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Lib Dem MP's bill to curtail bedroom tax wins in Commons

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Lib Dem MP's bill to curtail bedroom tax wins in Commons

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Housing

MP's bill to curtail bedroom tax wins in Commons MP's bill to curtail bedroom tax wins in Commons

An MP's private members bill aimed at overturning key elements of the coalition's changes to the welfare system has passed the first hurdle in the House of Commons.

Andrew George's Affordable Housing Bill was passed by 306 votes to 231 after Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs teamed up to defeat the Tories.

Contained in the bill are regulations to exempt people who cannot be sourced a smaller home to downsize to and disabled people who require a spare room from the ravages of the bedroom tax.

The bill will next face detailed scrutiny at the committee stage.

When George, who is MP for St Ives, introduced his bill to parliament last month, he originally proposed four elements to be negotiated with the government and opposition parties - to seek support for measures to advance the case for legislation which would improve the chances of families in inadequate or unaffordable homes.

George, who voted against the original bedroom tax regulations, has said that he could not get support for any of his measures from the Conservatives, while Labour would not support his proposed planning controls on second homes. However, Labour would be prepared to support his proposed bedroom tax exemptions, and today's Commons vote shows the party supported the bill.

George tweeted: "My Affordable Homes Private Members' Bill wins vote at Second Reading stage. Great news for those badly affected by the Bedroom Tax."

Parliament's sole Green Party MP Caroline Lucas tweeted: "‏Hurrah - majority of 75 against worst of #bedroomtax!  Proud to be co sponsor of @AndrewGeorgeLD Bill - now need to scrap the tax altogether."

National Housing Federation chief executive, David Orr said: “We are really pleased with today’s great vote in the Commons in favour of Andrew George’s Affordable Homes Bill.

“In particular, we are pleased that he has chosen to focus on an effort to introduce significant amendments to the bedroom tax.

“There is still a long way to go but this is an important step in the right direction. While we would prefer to see this unfair policy repealed altogether, we welcome any measures that would lessen the impact on thousands of the nation’s poorest people.”

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