Reprinted from the ABC news website 26-6-13
New South Wales public housing tenants with extra bedrooms will soon be penalised with a weekly tax if they refuse to move into smaller accommodation.
From September, around 17,000 people living in public houses with extra bedrooms will be slugged with a spare bed tax if they refuse to move into smaller properties.
Singles will be charged an extra $20 per week and couples an extra $30 per week.
Community Services Minister Pru Goward says the tax will create a fairer public housing system by freeing up larger houses for families.
“If there is no suitable smaller accommodation, they don’t have to move and they don’t have to pay the charge, so it’s fair to our existing tenants,” she said.
“We have tens of thousands of families on the public housing waiting list with nowhere to live, people living in the backs of their cars with their kids, we need to get those people into public housing.”
It follows a similar policy adopted in the United Kingdom in April where public housing tenants have their benefits incrementally cut for each spare bedroom.