‘Bedroom tax’ could increase homeless

Councillor Tony Hassan.
Councillor Tony Hassan.

Thousands of people could be left homeless or destitute due to the implementation of the controversial ‘bedroom tax,’ a local councillor has warned.

Councillor Tony Hassan was speaking after the social development minister Nelson McCausland said there will not be a six month delay in implementing the move, as had previously been suggested.

The Shantallow Sinn Féin colr. said the ‘bedroom tax’ could impact on thousands of people locally.

“The announcement by Nelson McCausland raises serious concerns, given that he has spoken previously of getting flexibilities in the delivery of Welfare Reform.

“It is clear from this announcement that the Minister will not being implementing any flexibility when it comes to this punitive measure.

“The so called ‘Bedroom Tax’ will have a hugely negative impact locally given the lack of suitable housing stock and I have been on record on asking the minister how he would square that circle. To date he has not been able to answer this satisfactorily,” he said.

Colr. Hassan has said he has spoken to many local people, particularly older people who live alone in three and four bedroomed houses who are very concerned at the possible impact of the controversial plans.

The colr. called on the minister to carry out more research on how the implementation of the plan will hit the poorest and most vulnerable.

“Sinn Féin have pressed to establish an ad hoc committee to examine the human rights aspects of the Tory- driven welfare reform bill. What is abundantly clear is that this measure will fundamentally affect people’s right to housing and has the potential to make 1,000s homeless or destitute.”

he said.