Bedroom tax a ‘kick in teeth’ for Chepstow foster carer

Free Press Series: CONCERNED: Cllr Dale Rooke, of Bulwark, is going to lose out financially because of the bedroom tax CONCERNED: Cllr Dale Rooke, of Bulwark, is going to lose out financially because of the bedroom tax

A CHEPSTOW councillor who gave up his job to care for his late brother-in-law’s son feels he is being punished by a controversial benefit change.

Cllr Dale Rooke moved into his brother-in-law’s house in Bulwark to nurse his relative before he died and agreed to stay to look after his teenage son, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

But like many social housing tenants, he is having his benefits slashed by around £11 per week this spring because of a new government policy.

The so-called bedroom tax, coming into force from April, means such tenants in employment and those in receipt of housing benefit will be worse off if they are deemed to be under-occupying their homes and have a spare bedroom.

Mr Rooke, a town councillor for Chepstow, said the spare room, measuring just 7ft by 6ft, in his end-terrace Monmouthshire Housing Association property, is barely big enough to accommodate a single bed.

Cllr Rooke said it was a life-changing decision for him to to take up full-time foster care.

“It feels like we are getting a kick in the teeth,” he said. “I’m thinking of taking a legal challenge about the size of the bedroom.”

Cllr Rooke claims he asked the housing association representative what would happen if he was unable to pay, and said he was told he could be rehomed but they don’t have anywhere.

A spokeswoman the housing association said: “MHA have identified 421 households being directly affected by bedroom tax and all have been visited by the neighbourhood teams to discuss their options.”

Anyone with concerns can contact 01495 767182 (south of county) or 01495 767181 (north of county).

Comments (5)

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12:18pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Bobevans says...

The solution is to adopt his brother in laws son.. He will then be entilled to a two bedroom property
The solution is to adopt his brother in laws son.. He will then be entilled to a two bedroom property Bobevans
  • Score: 0

1:51pm Thu 7 Feb 13

SUNSHINE ON A CLOUDY DAY says...

Bobevans wrote:
The solution is to adopt his brother in laws son.. He will then be entilled to a two bedroom property
He will be a lot worse of then because as his nephew`s foster carer he will be paid a fostering allowance which is around the £150 - £250 a week mark on top of any other benefits he may be claiming,if he adopts the fostering allowance will cease.
[quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: The solution is to adopt his brother in laws son.. He will then be entilled to a two bedroom property[/p][/quote]He will be a lot worse of then because as his nephew`s foster carer he will be paid a fostering allowance which is around the £150 - £250 a week mark on top of any other benefits he may be claiming,if he adopts the fostering allowance will cease. SUNSHINE ON A CLOUDY DAY
  • Score: 0

12:05am Fri 8 Feb 13

P C Neilson says...

You know what, if the government wanted to take the money they should have just taken it, instead of making up this bedroom tax excuse, and causing all this needless grief and stress.

I think it's a sham, the suggestion about taking lodgers makes me suspicious.
You know what, if the government wanted to take the money they should have just taken it, instead of making up this bedroom tax excuse, and causing all this needless grief and stress. I think it's a sham, the suggestion about taking lodgers makes me suspicious. P C Neilson
  • Score: 0

9:57am Fri 8 Feb 13

Jack Land says...

go back to work then
go back to work then Jack Land
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Sat 9 Feb 13

P C Neilson says...

I wonder what the impending baby boom is going to cost. The underclass that this government hates so much, will be multiplying like mogwai, so they don't have to move away from family support and friends. A brother or sister for little . Well done jackasses!

Tattoo shops will do alright though.
I wonder what the impending baby boom is going to cost. The underclass that this government hates so much, will be multiplying like mogwai, so they don't have to move away from family support and friends. A brother or sister for little . Well done jackasses! Tattoo shops will do alright though. P C Neilson
  • Score: 0

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