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Diana Johnson MP slams cruel bedroom tax

Hull North MP Diana Johnson has highlighted figures showing that 6,900 Hull families will be hit by the Bedroom Tax. These figures from the National Housing Federation include tenants of non-Council social housing in Hull, in addition to the 4,700 Hull Council tenants who will be hit by the Bedroom Tax. These households would lose an average £728 per year when the Coalition Government’s cuts in Housing Benefit start next month. Hull City Council has only around 70 smaller one and two bedroom dwellings available for these families to downsize into.

The Coalition has also cut investment in building and refurbishing social housing by 60%. Nationally, the Bedroom Tax will hit 660,000 households, two thirds of them home to someone with a disability at exactly the same time as the Government gives a massive £100,000 tax cut to 13,000 millionaires. Diana Johnson MP is joining today’s anti-Bedroom Tax protest in Hull city centre, after raising the Bedroom Tax issue twice in the House of Commons in the past week, including with the Prime Minister. Dozens of similar protests are happening around the country.

The Hull North MP has also appeared with the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Liam Byrne MP in Labour’s anti-Bedroom Tax video, filmed in Hull North, which can be viewed at http://bit.ly/ZFMCOf.

Diana Johnson MP said: “The Coalition’s Bedroom Tax is cruel, shambolic and anti-family life. “As well as making some of the poorest Hull families even poorer, the shortage of smaller alternative homes means that the Bedroom Tax will force more families into private sector market renting and make others homeless – all costing more. “This means that the Bedroom Tax will not achieve the Government’s stated aim of saving money on benefits, nor make any real impact on reducing over-crowding. “I want to see more efficient use made of space in social housing and savings in Housing Benefits, but this needs to be done by providing enough suitable alternative housing and dealing humanely with the many different individual circumstances in which families live. “For example, two thirds of households hit by the Bedroom Tax have someone with a disability. “It’s also unfair to penalise the poorest by an average of £728 a year, even without the other welfare changes that are due, while the Coalition hands out a £2,000 per week tax cut for millionaires, attacks moves to cap banker bonuses and after voting down Labour’s attempt to bring in the Mansion Tax.” ENDS