Labour call for a vote on the Bedroom Tax and a debate on food banks

17th December, 2014 8:06 am

bedroom tax

New statistics show that the Bedroom Tax has cost low-income families an average of £1,260 since it was introduced in April 2013.

Around 500,000 people have to pay the Bedroom Tax – and two thirds of these (330,000) are disabled and 60,000 are carers. That’s why today Labour have called for a vote that could effectively abolish the tax before Christmas.

Rachel Reeves, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary explained the importance of this vote:

“The Bedroom Tax is costing low-income families over £1,200, deepening the cost-of-living crisis for people who are struggling to make ends meet.

“The Government’s own independent report into the Bedroom Tax found fewer than five per cent of people had moved to another home in the social rented sector and 60 per cent of people had fallen behind with their rent. The Bedroom Tax has failed – it’s yet another example of Tory Welfare Waste.

”I urge MPs from all parties to do the right thing and vote with Labour to scrap the Bedroom Tax in Parliament today. Thousands of people who are struggling to survive can’t afford to spend another Christmas paying this cruel and unfair tax on bedrooms.”

As well as calling for this vote, Labour are also holding an opposition day debate on food banks today – making a year since the last opposition debate on the subject.

In this time, the number of people forced to use food banks has been on the rise. Maria Eagle,  Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will ask Ministers why this is the case. She is expected to say:

“Since the last Opposition Day debate we had on this subject a year ago, things have got worse. There has been a 38 per cent increase in the number of people seeking food aid from the Trussell Trust’s 420 food banks over the last six months. 492,641 people have sought food aid in that time. 176,565 of them are children. 

“It is shocking that 45-60 per cent of the ever increasing need for food aid we see is primarily caused by the actions of the Department for Work and Pensions. Yet Ministers have done nothing since our debate last year to tackle the benefit delays and changes which are causing so much of the problem.

“DWP Ministers are indifferent. They do nothing. The employment minister said “there is no robust evidence linking food bank usage to welfare reform.” That is because she refuses to collect the evidence or research it.

“Either they’re indifferent and incompetent. Or they’re indifferent and venal because in reality Ministers don’t care about the problems their policies and actions are causing.

“The Chancellor has already said that he will be looking for further savings from the welfare budget. This will inevitably mean a further weakening of the social security safety net. This Tory plan to recreate 1930s Britain, along with its hunger, low pay and non-existent rights at work coincides with changes to the labour market making it tougher to make ends meet, even for someone who is in work.” 

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  • Monkey_Bach

    No evidence that welfare reform is related to food bank usage? Eeek.

    https://johnnyvoid.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/foodbank-sanction-graphs.png

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      At last a contribution where nobody is personally insulted.
      Just a few genuine questions.
      1) Do you support RR’s attempt to get the bedroom tax abolished today?
      2) Would you urge the people you voted for in 2010 to walk through the lobby with Labour MPs to get rid of this awful tax?
      3) Can you explain why so many Fibs won’t be voting against the bedroom tax?

      • treborc1

        Will you be asking the 46 labour MP’s who did not vote to try harder this time.

      • MonkeyBot5000

        At last a contribution where nobody is personally insulted.

        But don’t let that stop you throwing out a passive-agressive insult or two.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Oh the irony!

          • MonkeyBot5000

            “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

    • Dave Postles

      Smith at DWP and Grayling at ‘Justice’ – spawns of the devil.Cameron for tolerating them: Faustus.

      • treborc1

        I can name a few on the labour side who did just as much believe me, I was dam lucky to be close to retirement otherwise I’m dam sure the DWP may well have decided to fight me over ESA and I’ve a feeling I’ve lost the PIP battle already.

  • mara jones

    Will this vote be on the bedroom tax as amended by the conservatives. Or the entire abolition of the bedroom tax that was introduced by Labour?

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      Eh up Kipper girl.
      The two bits of legislation were entirely different- and you know it.

      • treborc1

        No they are not, only in your eyes are they different, your so stuck up with labour you cannot actually see the issues which does not surprise me at all.

        • Monkey_Bach

          No. In fairness the implementation of LHA and the Bedroom Tax has been completely different. Eeek.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            The vote was lost. Sarah and her pals voted with the Government. Any chance of saying she’s sh*t mate?

          • Dave Postles

            … except for George and Farron. That bastard Smith didn’t even attend.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          See Monkey’s remark below.
          ( And he doesn’t support Labour).

