Category Archives: benefits

MPs urge scrapping of ‘bedroom tax’

A House of Commons select committee has called on David Cameron’s Government to scrap the “bedroom tax” changes to housing benefit.

16th December 2013

The Scottish Affairs Committee said that while ministers considered whether to repeal the measure, the Government should suspend the penalty for claimants who cannot reasonably be offered alternative accommodation.

The MPs said the measure, which cuts housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have a spare room, was ” a budget cut suffered by those in greatest need”.

The interim report was opposed by Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs on the Labour-led committee, but they failed to prevent it being produced.

The Government reduced entitlement to housing benefit for working-age tenants in April 2013. Those with an extra bedroom have a reduction of 14% to their eligible rent, and those with two or more extra bedrooms lose 25%.

The Government estimated that 80,000 claimants in Scotland would be affected by the bedroom tax, with an average weekly loss of £12.

Carers missing out on £1.6m in support

Hidden carers are failing to claim the support they are entitled to.

By Ian Dipple Friday 13 December 2013 Updated: 13/12 09:28

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CARERS across Redditch are missing out on more than £1.6million of support because they do not know they are entitled to it.

A total of 522 people in the borough are failing to claim carers allowance according to figures released to mark Carers Rights Day.

The benefit is worth £59.75 a week – or £3,107 a year – and is available to people aged 16 and over who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for their loved one.

There are 8,889 carers in Redditch looking after a loved one with the numbers having increased by over 1,000 in the last decade.

But charities say there are many more so-called hidden carers who are failing to claim the support they are entitled to either through a lack of advice or because they do not class themselves as a carer and instead consider it their responsibility or part of family duty.

Depressed Man Hanged Himself After His Sickness Benefits Were Cut, Inquest Hears

Neighbour became concerned


photo credit: ell brown via photopin cc

59 year-old Victor Cuff from Gravesend in Kent, hung himself because his sickness benefits had been cut, an Inquest has heard.

Mr Cuff’s friend and neighbour, Colleen Gobel (69), told police how she had become concerned for Mr Cuff after not seeing him on 22nd May. Upon further investigation she found her neighbour dead in his bedroom.

Police were called to Mr Cuff’s ground-floor flat at 6:11pm.

Detective Sergeant James Greenidge, told the inquest that upon arrival at the flat he found Mr Cuff’s lying in his bed, and that “it appeared he hanged himself”. Detective Greenidge continued by saying: “there was evidence he was drunk”.

Colleen Gobel told police that Mr Cuff had a history of depression and was “feeling down” as a result of experiencing money troubles after his sickness benefits were reduced.