By Sadiq Khan MP
Freedom of Information requests made by the Labour Party to Wandsworth Council have revealed that 2,005 families across the Borough will be hit by the Bedroom Tax which came into force on 1st April. Yet there are only ten 2 or 1 bedroom properties available if the families wanted to downsize.
The Bedroom Tax means that tenants in social housing will have their Housing Benefit reduced by 14 per cent if they have one spare bedroom, and 25 per cent if they have two or more spare bedrooms.
But this new information proves that there are not enough smaller properties for affected families to move to, even if they are willing to do so.
It is estimated that the Bedroom Tax will cost an estimated 30,000 people across the South West of England £780 per annum.
Last month National Housing Federation figures revealed that 855 people would be affected in Tooting alone.
Sadiq Khan MP said, “These shocking figures show that 95% of people hit by the Bedroom Tax in Wandsworth will have nowhere to move to. Instead people, many of whom are the most vulnerable in our community, will have to pay the unfair tax or be forced to move into the expensive private rented sector or in the worst cases, become homeless.
“It would be one thing if the Council or government provided enough properties for these families to consider moving into but they haven’t. 2005 does not go into 10! These families will have no choice to pay the penalty and have their Housing Benefit deducted by way of a Bedroom Tax.
“This is happening in the same week that the Government is choosing to give millionaires a huge tax cut. This is absolutely disgraceful.
“I will continue to support the people affected by this unfair tax and demand the Government drop it now.”