MORE than 1,500 people in Flintshire could be hit by the controversial new ‘bedroom tax’.
The National Housing Federation has issued statistics which suggest 1,567 people across Flintshire could be hundreds of pounds worse off under the plans to cut benefits to people considered to have spare bedrooms in their council or housing association property.
Politicians have spoken out against the controversial UK Government welfare reform measures, which could come into force from next month.
They fear people could be driven out of their homes by the ‘bedroom tax’ plans, which figures suggest could hit individuals by an average of £728 each year.
The figures suggest 837 people in Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami’s constituency could be affected.
Mr Tami said: “David Cameron’s ‘bedroom tax’ will hammer families in Alyn and Deeside already struggling to make ends meet, and could actually risk costing local tax-payers a fortune in higher private rents and covering the cost of driving people out of their homes.
“Two thirds of the households hit are home to someone with a disability, and the families of soldiers and foster parents will also be hit. Yet at the same time prisoners get off and millionaires are getting a massive tax cut. How can that be right?”
Delyn MP David Hanson is also against the proposals, which the figures suggest could hit 730 people in his constituency.
He said: “I think this is an appalling proposal that will hit those with the lowest incomes in my constituency. £728 per year is a lot of money for anyone on a low income.
“I have voted against this in the House of Commons on several occasions and am still urging the Government to look at how this is implemented. I have had people coming to my surgeries and saying how worried they are about it. I want people to continue to give me feedback.”
The proposals have attracted opposition from Flintshire Council members and officers.
Paul Neave, Flintshire Council’s key manager for welfare rights, told a council meeting £700,000 per annum of housing benefit could be lost by Flintshire tenants due to the changes.
He said 300 households have already asked to move to smaller properties but only 150 homes were available.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron addressed Labour leader Ed Milliband on the anticipated exemptions under the ‘bedroom tax’ ruling.
He said: “There is no cut in the money going to the disabled, this Government is protecting that money in spite of the mess you left. On the spare room subsidy, pensioners are exempt, people with disabled children are exempt, anyone who needs help around the clock is also exempt.”