When news happens, text ROMS and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
City council "powerless" over bedroom tax
6:00pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in Winchester
WINCHESTER City Council is powerless to stop bedroom tax affecting residents, according to its finance boss.
Cllr Stephen Godfrey, portfolio holder for finance and administration, said the council could not disobey the government over the tax.
It came after Labour leader Chris Pines asked if there was any way to avoid implementing the tax, which will cut housing benefit for people living in council or social housing by the number of 'spare bedrooms' in their homes.
People living in homes with one spare bedroom will see their benefits cut by 14 per cent of the total rent paid per week.
Cllr Pines said: “Will the portfolio holder accept the bottom line is this punishes the poorest of the poor in communities who need the greatest support both financially and practically? Will you seek ways to delay or not implement this?”
But Cllr Godfrey said: “We are not in a position to tell the government that we will not do it so I'm not sure I can give assurances that we will not implement the tax.”
He asked fellow councillors to share information on the bedroom tax with their council tenants so they understand the implications of the tax.