Thursday, 24 April 2014

Bedroom tax 'won't work in Liverpool'

The government’s bedroom tax won’t work in Liverpool, a housing association targeted by protesters has said.

Activists protested at the offices of Liverpool Mutual Homes last week about the bedroom tax. It is understood LMH was targeted because it briefly considered a scheme under which it would have paid the bedroom tax for tenants carrying out voluntary work. LMH, which has lobbied against the bedroom tax policy, has since dropped the plan.

Under the bedroom tax social tenants who are of working age and receiving housing benefit will have their payments cut if they are deemed to be under-occupying their home. To avoid the penalty they will have to move to a smaller property. But figures now published by LMH show four in 10 social homes in Liverpool are three bed-properties while only 23.5 per cent are one-bed properties and 28 per cent are two bed.

Angela Forshaw, director of housing at LMH, said: ‘Even if every LMH tenant agreed to downsize it would take us up to seven years to be able to offer them suitable alternative housing and this doesn’t take into account the current waiting list or a requirement for us to accommodate urgent cases such as statutory homeless people.

‘The housing stock data underlines what we have been saying since the government first introduced the policy: the bedroom tax won’t work in Liverpool.’

Readers' comments (18)

  • Colin McCulloch

    ‘The housing stock data underlines what we have been saying since the government first introduced the policy: the bedroom tax won’t work in Liverpool.’

    Indeed, nor will it work anywhere in the UK!

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  • It cant work here in wales either .Unless people starve and dont pay tv license .

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  • Peter Fish

    Is there anything that works in Liverpool?

    No, that is unfair and lacking humour, but if the landlord is convinced of the case then why not support the tenants in obtaining fairness against the imposition of this poor and costly policy?

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  • Tenantplustwo

    The Bedroom Tax is most certainly a tax as it reduces the vital and legal incomes received by the poor and directly increases the financial position of the government. But what about all other groups who receive public funds and have empty spaces in their premises who have NOT been targeted by any such leglislation , such as members of Parliament who get public allowances for their accommodation, liken to the Bank of England Government Mark Carney and often have lots of empty bedrooms, or British Farmers who get public subsidy for their land space but of which a lot is left empty / unproductive. Why is it only the poor in Social Housing who are being punished for having "empty spaces"

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  • Melvin Bone

    Can't they all just grab a granny and put them on the tenancy?

    PS is it a tax or not? Of course not.

    If you get LHA and it does not pay your full rent that is not a tax is it...

    Doh.

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  • Tenantplustwo - it's not just the poor in 'social housing' who are being punished, it's been happening in the private sector for years under LHA limits. After all, you do want social tenants and private tenants to be treated equally don't you???

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  • Colin McCulloch

    Housingplus,

    I see the race to the bottom continues. Using an inequality somewhere else to justify another injustice is utterly ridiculous. I suppose we should all stop eating because some people starve?

    I opposed LHA controls in 2008 and I oppose the bedroom tax now. If the government wants to bring HB under control it should introduce rent control (especially in London) and build more social housing.

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  • C'mon Sense

    Colin - genius. Lets bring back rent control's, stifle the private sector and reduce choice. Like it or not it's a free market economy. Cant afford it, cant have it (unless you expect someone else to pick up the tab).

    Oh, and London is not a country on it's own (depite everyone who lives there thinking it is) - it's the same issue everywhere.

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  • Colin McCulloch

    C'mon Sense,

    How will rent control stifle choice? The houses will still be there, they won't be packed up and taken off to the Caymans. Landlords will make less in rent but then the whole buy-to-let was a sham to start with. The private rented sector has made a killing from housing benefit and it's time to stop it. Rent control in conjunction with more, much more, social housing would increase choice.

    It's a free market economy for those at the bottom alright - they can't afford it and they can't have it. For private landlords, we're picking up the tab and they're loving it.

    Of course it's the same everywhere as in London - I live in the Glasgow area - but the rents are higher in London and wages are the same, which is why it's such an acute problem. Rent control allows lower earners to stay in London and in other cities - you can't seriously expect all the retail staff, cleaners and call centre workers to commute in to work from outside the city.

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  • Peter Wicks

    The sickest government I have ever lived under in 76 years in this stinking corrupt country...its time for ANOTHER Poll Tax type riot...enough is enough of out and out fascism...we fought this type during the war, now we must fight this enemy within...

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