West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper joined other Labour MPs to vote against the Bedroom Tax during a debate in parliament.
The Bedroom Tax has caused hardship for hundreds of thousands of people across the country, costing low-income families an average of £700 a year. Two thirds of those hit by the Bedroom Tax have disabilities and 60,000 are carers. In the North West alone over 75,000 people have been affected, more than any other UK region.
The Liberal Democrats have repeatedly joined the Tories to keep the Bedroom Tax in place and have previously resisted any attempt to protect people from it. Yet the Liberal Democrats joined Labour in voting against their own policy in Parliament.
Thanks to the support of Labour MPs the vote was won. Unfortunately this vote will not abolish the bedroom tax, as Labour will do if elected next year, but it is a step in the right direction and a glimmer of hope for many.
MP Rosie has campaigned against the Bedroom Tax since 2010, and previously voted for its repeal in November 2013.
In February this year during a Commons debate on closing the loophole on Housing Benefit regulations, MP Rosie called on Work and Pensions Ministers to scrap the Bedroom Tax completely.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s cruel and unfair Bedroom Tax has hit the poorest and most vulnerable in our community.
“If this government won’t ditch the Bedroom Tax, then the next Labour government will and undo what the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives voted in in the first place.”
“Here in West Lancashire, the Borough Council reported that as of December 2013, 1,196 council tenants were affected, whilst as of March this year, only 53 tenants had transferred to smaller accommodation.
“The effect of the Bedroom Tax within six months, between April and September 2013, 401 tenants with nil balances or in credit were in arrears out of 625 in total. In 81 cases the council had issued Notice Seeking Possession.
“If we look carefully at the Bedroom Tax, what we see is an abject failure of a policy that is actually costing taxpayers more and more not less.
“It’s time the Bedroom Tax was ended.”