It has been revealed this week that aGovernment minister has admitted that they do not know how many affordable one-bed homes are available in Tower Hamlets for those needing to downsize as a result of the Bedroom Tax.
The revelation came in response to a Parliamentary Question from Labour MP Rushanara Ali who asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he had made of the availability of affordable one-bedroom homes for single-person households to downsize into in the borough.
The Government response that the ‘information is not available’ has led to criticism that ministers are making policy without a care for the consequences. It has already been revealed that 4,515 households in the borough will be affected by the Bedroom Tax. Without the homes available for them to downsize to many residents will face unavoidable cost increases as support is withdrawn.
Labour’s Spokesperson for Housing and Planning, Cllr Sirajul Islam, said:
“Whilst many residents in Tower Hamlets are worrying about how they will meet the cost of the Bedroom Tax, ministers are twiddling their thumbs in ignorance at the impact their policies are having.
“To say residents with spare rooms need to downsize but not bother checking whether this is even an option is a complete failure by Government and shows the chaotic way this policy has been thought up.”
Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, said:
“The Minister’s answer exposes the Tory-led Government’s complete incompetence and total failure to support vulnerable families in deprived boroughs like Tower Hamlets. Thousands of families across the Borough are being hammered with the Bedroom Tax yet the Government is clueless as to how they are expected to cope and where they are expected to move to.”