Sector praises Labour pledge to abolish bedroom tax
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
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Labour has revealed that it will repeal the bedroom tax if it wins the 2015 general election in a move universally welcomed across the social housing sector.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: "This commitment to repeal the deeply unfair bedroom tax is a welcome acknowledgement that the bedroom tax is doing nothing more than hurting vulnerable people, two thirds of whom are disabled. It does nothing to address the real issue - our burgeoning housing benefit bill - in any meaningful way.
"We have spent over two years lobbying against this policy which penalises the poor and will not address the chronic housing shortage. We now need the government to give the same commitment to repeal this unfair and unworkable tax and commit to addressing rising housing costs through building more affordable homes."
Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Grainia Long said: “The bedroom tax is not fair - it has become clear since its introduction that this policy is causing hardship and suffering for thousands of people across Great Britain, as many in the housing industry warned it would. We welcome Labour’s commitment to repeal this policy if they are elected in 2015.”
Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: "In homes up and down the country the bedroom tax is causing misery. It’s good that Labour have listened and announced they would repeal it in government. Those affected already struggle to make ends meet. People are getting into debt and people are becoming homeless. We urge the government to follow suit and end this cruel policy."
Alison Garnham, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said: “This is very welcome news. It’s a cruel, flawed and costly policy that inflicts significant financial pain on some of our poorest families with children, even if through no fault of their own they aren’t able to downsize. The writing is on the wall, whoever wins in 2015 will have to sort this mess out and put a stop to the human misery it’s creating and the costs to local authorities it’s generating.”
The news of the move emerged Friday on the eve of Labour's party conference which officially begins Sunday in Brighton. The Guardian said leader Ed Miliband will describe the bedroom tax as "a symbol of an out-of-touch, uncaring government standing up for the interests of the privileged few, and never for you".