Research from the Manchester Institute of Education shows the dangerous conswquences for children in the households affected by the Bedroom Tax.
……..We conducted a small scale exploratory project, interviewing staff at 20 schools, housing associations and community organisations, and 14 parents impacted by the ‘bedroom tax’. In the interviews we asked about what people thought the impacts of the policy on children and their education were, if any.
Our analysis indicates that children are perceived to be impacted by the ‘bedroom tax’ in a number of ways. Some of these impacts relate to basic needs. For example having less food in the house and the heating being on less often.
One mum told us “I mean a loaf of bread isn’t going to keep me dry or keep me warm, or keep them warm or keep them dry. So you’ve got to pick that and that’s the hard bit”.
Parents we talked to also told us about the difficulties of children of significantly different ages (e.g. 6 and 15) sharing one bedroom, and the problems this raised for getting homework done. They also reported an increase in their own mental health problems, which they suggested impacted negatively on their children. Children were reported to worry about the possibility of moving.
Beyond the impacts which were seen within the house, participants also reflected on the impact of the policy on local communities and the feelings of particular groups of society being persecuted.
Representatives from schools also told us that hungry children were struggling to settle with their work, which may potentially means impacts for children beyond those in households directly impacted by the policy.