Thousands in Nottingham to be hit by 'bedroom tax'
NOTTINGHAM City Council has vowed to fight the Government over plans to introduce a "bedroom tax" which will hit people on low incomes who have spare rooms.
The council has launched a petition against the move, which comes into force in April and will affect more than 6,000 people in the city.
The Government wants to reduce housing benefit for people with spare bedrooms. The council said this would equate to about £10 a week less for those with one spare room and £20 for those with two.
People will have to pay the extra cash or move to a smaller house.
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The latter is not easy as they will have to join a waiting list and it could be years before they manage to move.
Speaking at the full council meeting yesterday afternoon, Councillor Dave Liversidge, portfolio holder for housing, adults and community sector, said: "It's stupid that people have to keep moving house, in theory, because of their circumstances.
"People don't move. I haven't moved for 33 years. People are emotionally attached to their houses."
He said the council will lobby the Government on its plans to cut housing benefit for thousands of Nottingham's citizens.
"I think at the very least they should think it through; even though it's unfair, they could make it less unfair."
Betty Hart, 77 of Aspley, is worried about the effect it will have on her daughter Lynda Hore and her disabled husband, Leonard, who are in their 50s. The couple live in a three-bedroom house in Tunstall Crescent, Aspley, which has been adapted for Mr Hore, including the installation of a stair lift.
Mrs Hart says her daughter's husband sleeps in the second room when he is in pain, to avoid disturbing his wife.
"They will lose £20 per week for the two bedrooms – that's £80 per month. If they had a spare £80 a month they wouldn't be on benefits. We're helping them out each week with their groceries."
Children under 16 of the same sex are expected to share a bedroom and children under 10 are expected to share regardless of gender.
The Government says the tax will encourage tenants to downsize and save cash in the welfare budget. It says it is not fair for people to live in homes that are too large when millions are waiting for council houses across the country.