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Labour Party calls on Tees Valley MPs to Unite against Bedroom Tax


The Member of Parliament for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham MP and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar Anna Turley have today called on James Wharton – the Conservative MP for Stockton South – and Ian Swales – the Liberal Democrat MP for Redcar, to speak out against the Government’s Bedroom Tax.

Alex and Anna revealed National Housing Federation figures which show 11,336 people will be hit by the government’s ‘Bedroom Tax’ losing on average £728 per year across the Tees Valley.

And across Stockton Borough there will be 2,806 individuals hit by the new charge, and in Redcar, there are 1,695 people who lose out. Despite this, the two MPs – who both represent Coalition parties – opted not to vote with Labour’s Opposition Day motion at the end of last month which argued that the Bedroom Tax was unfair.

The new charge will hit 660,000 households across the country, two thirds of them home to someone with a disability at exactly the same time as the government gives a massive £100,000 tax cut to 13,000 millionaires.

Anna has arranged a petition signing and street stall on Redcar high street on Saturday 9th March at 10:30 am to raise awareness of the issue.

Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North said:

“David Cameron’s Bedroom Tax will hammer families across the Tees Valley who are already struggling to make ends meet, and could actually risk costing local tax-payers a fortune in higher private rents and covering the cost of driving people out of their homes.

“I know James Wharton has already voted to penalise over 1,000 of his constituents, but I am now calling on him to change his mind, abandon his support for the Bedroom Tax, and speak out in favour of the 1,431 of his constituents that the National Housing Federation say will lose out from this unfair policy.”

Anna Turley, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar, said:

“People have been raising this issue with me on the doorsteps from Redcar to South Bank for months now. They are genuinely fearful about how they will make ends meet and worried about losing their homes. And they are angry when at the same time they see millionaires given a tax cut by this government.

“Redcar’s Liberal Democrat MP didn’t even turn up for the debate on the Bedroom Tax this week. That’s why people are coming out onto the high street of Redcar this Saturday – to tell this Government to back down on its cruel bedroom tax policy.”

Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:

“David Cameron’s April tax plan is simply not fair. From next month, 13,000 millionaires are getting a tax cut worth £100,000 a year on average while over 600,000 armed forces families, disabled people and foster carers have to find £728 a year to pay a new bedroom tax.

“Yet the plan is such a shambles that someone who’s been to prison on a short sentence won’t have to pay. How unfair is that? Millionaires and prisoners are looked after but vulnerable people, carers and armed forces families get hit.

“Labour plan relentless pressure on this out of touch government until Ministers see sense, admit this policy is totally unfair and think again.”