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I’m sure many will be Intrigued to learn that Danny Alexander father who works for a housing association has blast his son and coalition over the most dreaded bedroom tax as particularly unfair in a stinging attack.
Di Alexander condemnation is his son’s favourite welfare reform can by revealed as Labour prepares to call on David Cameron and his sidekick George Osborne to kill the bedroom tax on a vote on 12 Nov 2013.
He said tenants forced out of their homes could not find alternative places to live and revealed that the Coalition’s welfare shake up meant “considerable challenges” for his housing association tenants in Scotland.
“It penalize both tenants and management team for not being able to magic up a supply of smaller properties particularly those with only one bedroom, when we have been funded by Coalition since our inception to build nothing smaller than two bedroom flats and houses”
The criticism is a major embarrassment for his Cabinet minister son and the Chancellor. The pair have claimed will save around 480 Million a per year and affect 600.000 people.
But Lady Hollis savaged the savings claim, saying the figure was based on assumptions that would not come true.
And she painted a grim picture of thousands of British families enduring a stressful ‘snakes and ladders’ existence as the tax forces them to be constantly on the move.
Lady Hollis, who spent eight years as social security and work and pensions minister in the previous government, issued her warning as peers debated the impact of the bedroom tax.
The policy – whose real name is the under-occupancy charge – means social housing tenants are docked up to 25 per cent of their benefit if they are deemed to have too much room.
Lady Hollis said the Government had assumed that 90% of people hit by the benefit cut would remain in their current homes, but surveys showed only 60% wanted to stay.
She told peers a more ‘realistic’ assumption was that 70% of people would stay and costs such as people running up rent arrears, moving into B&Bs and councils providing discretionary payments to some affected tenants had to be taken into account.
She said: “The public purse – I’ve done the stats – far from making savings, makes a significant loss.
“Tenants, far from enjoying a settled home, will face a snakes and ladders of moving up and down and across from one bed to two bed, perhaps to three bed all in different places and then down the snake again according to the age and gender of their children.
“Each move bringing huge moving costs, stress and dislocation especially to disabled families, their children and the local communities that support them.
“All this misery, all this cruelty, all this distress, to meet housing pressures that will actually now worsen and to make savings that now won’t happen.
“And we call this a housing policy? It’s strong language but I call this contemptible.”
Communities and local government minister Baroness Stowell of Beeston defended the Government’s policies
She said that affordable homes were now being built at the fastest annual rate for at least 20 years and the policy returned fairness to the housing benefit system by ‘levelling the playing field.’
She assured peers extensive research on impact of the policy had been commissioned and this would be published next year.
The government says it is providing £405m in discretionary housing payments while the new system is introduced.
But figures revealed last month show that more than 50,000 council tenants are facing eviction after falling behind on their rent because of the bedroom tax.
And a further 30,000 people living in housing association properties are also behind on their rent after the tax was introduced in April.