Bedroom tax puts cart before horse

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A councillor in South Holland’s poorest ward is asking the Government to re-think its controversial bedroom tax because people on low incomes will suffer.

People on benefits who have one spare bedroom are having their housing benefit slashed by 14 per cent and by 25 per cent if they have two spare bedrooms.

Sutton Bridge district and parish councillor Michael Booth says the Government has put the cart before the horse because it is almost impossible for people hit by the tax to find single-bedroom properties – and very few would afford the cost of moving home.

Coun Booth says most will have to look in the private sector, but new rules preventing migrant workers from going into social housing for two years mean the private sector will be overwhelmed.

Sutton Bridge has one in five children classed as living in poverty and a quarter of its primary school children have free meals.

Coun Booth, a former chairman of South Holland’s Housing Committee, met South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes and says he promised to raise the issue at 10 Downing Street where he now has an office.