You may have heard recent reports about the government’s new bedroom tax policy which was introduced in April 2013 – an initiative which sees welfare reforms reducing the amount of benefit you can receive if you have a spare bedroom in your council home. It was announced that the government will cut a fixed percentage of the housing benefit at 14% for one extra bedroom, and 25% for two extra bedrooms or over.
But how has this new policy affected residents? It’s recently been reported that 65% of Salford’s social housing tenants have been hit by the Government’s bedroom tax and have subsequently fallen into arrears. According to a recent report, Salford City Council has seen the number of residents in arrears double since the implementation of the bedroom-tax policy. A report by the council, titled ‘Feeling the Pain’ has identified the fact that thousands of individuals and families in the city are struggling to pay their bills following government cuts and welfare changes.
It isn’t just Salford which is affected. With the bedroom tax, also known as Spare Room Subsidy, affecting properties up and down the country, many people are unfortunately struggling to make ends meet when it comes to paying their council tax. If your housing benefit has been cut following the bedroom tax policy, it’s important to identify any means of earning extra money. From reducing your expenditure to moving to a smaller home, there are many steps that you can take. Most importantly, it’s vital that you pay your full rent on time to prevent getting into council tax arrears. If you fear that you will struggle to pay your full rent, it’s important to discuss the matter with your council.
If you are one of the thousands of people who have fallen into arrears, it’s important to discuss this with your council. At Council Tax Advisors we can discuss this with your council on your behalf in order to organise a manageable repayment plan and help you avoid getting into further debt. We understand that falling into arrears and struggling after the introduction of the bedroom tax can be difficult, which is why our expert advisors are on hand to help.