Thursday, 26 January 2012

My MPs response to #bedroomtax

Here is my MPs response to the #bedroomtax email that I sent him.

Dear Mr H,

Thank you for contacting me about changes to the Housing Benefit system.

The Government does not aim to reduce the levels of support for the most severely disabled people and ill people but it is important that it ensures it is well targeted, fair and goes to the right people.

I must first say that it is absolutely not fair that we have one million spare bedrooms being paid for by Housing Benefit. It is not right – many taxpayers would never be able to afford a spare bedroom in their properties – nor is it fair for those living in overcrowded or poor housing conditions. That is why I welcome the Government’s proposals to deal with the issue.

However, I also welcome the Government’s reassurance that it is not its intention to put something in place that would have a disproportionate impact on disabled people. If someone has had their property adapted because of their disability, it makes no sense to move them to a different property and spend more money on costly adaptations. The Government has said that it will ensure that disabled people are protected in the best possible way.

I understand that you are concerned that these measures will impact on the most vulnerable. That is why in the Budget the Government announced an additional £10 million in 2011-12 and an additional £40 million each year from 2012 - 2015 in the Additional Discretionary Housing Payment, to allow local authorities to provide extra support where it is most needed.

I want to assure you that those who are genuinely sick, disabled or retired have nothing to fear. This Government does not regard caring for those in need as a burden, but as a proud duty.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Best wishes,


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