10 Days Remaining

Wednesday 17th
posted by Luke James in Britain

LABOUR will launch an attempt today to scrap the bedroom tax by Christmas as the average cost of the cruel Con-Dem policy for poor families flies over the £1,000 mark.

MPs will vote on whether the hated housing benefit cut should be abolished with immediate effect for the half a million tenants affected.

Their chance to abolish the bedroom tax comes after Labour highlighted official figures which show it has robbed social housing tenants of £1,260 since being introduced last April.

Two-thirds of tenants paying the average £14-a-week penalty are disabled and 60,000 are carers.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves pointed out fewer than 5 per cent of affected tenants have been found alternative accommodation.

And she said: “I urge MPs from all parties to do the right thing and vote with Labour to scrap the bedroom tax in Parliament today.

“Thousands of people who are struggling to survive can’t afford to spend another Christmas paying this cruel and unfair tax on bedrooms.”

Labour have challenged the Lib Dems to break with their Tory coalition bedfellows and vote with them to abolish the tax today.

They lent their support to a bedroom tax Bill brought forward by Lib Dem MP Andrew George in September.

Mr George’s Bill, which would have cancelled the bedroom tax for the 95 per cent of tenants who cannot find smaller homes, was passed with a majority only to be blocked by the government.

He told the Morning Star yesterday that he and other Liberal Democrat MPs would vote against the bedroom tax again today.

But he predicted the number of his party’s MPs rebelling was unlikely to be enough to defeat the Tories a second time because of the “political” wording of the Labour Party motion.

“It’s fun for Labour to score their political points before Christmas but their motion won’t help anyone.

“Had they accepted my amendment allowing me to reintroduce my private member’s Bill they may have succeeded in helping the vast majority of people.”

He added: “There will be (a rebellion) but it won’t be sufficient.”