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Tenants take case to parliament while MPs debate bedroom tax

Issue No. 2379

Campaigners at parliament on Tuesday of this week

Campaigners at parliament on Tuesday of this week (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Campaigners and tenants protested against the bedroom tax outside parliament on Tuesday of this week, as MPs debated getting rid of it.

Labour tabled a motion against the bedroom tax. 

But Tory work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith—the senior minister responsible for the bedroom tax—didn’t even bother to turn up.

The bedroom tax came into effect for 660,000 households in April of this year.

Those deemed to have one spare room had their benefits cut by 14 percent and those with two or more faced a 25 percent cut. 

But “spare” rooms include those needed by children, disabled people and rehoused victims of domestic violence.

And there are almost no one-bedroom homes in social housing for people to move into.

Where tenants have moved out of three bedroom homes landlords are struggling to fill them. 

Magenta Living in the Wirral says it plans to tear down a block of three-bedroom houses because the bedroom tax means no one can afford to live there.

Other housing associations say they are looking into demolitions as the only way to cope with the tax—while Britain faces a real housing crisis.

Even Lib Dem cabinet minister Danny Alexander’s father, himself a housing association boss, spoke out against the bedroom tax last week.

But it took months of determined campaigning from tenants and their supporters to make the Labour Party pledge to scrap it.

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Tue 12 Nov 2013, 17:43 GMT
Issue No. 2379
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