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Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson says Tory-Lib Dem Government must scrap the Bedroom Tax


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said the Bedroom Tax was an example of the Tory-Lib Dem Government's right-wing ideological attack on the poorest and most vulnerable.

The Bedroom Tax came in as part of the Tory-Lib Dem Government's welfare reforms on April 1, 2013. It targets social housing tenants of working age who receive housing support with a charge for each spare 'bedroom' they have, regardless of its use.

Since then, Bill Esterson said he has been contacted by scores of people from throughout Sefton Central who had been hit by the charges.

Labour announced that it will scrap the Bedroom Tax once they get into government.

Bill said: "The Bedroom Tax is a heartless assault on people who can afford the least. It is a despicable ideological attack by a right-wing government.

"It doesn't take into account what a 'spare bedroom' is being used for, whether the tenant can afford to be hit with a tax charge, or whether there is somewhere else for that person or family to move to. And two thirds of those hit are disabled and often need a spare room for equipment or for a carer or partner to stay in.

"Since it came in, I have been contacted by people here in Sefton Central who have been hit by it. People who are struggling to pay and who are in fear of losing their family homes.

"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.

"I met a man who lived in a house with his family. 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 welfare changes, he was faced with paying hundreds of extra pounds each year through the loss of council tax benefit. 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 throughout Sefton Central and up and down the country."

Bill said the Tories and Lib Dems should now follow Labour's lead and immediately scrap the Bedroom Tax.

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

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

"The Tories and Lib Dems in government are aware of that. If they have an ounce of compassion, they must repeal the Bedroom Tax right now as Labour will do as soon as we get to power."

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