Happy birthday, Bedroom Tax?

Posted on 09/04/2014 by

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North & Leith MP joins anti-bedroom tax protest

Mark Lazarowicz - Labour pledges to scrap the poll tax - 9 April 2014

On the first anniversary of the introduction of the so-called  ‘Bedroom Tax’, Mark Lazarowicz MP has reiterated the pledge that a future Labour government will scrap the legislation altogether. The Welfare Reform Act, to give it it’s proper name, has hit over 4,600 people in Edinburgh and over 71,000 people across Scotland.

Mr Lazarowicz spoke at a protest organised by Unite trade union outside Westminster to mark the anniversary earlier today.

The Scottish Labour and the SNP Scottish Government reached agreement in February over funding to protect tenants in the social rented sector in Scotland from eviction as a result of the Bedroom Tax alone but that is only an interim solution as the extra funding has to come from elsewhere in the overall budget.

Mark Lazarowicz MP said: “Getting on for 5,000 people in Edinburgh have been hit by this cruel and costly tax with arrears totalling £5 million according to the Scottish Housing Regulator.

“Those affected are often amongst the most vulnerable people in society: Citizens Advice Scotland found that two-thirds of people coming to them for help because of the Bedroom Tax were disabled and another one in ten cared for a disabled person.

“Scottish Labour took the lead in campaigning for the Scottish Government to provide additional funding, and I am glad that the SNP government eventually agreed to do so. It should have done so earlier, but I nevertheless welcome the fact that it did so. The long-term answer, however, is to axe the Bedroom Tax, and Labour is fully committed to do that.

“The Government said the Bedroom Tax would save money but the housing benefit bill continues to rise. It won’t listen to reason, Labour is clear: we will scrap the Bedroom Tax.”

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