Tuesday, 5 November 2013


Cllr David Green - TDC Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning Services.

'In an extremely unusual, perhaps unprecedented move, Ian Duncan Smith has issued a circular saying that his Department (DWP) expects councils to defend appeals where residents are in danger of loosing their homes because they are struggling to pay rents due to the bedroom tax. The Department are threatening to join court cases themselves.

The DWP is deeply worried about tribunal decisions and potential decisions in relation to the bedroom tax. The DWP suspects that Councils may not appeal adverse decisions, or at least not with the vim and vigour the DWP would like to see. The DWP intends to appeal, or appeal and then park, a lot of decisions itself (or to be leaning heavily on Councils to act tough)

The DWP is having a bit of a panic.

I have a vision of IDS banging his fist on the table, eyes rolling, screaming ‘Appeal them, damn you, appeal them all!’

His problem is that even when Councils take residents to court because of the extremely unfair tax, the courts are reluctant to kick families out on the street.

Here in Thanet, The Labour Council has a no prosecution policy unless families have been offered two smaller properties. We believe this is only fair to families but it does cause problems to our severely stretched housing service. I will be recommending to Cabinet this week that we take 10% of houses out of our choice based letting system to offer to families down sizing. This will mean fewer properties available for families on the waiting list.

Eventually of course larger houses vacated will become available for re-letting, but from our viewpoint this tax that hits our most vulnerable families is perhaps the worst decision this government has made. Its bad socially, and makes little economic sense'.

No comments:

Post a Comment