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Cruel Tories: Bed tax not about the money

McVey reveals true Con-Dem agenda to inflict housing misery on the poor

A Tory minister unmasked the real motivation behind the cruel bedroom tax yesterday by admitting the policy was never about saving taxpayers' cash.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed stripping Britain's poorest tenants of housing benefit has saved the Treasury £1 million a day since last April.

But Tory Employment Minister Esther McVey admitted yesterday that the policy "was never all about saving money" - a claim at odds with the line her government used.

Ms McVey made the short but stark comment on BBC 5 Live radio in an interview before the first anniversary of the bedroom tax on April 1.

Disabled People Against Cuts spokeswoman Debbie Jolly said: "At last we have some truth from the mouth of a government minister."

Outraged Ms Jolly said it showed the policy was another Tory attempt to "inflict misery on ordinary people struggling with rising costs of living."

And she said: "The situation is clear - under this government we not only face an erosion of rights, but continous attacks on our living standards, homes and security.

"Enough is enough."

Bedroom tax revenue data was published by the DWP following a freedom of information request by the BBC to coincide with the policy's first anniversary.

It also revealed that 30,000 people - or just 6 per cent - have reportedly downsized as a result of the housing cut.

Almost five times that number have fallen behind on their rent and been forced towards eviction.

Ms McVey insisted most of those people were in debt before the tax kicked in.

Labour shadow work and pensions secretary Chris Bryant said the figures proved it was a policy "designed as a tax on the poorest and most vulnerable.

"Under this government housing benefit bills are rising, not falling and the bedroom tax has forced thousands into debt and to rely on food banks to survive," he said.

The loophole in the government's legislation which has led to more than 20,000 people being wrongly charged the bedroom tax threatens to cost taxpayers millions of pounds.

FROM P1: Mr Bryant added that Labour would scrap the bedroom tax if it takes power at the next general election if the government do not back down.

But Labour leaders face accusations of hypocrisy after voting for George Osborne's welfare spending cap on Wednesday.

Experts believe Labour would have to make harsh cuts of its own in order to scrap the bedroom tax and stay within the new £119 billion welfare spending limit.

Left Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn told the Star yesterday that his party's support for the government-proposed budget was a "huge mistake."

He said: "It's wrong to place a cap on social security spending as it's impossible to predict what demand will be in future.

"We should stick to the principle of preventing anyone in our society of becoming destitute."

Mr Corbyn was one of the 13 Labour backbenchers who rebelled against the party whip and voted against the cap.


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