At the Council meeting on 3 April, Bury Labour Group proposed a resolution condemning the ‘Spare Room Subsidy’ introduced by the Coalition Government. They alleged that 6-7,000 residents will have their housing benefit cut from 1 April 2013.
However, Council Officers told me that only 907 living in council housing and 620 living in housing association properties could be affected. This is disgraceful scaremongering by Bury’s Labour Councillors.
In Ramsbottom, only 55 homes are affected.
Ramsbottom residents know that these welfare reforms were introduced to bring fairness back into the system and to stop spiralling welfare costs.
Indeed, 88% of people polled recently by Populus agreed that benefits should be restricted and that the £26,000 per household cap on benefits being introduced by the Government is long overdue.
Here in Bury, there are over 3,600 on the waiting list for a council house.
There are 118 families living in overcrowded properties – desperate for larger accommodation, yet there are 276 households who have 2 or more spare bedrooms lying empty.
I cannot justify this to my constituents in Ramsbottom. Council tenants are receiving subsidised rent yet there are no restrictions on the size of their accommodation.
The last Labour Government restricted tenants in the private sector having spare bedrooms, but Ramsbottom’s Labour Councillors now cynically oppose the same measure in the social sector.
Every day, tenants in the private sector make choices about what they can afford – which area to live, the size of their property – so why should this not apply to those receiving tax payers money to live in council housing?
Let me know what you think.