Government to blame, says MP about bedroom tax plight

ATTENDED: Hartlepool MP Iain Wright
ATTENDED: Hartlepool MP Iain Wright

HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright is aware of William’s plight and slammed the Government for not helping people in similar situations.

Cash-strapped William went to the town MP recently to outline the problems he is facing after being forced to pay bedroom tax.

Mr Wright said: “Mr Ryan’s position shows that decent, good people, who have unfortunately fallen on bad luck need assistance from the Government, but they’re not getting help, they’re being penalised. That is scary because it could literally happen to anyone.

“Here we have a businessman who’s had a series of misfortunes and he’s sought help, that’s what the welfare state is for, it’s meant to help people who’ve fallen on bad times.

He added: “Mr Ryan came to see me about a month ago and he survives on a very, very basic diet. It was well before Christmas that he last had meat.

“This is the reality of what the Government is doing to decent people.”

Despite there being no one-bedroomed homes for William, a DWP spokesperson said: “It’s only right that we bring fairness back to the system when there are nearly two million households on the social housing waiting list and over a quarter of a million tenants are living in overcrowded homes.”

A council spokesman said: “The council fully sympathises with residents who have been affected by the bedroom tax and other welfare reform changes and we have protested strongly to the Government.

“The bedroom tax alone will result in a loss of £1.2m in housing benefit a year to Hartlepool people and to compensate for this loss the Government has granted the Council a paltry £62,000 to share out among high priority cases.

“Over the year, £62,000 will not go a along way to solving the hardship which many residents are experiencing.”

Doug Ross, managing director of Tees Valley Housing, said: “Unfortunately, as with landlords across the country, we just do not have enough smaller properties to move people into.”

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