Wigan chief rages at bedroom tax

Ashley Crumbley

Ashley Crumbley

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WIGAN’s housing chief has forecast a “devastating” impact on tenants and the local economy by the forthcoming bedroom tax.

The borough will be one of the WORST affected authorities in the whole of the country with 4,500 households set to suffer.

And more than 550 disabled families will also be “caught” by the legislation which comes into force in just over a month’s time.

Wigan and Leigh Housing chief executive Ashley Crumbley – who rarely, if ever, enters the political debate – today raged: “I have never publicly criticised government policy but have always rolled my sleeves up and done my best to make it work.

“But this is one of the worst policies I have come across in my long career.

“I simply could not believe it when the government minister said on TV that people should use sofa beds which is nice for him with an eight-bedroomed

mansion in Kent and a four-bedroom town house in London.”

He now calculates that rather than saving the public purse money and helping to reduce the national debt, it will end up COSTING the nation far more in the costs of attempting to collect rent from already hard-pressed households, many of whom will be facing a Housing Benefit cut of up to £1,200 a year.

Set for introduction on April 1, the Government wants to fight the shortage of housing by forcing tenants living in houses classified as in “under-occupation” to give up the property and move to smaller accommodation or lose a slice of their housing benefit.

For the full story, read this week’s Wigan Observer