On Friday Emma joined Labour MPs to support the Affordable Homes Bill, which would make people exempt from paying the Bedroom Tax if they had a specially adapted home to help them with a disability, as well as ensuring that only people who had refused a genuine offer of a suitable alternative home would be subject to the Tax.
The Tax which was introduced by the Tories and Lib Dems and has heaped misery of thousands of people, increasing levels of poverty and debt. In a desperate attempt to distance themselves from their Tory Coalition partners those same Lib Dems voted with Labour MPs today.
Although Emma and other MPs said they would prefer to abolish the tax entirely, they said that the changes would help people who were currently losing out through no fault of their own.
MPs voted to give the Bill a second reading by 306 votes to 231. The Bill will not yet become law, but will be allowed to progress for further debate in the house.
The Labour Leader Ed Miliband has pledged that if Labour is elected in 2015 it will scrap the Bedroom Tax.
One of Emma’s key election pledges was to fight the Bedroom Tax, and she has repeatedly raised the issue in the House of Commons. Last year she led a debate on the tax and she has also put questions to the Prime Minister and the Work and Pensions Secretary explaining how the tax is causing suffering in South Shields.
“I am delighted that Labour MPs were able to win this vote. These changes will help thousands of people who at the moment are being unfairly hit by the Government’s cruel Bedroom Tax, including many in South Shields.
“But the Bill still does not go as far as I would like, and I still want to see the Bedroom Tax abolished entirely. That is something only Labour is promising.