More than 200 sign petition to scrap 'bedroom tax'

Collecting signatures for their petition are, from left, Peter Finch, Tom Robinson, Anne Graham, Cllr David Chadwick, MP Julie Hilling, John Gillatt and Matthew Farnworth

Collecting signatures for their petition are, from left, Peter Finch, Tom Robinson, Anne Graham, Cllr David Chadwick, MP Julie Hilling, John Gillatt and Matthew Farnworth

First published in Politics The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , politics reporter

MORE than 200 people have signed a petition calling for the so-called bedroom tax to be scrapped after a day of campaigning by Bolton West MP Julie Hilling.

Ms Hilling and her supporters collected 239 signatures as she campaigned in her constituency on “Cost of Cameron Day”.

The under-occupancy charge was introduced last April and means that people with a spare bedroom in their council or social housing home lose out on some of their housing benefit.

Since its introduction, thousands of Bolton residents have been affected with a campaign group, Bolton Against The Bedroom Tax, set up to fight the policy.

Ms Hilling said she plans to continue her campaign and collect more signatures, before presenting it in Parliament.

She said: “About 110,000 people in the North West have been forced to pay the bedroom tax, with the average claimant losing £728 per year.

“Chatting to residents, it’s clear they are suffering as a result of this mean and unfair policy.

“Vulnerable people in Bolton are already being squeezed financially, due to the cost of living crisis, and the number of food banks is increasing nationwide month by month.

“There are so many disabled residents here in Bolton West who have been forced to pay the bedroom tax. Spare rooms for disabled people are not a luxury, but a vital addition in allowing them to lead a normal life.”

Nationally the Labour Party has vowed that, if they win the next general election, they will scrap the charge.

In an interview with The Bolton News last week, Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith said the Government was committed to continuing the policy in a bid to find homes for the millions of people currently on a waiting list for social housing.

Comments (9)

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10:12am Wed 22 Jan 14

Jim271 says...

Why should I pay for an unemployed single person to live in a three bedroomed house?
Why should I pay for an unemployed single person to live in a three bedroomed house? Jim271
  • Score: 2

10:21am Wed 22 Jan 14

Balboa says...

More leftie propaganda from the Bolton news, as usual. Where's the opposing and balanced views on the issue?

If that MP can only collect 239 signatures out of a population of 300,000 in Bolton then she's beaten fair and square.
More leftie propaganda from the Bolton news, as usual. Where's the opposing and balanced views on the issue? If that MP can only collect 239 signatures out of a population of 300,000 in Bolton then she's beaten fair and square. Balboa
  • Score: 0

11:23am Wed 22 Jan 14

Jim271 says...

TAX is only on money you earn,

not money you are given.
TAX is only on money you earn, not money you are given. Jim271
  • Score: -3

11:39am Wed 22 Jan 14

I.careless2 says...

how dare those families who have not got enough bedrooms complain about those that have too many and are on the same benefits
couple living in homes with spare rooms should expect to have to move out or pay extra than those who have not got enough space

lets all stop being so selfish when it comes to social housing
how dare those families who have not got enough bedrooms complain about those that have too many and are on the same benefits couple living in homes with spare rooms should expect to have to move out or pay extra than those who have not got enough space lets all stop being so selfish when it comes to social housing I.careless2
  • Score: 2

1:09pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Hough64 says...

Why are you all assuming that all people living in social housing are on benefits? Bunch of judgemental cretins as always. One day all this nastiness will bite you all on the backsides and I would love to be able to see it happem.
Why are you all assuming that all people living in social housing are on benefits? Bunch of judgemental cretins as always. One day all this nastiness will bite you all on the backsides and I would love to be able to see it happem. Hough64
  • Score: 9

1:53pm Wed 22 Jan 14

atlas123 says...

I wonder out of the 239 signatories how many of those are or will be subject to the removal of the spare room subsidy?

I was speaking on person affected this week who was bemoaning having to move out of her three bed house which she occupied alone for the last 7 years as she couldn't afford the £13 or so extra.

I asked her how many cigs she smoked a day .... Answer - 40!

Life is all about choices. I sure as hell can't afford to have all the things i would like...
I wonder out of the 239 signatories how many of those are or will be subject to the removal of the spare room subsidy? I was speaking on person affected this week who was bemoaning having to move out of her three bed house which she occupied alone for the last 7 years as she couldn't afford the £13 or so extra. I asked her how many cigs she smoked a day .... Answer - 40! Life is all about choices. I sure as hell can't afford to have all the things i would like... atlas123
  • Score: 3

3:14pm Wed 22 Jan 14

heaton watcher says...

