Army mother Alison Huggan's two soldier sons fear being left homeless - thanks to the bedroom tax. The Mirror have reported how twins Aaron and Anas El Hamri are both serving in the British Army and likely to be sent away on tours of duty for six months at a time.
But having two ‘spare’ bedrooms for more than 13 weeks would mean Alison is liable for the under occupation penalty. The 48-year-old from Middlesbrough will have to fork out an extra hundred pounds a month to stay in a house big enough for her sons to have a bed each.
She told the Sunday People: “It’s another bill I can scarcely afford. After paying the £25 bedroom tax I’ll have hardly any money left for gas, electricity and food."
The unemployed criminology graduate is now considering downsizing from the three bedroomed home she’s shared with her sons for eight years. It’s a worrying time for the 18-year-olds who are both preparing to be deployed.
Anas, a member of the Yorkshire Regiment First Battalion, said: “When I go on leave, I want to know I can go home. “Taking away my house makes me think, ‘what are I serving my country for?’”
Single mum Alison would consider moving to a two-bedroom house where the boys would have to share a room but she’d still lose £14 a week. “I have to pay it. I won’t leave my sons homeless,” she said.
Even if Alison wanted to move there’s a shortage of smaller properties in her area. MP for Middlesbrough South, Tom Blenkinsop, branded the bedroom tax ‘shameful’ when he raised the family’s plight in Parliament. He added, “I found Alison’s, and her sons, situation particularly distressing.
“We have a proud military tradition in Teesside and hundreds of families will be denied their family home as a result of this policy that is, quite frankly, reprehensible.”