Anna Turley, Redcar’s Labour and Co-operative Parliamentary candidate, today (21 September 2013) welcomed the announcement by Ed Miliband that Labour will scrap the disastrous bedroom tax policy if it wins the next general election.
“I am so pleased that our campaigning has paid off. I brought Labour shadow ministers to Redcar to show them the impact of the bedroom tax and our community marched through the centre of town to make our feelings known. The Labour party is the only party that is listening and is on people’s side.
“The Bedroom Tax is a cruel and unfair measure that hits over 400,000 disabled people nationally, nearly 2000 in Redcar alone. For nearly all those affected here there is no where smaller for them to move to. Vulnerable people are being hit through no fault of their own.
“There are now over a thousand people in rent arrears to their housing association in Redcar and Cleveland and four times as many properties lying empty as this time last year. There is a real risk the Bedroom Tax is costing more money than it saves, as well breaking up families and devastating local communities.
“Our announcement shows that Labour are on the side of the people of Redcar, and will always put them first.”
The next Labour Government will repeal the Bedroom Tax with no further borrowing. It will be funded by:
- reversing George Osborne’s recent tax cut for hedge funds announced in Budget 2013;
- reversing George Osborne’s shares for rights scheme which has been rejected by businesses, has opened up a tax loophole, and will lead to £1bn being lost to the Exchequer according to the Office for Budget Responsibility; and
- tackling disguised employment in the construction industry.
These measures will cover the £470 million cost of repealing the Bedroom Tax.
Labour will deal with under-occupation by funding local authorities who are able to help people with the costs of moving to suitable accommodation, using the funding set aside by the Government through Discretionary Housing Payments for dealing with the problems caused by the Bedroom Tax.