Graham Allen MP’s column: Bedroom Tax is unfair and needs re-thinking

Thousands of people in Nottinghamshire will be hit as the Government press ahead with their destructive and unfair Bedroom Tax.

Constituents are already telling me how they are struggling to pay for household essentials now their benefits have been cut.

To add insult to injury, many of these constituents are happy to give up their spare room and downsize – but the smaller houses simply do not exist.

Data from 107 local authorities shows 86,000 households have been forced to look for one-bedroom homes, of which only 33,000 have become available in the past year.

The result of this devastating tax is that people are being punished in an already impossible financial climate, through no fault of their own.

The Bedroom Tax has not been thought out, the lack of smaller houses not accounted for, and as a result, normal working people, including my constituents, are being punished.

At a time where belts are being tightened and welfare slashed, the Bedroom Tax is another nail in the coffin for families already struggling.

The impact of this tax has also led to an enormous increase in requests of help through the Discretionary Housing Payments, which is intended for people in severe hardship.

In Nottingham, there were 606 applications in 2012, before the Bedroom Tax had fully come into force. This year, in the month of April alone, Nottingham City Council received 223 applications. The fourfold increase in requests for the Discretionary Housing Payments show clearly the affect this terrible Bedroom Tax is having.

The cases I receive in my office demonstrate that this Government is disillusioned. While millionaires are getting tax cuts, the poor and vulnerable are being attacked. It’s time the Tory-Lib Dem coalition wake up and realise the damage they are causing is real - and it’s happening every day.

I’d like to invite David Cameron to come to Nottingham North and meet the hard-working families who are suffering as a direct result of his policies. Maybe then he will fully understand the devastating effects his Government’s policies are causing to hard-working families.