Emma joins Labour MPs in call to abolish Bedroom Tax

November 29, 2013

131113 Bedroom Tax Photo w Rachel ReevesEmma joined Labour colleagues in the House of Commons on Tuesday to demand that the Government abolish the cruel and unfair Bedroom Tax.

The tax affects 1,440 households in Shields, with each family losing nearly £500 for every bedroom they are deemed to be under-occupying.

Emma has previously pointed out to the Government that there are not enough smaller homes for people in South Shields to move to, meaning that as many as seven out of eight people affected are losing out through no fault of their own.

She also held a debate in Parliament to highlight the damaging effects the tax is having on constituents in South Shields, as well as the harm it is doing to the housing sector as a whole.

Tuesday’s debate saw Labour MPs highlight the countless people across the country suffering because of the Bedroom Tax, an estimated two thirds of them disabled. The National Housing Federation has reported that around 90% of these people have had to cut back on their weekly food shop in order to make ends meet.

The Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who introduced the tax, did not even appear in Parliament to defend the policy.

Unfortunately, despite the weight of evidence produced by Labour MPs, the Coalition was able to defeat Labour’s motion in a vote.

Speaking after the debate, Emma said:

“The Bedroom Tax is a cruel policy that is driving people from their homes, creating a crisis in councils’ housing budgets, and isn’t even delivering the savings the Government promised. It is an indefensible measure and the Government knows it. That is why the Secretary of State stayed away from Tuesday’s debate – to avoid the embarrassment of being associated with this catastrophic failure of a policy.

“The next Labour Government will repeal the Bedroom Tax and give relief to the hundreds of thousands of people across the country who are suffering under David Cameron. But we know that many households cannot wait until then, and we will continue to put pressure on the Government to admit their failure and put an end to this cruel policy.”

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