  • treborc1

    I did write a piece but I decided it Christmas and it better to forgive then hate, well to a degree.

    The issue is the disabled and the sick those on welfare have been attacked endlessly today on TV is a mindless piece of New labour hype with the BBC Labour and the Saints and scroungers program.

    But New labour came to power in 1997 and for some reason labour decided that pensioner and the sick the disabled were getting to much that Thatcher and Major had been to kind and nice to us. Labour had to change this, we the disabled and the sick plus pensioners were given a massive 75p rise this upset the pensioners who grouped together to form the grey vote which scared the living day lights out of the labour party so Brown went off on his silly spending spree, no extra rise in the pension or welfare but you can have something to pay your heating bills.

    The saddest bit about this we had some of the most draconian measures to cut sick and the disabled numbers so they brought in ATOS which I relate to being the same as the German did in 1930’s , because what ever labour said to ATOS what ever was said what ever was agreed, people who had cancer people with HIV people who were terminally ill or mentally ill, were told they were fit to work or would be fit in a year they all appealed won (70%) the appeal and then were sent a letter saying sorry but you will go through the medical again and you can appeal again and ATOS was making more and more money because the money was in the appeals not the medicals and I suspect this was the deal done with Blair’s secret meetings.

    Now then the bedroom tax the real bedroom tax was put in place by labour on people who rent in the private sector this is harming just as many disabled and sick and poor as the Tories spare room subsidy, so I would expect that labour would look at it’s LHA or is this just an attack on the Tories.

    Sorry but you have miles to go before you make me think your changing, this is all spin and PR again we do not need it we can see it smell it.

    Get off the fence .

    Yes since the Tories have come in the food banks have been on the rise, but like it or not they were on the rise under labour, the first of these came when labour brought in welfare reforms and started to give a pittance in welfare benefits rises people were struggling it did help when Brown gave us child and tax credits but if you have no children the welfare benefits we get are poor.

    Labour needs to stop attacking the Tories we all can see the issues, what we cannot see is what labour will do because Miliband is spinning and sadly saying very little.

  • treborc1

    The removing of the bedroom tax is great news took labour long enough to accept this and I suspect it has a lot to do with the right wing media saying the same thing.

    it would have been good if those labour MP’s had been told to vote against the bedroom tax instead of wondering off on their own which makes the leadership of Miliband look well not to great. I had to pay six months tax for my daughter to keep her in her home she is now living in a one room rented flat which to be honest I would not have placed pigs in, so are a dozen other people these flats had been condemned by the labour council and placed on a demolition list but were retireved once it was obviuous people were not going to find flats anywhere else .

    And 46 labour MP thought it was fine not to vote and a few did not think it was needed so they nicely side stepped it by abstaining what the hell was that all about Brown and his gang showing Miliband they were in charge in change of what.

  • Dave Postles

    TAP news here.

  • David H

    Watching the debate in the House at the moment. Not many MPs seem to be present…

  • Derek Barker

    Just watching the debate on BBC parliament.

    Harper and IDS both thinks its a good thing that 20,000 English people are trapped in a bedroom tax situation because of the rent cap and they can’t afford to move into a smaller home in the private sector due to benefit caps.Another tory MP says they have to blance the budget on the back of the poor, while millionares get tax breaks and Bankers still draw massive bonuses.You really couldn’t make this evil Dr No stuff up, just dump it now for god sake.

  • Derek Barker

    Ma O’ man, The lady in the blue dress Wheeler dealer thinks the bedroom trap tax is a job creating scheme.Really, some of these MP’s should be removed.

    Well Done Dromey, David Anderson!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Derek Barker

    Michael Connarty made a great point about the supposedly two compassionate minister in question Harper and IDS who seem to be smiley at such a serious indictment of their office.

  • Derek Barker

    Don’t know to much about Kate Green but wow! has she comprehensively nailed this debate, spot on and so correctly debated. Well Done Kate!!!!!!!! if that doesn’t get through then boy o’ boy there is something wrong.

  • Derek Barker

    Hang on! we’ve got another governemnt speaker, Steve Webb spining unbelievable nonsense.This spider doesn’t even recognise there is a housing shortage.Is there a training course for some of these MP’s?

  • Derek Barker

    Well, how can the government claim any success on that vote?Surely the responsibility of all MP ‘s is to do what is right consistant and equal.Did the tories and lib/dem even listen to the debate?

  • Derek Barker

    Again on the FoodBanks debate, Maria Eagle wonderfully balancing the argument for a corrective action on FoodBanks in a modern Britain. Excellent Maria!

