The Prime Minister should go one better than Labour and end the misery the Bedroom Tax is causing for countless families across the country by abolishing the policy immediately, according to Alex Cunningham.
In an extremely well attended debate on the floor of the House of Commons, the Stockton North MP joined Labour Party colleagues in rebuking the Government’s reckless policy, highlighting the dangerous consequences that it is producing, and calling for the bedroom tax to be brought to an end.
During the debate, Alex said: “Families won’t take on larger properties in case their circumstances change, so we have examples of both councils and housing associations having houses standing empty. Empty houses when we have homeless families. It is incredible that the Government could have gotten this policy so drastically wrong.
“Let us consider Prior and Melsonby Courts in my Stockton North constituency. Despite recent improvement works which cost £4 million, 10% of these properties currently stand empty. And the reason for this is that, despite being small two-bedroom properties ideal for young people, single individuals simply cannot afford the rent as a result of the bedroom tax.”
Speaking after the debate, Alex said:
“I was amazed by the number of MPs wanting to speak during the debate today, though with residents in every constituency across the country being affected, perhaps I should not have been surprised. Whilst the Government ran out of MPs to back their policy, more than a dozen Labour MPs were denied the chance to take part in the debate because of insufficient time.
“The level of support for Labour’s intention to abolish the bedroom tax has been phenomenal and the examples we have heard in the House illustrate that this is a Government policy that savagely targets the most vulnerable in our society, worsening the cost of living crisis facing so many ordinary people.
“In the Stockton Borough alone, Tristar Homes have 39 predominantly 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom properties that are unoccupied because families can’t afford them. I am in no doubt that there are countless others. All told, this will cost Tristar in excess of half a million pounds this year alone, yet the Government knew from the outset that their bedroom tax would result in families who had no alternative but to pay up or face eventual eviction.
“The Labour Party has already pledged to rescind the bedroom tax without hesitation. The Tory-led Coalition should go one better and do away with this disastrous policy without delay.”