Category: Bedroom Tax

Bedroom Tax leaves 1,500 larger homes empty and councils with a £20MILLION rent deficit

This article by Nigel Nelson originally appeared in the Mirror.

The Government’s own figures reveal the multiple-bedroom properties are vacant because tenants cannot afford to move into them

TaxMainCouncils are losing £20million in rent a year as the disastrous Bedroom Tax leaves homes empty.

Nearly 1,500 multiple-bedroom properties are vacant because tenants cannot afford to move into them.

Under the Bedroom Tax their housing benefit has been slashed.

The levy puts an average £14 a week on rent for one extra unused bedroom and £25 for two or more.

The punitive tax has also pushed up rent arrears by £24million because tenants cannot afford the levy.

Many are unable to downsize because there is a shortage of one-bedroom homes .

Shadow Housing minister Emma Reynolds told the Sunday People : “Since the Bedroom Tax was introduced, rent arrears have soared.

“But it’s also increasing the number of homes left empty because tenants can’t afford this unfair charge.”

The waste of good homes comes despite 1.7 million people being stuck on council house waiting lists in England.

New Government figures show the number of empty properties increased from 25,462 in 2012-13 to 26,958 in 2013-14 when the tax was introduced.

As a result lost rental income went up from £107million to £127million.

The 14,000-home Wythenshawe Community Housing Group in Manchester has lost £1million because of vacant properties.

WCHG chief executive Nigel Wilson said: “The awful consequences of the Bedroom Tax are hurting our tenants on a daily basis.”

Coast and Country Housing in Teesside is struggling to rent out some properties. And Cobalt Housing, with 6,000 family homes in Liverpool, has similar problems.

Boss Alan Rogers said: “We have perfectly good three-bedroom homes that people tell us they can’t afford to live in because of Bedroom Tax.”

Ms Reynolds added: “The Bedroom Tax is cruel, unfair and ineffective which is why a Labour Government will scrap it.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “There’s no evidence of a link between empty council homes and removing the spare room subsidy.”

Hull Unite Community

Hull Unite Community taking part in “Hull Community Day” alongside other trade unionists and community organisations. The sun shined all day long and we distributed lots of our campaign materials. Our bedroom tax tool kit went down especially well.
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Bed Room Tax Tool Kit

On 1 April 2013 the Government introduced a ‘Bedroom Tax’ on people viewed by Government as having one or more spare bedrooms. Around 660,000 families will be hit, thousands will lose their homes – some of the worst affected will be carers, people with disabilities and army families.

This short guide offers resources and information to help you appeal against this unfair tax. Up and down the country Unite Community groups are standing together against the Bedroom Tax. A substantial number of those affected by the Bedroom Tax are the least able to defend themselves. If you need help appealing against the Bedroom Tax Unite Community can help you to find community groups and campaigns that can support you and others affected.

Hard Copies Are Available from our Community Centres or contact Joe Rollin direct.

PDF Version: Bedroom tax TOOLKITv3

Axe The Bedroom Tax

Unite Community Members from Barnsley and Sheffield joined forces with Leeds members, to show their anger at the hated Bedroom Tax. For a protest on the anniversary in Leeds city centre yesterday (5/4/14).

View a video of the demonstration here.

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An unhappy birthday

Unhappy birthday Ian Duncan Smith

6 April marks the first anniversary of Iain Duncan Smith’s hated Bedroom Tax. We hope this will be its last anniversary.

The Bedroom Tax has caused misery to 660,000 homes, serving to push people into poverty and increase the foodbank queues.

The Bedroom Tax is cruel and unfair and needs to go.

Please click on the link to sign and leave a message on our unhappy birthday card below. It’s Iain Duncan Smith’s birthday a couple of days after, we’ll make sure he receives the card on his 60th.

Budget Day Protest

Unite Community members in Leeds linked up with the People’s Assembly to Protest about the Useless Budget Day Proposals yesterday, As was pointed out working Families are at least £1600  a year worse off with thousands of workers forced into accepting low wages and zero hours contracts. The group used the opportunity to raise awareness about the Demonstration against the hated Bedroom Tax on the 5th of April.

More here.

Unite Budget Day Briefing here.

Bedroom Tax – one year on – end it now!

5 April marks the first anniversary of the hated Bedroom Tax.

The Bedroom Tax causes misery to 600,000 families, increasing financial pain and contributing to growing food bank queues.

Unite Community believes one year is one year too long. Please join us in Leeds City Centre, to call on Westminster to follow the Scottish parliament in binning the Bedroom Tax.

Join us for speakers, entertainment and sign an alternative birthday card to Iain Duncan Smith.

Event – Bedroom Tax, one year on, end it now
When – 12pm, 5 April
Where – The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW
Speakers – Joe Rollin and some of those affected by welfare reforms.
Contact – Joe Rollin

Please find more information on the event’s Facebook page.

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On Wednesday there is another chance to get rid of the Bedroom Tax!

Parliamentary vote – Wednesday 12 February 2014

We don’t need to tell you the misery the bedroom tax is inflicting on hundreds of thousands of people. Labour MP, Ian Lavery has worked hard to get this vote in parliament but if your MP doesn’t support him, nothing is going to happen.

Please take a moment to ask your MP to help get rid of the Bedroom Tax.

Unite members have fought the Bedroom Tax since it was announced, through the implementation last April and are determined as ever as we approach the 1st anniversary. That pressure has seen some success, last week the Scottish government banished the Bedroom Tax and the Labour Party have promised to scrap it if they win the general election in 2015.

We know that for thousands 2015 is simply too far away.

The Bedroom Tax vote comes straight after Prime Minister’s Questions, often a pantomime of childish cheering and insult throwing – but most MPs attend PMQ’s then quickly vanish.

Ask your MP to stay in their seat and vote down the Bedroom Tax

We know more and more MPs are using social media like Twitter, we want to make sure that as well as filling up their email inboxes, the stand against the Bedroom Tax is on their Twitter profiles. Please tweet your MP to ask or encourage them to vote against the Bedroom Tax using the hashtag #BedroomTax.


Liane Groves, lead community coordinator

It only take a second to email your MP

PS the 5 April is the first anniversary of the Bedroom Tax. Unite Community will be arranging events across the country…. we will be in touch……..