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11/01/2017

34,000 NI Householders Could Be Hit With 'Bedroom Tax'

Around 34,000 households in Northern Ireland could be hit with 'bedroom tax' if mitigation measures are not introduced, a housing advice charity has warned.

Housing Rights said if the Stormont Assembly collapses thousands of householders could be on average over £20 a week worse off.

On Monday, 09 January, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness resigned and if he is not replaced within seven days the Assembly will be dissolved and an election will have to be held within six weeks.

This will result in the Executive not meeting to approve any draft mitigation regulations.
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Housing Rights is calling for urgent focus on the issue to ensure that, if the Assembly is unable to pass regulations mitigating the impact of the policy, alternative action will be taken.

SDLP Communities spokesperson Nichola Mallon said: "Failure to introduce legislation to put mitigation plans in place could see vulnerable tenants with two bedrooms unoccupied for example, who are already struggling to make ends meet, lumbered with an extra £100 on top of their monthly bills forcing more people into poverty and putting more people at risk of homelessness.

"I have written to the Minister for Communities requesting urgent assurance and confirmation that the mitigation measures, that were much heralded by the DUP and Sinn Féin last year, will be in place by the time the Bedroom Tax is introduced next month."

(CD)


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