RESIDENTS worried about the implications of the ‘bedroom tax’ and other “terrifying” welfare changes are urged to attend a meeting in South Tyneside tomorrow.
Due to be introduced next month, the tax is aimed at reducing over-capacity in social housing.
But there are fears poorer families on benefit will be hit hard by the tax, which is sparking widespread concerns.
The bedroom tax will be debated at a meeting of Primrose Residents’ Association, which will be held at Primrose Community Association in Lambton Terrace, Jarrow, at 7pm.
Group chairman John Smith said: “People are really worried about the implications of the bedroom 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 last week reported 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 hundreds of people on benefit in South Tyneside could lose out 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.
“But we have to stress that this legislation will not just affect South Tyneside Homes’ residents, but other tenants as well.
“I think the ‘bedroom tax’ could cause more hardship than the hated poll tax of yesteryear. The council is helping people by providing fact sheets and other help and advice.
“But the Government’s raft of new welfare changes is quite terrifying and I fear it will rip through society.”