At ‘wits end’ over tax claim

Demonstration outside Fife House

Demonstration outside Fife House

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COMMUNITY activists claim they have been bombarded with cries for help from council tenants worried about a controversial rent subsidy cut

Kirkcaldy Anti-Bedroom Tax Group alleges it has been “inundated” since featuring in The Press last week.

They say people are at their wits end over finding the extra cash they are being asked to pay to keep a roof over their heads.

Spokesman Louise McLeary, who is herself affected by the housing benefit reduction, said some tenants had told of problems accessing help promised to those who approached Fife Council to say they were in difficulties, including discretionary payments, reviews, appeals - and exact details of the bills they are likely to receive.

On a personal level, she added: “It would seem that I’m already two weeks in arrears of this tax.

“They have no idea what a struggle it is to live on what we have, let alone letting folk who, unlike me, want to pay, have to find the arrears as well.”

“I spoke to a tenant who will have only £10 a fortnight left after all the rent payments come off his benefits.

“He obviously won’t be paying because you can’t get blood out of a stone.”

The group is continuing to call for a non-payment campaign and is offer to support people who decide to go down that route.

But members say they will try and help other tenants in any way they can.

The group has prepared letters for people who want to challenge the Council by going through the various stages to appeal and is urging non-payers to do likewise.

They are also appealing for tenants groups to make contact with them to share issues they have encountered.

The group can be contacted by telephoning (01592) 267402.