'No evictions because of bedroom tax' in Darlington, says council leader

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NO council tenant will be evicted from their home because they can’t afford to pay the so-called 'bedroom tax', the leader of Darlington Borough Council has pledged.

Bill Dixon said there was “no need” for anyone to lose their home as a result of the changes to housing benefit, but warned people not to put their head in the sand and to ask for help before getting into financial difficulty.

Plans by the Government reduce housing benefits for anyone of working age living in social housing who are deemed to have excess bedrooms have sparked protests from those who believe the proposal is an attack on the poorest in society.

Dozens of people attended a march through Darlington town centre at the weekend, including Coun Dixon.

He has urged anyone affected by the housing benefit changes to contact the council as soon as possible if they think they might struggle financially when they come into force in April.

Coun Dixon said: “There’s no need for any council tenant to be evicted as a result of the bedroom tax. I want people to contact the council as soon as it becomes apparent that they are affected and we will help them work out a plan to pay what they can afford.

“We can find ways round helping people, but if they ignore it there’s very little we can do.”

“For those who can pay, but simply won’t, there’s nothing we can do to help them further down the line.

“Those in genuine hardship must talk to us.”

Coun Dixon said he was hearing from two or three people a day who were desperately worried about their finances.

He added: “We are going to get a lot more people affected by this than the Government think – this is bigger than they realise.

“It’s in danger of destroying families.”

Coun Dixon has advised tenants with concerns to contact their area housing officer or the council’s housing department for advice.

The Government has defended what it calls the 'spare room subsidy', saying it will tackle a shortage of social housing and save taxpayers about £500m a year.

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Comments (14)

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1:35pm Tue 19 Mar 13

stevegg says...

Whats the point if no enforcement action is going to be taken? This will turn out to be another fiasco as it will cost the council (taxpayer) more to collect the unpaid rent than it actually generates, meaning another big write off at the end of the financial year and more pressure on the dwindling number who do pay council tax!
Whats the point if no enforcement action is going to be taken? This will turn out to be another fiasco as it will cost the council (taxpayer) more to collect the unpaid rent than it actually generates, meaning another big write off at the end of the financial year and more pressure on the dwindling number who do pay council tax! stevegg
  • Score: 1

2:07pm Tue 19 Mar 13

argo2013 says...

The number of people paying their taxes are at an all time high,don't you listen to Mr Cameron.What's the matter,do you get enjoyment out of the governments persecution of the poor urgh-sicko.
The number of people paying their taxes are at an all time high,don't you listen to Mr Cameron.What's the matter,do you get enjoyment out of the governments persecution of the poor urgh-sicko. argo2013
  • Score: 1

4:07pm Tue 19 Mar 13

BMD says...

Labours Bill Dixon has just notified all the council tenants that their personal lifestyle will not change and the council taxpayer will pick up their bill and well as a 2% increase in their own council tax.
Labours Bill Dixon has just notified all the council tenants that their personal lifestyle will not change and the council taxpayer will pick up their bill and well as a 2% increase in their own council tax. BMD
  • Score: 4

4:31pm Tue 19 Mar 13

st-george1 says...

It all sound so generous of Darlington Council ... but its not so bad !
What councils tell us is not quite what the CUTS statistics say … hacked-off Labour Councillors and other public sector institutions tell us the government cuts mean they have to save for example £60million over 4 years, ITS NOT TRUE … it means they ONLY have to save £15million in the first year, AND that’s it … its saved for ever more AND the resource cost over the 4 years is actually £15millon, the amount saved in year one, NOT £60 !
So cuts to bedroom tax or anything else is a consequence of a concession affecting us all !
It all sound so generous of Darlington Council ... but its not so bad ! What councils tell us is not quite what the CUTS statistics say … hacked-off Labour Councillors and other public sector institutions tell us the government cuts mean they have to save for example £60million over 4 years, ITS NOT TRUE … it means they ONLY have to save £15million in the first year, AND that’s it … its saved for ever more AND the resource cost over the 4 years is actually £15millon, the amount saved in year one, NOT £60 ! So cuts to bedroom tax or anything else is a consequence of a concession affecting us all ! st-george1
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Tue 19 Mar 13

g8crasher says...

It's awfully good of the council to do this. The same council that has increased council tax when most others haven't

I own my own house and can't afford the council tax will they work with me to help me out?

Didn't think so!!!
It's awfully good of the council to do this. The same council that has increased council tax when most others haven't I own my own house and can't afford the council tax will they work with me to help me out? Didn't think so!!! g8crasher
  • Score: 5

4:36pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Homshaw1 says...

What a daft thing to say. Don't bother paying we won't enfoce it
What a daft thing to say. Don't bother paying we won't enfoce it Homshaw1
  • Score: 3

5:30pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Fossildog says...

I suppose Mr Dixon will be covering the shortfall out of his own pocket? He does not seem to realise that DBC have an obligation to gather all money due. It is an obligation to all us that pay out council taxes in full.
I suppose Mr Dixon will be covering the shortfall out of his own pocket? He does not seem to realise that DBC have an obligation to gather all money due. It is an obligation to all us that pay out council taxes in full. Fossildog
  • Score: 3

7:09pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Spy Boy says...

