Families hit by benefit reforms, Bradford Council report reveals

The report will be discussed by the Bradford and Airedale Health & Wellbeing Board

The report will be discussed by the Bradford and Airedale Health & Wellbeing Board

First published in News

Almost 300 families in the district have had their housing benefit cut by about £60 a week since sweeping changes were made to the welfare system, affecting more than 1,300 children.

In April of last year the Government introduced reforms to simplify benefits and encourage more people into work.

These included changes to housing benefit and the so-called bedroom tax, which lowers payments if people are deemed to have too many bedrooms.

In Bradford, 3,564 households were facing a reduction in payments because of the number of rooms they had, which has now dropped to 3,174.

The figures form part of a report by Janice Simpson, Bradford Council’s strategic director for adult and community services, due to be discussed on Tuesday when Bradford and Airedale Health & Wellbeing Board meets.

The benefit caps have led to 272 households having their housing benefit reduced by an average of £59.22, affecting 1,385 children.

Discretionary Housing Payments have helped vulnerable families and there has been a “significant increase in the number of awards being made.”

Mrs Simpson’s research aims to highlight the scale of the changes and help councillors consider their impact on health and wellbeing in Bradford and the effect on patients, GPs and health and social care services.

The report says there has been a hike in the number of people asking for help from the Advice Network Partnership and a significant rise in the number of people referred to foodbanks.

“Welfare reform in the UK is occurring at the same time as prolonged and deep economic recession, a period of high unemployment and changes within the health arena which makes attributing changes in health outcomes to single policy agenda very difficult,” the report said.

But it added there was good evidence that getting people into work had a positive impact on their health.

The Council is also concerned about “the disproportionate impact on people with low-level mental health issues” who it is believed will struggle to comply with stricter rules around claiming Job Seekers Allowance.

Mrs Simpson suggests helping this group more.

The Board, which is chaired by Bradford Council leader, David Green, meets at 10am in City Hall, Bradford, on Tuesday.

Comments (9)

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7:58am Thu 13 Mar 14

collos25 says...

I wonder if the government has figures as to how many people have been moved into the vacant properties due to their so called bedroom tax.
I wonder if the government has figures as to how many people have been moved into the vacant properties due to their so called bedroom tax. collos25
  • Score: 0

9:32am Thu 13 Mar 14

allannicho says...

What about people being dishonest as to how many share the house?
What about people being dishonest as to how many share the house? allannicho
  • Score: 0

9:44am Thu 13 Mar 14

BierleyBoy says...

£500 a week unearned and tax free, what a nice life. I have no problem with someone being forced to accept this as the absolute maximum in benefit entitlement.

The near 300 mentioned will have been receiving £3000 a year more than this, hence the £60 quoted.

Disgusting that anyone has such a lack of respect for other people and the system that they will happily take this amount and live at the expense of others.
£500 a week unearned and tax free, what a nice life. I have no problem with someone being forced to accept this as the absolute maximum in benefit entitlement. The near 300 mentioned will have been receiving £3000 a year more than this, hence the £60 quoted. Disgusting that anyone has such a lack of respect for other people and the system that they will happily take this amount and live at the expense of others. BierleyBoy
  • Score: 7

12:26pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Bone_idle18 says...

I've worked hard all my life and can only dream of having as much as some people on benefits (or at least what they used to get). I feel a lot happier now the cap is in place.

Still, there's more to working that just money. There's self esteem, pride, a purpose in life.
I've worked hard all my life and can only dream of having as much as some people on benefits (or at least what they used to get). I feel a lot happier now the cap is in place. Still, there's more to working that just money. There's self esteem, pride, a purpose in life. Bone_idle18
  • Score: 3

2:15pm Thu 13 Mar 14

angry bradfordian says...

