"Bedroom tax is an unfair Southern solution to a non-existent Northern problem," say campaigners

GIVING VIEWS: Kim Gallagher, of Coast and Country, addresses the summit

GIVING VIEWS: Kim Gallagher, of Coast and Country, addresses the summit

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

HOUSING association bosses today (Tuesday, February 26) attacked the controversial bedroom tax as a "South-East solution to a problem which does not exist in the North-East".

From April the Government will introduce a new rule which will reduce housing benefits for anyone of working age who is living in social housing who has spare bedrooms.

Tenants who refuse or can not move to smaller properties face a cut in housing benefit ranging from 14 per cent for one extra bedroom to 25 per cent where there are two rooms.

The under-occupancy charge is an attempt to deal with overcrowding and pressure on housing in the South-East.

But speaking at a 'tenants summit' in Billingham to co-ordinate opposition to the benefit cuts, two North-East housing association bosses criticised the Government for "London-centric policies".

Angela Lockwood, group chief executive of the North Star Housing group, which owns and manages around 3,000 homes in the Tees Valley, said: "This is very much a Southern-based policy to tackle overcrowding but the North-East doesn't have an overcrowding problem. We don't have houses packed to the rafters as they do in the South."

She said the imposition of the bedroom tax was "a one stop, one size fits all approach, which is unfair."

Iain Sim, chief executive of the Coast & Country housing association, which owns and manages 10,000 homes in Redcar and Cleveland, said: "The housing situation in the North-East is totally different from the South and we have to take that into account. There just isn't an overcrowding situation caused by under occupation."

Mr Sim said the attendance at the tenants summit, which saw around 80 representatives from 19 different housing associations across the region cram into a meeting room, had "exceeded our expectations."

He said it was important to knock down the myth that the people affected by the bedroom tax were all receiving generous benefits.

"The tenants here today object to this rhetoric of strivers versus skivers because a lot of people affected by the bedroom tax work and are on low incomes."

The Northern Echo: Angela Lockwood
Angela Lockwood

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: "We need to ensure a better use of social housing when over a quarter of a million tenants are living in overcrowded homes and two million are on the waiting list."

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:08pm Wed 27 Feb 13

CynicaloldGit says...

A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: "We need to ensure a better use of social housing when over a quarter of a million tenants are living in overcrowded homes and two million are on the waiting list."


No. what they need to do is build more social housing to meet the need. It was their great leader who sold off all the social housing and did not allow stock to be replaced.
As always, these creeps, cause the problems and then make the ordinay man pay for it.............and before anyone comes on and states that Nu Labour did nothing to redress the balance, we all know that, so because they didn't, it makes it ok for this new rule to be applied eh?
A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: "We need to ensure a better use of social housing when over a quarter of a million tenants are living in overcrowded homes and two million are on the waiting list." No. what they need to do is build more social housing to meet the need. It was their great leader who sold off all the social housing and did not allow stock to be replaced. As always, these creeps, cause the problems and then make the ordinay man pay for it.............and before anyone comes on and states that Nu Labour did nothing to redress the balance, we all know that, so because they didn't, it makes it ok for this new rule to be applied eh? CynicaloldGit
  • Score: 1

4:43pm Wed 27 Feb 13

the-big-yin says...

They all s.h.i.t. in the same pot. Time for a political party that thinks and acts for the people and not their own agendas.
They all s.h.i.t. in the same pot. Time for a political party that thinks and acts for the people and not their own agendas. the-big-yin
  • Score: 1

6:26pm Wed 27 Feb 13

NO EINSTEIN says...

I know, lets make all MP's with second homes let the homeless use them when there at there bigger more expensive one's at the weekend, i pay for it so say that's fare.
I know, lets make all MP's with second homes let the homeless use them when there at there bigger more expensive one's at the weekend, i pay for it so say that's fare. NO EINSTEIN
  • Score: 1

6:27pm Wed 27 Feb 13

spragger says...

So there is not a rooms, or housing shortage in the North of England?

We will remember that when they come a bleating, again.


One day these idiots will have the minimum of credibility when they realise its a benefit reduction, not a tax.

- Tax is paid by a few taxpayers, such that these people can have Housing Benefit
So there is not a rooms, or housing shortage in the North of England? We will remember that when they come a bleating, again. One day these idiots will have the minimum of credibility when they realise its a benefit reduction, not a tax. - Tax is paid by a few taxpayers, such that these people can have Housing Benefit spragger
  • Score: -3

8:47pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Jonn says...

spragger wrote:
So there is not a rooms, or housing shortage in the North of England?

We will remember that when they come a bleating, again.


One day these idiots will have the minimum of credibility when they realise its a benefit reduction, not a tax.

