Oxfam report shows poorest households in Essex now pay more

08:33 22 April 2014

Some of the poorest households in Essex are paying at least £20 extra a week because of the so called ‘bedroom tax’, a national charity has warned today

The report by Oxfam and the New Police Institute (NPI), titled ‘Multiple Cuts For The Poorest Families’, shows that around 4,000 of the poorest households in the county are being hit by the bedroom tax; on average they are £16.40 per week worse off.

Renters in the private sector have seen their housing benefit cut too by the Local Housing Allowance. About 7,000 households in Essex have been affected. Households are losing around £8.20 a week.

There are also widespread cuts to council tax benefits.

In the UK, 300,000 households have seen a cut in housing benefit, 920,000 have seen a cut in council tax support and 480,000 have seen a cut in both.

Mark Goldring, Oxfam chief executive, said: “This is the latest evidence of a perfect storm blowing massive holes in the safety net which is supposed to stop people falling further into poverty.

We are already seeing people turning to food banks and struggling with rent, council tax, childcare and travel costs to job centres.

“At a time when the five richest families in the UK have the same wealth as the bottom 20 percent of the population it is unacceptable that the poorest are paying such a heavy price.”

Tom MacInnes, research director at NPI and report, author said: “There are two parts to the safety net. One is the means-tested cash benefit such as jobseeker’s allowance, which is rising by less than prices. The other is the benefits that help pay for specific unavoidable costs. This is where cuts have been targeted and where the greatest damage to the safety net is being done.”

The so-called bedroom tax reduces peoples’ housing benefit depending on how many spare bedrooms are in the household.

The charity has called on the Government to determine what the absolute minimum level of support should be for households in different circumstances.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Saffron Walden Reporter visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Saffron Walden Reporter staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Saffron Walden Reporter account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Yesterday, 09:00
Hannah overcame depression to become a beauty pageant winner.

Years of bullying left Hannah Poulton, 18, unable to even leave the house. But now, seven years on, her life is back on track after she stepped into the limelight.

Fri, 10:10

The policing precept is set to rise by 1.99 per cent, following approval by the Essex Police and Crime Panel.

Thu, 17:29
A hand-knitted booby hat similar to the one worn by the woman who was insulted in Tesco.

Knitters across the country are being called on to take up their needles in aid of a breast cancer campaign which has spread like wildfire in a matter of hours.

Thu, 12:53
Cllr Susan Barker and Adrian Cannard, Director of Strategy at the LEP, at Junction 8 of the M11.

One million pounds is to be spent on upgrading the M11 at Junction 8 over the next five years.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Saffron Walden Reporter e-edition today E-edition

Most read stories

Most commented stories