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Labour Vows ‘Fairness’

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Ed Miliband and wife Justine Miliband at Swaminarayan temple in London (File)

Labour leader Mr Ed Miliband said an end to the Bedroom  Tax will be the first act of his new Labour government…reports Asian Lite, UK’s No 1 newspaper for British Asians

Miliband  said, from day one of the new Labour government, new funds will be made available to offset the full costs of the tax for all families currently paying it, with these funds distributed through local authorities. This will end family hardship while a new Labour government passes rapid legislation to put an end to David Cameron’s Bedroom Tax once and for all. The tax has hit almost half a million people.

Miliband said:  “We’re going to abolish the Bedroom Tax in every corner of the United Kingdom. This Bedroom Tax is indefensible. It’s cruel and it doesn’t even work.

“It has punished those most in need in our society, causing untold misery for half a million families across the UK, two thirds of which include a disabled person.

“It’s a tax that affects 200,000 children and 60,000 carers – people we should be helping, not hurting.

​”And under the Tories, a million more people could be hit by the tax in the next five years. This is a Government that cuts taxes for millionaires, opposes the mansion tax. It won’t abolish non-dom status but will keep the Bedroom Tax.

​”I think that tells you everything you need to know about a Tory Government – and it tells you everything you need to know about a Labour Government that the first thing we’ll do is scrap it.

“We will legislate straight away to abolish the Bedroom Tax – in England, in Wales, in Scotland, right across our United Kingdom.

“We’ll get to work immediately to ensure that families no longer lose out. We’ll make new funds available to local authorities to offset the full costs of the tax for all families who currently pay it.

“So on day one of a Labour Government, we free families from the burden of the Bedroom Tax.”

 Labour’s plan to scrap the Bedroom Tax will help more than 360,000 households in England, 31,000 households in Wales and More than 70,000 households in Scotland, that are currently hit by this unfair policy.

Both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats have claimed that the aim of the Bedroom Tax is to free up larger properties for families on the housing waiting list. But the Department for Work and Pensions own figures show that just 4.6 per cent of affected tenants have downsized within the social rented sector.  And only 1.4 per cent have moved to the private rented sector, “ he added.

“The Government’s own figures also show that more than half of people affected by the Bedroom Tax said being able to afford their rent was “very difficult”, with 57 per cent of people affected cutting back on household essentials.

“As the Institute for Fiscal Studies said earlier this week, “those affected have struggled to pay the share of their rent no longer covered by Housing Benefit; around half of those affected and surveyed were in rent arrears  six months after the introduction of the policy.”

Analysis of government figures shows that around one million people not currently paying the Tax will become liable to do so in the next Parliament if the Tories win. If two thirds of those affected are families including a disabled person, as the Government’s own figures for this parliament show, that would mean 680,000 disabled people affected over the next five years.