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Westcountry pensioners could be hit with cuts to housing benefit

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

Westcountry pensioners could be hit with cuts to housing benefit

Comments (26)

Westcountry pensioners could be forced to move into smaller houses under the so-called "bedroom tax" being introduced by the Government.

The new measure is part of the new universal credit scheme which is being introduced by the Government from April.

It means housing association and council tenants will have housing benefits cut if they are deemed to have spare bedrooms – 14% cut for one spare room and 25% for two – in a move designed to free up large housing.

Around 600,000 people nationally – and almost 10,000 in the Westcountry – are expected to be hit by the changes, which could amount to a £14-a-week cut in benefit.

Pensioners were thought to have been exempted completely from the move. However, it is understood the exemption will end for new claimants in mixed-age homes after October.

Leaked guidance from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) states: "New housing benefit claimants who are mixed-age couples and claiming pension credit will not be exempt when they transfer on to universal credit."

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne told the Sunday People, which uncovered the different status of new claimants, that the Prime Minister needed to "get a grip".

"Ministers promised to protect pensioners from the bedroom tax, but thousands are set to lose out," Mr Byrne said. "David Cameron had better get a grip fast, before this scheme descends into total chaos."

It proved more unwelcome news for pensioners in Devon and Cornwall already concerned with rising living costs.

It comes hot on the heels of Government plans to introduce a £75,000 cap on the cost of nursing and residential home care, but which does not include "accommodation" costs for bed and board, food or heating, with some estimating those costs could easily hit £150,000.

Pensioners' activist Bob Turner, from Exeter, said: "Pensioners are getting a shambolic deal all round. This is a generation of people which created the infrastructure of this country, the NHS, the roads and the railways, and yet they are just being cast aside."

But Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith stressed pensioners would not suffer because the application of the rules had yet to be finalised.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, he said: "The reality is that they are looking at universal credit further down the road. It is not our intention that pensioners in any way will suffer."

He added: "This is not about punishing people. This is about trying to reallocate the housing. It is about getting the balance right."

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  • eu_blues  |  February 20 2013, 6:52PM

    Westcountry pensioners could be forced to move into smaller houses under the so-called "bedroom tax" being introduced by the Government. This is Cornwall All this sounds typical of the forces at work in the power structures. There's a considerable anti-human, anti-old age movement that's making it's presence felt. The elderly and the disabled are under constant attack. I wonder who or what group of undiserables will be next on the hit list. You would think that the UK had become Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.

    |   -4
  • cassiebiker  |  February 20 2013, 9:20AM

    by jabbathebutt Notice the red arrows? There was an article in the Times a couple of weeks ago about the nw Euro Trolls who surf the papers and social networking sites to counter commenter's who speak out against the EUSSR. Part of the New World Order plan is about energy. £Billions spent on useless wind farms and EU laws forbidding coal mining. Below is a link about our energy crisis from today's Telegraph. http://tinyurl.com/byghgzc

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  • trina2010  |  February 19 2013, 11:13PM

    If these pensioners have "worked all their lives" they should have made investments to provide for their retirement. They cant bang on about being hard up, always have their hand out for more when they were the generation who bought up all our social housing. Take a good look in all the cafes resturants and taxis, full of the poor pensioner who cant afford bedroom tax.

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  • cassiebiker  |  February 19 2013, 10:46PM

    WAKE UP PEOPLE. Can't you see that as people are beginning to wise up to what's happening, the government are stepping up the pace? We have long been full of overseas people. We have many more waiting to come here. Cameron is in India giving out free tickets as we speak. There are no jobs for unskilled workers. Our hospitals are at breaking point. We are £1.4Trillion in debt and we are sending £billions to places like Africa that never gets to the people who need it. And you are all squabbling about about kicking people out of their homes that they might have lived in all their lives. They want your parents to downsize and you will be next. Your freedom is being eroded in front of your very eyes and you just can't see it.

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  • jabbathebutt  |  February 19 2013, 10:35PM

    And anyone whinging about people in "council" housing should look up the history of why it was needed . This country was bombed flat and its people needed housing . They were not led to believe at the time that one day the marxists would import millions and ask them to make way ,or that some druggy or alcoholic couple who have no intention of ever working but keep breeding would force them out of their home "because they have brats" . This whole bedroom tax stinks big time and is worse than the poll tax that ended up in riots . This situation is not the fault of the average joe , but at least 40 years of disastrous management of this country . But guess who the guilt falls upon ? And you fools fall for it .

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  • jabbathebutt  |  February 19 2013, 10:20PM

    A sudden panic move by the government in an admission we are full to the hilt . This kind of thing was not needed years ago ... so why now ? Millions upon millions have been let into this country and now the indigenous are being asked to make way for more . Thats the reality . You fools following the government line about it being lazy british benefit claimants that are the greedy ones make me sick. AND THIS LEGISLATION IS MADE BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE TWO OR THREE LUXURY HOMES ... You are nothing but socialist sheep begging for socialist mint sauce .

    |   -11
  • MrMikeHunt  |  February 19 2013, 10:18PM

    But it's not their home is it, that's the point, if it was they wouldn't have to move.

    |   3
  • CallingtonFox  |  February 19 2013, 5:55PM

    This is cruel, who really thinks that taking away somebody's home that they love and have settled in, just because the children have moved on is right? You do not give them a house bigger than their needs when they first move into Council or association accommodation, that is obvious sense, but once they have a place and it becomes their home, to take it from them later is just plain cruel.

  • MrMikeHunt  |  February 19 2013, 4:34PM

    Was that the Staffordshire hospital Cassie.

  • cassiebiker  |  February 19 2013, 4:16PM

    AGENDA 21 Google "AGENDA 21 ...there's hours of videos and speeches by prominent people to gen up on. The corrupt EUSSR...1200 people die for no reason in just one hospital...mass immigration...unemployment...corrupt politicians...the list is endless and you have to be blind or in denial if you haven't noticed what's going on around you.

    |   -25