100 days on: why the ‘bedroom tax’ isn’t working

by Paola Battista - 2013.07.29

In the UK, 100 days after its introduction, it is time to evaluate the much-criticized so-called ‘bedroom tax’, which penalises 460 families living in social housing considered too big for their needs. On closer inspection, it seems that the policy, which came into force on 1 April 2013, does not work, according to the Aragon Housing Association. The same fate has become of the social benefits designed to help tenants with disabilities and those living in poverty. These policies have been proven to have failed, according to the report, with citizens unable to pay rent while also being unable to find smaller accommodation (only 9% have moved). The policies have had a particularly detrimental effect on the disabled who, already burdened by the costs of having to adapt their homes to meet their needs, now find themselves excluded from the temporary benefits that have been allocated for them. Only one in three are able to survive financially on these allowances. Arrears have also increased by 9% in just three months while people have had to cut down on basics, particularly food, just to keep a roof over their heads.