Dramatic rise in cost of living for low paid people forecast by Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin
Low paid North Lincolnshire residents are set to see their cost of living increase dramatically over the next year as various Government measures come into effect, says Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin
He points to reductions in council tax benefits, the introduction of the bedroom tax, and the introduction of universal credit - all squeezing low-earning family budgets.
Mr Dakin says those in receipt of council tax benefit will find that they will be paying much more of their council tax in the next few months, due to a decrease in the amount of council tax benefit they will be eligible to receive.
The MP says North Lincolnshire Council has decided to reduce council tax benefit by 8%, equating to an extra £60 per year onto household bills.
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In April 2013 the bedroom tax also comes into effect, and will reduce the housing benefit for anyone judged to be ‘under occupying’ their homes.
The bedroom tax will mean that housing benefit will be cut by a further 14% if occupants are found to have one extra bedroom, and up to 25% for two or more bedrooms that are deemed unnecessary.
Mr Dakin says: "The measures will force people to move out of their homes in search of smaller properties, even though there is shortage of one and two bedroom properties for people to downsize into.
"In Scunthorpe, approximate figures estimate that this will mean around 1,500 tenants forced to take a cut in housing benefits, or to move into a smaller property, and will mean that individuals will incur a loss of between £11-£20 per week from April 2013.
"Finally, universal credit is also set to be introduced in April 2013, which will change the way people receive their welfare support.
"It will be lumped into one single monthly payment, which for many people will mean getting to grips with a new system and handling their budgets in an entirely new way whilst trying to make savings in the face of other cuts."
The MP added: “Many local residents are finding it hard to meet the bills they already have to pay, and the costs continue to mount. These new increases in costs will take many people by surprise, and will leave them little time to work how this will affect their budget.
"It often seems as if the Government intend to balance the books entirely on the backs of the poorest in society. This is not an attack on ‘scroungers’, but an attack on ‘strivers’ as many of those affected by this will in fact be those in very low paid work.
"I feel very strongly that the bedroom tax is a very bad move and have raised the issue on a number of times in parliament and will continue to do so. This is by any other name a poll tax; indeed the original architect of this hated system Lord Jenkin has called this 'poll tax mark II’.
"It would seem that the poorest in society are funding the tax cuts for Millionaires.”