Labour and Lib Dems vote in unity against controversial Bedroom tax

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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The Conservatives have to suffer defeat in the House of Commons on Friday, after Labour and Liberal Democrats MPs voted in unity to abolish the controversial ‘Bedroom tax’.

MPs have voted by 304 to 267 for a bill that will limit the scope of the Spare Room Subsidy policy, which penalises council tenants who are deemed to have more rooms than needed to fulfil their requirement.

According to the currently imposed bedroom tax or the ‘withdrawal of the spare room subsidy’, council tenants have to face 14 per cent loss of their housing benefit if they have one unused bedroom and 25 per cent if they have two or more extra bedrooms.

The bill was introduced by backbench Lib Dem MP Andrew George who said to be surprised at the huge levels of support for received by his proposal.

Mr George has also told that he did not expect the Tories to be defeated with a reasonable margin what he earlier thought as a close vote.

The Lib Dem MP has said: “It was such a stonking victory that if that coalition can hold together in the coming months we should get this Bill through.”

Many protests have taken place across the U.K. against the tax. Critics say the government brought it in without building any new smaller homes for people to move into.

Shadow works and pensions minister, Chris Bryant has expressed his delight by saying: “This is the beginning of the end of the bedroom tax. Whether we will manage to get it all the way through by the general election, I don’t know – but we’ll try our damnedest, and we’ll certainly abolish it afterwards.”

The Labour leader Ed Miliband has stated after yesterday’s vote: “What this vote shows is that David Cameron is a prime minister whose authority is weakening day-by-day.

“He is losing his MPs, he is losing votes in the House of Commons, and it is Labour which is setting the agenda for fairness.”

Despite the recent development, the Department of Work and Pensions have indicated of having no immediate change in policy, as a spokeswoman has said: “It is a fair policy that is saving the taxpayer more than £1m a day.”

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