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Bedroom Tax could see stairlift-adapted homes wasted

7th February 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Shadow ministers and members of the public have called for a stop to be put to the so-called ‘Bedroom Tax’, which could see the elderly and disabled forced to move from their specially adapted homes. There are claims that the tax is counterproductive and could see the money the ‘disabled facilities grant [provides] – up to £30,000 in England and £36,000 in Wales – to widen doors, install ramps and stairlifts or improve access to bathrooms’ wasted, as residents are left with no other option but to move from these homes as a result of the tax.

The news comes at a time when an average of £6,700 is being spent on making the homes of eligible residents in the UK suitable for their specific physical needs through the provision of government grants allowing such facilities as stairlifts for narrow stairs and other mobility devices to be installed. With the introduction of the Bedroom Tax, there are concerns that this money could be seen to be wasted, as these particular residents become unable to afford their homes and are forced to move.

Bedroom Tax effect on Disabled Facilities Grant

As it stands, the Disabled Facilities Grant offers households with a disabled resident the opportunity to apply for the equivalent of up to £30,000 in England and allows the installation of easy access walk in baths and other much-needed mobility aids. However, there are now worries that the taxpayers’ money which goes towards such necessary adaptations for the home could be squandered should residents be left with no other option but to move following implementation of the tax.

With the amount of controversy surrounding the tax that sees a cut to the amount of housing benefit people can receive if they have a spare bedroom, The Sunday People have begun a campaign for the tax’s abolition. Labour has also stated that it will eradicate the tax should they win power at next year’s general election.

Image Credit: Number 10 (flickr.com)