Publications

Social Security and Welfare Reform

The overlaps between the Bedroom Tax and cuts in council tax support

  • Published 17th Feb 2015
  • Authors: Hannah Aldridge,
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

The Affordable Homes Bill, currently gathering dust in parliament, aims to reduce the number of families who pay the “Bedroom Tax” (or “removal of the spare room subsidy”). At the same time, changes to council tax support mean increasing numbers of low income families will now have to pay council tax. This report looks at the number of families that are affected by these changes, with a particular focus on the overlaps.

Key points

  • 380,000 families have been affected by the “Bedroom Tax” and 2.3 million families by council tax support cuts. 270,000 families have been affected by both.
  • 70% of those affected by the Bedroom Tax have also seen their council tax support cut, while 11% of those affected by council tax support cuts have also been affected by the Bedroom Tax.
  • Council tax support cuts have affected six times as many people as the Bedroom Tax because any working-age low income family could be affected.
  • The Bedroom Tax affects relatively few families because it only applies to those (a) in social rented housing (b) in receipt of housing benefit and (c) with a ‘spare room’.
  • While the number of people affected by the Bedroom Tax is likely to fall as the policy is amended, cuts in council tax support are likely to spread wider and deeper.