The Bedroom Tax – remember it? We’ve reported on it before. But just to remind you.@mx_450

It’s a Cruel and Immoral tax
It’s a squeeze on hungry families – and it affects an estimated 375,000 children.
It’s hitting the disabled hard – the 660,000 families affected include 400,000 disabled people
– in West Yorkshire, for example, the estimated number of claimants who will be affected is 80,000. There are over 50,000 disabled claimants in this region.
96% of people hit by it have no choice but to pay as there are no smaller properties available.

It’s an Unfair tax
It catches all sorts of people – like the soldier forced to pay rent at his mother’s home despite living in barracks

It’s a Stupid tax
It forces people to move – often into the private rented sector, where their rents are higher and cost the taxpayer more – £160 million per year more according to a study from York University

The majority of the households hit by the Bedroom Tax have someone who is disabled and many properties have been specially designed or adapted, so if people are forced to move it will cost the taxpayer to adapt the new properties all over again.

It means affordable social homes lying empty and marked for demolition because no-one will take them on. This as a result of the tax which was supposedly designed to free up such houses for others to rent.

The Bedroom tax is making the housing crisis worse, not better.
It’s driving up rent arrears for councils and housing associations.
Councils are being forced to use funds from their Housing Revenue Account to pay for the Bedroom Tax rather than building homes.

Housing Associations have had their credit rating downgraded hitting their ability to build more homes as a result of rising rent arrears.

The government is hitting households with the bedroom tax despite admitting there aren’t enough smaller properties for tenants to move to.

Labour in Government will repeal the Bedroom Tax.

Labour in Opposition are doing everything possible to get rid of it before then.

Which was why Labour called a vote on it last Tuesday at Westminster
a vote in which Tories and LibDems combined together to keep it in place. Only two LibDems voted with Labour. The rest were either absent or trooped through the lobby with their Tory allies .

That vote and the Bedroom Tax itself tell you all you need to know about this LibDem/Tory Coalition.
-cutting the incomes of disabled people in council and housing association homes.
-hitting family stability – affecting divorced parents and some grandparents
taking from the poor with one hand, while they hand 13,000 millionaires a tax cut of £100,000 worth £3bn a year with the other –over 6x best predictions for savings from the Bedroom Tax.

The next Labour Government will repeal the Bedroom Tax. But we are clear that there cannot be extra borrowing to pay for social security changes. Funds have been earmarked from:
– Reversing George Osborne’s recent tax cut for hedge funds announced in Budget 2013;
– Reversing George Osborne’s shares for rights scheme which has been rejected by businesses, has opened up a tax loophole and will lead to £1bn being lost to the Exchequer according to the Office for Budget Responsibility;
– Tackling disguised employment in the construction industry.

Labour built 2 million homes when we were in government, of which 500,000 were affordable homes. Under this Government housing completions are at their lowest peacetime level since the 1920s. Labour has plans for a major house building programme where we build over 200,000 homes a year by the end of the next parliament.

Labour supports sensible reform to bring down the costs of social security but the government admits this botched plan won’t solve under occupancy. It may even cost more than it saves.

It looks as if we’ll have to wait until 2015 to be rid of this iniquitous tax.

But in the meantime, you can sign Labour’s petition here

And you can add another bookmark to your political memory.
The LibDem Tory Coalition made the Bedroom Tax, and on Tuesday they made sure we keep it. Some of us will not forget.

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