Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Suffolk/Essex: Oxfam report shows poorest households now pay more

PUBLISHED: 09:39 22 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:08 22 April 2014

Some of the poorest households in Suffolk and Essex are paying at least £20 extra a week because of the so-called bedroom tax, a national charity has warned today.

Some of the poorest households in Suffolk and Essex are paying at least £20 extra a week because of the so-called bedroom tax, a national charity has warned today.

Archant

Some of the poorest households in Suffolk and Essex are paying at least £20 extra a week because of the so called ‘bedroom tax’, a national charity has warned today.

The report by Oxfam and the New Police Institute (NPI), titled ‘Multiple Cuts For The Poorest Families’, shows that around 2,600 of the poorest households in Suffolk are on average £14.50 a week worse off. Around 400 are being hit by at least £20 per week.

Around 4,000 of the poorest households in Essex are being hit by the bedroom tax; on average they are £16.40 per week worse off.

Renters in the private sector have seen their housing benefit cut too by the Local Housing Allowance. In Suffolk 4,700 households have been affected, and 7,000 households in Essex have been affected too. Households in Essex are losing around £8.20 a week.

There are also widespread cuts to council tax benefits.

In the UK, some 300,000 households have seen a cut in housing benefit, 920,000 have seen a cut in council tax support and 480,000 have seen a cut in both.

Mark Goldring, Oxfam Chief Executive, said: “This is the latest evidence of a perfect storm blowing massive holes in the safety net which is supposed to stop people falling further into poverty.

We are already seeing people turning to food banks and struggling with rent, council tax, childcare and travel costs to job centres.

“At a time when the five richest families in the UK have the same wealth as the bottom 20 percent of the population it is unacceptable that the poorest are paying such a heavy price.”

Tom MacInnes, Research Director at NPI and report author said: “There are two parts to the safety net. One is the means-tested cash benefit such as jobseeker’s allowance, which is rising by less than prices. The other is the benefits that help pay for specific unavoidable costs. This is where cuts have been targeted and where the greatest damage to the safety net is being done.”

The so-called bedroom tax reduces peoples’ housing benefit depending on how many spare bedrooms are in the household.

The charity has called on the Government to determine what the absolute minimum level of support should be for households in different circumstances.

3 comments

  • Funny but we never got H.Benefit top up back in the 70's. Perhaps that's why many young couples rented rooms on the top floor of often elderly ladies who had lost husbands, houses. Then you were lucky to rent a terrace, with a coal fire, outside loo, no bathroom and in our case no hot water heater. I came from a home where dad worked Sunday's to pay the mortgage, on a 2 bedroom house. I shared with sibling until I left home, in an unheated bedroom, coal fire down stairs. Council homes were for married couples and there was a points system. Now we knock two into one and people can have as many children as they like, married or not..how times change!!!

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • Cameron a 'Christian' ?, "Do unto others that which you wish done unto you" !!

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • In principle there is nothing wrong with the new policy. The problem arises when public housing is not available to allow people to move to avoid the increases. The present government with their policies of selling public housing for short term political advantage have much to answer for.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A female car passenger is fighting for life in hospital, while the male driver of the vehicle in which she was travelling remains in police custody this morning.

Forget the king under the car park, Bury St Edmunds could be about to find out if Saxon king and town namesake Saint Edmund is buried under a tennis court.

After a fortnight-long phoney war and politicians preparing for the battles to come, this week should see the start of the real 2017 General Election campaign across the region.

Last week’s iWitness weekly challenge had a theme that looked to celebrate everything we love most about Suffolk: local.

A 333 mile journey home for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation finished on Saturday when the Hike4Hopey charity walkers arrived at St James’ Park, Newcastle.

Several people were stuck for reportedly more than an hour on a ride at the Cymbeline Meadow fair, Colchester.

Family of a Suffolk man who died from a brain tumour have attended a ceremony to open a Quiet Room in his memory at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24