Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Cost of the Changes

When the government made the changes to housing benenefit now known as the Bedroom Tax and the government cut the funding to Councils so they could introduce the poorest (of working age)who used to enjoy 100% council tax relief, to the payment of a minimum of £20%, I wondered how many households would be affected in Shepton and Mendip areas.

So I thought, this is going to be a Freedom of Information request.

I would like to share with you the responses.

How many residents in the Mendip District will be effected by the Bedroom Tax, removal of housing benefit for social housing homes with spare rooms? How many will lose for one spare room and more than one spare room? 614 in total. 499 affected by being 1 room over-accommodated; 115 by 2 or more, this is for the whole of Mendip, they could not tell me the numbers for Shepton. 

How many families will be effected by the removal of 100% Council Tax benefit in Shepton Mallet and how many in the Mendip District? Not known for Shepton Mallet. 4350 for Mendip District

These changes to the benefit system are going to adveresly affect a large number of people.

I also wonder how much the District Council are hoping to collect of this tax, if the choice is between eating and paying the Council Tax, which are people going to choose? If they are planning to get 100% of this tax, this could cause some funding difficulties.

Then we have the looming introduction of the universal credit where people will receive payment monthly, this another untested plan.

With all these changes coming so close together, this is going to lead to some people facing very difficult choices, between food and tax, between tax and rent, the bill of misery will end up at the District Councils door, the District Council's costs will be higher due to homelessness.

This all seems rather unfair as in April millionaires will get large tax cuts at the same time the poorest will get tax increasing, the Conservative funder that owns Wonga must be rubbing his hands.

I would advise the West Mendip Credit Union to publicise their services.

Times are about to get worse for thousands of people in our area, these are people not statistics, I think politicians would well remember that and that a 800 majority could well be in trouble.

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