This bunch of clowns that we call a council really must get their act together. As St George1 says they are not giving us the correct story here. It's all smoke and mirrors with them. They conspire to keep us off the scent. So much for honesty and transparency. I reckon Dixon's only saying this to get some brownie points.

Here's an idea : Why don't we award each councillor and council exec 50 points. Every time they lose £1000 in a project, they lose a point. When they hit zero we boot them out of their cushy little jobs. A plan ? If we back date this to when they came into office, they would all be out by now. Some of them many times over.
This bunch of clowns that we call a council really must get their act together. As St George1 says they are not giving us the correct story here. It's all smoke and mirrors with them. They conspire to keep us off the scent. So much for honesty and transparency. I reckon Dixon's only saying this to get some brownie points. Here's an idea : Why don't we award each councillor and council exec 50 points. Every time they lose £1000 in a project, they lose a point. When they hit zero we boot them out of their cushy little jobs. A plan ? If we back date this to when they came into office, they would all be out by now. Some of them many times over. Spy Boy
  • Score: 3

8:48pm Tue 19 Mar 13

stevegg says...

argo2013 wrote:
The number of people paying their taxes are at an all time high,don't you listen to Mr Cameron.What's the matter,do you get enjoyment out of the governments persecution of the poor urgh-sicko.
Actually no I dont but those that have to pay full council tax (many of whom earn less than those who receive benefits in kind) are treated with contempt and always expected to subsidise the shortfall. If Dixon had his way he would have imposed a double figure rise to full tax payers to continue to protect those on benefits. Like many others I am sick ad tired of having to subsidise those, who receive generous benefits, to maintain their lifestyles whilst mine continues to slide backwards year on year.
[quote][p][bold]argo2013[/bold] wrote: The number of people paying their taxes are at an all time high,don't you listen to Mr Cameron.What's the matter,do you get enjoyment out of the governments persecution of the poor urgh-sicko.[/p][/quote]Actually no I dont but those that have to pay full council tax (many of whom earn less than those who receive benefits in kind) are treated with contempt and always expected to subsidise the shortfall. If Dixon had his way he would have imposed a double figure rise to full tax payers to continue to protect those on benefits. Like many others I am sick ad tired of having to subsidise those, who receive generous benefits, to maintain their lifestyles whilst mine continues to slide backwards year on year. stevegg
  • Score: 2

9:16pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Homshaw1 says...

I just got my council tax bill. So what do I do if I don't want to pay it Mr Dixon
I just got my council tax bill. So what do I do if I don't want to pay it Mr Dixon Homshaw1
  • Score: 3

11:22pm Tue 19 Mar 13

g8crasher says...

Surely a precedent has been set in their enforcing or lack of, of the bedroom tax?
Surely a precedent has been set in their enforcing or lack of, of the bedroom tax? g8crasher
  • Score: 2

11:27pm Tue 19 Mar 13

hemmi1 says...

i dont and never have agreed with dixon and his croneys but if hitler had come up with this unfair and badly thought out tax on the poorer end of the human spectrum he would have been gased by his own party why dont we replace the word conservative party with nazi party
i dont and never have agreed with dixon and his croneys but if hitler had come up with this unfair and badly thought out tax on the poorer end of the human spectrum he would have been gased by his own party why dont we replace the word conservative party with nazi party hemmi1
  • Score: 0

5:02am Wed 20 Mar 13

BMD says...

hemmi1 wrote:
i dont and never have agreed with dixon and his croneys but if hitler had come up with this unfair and badly thought out tax on the poorer end of the human spectrum he would have been gased by his own party why dont we replace the word conservative party with nazi party
Labour with Stalinist communism
[quote][p][bold]hemmi1[/bold] wrote: i dont and never have agreed with dixon and his croneys but if hitler had come up with this unfair and badly thought out tax on the poorer end of the human spectrum he would have been gased by his own party why dont we replace the word conservative party with nazi party[/p][/quote]Labour with Stalinist communism BMD
  • Score: 1

5:30am Wed 20 Mar 13

Fossildog says...

hemmi1 wrote:
i dont and never have agreed with dixon and his croneys but if hitler had come up with this unfair and badly thought out tax on the poorer end of the human spectrum he would have been gased by his own party why dont we replace the word conservative party with nazi party
Yes because the systematic murdering of a people on idealistic grounds is exactly the same as asking someone to pay a few pounds a week towards their otherwise free accommodation.

Honestly, what a ridiculous comparison and one that does a huge disservice to those who struggled and died as a result of WW2..
[quote][p][bold]hemmi1[/bold] wrote: i dont and never have agreed with dixon and his croneys but if hitler had come up with this unfair and badly thought out tax on the poorer end of the human spectrum he would have been gased by his own party why dont we replace the word conservative party with nazi party[/p][/quote]Yes because the systematic murdering of a people on idealistic grounds is exactly the same as asking someone to pay a few pounds a week towards their otherwise free accommodation. Honestly, what a ridiculous comparison and one that does a huge disservice to those who struggled and died as a result of WW2.. Fossildog
  • Score: 3

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