If 300 families have been 'hit' by this, perhaps the T&A could tell us how many families in Bradford have benefitted by having to pay less tax to cover the benefits bill?
If 300 families have been 'hit' by this, perhaps the T&A could tell us how many families in Bradford have benefitted by having to pay less tax to cover the benefits bill? angry bradfordian
  • Score: -1

4:02pm Thu 13 Mar 14

awasteoftime says...

These people should not have children if they cannot afford to look after them on their own, I an others should not be asked to pay for they. Maybe the parents will have to give up on their Fags, wide screen TV's, tablets, and smart phones, things that many working people cannot afford.
Welfare is only a safety net for people who become out of work but for some it is just a lifestyle choice. Then need to get off their bums and find a job like the rest of us. So long as they get free hand outs there is no incentive is there.
These people should not have children if they cannot afford to look after them on their own, I an others should not be asked to pay for they. Maybe the parents will have to give up on their Fags, wide screen TV's, tablets, and smart phones, things that many working people cannot afford. Welfare is only a safety net for people who become out of work but for some it is just a lifestyle choice. Then need to get off their bums and find a job like the rest of us. So long as they get free hand outs there is no incentive is there. awasteoftime
  • Score: 2

4:25pm Thu 13 Mar 14

northern pig says...

People create their own circumstances.They should not be rewarded, for having load's of kids.Some families are receiveing the equivelent of a £36.000 salary in benefits.It's outrageous,in the context that many workers in this city are on basic pay. Which for 40 hours work equates to approximately £250 pound a week, before tax and national insurance is deducted.Have to get up every morning and fund their travel to and from work .Means tested benefit is the worst thing that ever happened.It as created a society where shirkers are rewarded better than workers It's.shameful
People create their own circumstances.They should not be rewarded, for having load's of kids.Some families are receiveing the equivelent of a £36.000 salary in benefits.It's outrageous,in the context that many workers in this city are on basic pay. Which for 40 hours work equates to approximately £250 pound a week, before tax and national insurance is deducted.Have to get up every morning and fund their travel to and from work .Means tested benefit is the worst thing that ever happened.It as created a society where shirkers are rewarded better than workers It's.shameful northern pig
  • Score: 0

6:49pm Thu 13 Mar 14

RollandSmoke says...

Almost 300 across a district of how many benefit claimants? As this is a cut in housing benefit then the money they will now be forced to find will have been going straight into the hands of landlords and the benefit recipient would never have seen a penny of it. It is unlikely that these rents were being paid for social housing mainly due to the vast amounts that were sold off and are now in the hands of private sector landlords. There's good money in it too which is probably why a quarter of Tory MPs are landlords with one pocketing over £600,000 a year from housing benefit. Are these landlords going to be reducing their rents accordingly or are we going to be saddled with the costs of dealing with the homelessness this will create?
Almost 300 across a district of how many benefit claimants? As this is a cut in housing benefit then the money they will now be forced to find will have been going straight into the hands of landlords and the benefit recipient would never have seen a penny of it. It is unlikely that these rents were being paid for social housing mainly due to the vast amounts that were sold off and are now in the hands of private sector landlords. There's good money in it too which is probably why a quarter of Tory MPs are landlords with one pocketing over £600,000 a year from housing benefit. Are these landlords going to be reducing their rents accordingly or are we going to be saddled with the costs of dealing with the homelessness this will create? RollandSmoke
  • Score: -2

6:56pm Thu 13 Mar 14

RollandSmoke says...

collos25 wrote:
I wonder if the government has figures as to how many people have been moved into the vacant properties due to their so called bedroom tax.
Of course they will have those figures but they are unlikely to want to embarrass themselves by making them public. Maybe some investigative reporter could find out what they are but I don't know of any, do you?
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: I wonder if the government has figures as to how many people have been moved into the vacant properties due to their so called bedroom tax.[/p][/quote]Of course they will have those figures but they are unlikely to want to embarrass themselves by making them public. Maybe some investigative reporter could find out what they are but I don't know of any, do you? RollandSmoke
  • Score: -2

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