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NIFHA welcomes extension Bedroom Tax mitigations

NIFHA has welcomed Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey's announcement today that the Executive has agreed to extend welfare mitigations to the bedroom tax beyond 31 March 2020.
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The mitigation scheme currently provides financial support to people who would otherwise have lost out due to welfare cuts.

An estimated 38,000 households are in receipt of supplementary payments which protect them from the bedroom tax.

Patrick Thompson, NIFHA deputy chief executive, commented:

“As a member of both the Cliff Edge NI Coalition Working Group and the four housing federation’s Six Asks campaign, NIFHA has lobbied extensively to secure this important extension which we very much welcome.

“It will will help protect thousands of people who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and pay their household bills.

“We look forward to swift action on other mitigations and reclassification, as outlined in New Decade, New Approach and subsequent commitments from Minister Hargey.”

Announcing the news, Minister Hargey said:

“We have a responsibility to protect the poorest and most vulnerable in society.  I am pleased to announce that today the Executive agreed to my recommendation, in line with New Decade, New Approach, for the urgent extension of the bedroom tax mitigation beyond March 2020.  

“In the coming weeks I will introduce new legislation to extend this essential mitigation, which will continue to safeguard more than 38,000 of the most vulnerable households in our society from harsh Tory welfare cuts.”

The Minister continued:  “A society is judged on how we protect the most disadvantaged.  I am a Minister who will fight to protect those families living in poverty; low-income families, single-parent families, those with disabilities and children and young people. I am working hard to target resources towards those most in need.”

The Minister concluded:  “There are also other mitigations which need to be looked at as we review the mitigation measures we committed to in ‘New Decade, New Approach’. I will continue to work with stakeholders in moving forward with that important piece of work.”