Waltham Forest Council still to notify those penalised under new system

Iain Duncan Smith is spearheading government welfare reforms

Iain Duncan Smith is spearheading government welfare reforms

First published in News East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

An error which has seen people wrongly charged the so-called 'bedroom tax' will be rectified as quickly as possible, Waltham Forest Council has said.

Of the 1,503 people in Waltham Forest affected by reforms to housing benefit, which has seen payments cut if people are judged to have a spare room in their council or housing association home, 146 have been identified as wrongly penalised.

These people should have been exempt as they have lived in their properties since January 1 1996 or before and they are yet to be informed of the mistake.

Waltham Forest Council says it expects the number will increase as it works through individual cases.

Councillor Marie Pye, cabinet member for housing, said she sympathises with those who have been left out of pocket by the error.

She said: “It is obviously extremely regrettable that the Department of Work and Pensions has made this error to add to the chaos surrounding the introduction of the under-occupancy penalty.

“It is one thing to impose an extra burden upon the day to day living costs of people with a spare bedroom, but yet another to compound that misery by getting it wrong.”

The changes to housing benefit are part of reforms to the welfare system led by Chingford MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith.

The government insists the reforms will make the benefits system fairer.

Comments (14)

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8:04am Wed 15 Jan 14

Robert19 says...

They should be after the rich with a mansion tax not the poor with a bedroom tax.
They should be after the rich with a mansion tax not the poor with a bedroom tax. Robert19
  • Score: 3

8:04am Wed 15 Jan 14

John J C Moss says...

Out of 702 of the Council's own tenant households occupying properties larger than they need, only 178 have requested a move.
Out of 702 of the Council's own tenant households occupying properties larger than they need, only 178 have requested a move. John J C Moss
  • Score: -9

9:17am Wed 15 Jan 14

Helen, Walthamstow says...

John J C Moss wrote:
Out of 702 of the Council's own tenant households occupying properties larger than they need, only 178 have requested a move.
Which isn't all that surprising.

Do you have family and friends coming to stay with you from time to time? If the answer is "yes", just consider for a moment the council tenants who are keeping a spare room, even if it costs them, so that they can welcome their visitors.

And that's before we get on to couples who sleep apart for health reasons, who need space to accommodate family members with troubles, those who look after their grandchildren regularly, those needing live-in care, even on a temporary basis...and so on.

Most council tenants are not the scrounges portrayed by right-wingers. They are ordinary people, paying rent for their homes and wanting to live a normal life.
[quote][p][bold]John J C Moss[/bold] wrote: Out of 702 of the Council's own tenant households occupying properties larger than they need, only 178 have requested a move.[/p][/quote]Which isn't all that surprising. Do you have family and friends coming to stay with you from time to time? If the answer is "yes", just consider for a moment the council tenants who are keeping a spare room, even if it costs them, so that they can welcome their visitors. And that's before we get on to couples who sleep apart for health reasons, who need space to accommodate family members with troubles, those who look after their grandchildren regularly, those needing live-in care, even on a temporary basis...and so on. Most council tenants are not the scrounges portrayed by right-wingers. They are ordinary people, paying rent for their homes and wanting to live a normal life. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 7

9:33am Wed 15 Jan 14

Upshirehorse says...

Practically, this concept of expecting people to move according to their change in circumstances is flawed as some peoples lives are so hectic they may find their situation forcing them to move several times over a period.
Practically, this concept of expecting people to move according to their change in circumstances is flawed as some peoples lives are so hectic they may find their situation forcing them to move several times over a period. Upshirehorse
  • Score: 4

10:28am Wed 15 Jan 14

Alan_1976 says...

Helen, Walthamstow wrote:
John J C Moss wrote:
Out of 702 of the Council's own tenant households occupying properties larger than they need, only 178 have requested a move.
Which isn't all that surprising.

Do you have family and friends coming to stay with you from time to time? If the answer is "yes", just consider for a moment the council tenants who are keeping a spare room, even if it costs them, so that they can welcome their visitors.

