Monday, 24 October 2016

'Party politics' stopping tenants from getting bedroom tax discretionary payments

Local councils are ‘playing politics’ by not granting discretionary payments to tenants affected by the bedroom tax, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats said yesterday.

Simon Hughes MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark told at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow that the policy ‘was not the crisis many people predicted.’

Chief executive of the National Federation of Housing David Orr had earlier branded the policy ‘the worst since the poll tax’, and called on members to scrap it.

Speaking at a fringe meeting on housing Mr Hughes said: ‘I have to say it isn’t the crisis many people predicted. 

‘The discretionary fund is significant, we were told it would be spent way before the end of the year, it hasn’t.

‘Actually, the number of people coming into my surgery to talk about it is far fewer than expected. 

‘The problem is that when people apply for discretionary help, many councils turn them down, and there is no independent appeal system… some councils are playing politics with this.’

Councils have been granted a pot of £185 million this year to provide assistance to those struggling to pay their rent. 

Calling on members to oppose the bedroom tax, Mr Orr said: ‘The bedroom tax isn’t a reform, its a disaster. It is the worst policy since the poll tax, bar none. 

‘Disabled people being thrown out is an outrage, and we really need you to be on ourside about it. 

‘Aside from the personal consequences, it means we will be able to build less homes.’

Readers' comments (13)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up



  • Ministers to 'explore ways of getting social tenants into homeownership'

    16 March 2016

    The government has announced it will look at ways of further increasing homeownership levels among social tenants.

  • Court rules bedroom tax is unlawful

    27 January 2016

    The bedroom tax unlawfully discriminates against domestic violence victims and disabled children, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

  • Politics - 2015 highlights

    4 January 2016

    Over the 12 days of Christmas, we are reflecting on the best of our news, analysis and opinions coverage on the website since 1 January 2015. Each day we pick a different topic. Today we focus on politics

  • Bedroom tax tenants 'fail to downsize'

    18 December 2015

    Just 8% of tenants hit by the bedroom tax have moved to smaller properties, an official study commissioned by the government has found.

  • Stormont deal will nullify bedroom tax

    18 November 2015

    The bedroom tax will be introduced in Northern Ireland but fully mitigated for at least four years under an historic agreement to break political deadlock in the country.

IH Subscription