Fund to help those hit by bedroom tax is "desperately over-subscribed" (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Fund to help those hit by bedroom tax "desperately over-subscribed"
5:28pm Friday 27th September 2013 in News
A NORTH-EAST Labour candidate has reiterated a call for a U-turn on the bedroom tax, saying a discretionary fund to help families hit is desperately over-subscribed.
Labour’s candidate for Stockton South MP, Louise Baldock, founder of Labour Against the Bedroom Tax, says Stockton Borough Council has seen a 365 per cent rise in applications for funding from those unable to pay their rent since the introduction of the tax.
She said the tax has affected 531 families in Thornaby who have a spare bedroom and are unable to move into a smaller home and said in Newcastle there are 3,200 people chasing 45 one-bedroom homes.
She said: “The discretionary fund in place, potentially to help desperate people pay their rent, is hugely over-subscribed. Stockton Borough Council has seen a 365 per cent rise in applications and like all the others, is having to ration what it can pay and who it can pay to.”
The call comes days after deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, pictured, accused councils of withholding financial help from people affected by the tax on spare bedrooms in local authority homes.
He told The Northern Echo the town halls were failing to spend, or even returning, Government cash meant to help people in trouble.
But his claims were rejected by Durham County Council, which said it had calculated its £883,000 of discretionary housing payments (DHP) would last just eight weeks.
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