One of the issues that is raised the most to me on the doorsteps of Basildon and Thurrock is the Bedroom Tax. If elected to power next May, Labour will scrap the coalition bedroom tax and send this vile, unjust and cruel policy to the dustbin where it belongs. The Tories and Lib Dems have taken an average £700 a year from half a million low income households with two thirds of those hit having disabilities and another 60,000 being carers. Only 4.5% of affected claimants had been able to move to smaller accommodation within the social sector, 60% have fallen behind with their rent after just six months and many who are paying are having to make cuts to other household essentials or incurring other debts. This policy tells you everything you need to know about a government who have cuts taxes for the richest while hitting low earners the hardest.
The Liberal Democrats joined the Tories to vote through the bedroom tax and have stopped Labour motions to scrap it. There would be no Bedroom Tax if it wasn’t for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. They even refused to support amendments that Labour tabled to exempt disabled people whose homes had been specially adapted for them, or who could not find alternative accommodation where support services and suitable employment was locally available.
On Friday Labour will support a Private Members’ Bill to try again to exempt certain categories of household from the Bedroom Tax. This Bill does not go as far as the full abolition we want to see but we will take any opportunity to limit its terrible impact.
Only a Labour government will scrap the bedroom tax.