RESIDENTS worried about the implications of the so-called bedroom tax and other upcoming welfare changes are being urged to attend a meeting in Jarrow.
Due to be introduced next month, the bedroom tax is aimed at reducing the number of rooms in social housing going spare.
But there are fears that families on benefit will be hit hard by the tax, sparking widespread concerns.
It will be discussed at a meeting of Primrose Residents’ Association to be held at 7pm on Tuesday.
The venue will be Primrose Community Association, in Lambton Terrace, Jarrow. Group chairman John Smith said: “People are really worried about the implications of the tax.
“We have been in touch with South Tyneside Homes, and we will hopefully have a housing official at Tuesday’s meeting to talk about how the bedroom tax will affect people.
“This is a very important issue, and we would hope as many people as possible come along to the meeting to obtain the right information about the bedroom tax and how it may affect them.”
The Gazette has already told how jobless Tracy and Walter Little, of Hautmont Road, Hebburn, will lose £44 a month in benefit, even though their third bedroom is very small.
It is feared that hundreds of people on benefit in South Tyneside could lose out financially because they have three bedrooms.
Coun Emma Lewell-Buck, a Primrose ward member and also the council’s lead member for adult social care and support services, said: “It’s important that people attend events like this to get the full facts.
“We have to stress that this legislation will not just affect South Tyneside Homes’ residents but other tenants as well.
“The bedroom tax could cause more hardship than the hated poll tax of yesteryear.
“The council is helping people by providing advice, but the Government’s raft of new welfare changes is quite terrifying, and I fear it will rip through society.”