‘Bedroom tax’ hitting North hard

HOUSEHOLDS IN the North of England hit by controversial cuts to housing benefits are going without basic essentials for fear of falling into arrears.

A new report analysing the impact of the Government’s spare room subsidy, known as the ‘bedroom tax’, has revealed almost a third of victims are spending less on food while more than a quarter have cut back on heating.

The National Housing Federation survey also found nearly half of all people in the North affected by the spare room subsidy have been forced to borrow money just to pay their rent since it was introduced last April.

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Chief executive David Orr said: “People stung by the bedroom tax are being forced to make difficult choices on which bills to pay and which essentials to go without. They are living in fear that they will lose their homes.”

Mother-of-two Brook Morris, aged 28, lives in a three-bedroom house with her two young children in Sheffield. She fell in to arrears when her housing benefit was slashed by 14 per cent last spring.

Miss Morris said: “I go without food so my kids can eat. Some days I’ll only have something if there’s leftovers on their plates.”