‘Bedroom tax’ starts to take its toll in MK

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Nearly a third of Milton Keynes Council tenants affected by the so called bedroom tax have fallen behind on their rent since its introduction earlier this year.

That is according to figures released by campaign group False Economy after a Freedom of Information request, which reveals that 33 per cent of council tenants affected by the tax in Milton Keynes are now in debt with their rent.

Milton Keynes is troubled more than the south east of England average of just 23 per cent, with 325 of the city’s 989 council tenants affected by the bedroom tax now in some form of debt since April 2013. The national average is 31 per cent.

Campaign Manager for False Economy, Clifford Singer, said: “These figures show once again the predictable chaos that has resulted from the hated bedroom tax.

“Together with the raft of other benefits cuts the Government has forced through this year and previously, the bedroom tax is driving tenants and families who were just making ends meet into arrears, and pushing those who were already struggling with the cost of living into a full-blown crisis.

“At a time when the Government is actively trying to stoke a new housing bubble for purely political ends, we have people being punished for the lack of affordable housing and the decades-long failure to invest in social and council housing.”

The bedroom tax, introduced under the Welfare Reform Act 2012, penalises council housing and housing association tenants if they have a ‘spare’ bedroom by reducing their housing benefit by 14 per cent or 25 per cent, depending on the number of spare bedrooms.