Balboa wrote:
More leftie propaganda from the Bolton news, as usual. Where's the opposing and balanced views on the issue?

If that MP can only collect 239 signatures out of a population of 300,000 in Bolton then she's beaten fair and square.
2 hours on a Saturday morning in Atherton (in the rain!).
[quote][p][bold]Balboa[/bold] wrote: More leftie propaganda from the Bolton news, as usual. Where's the opposing and balanced views on the issue? If that MP can only collect 239 signatures out of a population of 300,000 in Bolton then she's beaten fair and square.[/p][/quote]2 hours on a Saturday morning in Atherton (in the rain!). heaton watcher
  • Score: 4

7:55pm Wed 22 Jan 14

BWFC71 says...

There are over 70% of families who do work and claim benefits because employers do not pay enough for families to live a basic lifestyle! The companies should be forced to pay at least the living wage and watch the number of people claiming benefits drop!!!!

Also it is true that I thee minimum wage had kept up the face of inflationary pay-rises, since the minimum wage was introduced, then the hourly rate should be £19 (before tax)

It is true that many people and families are being forced to stay poor thanks to many successive governments but the question is WHY?

But saying that I actually agree with the "Bedroom Tax". I live within my means and if that means a studio apartment as I am by myself then so be it or I pay extra for a two bedroom house or apartment - so why should those who live in a 2 or 3 bedroom house not be forced to pay more for the extra "spare" rooms???

The only ones who should not be paying more are the families/couples who need medical equipment to be stored in a room - and that percentage is very small percentage!


At least it shows the true value - those who work for a living a prepared to sign a petition for better commuter trains than those who are not prepared to pay more for their "spare" rooms!!!!
There are over 70% of families who do work and claim benefits because employers do not pay enough for families to live a basic lifestyle! The companies should be forced to pay at least the living wage and watch the number of people claiming benefits drop!!!! Also it is true that I thee minimum wage had kept up the face of inflationary pay-rises, since the minimum wage was introduced, then the hourly rate should be £19 (before tax) It is true that many people and families are being forced to stay poor thanks to many successive governments but the question is WHY? But saying that I actually agree with the "Bedroom Tax". I live within my means and if that means a studio apartment as I am by myself then so be it or I pay extra for a two bedroom house or apartment - so why should those who live in a 2 or 3 bedroom house not be forced to pay more for the extra "spare" rooms??? The only ones who should not be paying more are the families/couples who need medical equipment to be stored in a room - and that percentage is very small percentage! At least it shows the true value - those who work for a living a prepared to sign a petition for better commuter trains than those who are not prepared to pay more for their "spare" rooms!!!! BWFC71
  • Score: -1

11:38pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Toybox says...

The problem with the so called bedroom tax is the one size fits all mentality that has been taken by Government. Various councils including our own have seized on this to score political points which personally, I find disgusting.
The Government have made millions of pounds available to help those in genuine need and hardship by this so called tax. Some Councils will tell residents, it's all gone, been allocated, though miraculously on appeal (sometimes 2 appeals) they'll award discretionary payments to the genuinely needy., others simply bury the information and make it appear so complicated, many give up. We argued for one on the basis there was no alternate accommodation available due to a lack of investment by the council but if a suitable accommodation did become available with disabled access, they'd be out within a week (it was a little more complicated than the story I'm telling) but to cut it short, once the discretionary grant was awarded - the people concerned were inundated with offers from Housing associations having been referred by the Council concerned.
The problem with the so called bedroom tax is the one size fits all mentality that has been taken by Government. Various councils including our own have seized on this to score political points which personally, I find disgusting. The Government have made millions of pounds available to help those in genuine need and hardship by this so called tax. Some Councils will tell residents, it's all gone, been allocated, though miraculously on appeal (sometimes 2 appeals) they'll award discretionary payments to the genuinely needy., others simply bury the information and make it appear so complicated, many give up. We argued for one on the basis there was no alternate accommodation available due to a lack of investment by the council but if a suitable accommodation did become available with disabled access, they'd be out within a week (it was a little more complicated than the story I'm telling) but to cut it short, once the discretionary grant was awarded - the people concerned were inundated with offers from Housing associations having been referred by the Council concerned. Toybox
  • Score: 0

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