A large number of my constituents have contacted me about the Affordable Homes Bill which was debated in Parliament today, asking for my views and requesting that I stay for the Bill.
I can assure my constituents that I remained in Parliament for the Bill today, on what is usually a day MPs spend in their constituency, as I believe the Bedroom Tax is cruel, unfair and it isn’t working; a mere 6% of people hit by bedroom tax have moved home and almost two thirds of those affected are disabled.
I know the bedroom tax has had a shattering impact on my constituents- it affects approximately 1,500 individuals in my constituency alone. Many of whom have told me they feel like they can’t make ends meet and feel rising levels of stress and anxiety over the prospect of losing their home.
The Affordable Homes Bill seeks to exempt some households from the Bedroom Tax. Whilst this Bill does not fully abolish the Bedroom Tax, it goes some way to exclude certain households.
For example, it will limit the Bedroom Tax to exclude those who have been living at an address for more than three years and where disabled adaptations have been completed.
Labour has consistently called for abolishment of the Bedroom Tax and for greater investment in intermediate and affordable homes to secure affordable homes for working people and help the next generation on to the property ladder.
By contrast, the Tories and Liberal Democrats, who jointly brought in the bedroom tax, cut the budget for affordable homes by 60%, have overseen the lowest level of social home building in twenty years and the lowest overall house building in peacetime since the 1920s.
We will do whatever we can to fight this unjust and unworkable policy. But the only way to be sure of repealing it will be to elect a Labour government next year who will scrap the bedroom tax!