Anger at "bedroom tax"

Jessica McCarnum with Rowan, Heather, Willow and Briar

Jessica McCarnum with Rowan, Heather, Willow and Briar

First published in News by , Reporter

A MOTHER of four in Salisbury has launched a campaign against the Government’s new “bedroom tax”. As part of the Welfare Reform Bill, children under ten in homes receiving housing benefit will have to share a bedroom or part of the benefit will be cut.

But Jessica McCarnun says the move puts her in an impossible situation as she cannot afford to lose the £14 a week she fears will be cut, and that her five-year-old son, Rowan, needs to have his own room as he has autism and brain damage and could lash out at his siblings.

She said: “Rowan can be up six times a night, he can vomit and have night terrors, and when he’s frustrated he can lash out, scratch and bite.”

Mrs McCarnun, who said she is already relying on help from Salisbury’s foodbank to get by, has set up a Facebook page urging all disabled people to tell their story on how it will affect them, which she hopes to take to Downing Street early next year.

She said: “We are very frightened about what’s going on.

“It’s a massive assault on the disabled people in this country. We want the government to understand what they are doing and the suffering this is going to cause.”

The cut to benefits will be a fixed percentage of the Housing Benefit eligible rent and the government has said that it will be set at 14 per cent for one extra bedroom and 25 percent for two or more extra bedrooms.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “It’s right that tenants in social housing who are living in homes that are larger than their needs make a contribution towards their rent or move to more appropriately sized accommodation - and this is exactly what people renting in the private sector do.

“We do not expect many people to have to move as a result of these changes and local authorities can access £190million to help families as well as £30million a year specifically to support disabled people with an adapted property and foster carers."

For more information on Mrs McCarnun’s campaign visit facebook.com/groups/492600724103642.

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