Birkenhead MP attacks 'clueless' Government over bedroom tax for wheelchair-users (From Wirral Globe)
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Birkenhead MP attacks 'clueless' Government over bedroom tax for wheelchair-users
Birkenhead MP Frank Field has launched a stinging attack against the Government claiming it is “clueless” about the impact of the so-called bedroom tax on disabled people in wheelchairs.
He demanded a pledge from the ruling coalition that the tax should be scrapped immediately.
Mr Field said the Government had admitted it had no idea how many disabled people in wheelchairs, entitled to Disability Living Allowance, had been affected by bedroom tax.
In response to a parliamentary question asking for the numbers affected, he was told: “The information is not available.”
He said: ”The Government is utterly clueless about the impact of its vicious bedroom tax on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“Evidence on the ground suggests that a large proportion of tenants affected by this nasty measure are disabled people in wheelchairs, who receive DLA and live in homes that have been adapted to meet their needs.
“The Government needs to wake up to the severe hardship and distress its ‘reform’ is creating for disabled people in wheelchairs.
"Better still, it should pledge to scrap the bedroom tax with immediate effect.”
In reply to Mr Field’s criticisms, a Department of Works and Pensions spokesman said: "We've given councils £190m to help people in difficult circumstances manage benefit changes and some of this funding has been specifically targeted at people who have adapted their homes - like wheelchair-users."
Since April 1 of last year, the welfare shake-up has cut the amount of benefit people can get if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home.
The measure only applies to housing benefit claimants of working age, and is commonly referred to as bedroom tax or spare room subsidy.
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