Five times more people in financial peril due to ‘bedroom tax’

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Changes to the UK welfare system have seen a five-fold increase in council tenants unable to pay their rent.

On April 1 the UK Government brought in the latest of their cash-saving changes to welfare - the so-called ‘bedroom tax’.

Under the new rules anyone of working age who rents a home from a local authority, housing association or registered social landlord which is deemed ‘too big’ for them will have their housing benefit cut.

Tenants who have one extra bedroom face a 14 per cent cut, with a 25 per cent cut for those with two or more extra bedrooms.

Last week the council revealed that during April and May 149 households had appled for help to pay their rent through the council’s discretional housing payments scheme, compared with just 29 during the same period in 2012 - a rise of 513 per cent.

The council has so far paid out over £23,000 helping people move to more affordable or more suitable accommodation.

It has also been visiting those affected to offer support, including arranging mutual exchanges, transfer applications and discretionary housing payments.

If you are in financial difficulty the council and Citizens Advice Bureau run a welfare rights service. Call 0141 775 3220 or go to www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/welfarereform

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