Dozens risk eviction in Wolverhampton over bedroom tax

Dozens of people in Wolverhampton are risking eviction after failing to pay a penny of the controversial 'bedroom tax'.

Placards from a demonstration against the government's 'Bedroom Tax' last year.
Placards from a demonstration against the government's 'Bedroom Tax' last year.

Wolverhampton Homes has revealed 36 council tenants with spare rooms, who were told a year ago they would lose some of the housing benefit that covers their rent, have not paid it at all.

And 60 per cent of tenants affected by the cut in benefit for 'under-occupying' their homes have fallen into debt, figures reveal.

The government removed what it called a 'spare room subsidy' from working age council and social housing tenants if they had one or more spare bedrooms. The cut amounted to 14 or 25 per cent of their housing benefit, leaving them to pick up the cost.

It was intended to free up larger council and social housing properties for families stuck on waiting lists. And it has saved £37 million in benefit payments across the West Midlands.

But critics, who have dubbed it the 'bedroom tax' say there are not enough smaller homes for them to go to, meaning many had no choice other than to pay.

Wolverhampton Homes said the 36 people who have 'chosen' not to pay make up just 1.5 per cent of tenants.

Director of housing Mark Henderson says they have to do it or face possible eviction proceedings.

"There are 36 people who have so far chosen not to pay anything since the policy came into effect in April 2013," he said.

"They are getting into a really serious position now. The average owed is about £270."

Comments for: "Dozens risk eviction in Wolverhampton over bedroom tax"

"Chosen not to pay" - You can't make it up can you?

Kev

Out of all that "choose not to pay" I bet most spend money on one or more of the following....

Fags, Booze, drugs, Subscription TV, Mobile Phones, Home Broadband and Gambling or in some cases dare I say Holidays.

I agree with the benefit cut in principal but people who are on a list to downsize and haven't been offered anything should be exempt and so should disabled people who need the room for equipment and carers to stay.

All the others should pay and should be checked to see if they spend on the luxuries mentioned above if they refuse to pay.

Shadow.Ghostrider

Although I agree with most of your comments Kev, some of those choosing not to pay maybe registering a protest vote as was done in the poll tax farce, though I am not one of them. Please don't tar everyone with the same brush.

markie

If they want to "register a protest vote" that is fine. But they must take the consequences of their own inaction - eviction.

The only ones being tarred and the ones not paying their rent in full.

reaperman

There are many people in Wolverhampton and outlying districts who have little or no intention of paying anything, whether they can or not. Most complain that they can't afford it, and the majority are probably truthful, but there are others who just want the benefits of being on benefit for the sheer hell of it. It's an excuse....and it only paints those who are in dire straits financially with the same tar brush.

I had to give up work to look after a seriously ill spouse....and I got no help either physically or financially, yet I still manage to pay it. Do these people not realise that you have to cut your cloth accordingly?

Kev is quite right. Pay your bills....not sit with your feet up watching the soaps, whilst everyone else subsidises you. Learn something about economics, and get to grips with the fact that most of you probably voted in a government which bled the county dry...and you all fiddled whilst Rome burned. Now it's time to step up to the plate and give something back. After all...you were willing to take it in the first place.

BadPutty

Kev you said: Fags, Benefit claimants' have booze, drugs, Subscription TV, Mobile Phones, Home Broadband and Gambling or in some cases dare I say Holidays.

what planet are you living on?

Have you been on benefits?

Sanctioned?

An ATOS WCA?

forced to work on workfare?

I was in Wolverhampton Poundland the other day and I asked an assistant where something was, she didn't know and I said: "Are you a workfare slave?" she said how did you guess. I told her my daughter was one and she went through hell in the Poundland (Telford) she worked at. e.g one day she had a stomach bug and phoned the store to tell them she wasn't coming in because she was ill, the manageress went ballistic at her and told my daughter that she was going to report her to the JCP. My daughter immediately told the JCP what had happened and even they said you are unpaid work experience so how can she say you missed your shift.

They promised all the workfare slaves work to get the best performance out of them and then got shut of them, one manager of a store she took her CV was honest when he said: "as long as the company are getting a ready supply of free labour they aren't going to take on any paid staff"

So my advice to you and any one that thinks those on benefits have it easy then work in their shoes before you criticise!!!!

markie

They know the new rules and should have made provision to pay the extra rent before the bill got too big. I agree with Kev that probably all of the debters have spent money on most of the things that he mentions.

Extra money was set aside by Central Government to enable the disabled people that Kev mentions to pay the extra rent.

Don't bother even trying to check what they have wasted their money, evict them if they dont pay up. There are loads of people on the waiting list only too glad to have the opportunity to get what is, lets face it, heavily subsidised housing.

I see no point in making excuses for these people, they must learn to help themselves and not rely upon others to bail them out. Mnay of them could have got permission to sublet or take in lodgers, or even found a job.

Boinggobaggies

Cannot agree more with the points made above if I choose not to pay my Mortgage the Building Society takes my house. If they choose not to pay their rent kick them out. I have no sympathy for these free loaders I agree the disabled should be exempt and anyone who works and has tried hard to pay (not just made one or two payments then stopped) but no one else.

Let us not forget they are not being kicked out of THEIR houses they are being kicked out of OUR (the tax payers) houses these people have no more right to the four walls and roof over their head than the next person. These properties are rented from the local authority and they should be treated like any other private tenant would be so if they don't pay out they go.

Read the story about what the council workers are giving up in Wolverhampton to save £1.5m while this lot draw on bits of card and stand protesting.