Penarth MP slams Government’s 'bedroom tax'

Penarth Times: COMMITMENT: Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty with Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP. COMMITMENT: Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty with Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP.

PENARTH MP Stephen Doughty has slammed the Tory/Lib-Dem Government’s bedroom tax, saying it is "totally unworkable, rapidly unravelling, and descending into utter chaos".

In a key Commons debate last Wednesday, February 26, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP called on the Tory/Lib-Dem Government to explain itself following the discovery of a loophole in its legislation.

A Freedom of Information investigation demonstrates that the number affected by the loophole is considerably greater than the Tory/Lib-Dem Government suggested. The government has repeatedly pledged that no more than 5,000 people are affected, yet FOI responses from 197 councils have shown more than 21,000 people are affected, including 220 in Cardiff and 61 in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The government has voted to close the loophole and repeated its support for the bedroom tax, despite strong opposition from Labour MPs.

Speaking after the vote, the Cardiff South and Penarth MP said: “The Tory-led government are in total denial about the impact of their decisions; and the vote today shows again how they are targeting some of the poorest and most vulnerable in society - including many disabled people - with Wales hard-hit.

"The shambolic implementation of the hated bedroom tax and the subsequent discovery of a loophole in the legislation shows the bedroom tax is totally unworkable, rapidly unravelling and is descending into utter chaos."

During the debate Labour repeated their calls for the bedroom tax - that hits more than half a million people across the UK - to be scrapped.

“The bedroom tax is hitting people in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan hard and for the vast majority of those affected, there is simply nowhere smaller to move to,” added Stephen.

“There is a real risk the policy will in fact cost more than it saves, with rising arrears and collection costs soaring for councils and other housing providers - not to mention the anxiety it continues to cause to those affected.

“The bedroom tax is cruel, iniquitous and economically illiterate - that is why Labour has said that if the current government won’t scrap it, the next Labour government will.”

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