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Man Fears Bedroom Tax Will Leave Him Homeless

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10:18am 6th March 2013
(Updated 10:18am 6th March 2013)

A Cornishman who gave up work to care for his disabled mum claims a new bedroom tax could leave him homeless.

Figures seen by Pirate FM show three thousand Cornish families could stand to lose hundreds of pounds in benefits.

It will be people renting homes or living in social housing with spare rooms like David Mitchell from Camborne.

He said: "David Cameron seems to think you're unemployed, you're living in a council house or social housing, you're lazy and because you're getting benefits that's even worse.

"It's not my fault I can't get a job. It's not for trying.

"If it goes on for much longer the stress will be terrible. How much longer can I stay here? I shall get into debt because obviously the housing people want their rent. That's something I'll have to sort out."

Research for the National Housing Federation says 2,974 people living in the Duchy will be affected. Of them 1,874 are disabled.

Families stand to lose £532 a year on average in Cornwall for having an extra, unused bedroom. For two the figure rises to £950.

The new rules, due to come into force in April, will mean housing benefit will only be paid on the basis children under 16 of the same gender will share a room.

Children under 10 will share a room regardless of their gender.

This as we are warned disabled people in Cornwall are at the end of their tether as they try to cope with benefit changes.

The same statistics show nearly two thousand of those who will be hit by the bedroom tax, have a disability.

Theo Blackmore from Disability Cornwall says it is just one of a string of cuts they are facing: "The costs for everybody are going up. It costs more to drive your car, it costs more to heat your house and there are lots of people making the decision shall I have a dinner tonight or shall I keep warm. So this cumulative effect is very, very threatening for disabled people right now.

"People keep getting these brown envelopes arriving on their doormat, they keep hearing people like me talking on the radio saying 'It's going to be terrible' and they keep reading the papers which say 'It's all terrible',  so they're getting a very negative view. We need to work with people to get them through these things. "

10:18am 6th March 2013

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