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Councillor says bedroom tax is affecting the vulnerable

A Stroud councillor says the so-called bedroom tax is hitting the most vulnerable people in society Credit: ITV News

The so-called bedroom tax - otherwise known as the under-occupancy charge - is hitting the most vulnerable people in society, according to a councillor in Stroud.

It was introduced to try to free up under-occupied properties for families but campaigners say it should be scrapped. The Green party in Stroud says that the bedroom tax is hitting the wrong people.

BANES households hardest hit by bedroom tax

Houses in Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) have seen a greater reduction in housing benefit than those in any other South West region, according to figures from the National Housing Federation:

  • BANES: average loss of £895.82 per year
  • South Gloucestershire: £859.15
  • Wiltshire: £829.21
  • South Somerset: £780.15
  • Swindon: £777.32
  • Gloucester: £776.05
  • North Somerset: £775.67
  • Bristol: £768.95

The 'tax' - actually a reduction in housing benefit for families with spare bedrooms - was introduced in April 2013.


'Bedroom tax' protests in the West Country today

Many social housing tenants will be affected. Credit: PA

A group of people will be gathering on College Green, Bristol, this lunchtime to protest against the forthcoming 'bedroom tax'. Protests will also take place in Salisbury, Stroud and Cirencester.

Under the new rules about to be introduced, social housing tenants deemed to have too many bedrooms will see their housing benefit reduced.


'Bedroom tax' protests in Bristol and Bath

Protest rallies are due to take place in Bristol and Bath this afternoon against new rules which leave people claiming housing benefits facing deductions for spare rooms.

The so-called 'bedroom tax' will leave council tenants with £11 a week less if they're deemed to have one spare bedroom and £21 a week less if they have two. Bristol City Council says the rules will affect more than 4,700 households in the city.

The rally in Bristol is due to take place on College Green at 1pm. In Bath it's outside The Guildhall at the same time. Protests are taking place in 60 towns and cities nationwide.