23 October 2018   |  Last Updated 15-01-2015 01:02

      Monday 31, March 2014

      'Bedroom Tax is a diet for Malnutrition'

      PICTURED: Protestors against the 'Bedroom Tax'AS THE ‘Bedroom Tax’ policy approaches its one-year anniversary tomorrow, thousands still firmly oppose the Coalition government’s housing benefit reform.


      The under occupancy charge, which is commonly labelled as the ‘Bedroom Tax’ by the Labour Party and protestors, was introduced last April with the initial aim to cut the amount of housing benefit people could claim if they were considered to have a ‘spare bedroom’.


      But this Conservative-Liberal Democrat policy has been seen by many as an attack on the ‘poor and vulnerable’ and as Maria Brabiner claimed the ‘Bedroom Tax is a diet for malnutrition’.


      “I'm a living proof example that you can't pay the Bedroom Tax and lead a normal life,” said Mrs Brabiner, 48, from Lower Broughton, Salford, who has been affected by the reform twice in the past 12 months.


      “I lost a stone in weight last summer because of the Bedroom Tax, and I went down to 7st.


      “But last July when I found a job, I was able to eat normally.”


      Mrs Brabiner found employment as a full-time community team member in private education which enabled her to pay her rent in full of £80.90 per week, after she initially had to make up for the 14 per cent decrease in her housing benefit because her spare room (once occupied by her mother, who has since passed), was classed as ‘under-occupied’.


      “Unfortunately I was made redundant at the end of November (2013) though, so now I am again affected by Bedroom Tax,” she added.


      “I never thought I'd see in my lifetime any legislation worse than the Poll Tax.


      “The Bedroom Tax is the nastiest, evil, viscous legislation ever. The Poll Tax did have exemptions for the unemployed and sick whereas Bedroom Tax deliberately targets vulnerable people.


      “It is disgusting!”


      Mrs Brabiner is an administrator on the Facebook page “Bedroom Tax… think it’s unfair… join the fight here”, and the group has just under 15,000 members.


      Look below at some of the comments made by members…


      Salford Conservative Councillor, Christopher Clarkson, who represents Worsley, is still ‘very much in favour of the reform on housing benefits’.


      “At the end of the day there are people in work who can’t afford to have houses as big as some people who are claiming housing benefit,” he said.

      “I don’t think it is fair that somebody should be subsidised for having additional bedrooms that they don’t need when there are people who aren’t eligible for housing benefit, who are maybe sharing a house, especially a lot of younger working people.

      “I think we have to be realistic about how much money we have and then we have to look at the fairest way of sharing that money out.”

      By Liam McCallion


      Published by Liam McCallion on 15-01-2015 01:02