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Report reveals welfare reform impact across Lichfield and Burntwood

Hundreds of households across Lichfield and Burntwood have been hit by welfare reforms.

A new report has revealed that 449 residents have been impacted by the bedroom tax, while 12 have been affected by a cap on household benefits.

The figures will be discussed by the Lichfield District Board at a meeting on Tuesday (November 19).

The report has been drawn up by the Bromford Group’s head of neighbourhood Julie Walker and outlines a number of measures that are being introduced to help residents cope with the changes.

As well as improved financial advice for local people, Wade Street Church has also hosted an information event for Bromford housing residents who are under-occupying their homes or living in over-crowded properties.

“The event was used to promote mutual exchanges,” the report said, before admitting that just 30 of the 500 households invited attended the event.

The introduction of the bedroom tax caused controversy in Lichfield and Burntwood when a report by the local authority prior to welfare reforms being introduced suggested people affected should consider “moving to a smaller home” or “taking in a lodger”.

Burntwood Labour councillor Sue Woodward described the changes as “appalling”.

“It may be your family home that holds lots of memories of children who have flown the nest,” she told LichfieldLive.

“Now, to be told that you should take a stranger in to meet a shortfall in housing benefit I think is just appalling.”

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9 Comments

  1. Cynic

    15th November, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    “The event was used to promote mutual exchanges,” the report said, before admitting that just 30 of the 500 households invited attended the event.”

    Was the poor attendance down to them knowing they would be told to prioritise their outgoings ? A roof and food comes before mobile phones TV alcohol/cigs and other luxuries.

  2. Rob

    15th November, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    What’s this bedroom tax?
    Mine haven’t been taxed.

  3. Cynic

    15th November, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Is it because some one told them its a tax and as they are unfamiliar with the word they believe them?

  4. Some Bloke

    15th November, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I think the Government call it something like the Spare Room Supplement in their policy documents, but the policy name has been effectively high jacked in popular imagination as “Bedroom Tax”. There is no such thing, in policy or legislation, it only exists in the media, really.
    However, the current round of Welfare Reform is a total mess. It does not disadvantage the “scroungers” of Mr Duncan-Smith’s propaganda, but disadvantages vulnerable people, as well as costing the tax payer more money, in the long term.

    Universal Credit is the next thing coming. They might as well call it Universal Cred ; as they have made a complete mess of the IT. That’ll cost us thousands too.

    Now, I can’t stand it when people fiddle benefits (public humiliation and prison for those people!) and don’t have a can do will work attitude, but disadvantaged, vulnerable people are the wrong target. Why isn’t the narrative more about tax evasion (£32 BILLION)!!!!

    Rich people telling ordinary people to hate poor people. Hardly a good idea. Welfare Reform under this Government does only that, and provides no solution.

    Thanks for reading, and best wishes to everyone.

  5. Cynic

    16th November, 2013 at 12:27 am

    We must help the GENUINE sick – the others instead of giving them money for nothing tell them ,at signing on, they are entitled to “X” number of hours work that is arrived at by dividing todays pay out by the basic wage.
    The idea of giving them money and then saying you work for nothing is ridiculous!
    They have made the tax rules so complex it is easy to bypass the system for all except the average PAYE type person.

  6. Some Bloke

    16th November, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Who makes the judgement, Mr Cynic? That’s where the cost is. Is it me? Is it you?. I don’t have the answer. We, spend a lot trying to find out. Who wins? It’s not easy. I don’t have the answers. But I do know that this current government doesn’t either?
    I’m just a humble chap. I’m nobody special. ..Maybe someone can tell me the complete truth

  7. Cynic

    16th November, 2013 at 11:13 am

    “Who makes the judgement, Mr Cynic? ” At one time it was the people -the general public. They wanted to work and would do any work available – now they laugh because there is no need to work in England. It saddens me to see young people in retail working hard for not good wages and still paying tax so too many that do not deserve the hand outs can stay at home. The jobs that I have seen available in Lichfield should not be advertised for more than a few moments – they should not be a need to advertise at all because there should have been unemployed asking daily are any jobs available.
    IMO we must get the unemployed working – doing anything that needs doing.
    We are already paying for nothing .It will do them and the public a lot of good.
    The unemployed will meet people and some will think they can get better than what they are doing and find better work – but as it is today they can not get better than hand outs which are often higher than the average man can dream of.

  8. David

    16th November, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I would recommend Martin Lewis’s discussion of the issue as it’s the most well reasoned analysis I have seen. In principle I’m not against encouraging the reduction of under-occupancy of homes, but unfortunately it seems the practicalities were not properly thought through before implementation of the policy.
    http://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2013/09/24/why-the-bedroom-tax-should-be-scrapped/

  9. Cynic

    16th November, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    “David” The GOV know we have too many people and as they will do nothing about that, one of the things they can do is increase occupancy – (number of people per square mile).
    There will be mistakes while trying to get people to understand that concept.
    But the more that is said about spare capacity/floods because of building in the wrong area/ Birmingham can not cope with its own people/overcapacity infrastructure etc the sooner the population will understand the problem.
    The good days of plenty of room (pardon the pun) have gone and those at the weakest end will notice the changes first.