Bedroom tax under threat: Lib Dem MP launches private members' bill to cut back policy
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Regulation
Bedroom tax under threat: Lib Dem MP launches private member bill to cut back policy
A Liberal Democrat MP is seeking the backing of fellow MPs for his private members' bill that aims to curtail the controversial bedroom tax.
To be debated next Friday in the House of Commons, Andrew George's Affordable Homes Bill is focused on introducing "significant exemptions" to the under-occupancy policy.
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.
The MP said: “Although I am disappointed that I’ve had to drop other measures to give this bill a chance of success at second reading next Friday, I hope I can persuade Labour and fellow Liberal Democrat MPs, including government ministers, to support it.
“Of course – to be consistent - I would have preferred to abolish the bedroom tax altogether, but, for a private members’ bill to have any chance of success, compromises have to be reached.
“The poor should have as much entitlement to a stable family home as the better off. There are better ways of solving our housing crisis than creating misery for the most vulnerable.
“Naturally, if I succeed at second reading, I hope I can beef up the bill with amendments at committee stage, to extend exemptions to the bedroom tax and promote the intermediate housing market to make homeownership affordable to more people.”
With the Lib Dems pledging earlier this year to axe the bedroom tax, George can surely expect the complete support of the party.