Rachel Reeves

Labour Candidate for Leeds West

Government Hit Even More Families with Bedroom Tax

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Yesterday the Labour Party, with cross party support, forced a vote in the House of Commons to enable MPs to express their opposition to the Bedroom Tax and oppose the government’s attempt to close the loophole with an annulment motion.

It was revealed last month that shockingly, because the Government could not even draft their own legislation correctly, many of the households that they had told local authorities should be made to pay the bedroom tax—those who had been in continual receipt of housing benefit for the same residence since 1996—were in fact not covered by the legislation. The Government was therefore seeking yesterday to close this loophole.

Rachel opened the debate in the House of Commons, highlighting how it has affected the most vulnerable in society. More than half a million households have been hit by this unjust measure. Two-thirds of those affected are disabled and 60,000 are carers. More than 200,000 families with children are affected, many of whom are already below the poverty line and forced, as a result of this tax, to find an average £728 a year extra in rent.

Instead of scrapping the hated Bedroom Tax, yesterday the Tory-led Government made it apply to thousands more households by voting down the cross-party motion.   The Government’s bedroom tax has been a fiasco from the very beginning. Rather than closing loopholes in this failed policy, the government should scrap the Bedroom Tax. If they don’t, a Labour government will.

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