Labour announces they will scrap the Bedroom Tax as MP Bill Esterson says it is an attack on poor and vulnerable

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with anti-Bedroom Tax campaign Debra Power.


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said Labour was the only party who would bring to an end the Tory-Lib Dem Bedroom Tax which he said was "the biggest attack on the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities since the Poll Tax".

Introduced at the start of this year, the Bedroom Tax targets social housing tenants of working age who receive housing support.

Those who are identified as having one spare room lose 14% of their housing benefits. Those with more than one, lose 25%.

Since the Bedroom Tax was introduced, Bill has been contacted by scores of people from throughout Sefton Central concerned that they can no longer afford to live in their family home. The majority of the people affected are disabled according to the government’s own figures.

This week, Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged that once in Government, Labour would scrap the Bedroom Tax.

Bill Esterson said: "The Tory-Lib Dem Bedroom Tax is the biggest attack on the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities since the Poll Tax.

"It is heartbreaking just what people are going through. Very often these are the very people who can least afford it. They are the most vulnerable. Or they are the people who have raised their families in a home, who have real roots in a community, who are being forced out of their homes.

"If is for this reason that Ed Miliband announced this week that Labour would repeal the Bedroom Tax once we get back into Government.

"One of the many people from Sefton Central I have met who have been hurt by the Bedroom Tax is a Crosby man. He worked hard and paid into the system until he developed a back problem which meant he was registered disabled. One of his three children had grown up and moved out and because of the bedroom tax and cuts to council tax benefit, he was faced with paying hundreds of extra pounds each month. The Bedroom Tax is the last straw for him. Because of these extra charges, he is struggling to make ends meet and seriously fears losing his home.

"His case is being echoed across Sefton Central and up and down the country.

"And in the same day my constituent had to start paying the bedroom tax, the wealthiest people in the country were handed a tax cut worth £2,000 a month for those earning £1million a year. So the poorest disabled people faced a cut in their living standards to pay for a massive rise in the money going to the wealthiest."

Bill said he would continue to push the Tory-Lib Dem Government to reverse the Bedroom Tax.

Bill said: "People here are hurting right now. People right here in Sefton Central.

"The policy is flawed. There aren't the homes for people to move to even if they wanted to.

"That is why I am continuing to urge the Tories and Lib Dems to repeal the Bedroom Tax now.

"The Tories and Lib Dems in government are aware of the damage they are doing. If they have an ounce of compassion, they must repeal the Bedroom Tax right now."