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Friday, 18 July 2014

Taxpayers Against Poverty: DWP reports bedroom tax is forcing poorest citizens into unmanageable debt

DWP reports bedroom tax is forcing poorest citizens into unmanageable debt

Guest blog piece by Revd Paul Nicolson of TAP

Bedroom tax is forcing poorest citizens into unmanageable debt but 
the DWP is not the only government department knowingly engaged in such oppression.  

It is no surprise to read in Patrick Butler's report (Bedroom tax has forced tenants to cut back on food, 16 July) that the Department for Work and Pensions now finds that 523,000 tenants have been unable to meet rent arrears due to housing-benefit caps. It was predicted in all the debates about the Welfare Reform Act 2012 in parliament but ignored by the coalition. For example, Lord Best, president of the Local Government Association, said: "A £500 cap will plunge a family with three children living in Hampstead into poverty, with only, in this example, £150 per week left for food, clothing, ever-rising fuel bills and the rest, instead of more than £300 as at present. It is not their fault that rents are so high in much of southern England."

Additionally, since April 2013, 244 councils have demanded between 8.5% and 20% of council tax from the poorest households. Inability to pay the tax can lead to magistrates triggering the council's powers to enforce the arrears, adding court costs of up to £125, and bailiffs may be sent in, adding their extortionate fees of up to £420.

The DWP is not the only government department knowingly oppressing the poorest citizens of the UK with unmanageable debt. The Treasury, the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Communities and Local Government pile in with equal callousness.

Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty

For the record Tottenham magistrates issued 18,571 liability orders to Haringey Council in 2012/13, and 22,152 in 2013/14, all at £125 a time, after they had imposed 20% of the council tax on benefits in April 2013,  Applications are still being processed by the Tottenham magistrates 1000s at a time. Haringey sent 14,569 cases to the bailiffs in 2012/13 and 12,484 in 2013/14. I have asked Haringey to check these figures as I would have expected them to be the other way round.  All this information is in answers to freedom of information questions. 


Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty
93 Campbell Road, 
London N17 0BF
0208 3765455
07961 177889
also at www.z2k.org 

Please sign our petition celbrating Martin Luther King
Parliament is asked to debate the speech made by Martin Luther King 50 Years ago in Washington USA on the 28 August 1963 and to note that it can be applied to circumstances in Britain in August 2013. He said “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

Swheatie of the KUWG adds: See also Camden New Journal for a demonstration of how out-of-touch and unfit-for-government the current Secretary of State for Work & Pensions is.

Iain Duncan Smith rejects claim that London faces benefit ...

May 21, 2014 - WORK and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has poured scorn on claims that people are being driven out of Camden by caps to welfare ...

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