Mencap urges bedroom tax rethink
Thursday 07 March 2013
Call to government to look again at how the ‘bedroom tax’ affects disabled people and their families
Mencap and a number of other charities have expressed deep concern about the impact of the government’s new ‘under-occupancy’ policy on disabled people and their families. Mencap considers the policy to be discriminatory and is calling on the government to urgently reconsider its position.
Changes to the size criteria in housing benefit will reduce support given to those families in social housing considered to have one or more 'spare' bedrooms. As a result, their benefit will be cut.
This policy will have a hugely detrimental impact on disabled people and their families. For example, children who need a separate bedroom because of their disability will, as a result of these changes, have to share a room, leading to hardship for the families involved.
Mencap, along with six other charities, wrote an open letter in February to the Chancellor, George Osborne, on this issue. They asked him to use the forthcoming Budget to consider the impact on carers and disabled people and asking him to protect them from additional financial hardship.
Government figures show that the ‘bedroom tax’ will affect 420,000 disabled people, their families and carers. Mencap wants the government to exempt disabled people and their families from the new size criteria where they have been assessed as needing an additional bedroom.