Before Xmas, DWP released the following press release regarding the hideous “under occupancy” cap aka “bedroom tax”. As opposed to rolling it out nationally in April, the cap will be applied from April 2013 in 4 London local authorities – Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey.
‘Choosing these four local authorities means that we can provide support from a single DWP Benefit Centre at Stratford. The majority of claimants in the four boroughs have their out of work benefit claims processed by Stratford Benefit Centre, which as you may be aware is the only London based Benefit Centre. That is an important factor in delivering this change safely as it allows us to focus all of our efforts on making sure that the delivery of this change works as intended for local authorities, DWP and households.’
‘For all other local authorities across the country, including yours, we will move from implementation in the first four local authority areas to national roll out over the summer and as such all households identified as being appropriate to be capped will, in line with existing plans, have been capped by the end of September 2013. A decision on the precise date at which national roll out will commence will be made in the New Year.’
- 14% of the ‘eligible rent’ (the full rent amount) if you have one extra bedroom
- 25% if you have two or more extra bedrooms.
To be on Housing Benefit you are already poor and not in the position to pay the shortfall. You will have a shortfall in rent and Council tax therefore will generate arrears and inevitable homelessness. One reason, is possibly to break up council estates who primarily Labour voters. In Bristol, for example, the area that will be greatly affected by this will be Knowle West because it has a high concentration of social housing.