- Tax is paid by a few taxpayers, such that these people can have Housing Benefit
No, that's not what's being said here. It's that there simply isn't the alledged overcrowding in some properties caused by under occupation of others in the North compared to the South. Overcrowding caused by under occupation is the official line by the Government to justify the changes when in reality, it's about indiscriminate cuts to save money. In essence, a terribly thought out scheme.
Rents are also much, much higher in the South.
In terms of making cuts to save money, I'm more concerned about Iain Duncan Smith wasting 5 billion pounds on The Work Programme which has a success rate of 3.5% and only lines the pockets of party donating IT firms and Corporates.
Also, we are told we have record employment, 30 million, hence record number of taxpayers. Where does your 'a few taxpayers' claim come from?
[quote][p][bold]spragger[/bold] wrote: So there is not a rooms, or housing shortage in the North of England? We will remember that when they come a bleating, again. One day these idiots will have the minimum of credibility when they realise its a benefit reduction, not a tax. - Tax is paid by a few taxpayers, such that these people can have Housing Benefit[/p][/quote]No, that's not what's being said here. It's that there simply isn't the alledged overcrowding in some properties caused by under occupation of others in the North compared to the South. Overcrowding caused by under occupation is the official line by the Government to justify the changes when in reality, it's about indiscriminate cuts to save money. In essence, a terribly thought out scheme. Rents are also much, much higher in the South. In terms of making cuts to save money, I'm more concerned about Iain Duncan Smith wasting 5 billion pounds on The Work Programme which has a success rate of 3.5% and only lines the pockets of party donating IT firms and Corporates. Also, we are told we have record employment, 30 million, hence record number of taxpayers. Where does your 'a few taxpayers' claim come from? Jonn
  • Score: 2

7:45am Thu 28 Feb 13

CynicaloldGit says...

And Jonn, what spragger fails to realise is that everyone is a tax payer.......what he and other oiks mean is Income Tax payer. A benefit claiment, pays bak 20% instanly they buy something. and as most of their JSA goes an food and services, all at 20%, the treasury collects this 20% from claiments.
He also fails to see that many income tax payers, receive houing benefits because of low wages, these people too will be affected, but as I stated in a previous thread, the likes of spragger, hears benefits and immediately thinks idle scrougers.

What a mean spirited person he is.

Does he really think that if the welfare bill was cut by 90%, that he would end up with more money in his pocket...........no, the gov't would just find something else to spend it on, like more tax cuts for the wealthy.

Anyone hear today, the the much hated EU has voted to cut bankers bonus' to 1 years wage equivelent....it is being oppesed, guess who by.......yes, the British Gov't.
And Jonn, what spragger fails to realise is that everyone is a tax payer.......what he and other oiks mean is Income Tax payer. A benefit claiment, pays bak 20% instanly they buy something. and as most of their JSA goes an food and services, all at 20%, the treasury collects this 20% from claiments. He also fails to see that many income tax payers, receive houing benefits because of low wages, these people too will be affected, but as I stated in a previous thread, the likes of spragger, hears benefits and immediately thinks idle scrougers. What a mean spirited person he is. Does he really think that if the welfare bill was cut by 90%, that he would end up with more money in his pocket...........no, the gov't would just find something else to spend it on, like more tax cuts for the wealthy. Anyone hear today, the the much hated EU has voted to cut bankers bonus' to 1 years wage equivelent....it is being oppesed, guess who by.......yes, the British Gov't. CynicaloldGit
  • Score: 1

10:10am Thu 28 Feb 13

Jonn says...

The funny thing is, most people don't know the truth. Taxpayers money doesn't just go into a pot and then dished out to benefits 'scroungers'.
Benefits, like many other Government payments are issued by members of the GBS (Government Banking Services). It's members cannot be disclosed, for some strange reason! Usually though, these are banks or financial institutions. These people create money out of thin air and then profit from it. Just like when anyone gets a loan from a bank, the bank doesn't go and get it from somewhere and give it to you, it creates it out of thin air.
All this strivers versus shirkers, taxpayer versus scrounger propaganda is nonsense. We are all to be stripped of our wealth, they have started at the bottom and they are working their way up.
The funny thing is, most people don't know the truth. Taxpayers money doesn't just go into a pot and then dished out to benefits 'scroungers'. Benefits, like many other Government payments are issued by members of the GBS (Government Banking Services). It's members cannot be disclosed, for some strange reason! Usually though, these are banks or financial institutions. These people create money out of thin air and then profit from it. Just like when anyone gets a loan from a bank, the bank doesn't go and get it from somewhere and give it to you, it creates it out of thin air. All this strivers versus shirkers, taxpayer versus scrounger propaganda is nonsense. We are all to be stripped of our wealth, they have started at the bottom and they are working their way up. Jonn
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Thu 28 Feb 13

argo2013 says...

Why didn't the government consult with housing associations and the like,before cluncking in with this ill thought out plan to ease problems in social housing.
Why didn't the government consult with housing associations and the like,before cluncking in with this ill thought out plan to ease problems in social housing. argo2013
  • Score: 0

9:38pm Thu 28 Feb 13

caberwocky1 says...

spragger wrote:
So there is not a rooms, or housing shortage in the North of England?

We will remember that when they come a bleating, again.


One day these idiots will have the minimum of credibility when they realise its a benefit reduction, not a tax.

- Tax is paid by a few taxpayers, such that these people can have Housing Benefit
spragger you repeat this view that housing benefit claimants do not work,Wrong-how many times can you get it wriong .
A significant minority approx 40% are in work but are on low wages.
[quote][p][bold]spragger[/bold] wrote: So there is not a rooms, or housing shortage in the North of England? We will remember that when they come a bleating, again. One day these idiots will have the minimum of credibility when they realise its a benefit reduction, not a tax. - Tax is paid by a few taxpayers, such that these people can have Housing Benefit[/p][/quote]spragger you repeat this view that housing benefit claimants do not work,Wrong-how many times can you get it wriong . A significant minority approx 40% are in work but are on low wages. caberwocky1
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree