Friday, 5 September 2014

Ian Swales MP supports reform of “Bedroom Tax”

MP for Redcar Constituency Ian Swales has today supported his Liberal Democrat colleague’s private members bill calling for further reform of the spare room subsidy, more commonly referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’.

The bill, put forward by Andrew George MP, proposed that those who are willing to move but cannot be found a smaller home would be exempt, as would disabled people who live in adapted properties or who need a spare bedroom.

The bill received a majority of support from MPs with 306 votes to 231. The bill will now progress to committee stage.

Commenting after the vote, Ian said:

“I voted against the so called bedroom tax when the legislation originally passed through the house. This wasn’t because I think taxpayers should continue to pay for spare bedrooms or because I ignored the needs of the millions of people on housing waiting lists or living in overcrowded accommodation as the Labour party seem to do. It was simply because I knew that in my constituency we did not have enough 1 and 2 bedroom properties to cope with the change.

“There were of course other issues with the policy and I have personally fought for the changes already made for disabled children, service personnel and foster carers. Today's Bill covers two major remaining groups, disabled adults needing an extra room and those willing to move who can't be offered a suitable alternative. Both of which are problems in my constituency.

“I was therefore pleased to support the Bill and congratulated my Liberal Democrat colleague, Andrew George, on bringing it forward. Whilst the Conservatives and Labour take opposite sides on this issue, the Liberal Democrats are the only party trying to achieve a fairer system for everyone.”

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