And that's before we get on to couples who sleep apart for health reasons, who need space to accommodate family members with troubles, those who look after their grandchildren regularly, those needing live-in care, even on a temporary basis...and so on.

Most council tenants are not the scrounges portrayed by right-wingers. They are ordinary people, paying rent for their homes and wanting to live a normal life.
Also entirely unsurprising given the unavailability of properties to move to.
[quote][p][bold]Helen, Walthamstow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]John J C Moss[/bold] wrote: Out of 702 of the Council's own tenant households occupying properties larger than they need, only 178 have requested a move.[/p][/quote]Which isn't all that surprising. Do you have family and friends coming to stay with you from time to time? If the answer is "yes", just consider for a moment the council tenants who are keeping a spare room, even if it costs them, so that they can welcome their visitors. And that's before we get on to couples who sleep apart for health reasons, who need space to accommodate family members with troubles, those who look after their grandchildren regularly, those needing live-in care, even on a temporary basis...and so on. Most council tenants are not the scrounges portrayed by right-wingers. They are ordinary people, paying rent for their homes and wanting to live a normal life.[/p][/quote]Also entirely unsurprising given the unavailability of properties to move to. Alan_1976
  • Score: 5

12:09pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Dave mp says...

What about the suicides this has caused? Apart the many people who have taken out so-called payday loans and are now in even more debt?
What about the suicides this has caused? Apart the many people who have taken out so-called payday loans and are now in even more debt? Dave mp
  • Score: 4

1:51pm Wed 15 Jan 14

OngarRS says...

Please get it right - it is not a "tax" it is a reduction in your benefits if you have a property too large for your requirements. If you need extra room for relatives, get a camp bed, or go an pay market rent on your own property. Don't expect other people to subsidise you.
Please get it right - it is not a "tax" it is a reduction in your benefits if you have a property too large for your requirements. If you need extra room for relatives, get a camp bed, or go an pay market rent on your own property. Don't expect other people to subsidise you. OngarRS
  • Score: -6

2:47pm Wed 15 Jan 14

myopinioncounts says...

A relative still lives in the 3 bed house from the time when his family of 4were allocated it. Now living alone, it is madness that he is allowed to remain there paying a heavily subsidised rent. More small units for singles who are deemed to be unable to rent privately should be built.
If the 'right to buy' is not stopped then at least allowing the selling of council homes to tenants who do not have to prove that it is THEIR OWN money that is funding the purchase must be stopped. How many adult children buy their parents council homes (even if they do not still live there themselves) and then sell at a huge profit when mum & dad die?
A relative still lives in the 3 bed house from the time when his family of 4were allocated it. Now living alone, it is madness that he is allowed to remain there paying a heavily subsidised rent. More small units for singles who are deemed to be unable to rent privately should be built. If the 'right to buy' is not stopped then at least allowing the selling of council homes to tenants who do not have to prove that it is THEIR OWN money that is funding the purchase must be stopped. How many adult children buy their parents council homes (even if they do not still live there themselves) and then sell at a huge profit when mum & dad die? myopinioncounts
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Wed 15 Jan 14

stickmanny says...

OngarRS wrote:
Please get it right - it is not a "tax" it is a reduction in your benefits if you have a property too large for your requirements. If you need extra room for relatives, get a camp bed, or go an pay market rent on your own property. Don't expect other people to subsidise you.
You plus a bunch of rich selfish Tories are the only ones who care that a micropenny of their taxes are being spent on those that need a hand in life.

If you ever need help I hope you don't find it. Maybe then you'll understand?
[quote][p][bold]OngarRS[/bold] wrote: Please get it right - it is not a "tax" it is a reduction in your benefits if you have a property too large for your requirements. If you need extra room for relatives, get a camp bed, or go an pay market rent on your own property. Don't expect other people to subsidise you.[/p][/quote]You plus a bunch of rich selfish Tories are the only ones who care that a micropenny of their taxes are being spent on those that need a hand in life. If you ever need help I hope you don't find it. Maybe then you'll understand? stickmanny
  • Score: 4

7:46pm Wed 15 Jan 14

OngarRS says...

stickmanny wrote:
OngarRS wrote:
Please get it right - it is not a "tax" it is a reduction in your benefits if you have a property too large for your requirements. If you need extra room for relatives, get a camp bed, or go an pay market rent on your own property. Don't expect other people to subsidise you.
You plus a bunch of rich selfish Tories are the only ones who care that a micropenny of their taxes are being spent on those that need a hand in life.

