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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.

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'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.

Report: Bedroom tax debate

Next month a major change to the benefits system will come into force. Among those affected will be the 2 million people facing a 25% reduction in their housing benefit.

The so-called "bedroom tax" will hit people living in properties considered too large for them. Laura Makin-Isherwood met one man who says the changes could make his home unaffordable.

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'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.

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