Food and heating cutbacks as bedroom tax is leading to sleepless nights

Have your say

Northerners hit by the bedroom tax are cutting back on essentials such as food and heating, according to new research from the National Housing Federation.

A survey carried out for the federation found that nearly a third, 32 per cent, of people affected by the bedroom tax in the north say they have cut back on food and more than a quarter, 26 per cent, have cut back on heating as a result of the tax.

Nearly a half, 45 per cent, of those affected in the north have needed to borrow money to help pay their rent since the introduction of the bedroom tax in April 2013. The research also found that four in five of those affected are concerned about falling behind on rent, nine in ten are concerned about meeting their living costs and nearly three quarters are concerned about eviction.

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said: “People stung by the bedroom tax are being forced to make difficult choices on which bills to pay and which essentials to go without.

“They are living in fear that they will lose their homes and have resorted to borrowing from friends and family to try and get by. Housing associations have spent millions of pounds working more closely with their tenants, introducing projects to tackle fuel poverty and working with food banks to help alleviate food poverty.

“But these services have costs, which is leaving less money for the building of new homes.

“The results of our latest survey are depressing. As we feared and warned, the bedroom tax is having a disastrous impact.

“The only solution is to abolish this policy which fails on every level.”