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Carers deliver ‘bedroom tax’ letters to No. 10

11 July 2013

A delegation of carers has delivered over 100 letters to 10 Downing Street from families affected by the ‘spare room’ cuts to Housing Benefit.

Carers UK Chief Executive, Heléna Herklots and Carers UK Trustees, Catherine Bingham from Carers Scotland, Mary Trinder from Carers Wales and Kevin Daly and Maryann Finnegan from Carers Northern Ireland, made the delivery to mark 100 days since the policy was implemented.

Carers UK staff and trustees handing letters to Downing Street

Carers UK has heard from carers across the country who have been hit by cuts to Housing Benefit designed to affect people with ‘spare’ rooms. The charity had warned the Government before the changes took effect that many carers and disabled people would be hit by the cut.

In shocking new research launched yesterday, Carers UK revealed that only a minority of carers and disabled people were being supported with the extra costs by a Government fund designed to protect disabled people and their families. The interviews with over 100 carers affected by the policy showed that those left having to pay a shortfall in their rent were facing food poverty, rent arrears and even the risk of eviction.

The letters delivered to the Prime Minister included those from carers who said their extra rooms were not ‘spare’ but essential – carers unable to share a room with severely ill or disabled partners and families caring for disabled children who needed the room for care workers to stay overnight. Other carers said that they are unable to pay but also unable to move away from the essential support provided by friends and relatives nearby which enables them to carry on caring, or that they could not risk the trauma and cost of moving seriously ill or disabled loved ones.

Heléna Herklots, said: “These letters show the human impact of these Housing Benefit cuts – families’ anger, stress and sometimes despair as they try to cope with the extra costs of a policy which should not affect them in the first place and the fear that they may lose their homes. These families must not be ignored – the Government must act urgently to protect carers and disabled people from this policy.”

A selection of carers’ letters have been published here

Write to your MP to ask them to take action to protect carers and disabled people from the 'bedroom tax'.

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