A CROSS-PARTY alliance of concerned Stafford Borough Councillors have called an emergency meeting to discuss the impact of new ‘deeply unfair’ tax regulations.
The public meeting to discuss the controversial Bedroom Tax, will be hosted by Stafford Green Party, with contributions from Labour Councillor Rowan Draper, Green Councillor Tom Harris, Stafford and Rural Homes, Stafford Housing Co-operative and will be chaired by newly independent Councillor Barry Stamp.
Talking exclusively to the newsletter Councillor Stamp said: “I recently resigned from the Liberal Democrats and the Bedroom Tax was the final straw.
“It is the most vulnerable and least well off that will be hit the hardest,” he said. “We must all do what we can to oppose this deeply unfair tax.”
Officially known as the Spare Room Subsidy, the changes, which will come into effect from April 1, mean council tenants deemed to have one spare room will see their housing benefit cut by 14 per cent or 25 per cent if they have two or more spare rooms.
The Government has suggested council tenants will face an average loss of about £14 per week, rising to around £16 per week for those renting from housing associations.
Labour Party Councillor for Littleworth Rowan Draper said the breadth of support for the meeting highlighted how strong the feelings against the Bedroom Tax were.
“I hope the meeting will help to raise awareness of the issue, as well as provide some answers for some of the many tenants who are going to have to live on next to nothing from next month,” he said. “Everyone who is against the Bedroom Tax or who is affected by it and in need of advice really must come along to this important meeting.”
Chair of Stafford Housing Co-operative Tony Pearce said he feared the tax would lead to increased numbers of people being made homeless.
“The least well-off tenants will simply not be able to afford this tax, fall into arrears on their rent and eventually be evicted and forced out onto the street,” he said. “It is ludicrous that the government is giving tax cuts to the richest, while making decent folk homeless for no good reason at all.”
The meeting is set for Thursday March 28 at 8.15pm and will be held at the County Staff Club in Eastgate Street.
For more information call Councillor Tom Harris on 01785 212245or email email@example.com.