use foodbanks. It states: “The situation in Wigan in relation to the impact of the bedroom tax demonstrates that arrears are higher than last year. In response to the reforms - which include bedroom tax and universal credit - local welfare support was set up in Wigan in 2013 following the end of the Department for Work and Pension’s provision of crisis loans and community care grants. This provides immediate relief from hardship for vulnerable people through referrals to foodbanks or to the Citizens Advice bureau for pay-point vouchers for bill payments in exceptional circumstances.”

    The report concludes: “The group understands welfare reforms are inevitable and the council must support people in the borough and manage their stretched budgets while ensuring the most vulnerable people are protected.”

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