Residents in the North-East and North Yorkshire have reportedly been hit harder by the unpopular ‘bedroom tax’ than the rest of the UK, with a report from Oxfam and the New Policy Institute warning that cuts and changes to welfare support are plunging vulnerable and low-income families deeper into debt. These findings come from the study, ‘Multiple Cuts for the Poorest Families’, which revealed that 28,000 of the poorest households across the region are being hit hard by the government’s bedroom tax.
For these families, the additional tax knocks off around £12.80 per week, and at least 3,000 households are at least £20 a week worse off. This means that the region’s job seekers, carers, single parents and other vulnerable residents are being put in the impossible position of being unable to make payments, falling deeper into debt. Kevan Jones, North Durham MP, has highlighted the record use of food banks as an indicator of how bad things have gotten for these lowest-earning families.
He said: “In the year 2014 it is a national scandal. It is a situation where they are forcing people to move who have lived in the same homes for many years. The Government is treating people’s home as commodities rather than homes.”
Mark Goldring, Oxfam chief executive, added: “This is the latest evidence of a perfect storm blowing massive holes in the safety net which is supposed to stop people falling further into poverty.”
Cut to support for those most at risk has worsened the problem, with 103,000 households now being asked to pay when they were previously deemed to poor. This means that many households in the region and across the rest of the country are being asked to make council tax payments for the first time, taking much-needed support away and causing families to fall into arrears as a result.
Council Tax Advisors, a free service that offers help and advice for these families and individuals currently struggling with council tax debt and other associated troubles such as bailiffs, is dedicated to finding solutions for people most at risk. We understand that falling behind on payments can be an incredibly stressful and isolating experience, and have a team of experts on hand to help arrange repayment plans and offer information on your rights and the rights of bailiffs if they come knocking.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you and your family with reasonable repayment plans, help and information about bailiffs, and so much more.