IMG_3990Today (Wednesday 17th December), Labour forced a debate and vote in parliament on the Bedroom Tax, which could have seen it scrapped by Christmas.  Sadly the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives outnumbered those favouring abolition by 298-266 votes, meaning this pernicious charge will remain for the time being.

Since the Bedroom Tax was introduced around half a million low-income households have been forced to find, on average an extra £700 a year. DWP official figures, released to the House of Commons show that in the Denton and Reddish Parliamentary Constituency, 628 homes have been hit by the Bedroom Tax.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“This Christmas 628 homes across Audenshaw, Denton, Dukinfield, Reddish and the Heatons will struggle to make ends meet, many relying on food banks to survive because of the Bedroom Tax David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s government introduced in April 2013. The Bedroom Tax is wasting people’s money, time and talents, it’s another example of Tory Welfare Waste.

“This Wednesday Labour has forced a vote to scrap this failing policy once and for all. Sadly this Tory-LibDem Coalition used their whipping machine against Labour’s attempt to scrap this cruel and unfair tax.

“People will not forgive nor forget that this Bedroom Tax wouldn’t have happened without LibDem votes in the first place, and remains in place because of them too. If this government won’t scrap the tax, the next Labour Government will.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves, added:

“Around half a million people have been hit by the Bedroom Tax, forcing many into debt and to rely on food banks. It’s a cruel, unfair and costly tax with two thirds of those affected are disabled. Let’s scrap the Bedroom Tax and get rid of this failing policy which is leading to more Tory Welfare Waste.”

Notes for editors:

  1. Latest DWP figures on number of people hit by the Bedroom Tax:

NORTH EAST – 36,126

NORTH WEST – 74,031

YORKSHIRE AND HUMBER – 46,591

EAST MIDLANDS – 31,645

WEST MIDLANDS – 46,573

EASTERN – 30,036

LONDON – 48,247

SOUTH EAST – 32,232

SOUTH WEST – 24,896

WALES – 31,217

SCOTLAND – 70,291

TOTAL – 471,887

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/number-of-housing-benefit-claimants-and-average-weekly-spare-room-subsidy-amount-withdrawal

  1. Two thirds of households affected by the bedroom tax cannot find the money to pay their rents, according to new research from the National Housing Federation. Source: http://www.housing.org.uk/media/press-releases/two-thirds-of-households-hit-by-bedroom-tax-are-in-debt-as-anniversary-appr#sthash.Ljy35ky2.dpuf
  1. Housing benefit set to rise by £1billion over four year in March 2014 Budget (pg 132) http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2014/

Figures contained in the Budget have shown the housing benefit bill will continue rising not falling, with an increase of £1billion forecast over the next four years.

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