This just in: Labour policy clarification on the bedroom tax, from the horse’s mouth.
(No, really. We’re not being satirical, although they might be.)
From: Frontbench <frontbench [at] labour [dot] org [dot] uk>
Sent: 06 September 2013 17:46
Subject: Response from the Labour Party
Thank you for your email regarding the bedroom tax. For help with specific cases please get in touch with your local MP.
Labour supports sensible welfare reform but the bedroom tax is the wrong choice. This Government is making people in council and housing association homes pay more, at the same time as handing thousands of millionaires are a tax cut of £100,000 a year.
The Government admits this botched plan won’t solve under occupancy. They accept that there are not enough smaller properties for families to move to, yet the bedroom tax is still hitting households that don’t have the option to move. It may even cost more than it saves if families are made homeless or pushed into expensive private rented accommodation. The Government is hitting households with the bedroom tax despite admitting there aren’t enough smaller properties for tenants to move to. They expect families to pay extra, hitting working people and some of the most vulnerable in our society.
Labour forced votes on the Welfare Reform Bill to introduce safeguards into the bedroom tax that would have stopped anyone from being affected unless they refused, for no good reason, an offer of appropriate accommodation nearby. Labour’s proposal would have helped to solve under-occupancy, without making people homeless or pushing them into expensive private rented accommodation, which will cost the taxpayer more.
Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people are being hit by a cruel tax they can’t escape. The Government must think again and drop this tax now. Britain needs real welfare reform that is tough, fair and that works, not divisive, nasty and misleading smears from an out of touch and failing Government.
Labour will set out our own tax and spending plans at the time of the next election, but we are clear on our opposition to the bedroom tax, and we would never have brought it in if we were in power.
We are opening up the way the Labour Party makes policy to involve people from all walks of life. You can play a part in shaping our policy programme through Your Britain, Labour’s online home of ideas and policy development. If you have views on this issue you would like to share, please submit them to our Work and Business Policy Commission.
To see what else we’re talking about, follow Your Britain on Twitter.
With kind regards,
On behalf of the Labour Party
Sent by email from the Labour Party, promoted by Iain McNicol on behalf of The Labour Party, both at One Brewer’s Green, London SW1H 0RH. Website: www.labour.org.uk to join or renew call 0845 0922299.
Our emphasis. Especially alert readers may have noticed the absence of the words “We will abolish the bedroom tax if elected in 2015”, despite the letter containing 450 words of platitudinous waffle about how awful it is.
We wonder why that might be.