Grieving mother ordered to pay the bedroom tax after her son dies and leaves his room empty

Julie Glover says she has asked to be moved but that her council will not do so

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A grieving mother has been ordered to pay the ‘bedroom tax’ after her son died and left his room empty, according to local media.

WalesOnline reports that Julie Glover was left ‘under-occupying’ her house after her son David died suddenly in 2012.

Ms Glover says she wants to be rehoused to a suitable home so she can stop paying the charge, but that her local council will not do so because of costs.

The mother’s surviving son, Royston, suffers from cerebral palsy, and needs a specially adapted home to live comfortably with his wheelchair.

“We asked to downsize but we’re told we cannot be moved because it’s too expensive to adapt another place,” she told WalesOnline.

“In the meantime they are continuing to charge us.”

The 'bedroom tax' is a reduction in housing benefit for people living in social housing who have more rooms than the Government says they should have.

Local authorities can in some circumstances provide payments from a discretionary fund to cover the cost of the charge but this process is not automatic.

 

In April Conservative minister Michael Fallon admitted that the under-occupancy charge, that ministers sometimes refer to as ‘abolishing the spare-room subsidy’, was “not an easy sell on the doorstep”.

In a recording passed to the Independent he admitted that “almost every council in the country” had failed to use the discretionary housing payments properly.

The tax is one of the least popular elements of the Government’s welfare reform programme. Last year 49 per cent of people told YouGov they were opposed to the charge, with 41 per cent saying they were in favour of it.

A Newport council spokeswoman said: “Newport City Council is awaiting an application on behalf of Mrs Glover, a Newport City Homes tenant, for a discretionary housing payment and it will be dealt with as soon as possible after it is received.”

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