Socialist Worker

Tory lord threatens councils over bedroom tax changes

Issue No. 2359

Benefit Freud

Benefit Freud

Tory benefit cuts minister Lord Freud threw down a gauntlet to council leaders last week. 

He wrote to all council executives warning them not to help tenants avoid the bedroom tax by reclassifying rooms.

Leeds council has reclassified homes to spare around 300 tenants out of 9,000 from paying the bedroom tax.

Freud threatened to audit councils behaving suspiciously and withdraw housing benefit subsidies from  those councils.

The Tories are relying on councils, especially Labour councils, to do their dirty work.

Leeds council housing chief Peter Gruen said, “We simply don’t agree with mums and kids being dragged before the courts for eviction because they can’t afford to pay.”

But councils need to pick a side. 

They can plough on with hundreds of costly court cases against their own tenants. 

Or they can stand together and defy Freud’s bullying.

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