  • Derek Barker

    As a citzen of this nation I do expect to watch and listen to our MP’s debate, I’m not to sure of the workings of parliament but surely the chair or speaker is there to help those of us who are watching the debate? so why doesn’t the speaker hold the government Minister/Ministers to account when they simply refuse to answer the oppositions questions?

    Well Done Heidi Alexander, great point! where have all these foodbanks appeared from?

  • Derek Barker

    Wow! complete denial from Tory MP David Morris that FoodBanks actually exsist? Hmmm! another MP in need of direction and serious help.

  • BillFrancisOConnor

    Labour has lost the vote. It was very close-298-266. The Fibs failed to support the abolition of the hated tax.

  • Derek Barker

    At last a government MP Jeremy Lefroy who is being a balanced MP.
    Good for you Jeremy, I was thinking that government was tribal to the core.

  • Derek Barker

    Lisa Nandy your a compassionate star. Great stuff! stiring and uplifting truth!

  • Derek Barker

    A liberal just spoke Hemming I think? Jeez! what a complex mixed up individual who went off on a rant that made no sense.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      Derek, do you know which Fibs supported the government?

      • Derek Barker

        Sorry Bill, maybe Mark will add the break down later.

      • Dave Postles

        George and Farron voted for its abolition.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Cheers Dave.

          It’s a tuition fees moment as Clegg said in July that he didn’t support the policy as presently constituted.
          Presume Sarah Teather abstained?

      • Dave Postles

        32 LibDems voted in favour of the bedroom tax in the House of Commons.

        21 LibDems MPs abstained from vote

        2 LibDem MPs voted with Labour.

  • Derek Barker

    Taxi for Sarah Newton, poor thing doesn’t know what’s being debated and thinks it is a good thing to have three foodbanks in her constituency?

  • Derek Barker

    Well said John Bercow! that’s more like it, Minister should be listening to such a serious situation.

    Great speech Luciana Berger!

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      Yep, she was great.

  • Derek Barker

    Graeme Morris rightly rebutting Frank Field, yes it is an epidemic but it isn’t required in such a rich nation. So many great thought out speeches.Well done to the majority of the house lets hope the situation gets sorted.

  • Derek Barker

    Fantastic focus Stephen Timms IDS should be clear and give correct answers to interventions. Well Done Stephen.

  • treborc1

    The bedroom tax Vote was lost no surprise really the Liberals under Cleggers is about as dead as the dodo, what ever Blair was promised by the Americans which was mostly a medal and money, I suspect Cleggers will get his seat in the house of pigs with his nose in the trough..

    The issues is of course totally man made it should have been defeated but for some reason the Scottish labour MP’s decided to allow it to go through and now the labour party were hoping for the liberals to back them a hope I did not share.

    The fact is today in this country more then any time in the past, since the formation of the labour party as a left wing party, I see people being hammered because they are poor disabled or sick or unemployed and labour to be honest are no better, I can now understand totally how a country can vote for one man like Hitler he did offer hope and and a way out sadly what was not known he was a psychopath, then again Blair offered us the same and could have started a world war and what for money and a bloody medal…

    Labour has to stop playing games because right now even though I agree the bedroom tax is wrong I’ve this nagging feeling labour used it more as Vote winner then a real feeling of it being wrong.

    But we will see but if Miliband thinks sitting on the fence is a vote winning good luck with it, but I’ll not be voting for any of them unless I can see labour moving to the left we have enough flaming right wingers kicking the sh*t out of us.

    • Jane Manby

      I agree about why people saw hope in Hitler but Hitler could not have acted alone there were plenty of others that helped him to power or could have stopped him if they so wished.

  • Jane Manby

    “It is shocking that 45-60 per cent of the ever increasing need for food aid we see is primarily caused by the actions of the Department for Work and Pensions”

    In my labour run council people of working age who are on benefit have to pay 29% of their council tax. We are not the only council to do this and not the only labour run council either. Thatchers poll tax was only 20%.

    There are exemptions, pensioners, disabled, people with dependent children etc, they get full council tax.

    So do those of us who are labour party members and or supporters have anything to be proud of when our own are pauperizing us and using divide and rule tactics against us.

  • Jane Manby

    Rachel Reeves own council in Leeds charges some benefit claimants 19% of their council tax only 1% less than Thatchers’ poll tax who made benefit claimants pay 20% of their poll tax.

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