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Shapps council bungles bedroom tax leaflet

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Shapps council bungles bedroom tax leaflet

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Central Government

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The council that controls the constituency of Tory chairman Grant Shapps has sent out leaflets referring to the government's 'spare room subsidy' as the 'bedroom tax'.

Bungling Welwyn Hatfield Council made the blunder on flyers left for distribution at its Campus East HQ.

Former housing minister Shapps has exhausted a great deal of effort on trying to define the under-occupancy policy as the 'spare room subsidy' - a difficult task in the face of near universal recognition of it as the 'bedroom tax'.

Even Tory minister Joan Hanham referred to the controversial policy as the 'bedroom tax' in the House of Commons last year.

Shapps offered an explanation for the Conservative council's error: “I think it was probably drawn up by the (Welwyn Hatfield Community) Housing Trust, as a slightly arms-length body.

“I’m not jumping up and down about it."

Seizing the opportunity to defend the bedroom tax once more, Shapps added: “To be clear, a tax, as everyone knows, is a sum of money you pay to the government out of your income.”

A report released today reveals that the bedroom tax has massively failed to address the issue of 'under-occupancy', with social housing tenants caught out by the policy having nowhere to downsize to.

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