Prisk: I've got no problem with the 'bedroom tax'
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Local Government
New Housing Minister Mark Prisk warned to "hit the ground running"
New housing minister Mark Prisk says he has "no problem" with the so-called 'bedroom tax' that is set to affect some 660,000 social housing tenants next April.
From that date, working age social tenants across Britain with spare rooms face cuts to their housing benefit as the Government looks to reduce the benefit bill, bring the social sector more inline with the private rented sector and free up larger homes for families on the waiting list.
However, the social sector size criteria has been widely opposed by housing associations who don't have the stock to downsize tenants into.
Mr Prisk was quizzed in the House of Commons earlier this week by Labour MP for North East Derbyshire, Natascha Engel, who asked the minister what his department was doing to ensure councils had the money to build smaller homes.
She said: "The bedroom tax is forcing many people to apply for much smaller council houses. What is the department doing to ensure that local authorities such as North East Derbyshire have the money to build smaller homes?"
Mr Prisk - who replaced Grant Shapps in the role earlier this month - said he had "no problem" with the new size criteria.
He said: "We are of course, together with others, putting some £19.5 billion into the affordable housing programme. However, we need to bear in mind the other side of the coin, namely people who face overcrowding while others live on their own in three or four-bedroom properties. I have no problem with the new size criteria; indeed, there are choices, such as taking in a lodger, that could actually help people to maintain their property."