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Bedroom tax means mother 'can't house her son'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

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A Westcountry mother may not be able to offer her military son "a home, or a bedroom" when he returns from duty thanks to the Government's controversial "bedroom tax", David Cameron has been told.

The Prime Minister was tackled at Westminster over the impact of the controversial move to impose an under-occupancy penalty on tenants by the Plymouth woman's constituency MP, Alison Seabeck.

Mr Cameron promised to look into the case, but stressed the need to get to grips with a £23 billion housing benefit bill, and pointed out many in privately rented properties "cannot afford extra bedrooms".

The changes will see housing association and council tenants have housing benefits cut if they are deemed to have spare bedrooms.

From April it will mean a 14% cut for one spare room – and 25% for two.

The Government says the proposals will save money and help deal with a housing shortage by encouraging people to move out of homes that are too big for them.

Raising her constituent's case at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Plymouth Moor View MP Ms Seabeck said: "Is it right that a mother in my constituency may not, because of the Prime Minister's bedroom tax – and as confirmed by his Minister – be able offer her son, serving in Her Majesty's Armed Forces, either a home or a bedroom on his return from duty?" Responding, the PM said: "I will happily look at the case she mentions, but our reforms to housing benefit have a clear principle at their heart.

"There are many people in private rented accommodation who do not have housing benefit and cannot afford extra bedrooms. We have to get control of housing benefit. We are now spending, as a country, £23 billion on housing benefit, and we have to get that budget under control."

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