We, the undersigned, call on Camden Council to take a firm stance against the damaging welfare benefit reforms. Firm action needs to be taken in particular against the Bedroom Tax and the Council Benefit cuts, the former because of the unacceptably small space it allows a household, and for both, because these unfair charges cannot be avoided even by adjusting and moving to a lower cost area.
We believe that the Bedroom tax will push people into arrears, risk making them homeless and a be bigger burden on the State, or force them to live in accommodation which is not appropriate having a negative impact in particular on the achievement of young people. Camden Council needs to begin by reclassifying smaller rooms, but must also make it absolutely clear that people forced into arrears because of this charge will not be evicted.
The latest Camden Council research http://www.camdendata.info/AddDocuments1/Impacts%20of%20welfare%20changes%20Cabinet%20Policy%20Briefing%2017%20April%20PUBLIC.pdf shows that 1994 households will be affected by the Bedroom Tax in Camden.
The Green-led Brighton Council has pledged that tenants will not be evicted because of arrears caused by the Bedroom tax.
The SNP-led Dundee Council has done the same.
The Labour-led Leeds Council has managed to re-classify rooms, thus saving tenants from being affected by the Bedroom Tax.
We call on Camden Council to support those who need it most, and adopt a policy not to evict households forced into arrears because of the Bedroom Tax or loss of Council Tax benefit. To achieve this, we urge the Council to begin by classifying rooms to ensure that very small rooms don't lead to the bedroom tax being activated.
We recognise that there are other unfair benefit cuts, but these are some of the worst as there is no way of people avoiding arrears or living standards below what it is reasonable to expect wherever they live.