If you ever need help I hope you don't find it. Maybe then you'll understand?
I would be entitled to 60 quid a week for 6 months if I lost my job. However, I have never expected other people to subsidise me in any way. Selfish? Yes - look after number one and s*d the rest of you.
[quote][p][bold]stickmanny[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OngarRS[/bold] wrote: Please get it right - it is not a "tax" it is a reduction in your benefits if you have a property too large for your requirements. If you need extra room for relatives, get a camp bed, or go an pay market rent on your own property. Don't expect other people to subsidise you.[/p][/quote]You plus a bunch of rich selfish Tories are the only ones who care that a micropenny of their taxes are being spent on those that need a hand in life. If you ever need help I hope you don't find it. Maybe then you'll understand?[/p][/quote]I would be entitled to 60 quid a week for 6 months if I lost my job. However, I have never expected other people to subsidise me in any way. Selfish? Yes - look after number one and s*d the rest of you. OngarRS
  • Score: -5

12:51am Thu 16 Jan 14

Robert19 says...

OngarRS wrote:
stickmanny wrote:
OngarRS wrote:
Please get it right - it is not a "tax" it is a reduction in your benefits if you have a property too large for your requirements. If you need extra room for relatives, get a camp bed, or go an pay market rent on your own property. Don't expect other people to subsidise you.
You plus a bunch of rich selfish Tories are the only ones who care that a micropenny of their taxes are being spent on those that need a hand in life.

If you ever need help I hope you don't find it. Maybe then you'll understand?
I would be entitled to 60 quid a week for 6 months if I lost my job. However, I have never expected other people to subsidise me in any way. Selfish? Yes - look after number one and s*d the rest of you.
At least you are honest but what a sad and mean way to live. Presumably you do not use the NHS for the same reason? And by the same logic, no need for any public services whatsoever.
[quote][p][bold]OngarRS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stickmanny[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OngarRS[/bold] wrote: Please get it right - it is not a "tax" it is a reduction in your benefits if you have a property too large for your requirements. If you need extra room for relatives, get a camp bed, or go an pay market rent on your own property. Don't expect other people to subsidise you.[/p][/quote]You plus a bunch of rich selfish Tories are the only ones who care that a micropenny of their taxes are being spent on those that need a hand in life. If you ever need help I hope you don't find it. Maybe then you'll understand?[/p][/quote]I would be entitled to 60 quid a week for 6 months if I lost my job. However, I have never expected other people to subsidise me in any way. Selfish? Yes - look after number one and s*d the rest of you.[/p][/quote]At least you are honest but what a sad and mean way to live. Presumably you do not use the NHS for the same reason? And by the same logic, no need for any public services whatsoever. Robert19
  • Score: 4

12:22pm Thu 16 Jan 14

stickmanny says...

And next time you use a road do think of me - I paid for some of it.
And next time you use a road do think of me - I paid for some of it. stickmanny
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Alan_1976 says...

stickmanny wrote:
And next time you use a road do think of me - I paid for some of it.
Quite clear he opted out of education as well. He wouldn't have wanted to be subsidised...
[quote][p][bold]stickmanny[/bold] wrote: And next time you use a road do think of me - I paid for some of it.[/p][/quote]Quite clear he opted out of education as well. He wouldn't have wanted to be subsidised... Alan_1976
  • Score: 10

3:54pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Robert19 says...

And don't have an accident in Ongar just in case OngarRS is the only witness. A danger of death by neglect.
And don't have an accident in Ongar just in case OngarRS is the only witness. A danger of death by neglect. Robert19
  • Score: 2

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