Government sneaks out report revealing 57,000 Bedroom Tax victims fell behind on rent

The report was slipped out in a mountain of more than 300 documents on the day MPs leave Westminster for their six-week summer holiday

More than 57,000 people fell behind on their rent in just one year after being hit by the Bedroom Tax, damning new figures revealed today.

Data buried deep in the government’s 2014/15 English Housing Survey shows the vast toll of people hit by Iain Duncan Smith’s most controversial policy. When the survey was taken 364,000 households in social housing were in rent arrears. Another 348,000 had been behind on rent in the previous year.

Among those, 22% (153,800 households) blamed problems or cuts in their benefits. And 37% of that group (57,485 households) said they had benefits cut for ‘under-occupying’ their home – the hated bedroom tax.

The report was slipped out in a mountain of more than 300 documents on the day MPs leave Westminster for their six-week summer holiday.

Another 24,000 people in social housing fell behind on rent due to new systems like Universal Credit or the benefits cap.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams said it was “yet more evidence of the total failure of the Bedroom Tax. The Discretionary Housing Payment system, which was meant to be a short term stop gap, is clearly not working. People are having to make a choice about whether they keep a roof over their heads or feed their families. The discriminatory, unfair and divisive nature of the Bedroom Tax is why Labour has consistently called for it to be abolished.”

Former Labour housing minister John Healey added: “These figures are fresh proof of the terrible impact of the cruel bedroom tax.

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/government-sneaks-out-report-revealing-8467528

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