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Why are the most vulnerable people in society being allowed to suffer when fund provided by Government are not being spent to support them? Both able bodied people, particularly pensioners and disabled people are suffering because of poor administration.
From National Housing Federation - Disabled people cutting back on food and bills to pay bedroom tax
“Nine in ten disabled people are cutting back on food or bills to pay the bedroom tax if they are refused a safety-net housing payment, a new survey (1) by charity Papworth Trust and backed by the National Housing Federation has shown.
Data from 24 local authorities also shows that three in ten (29%) disabled people hit by the tax have been refused the Discretionary Housing Payments so far.(2)
Of the disabled people surveyed who have been refused a Discretionary Housing Payment:
Nine out of ten (90%) are cutting back on food or bills.
Nearly four out of ten (37%) are cutting back on specialist mobility transport.
More than a quarter (27%) are cutting back on medical expenses such as medication, therapies and monitoring health conditions.
There are about 200,000 (3) disabled people receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) expected to be hit by the bedroom tax. For many, the extra bedroom is used by their partner when sleeping together is difficult or to store essential equipment.
In March, Minister Steve Webb MP announced £25 million extra funding for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) (4) this year to specifically protect the most vulnerable people from the bedroom tax.(5)
Even if this money were distributed evenly to DLA claimants hit by the tax, National Housing Federation analysis found they would each receive just £2.09 per week – a drop in the ocean compared to the average £14 a week loss in housing benefit (6). But the Papworth Trust research into 24 local authorities suggests that three in ten disabled people are not even getting that.
Papworth Trust Strategy Director David Martin says:
“The Government clearly intended for these emergency payments to stop the bedroom tax from pushing disabled people further into poverty.”
The Government are making funds available to local authorities to make discretionary payments to those in need BUT this money is not being spent. Look at these figures on the amount of money that has been left unspent since 2008. Why are local authorities allowing people to suffer? Why don’t they find out who needs help? They know who is being hit by “bedroom tax” and benefit reductions and they should be helping them to claim this money rather than refusing almost 30% of the claims made. I am tired of hearing how private landlords are forcing people into poverty by increasing rents. Every penny of the money provided by Government should be spent on those in most need. It’s a shameful disgrace that almost 20% was not spent in the last financial year in England and almost 14% in Wales.
Percentage of Government funding unspent
|2011-12||Percentage of Government funding unspent|
|2008-09||2009-10||2010-11||Percentage of Government funding carried forward into 2012-13||Percentage of Government funding unspent||2012-13|
|Source: Claim form returns from local authorities|
All local authorities should be held accountable for any unspent funds, they should be made to prove that they have actively sought out those in need and are only returning the money that no one in their area needs – I wonder how many of them would pass that test?
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Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets
Mary Latham said
I wonder how many of them would pass that test?
Ha! Mine definitely wouldn't!
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