Government promises independent review of 'bedroom tax'
Published by Julien Tremblin for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
Government promises independent review on impact of 'bedroom tax'
The Government has promised to set up an independent review on the impact of the bedroom tax following the passing of the controversial Welfare Reform Bill.
The Bill completed its passage through the House of Lords last night as peers dropped their final resistance to the measures. It will now be sent for Royal Assent.
However, crossbencher Lord Best – who tabled several amendments which were overturned by MPs in the last weeks – won a commitment from the Government to conduct a detailed research project on the impact of the under-occupation penalty.
The controversial "bedroom tax" is expected to hit 670,000 tenants living in the social rented sector who stand to lose an average of £13 a week in benefits.
Welfare Minister Lord Freud agreed to consult Lord Best and key stakeholders on the shape of the research. He also confirmed that the project would include an analysis of the impact of the bedroom tax on different groups including families and vulnerable children as well as levels of homelessness.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “The bedroom tax will affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in social housing across the country.
“That nearly 80 organisations, from disability charities to mortgage lenders, and peers and MPs of all parties, came together to limit its impact shows just how important this issue is. It is hugely disappointing that the Government has ignored our concerns and forced through this proposal.
”However, the Minister's commitment to conduct an independent review offers some hope for those of us who have campaigned against this unfair measure.
“It is important that we understand the real impact of the bedroom tax on thousands of families, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.
“As the policy is implemented, we will be working hard with housing associations to make sure the bedroom tax does as little damage as possible to the lives of social housing tenants.”
In an open letter published this morning, David Cameron has hailed an “historic moment for Welfare Reform”.