Axing the Bedroom Tax is the right thing to do

Westminster’s Labour Councillors have welcomed Labour’s decision this week to repeal the Bedroom Tax, saying it will give hope to around 1,000 Council and Housing Association tenants in Westminster who have been unfairly hit by David Cameron’s cruel and evil tax.

For the vast majority of those affected there is nowhere smaller to move to, hitting vulnerable people with an average bill of £720 a year through no fault of their own. Instead of reducing the housing benefit bill, there is now a real risk the Bedroom Tax will cost more than it saves. So far Westminster Council has rehoused less than 40 tenants in smaller properties.

In 2015 the next Labour Government will repeal the Bedroom Tax without extra borrowing. To cover the £470m cost of axing the Bedroom Tax, funds have been earmarked from:

reversing George Osborne’s recent tax cut for hedge funds announced in Budget 2013
reversing George Osborne’s shares for rights scheme which has opened up a tax loophole and will lead to £1bn being lost to the Exchequer, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility
tackling disguised employment in the construction industry.

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group said;

“Repealing the Bedroom Tax is absolutely the right thing to do. The Bedroom Tax tells you all you need to know about how out of touch David Cameron is, targeting the most vulnerable whilst handing out tax cuts to the nation’s millionaires”

“It doesn’t have to be this way. The next Labour Government will need to make tough choices on spending and in these tough times we won’t borrow more to pay for social security. But we can and will do things differently.”

“I think most Westminster residents will think Labour’s plans to axe the Bedroom Tax are sensible and fair. The tax cuts for hedge funds introduced earlier this year cannot be a priority when disabled people are being plunged into debt. The Bedroom Tax is a cruel and unfair policy that hits the vulnerable and what’s more risks costing more than it saves. ”

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