A couple in Daventry are set to lose a fifth of their income because they cannot move to avoid the new ‘bedroom tax’.
Alan Brightman and his partner, Sue Hall, live in a three bedroom home on Daventry’s Grange estate.
Because they have two spare rooms, from Monday they have lost £93 a month – nearly a fifth of their total money.
Mr Brightman said: “I’ve been out of work for four years. I was a designer, but I’m going for warehouse jobs just to try to get something.
“We’ve spent a lot of money getting this house ready for our retirement.
“Okay, we have two spare rooms but when we went to our housing association asking them for a one bedroom place they said there were none available. I asked what would happen if we could not afford to pay the rent and they said we’d be evicted. We’ve also been told our council tax is going up as well, from £4.50 a week to £9 a week.
“I get benefits and my partner works part time. My benefits are calculated to give us £112 a week to live on – it’s about £500 a month. That has to pay the gas, electric as well as food. If the Government thinks we need £112 why are they cutting it?
“I’ve got a car which I’ll probably need to get to a job if I find one, but at the moment I might have to get rid of that to try to cover some of this money we’re losing.
“I can see the reasoning behind it all, but when it means people like us are going to struggle to pay our rent or find it harder to get a job that doesn’t seem right,” Mr Brightman added.
The Government says the bedroom tax, or removal of the spare room subsidy, is designed to encourage people in receipt of housing benefit not to occupy homes with more bedrooms than they need.
Children under 16 of same gender expected to share.
Children under 10 expected to share regardless of gender.
Disabled tenants or partner who needs non-resident overnight carer will be allowed an extra bedroom.
Separated parents who share the care of their children are expected to have a ‘main carer’ who gets the extra rooms.
Cuts to housing benefit are 14 per cent for one extra bedroom and 25 per cent for two or more extra bedrooms.