MPs urge scrapping of 'cruel' 'bedroom tax'

The Scottish Affairs Committee has called on the Government to scrap the "bedroom tax" changes to housing, deeming the measure "a budget cut suffered by those in greatest need".

Scottish Affairs Committee: 'bedroom tax cruel burden'

Ian Davidson MP
Labour MP for Glasgow South West Ian Davidson claims the committee has identified "glaring flaws" in the scheme. Credit: PA

The chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee has labelled the Government's so-called "bedroom tax" as a "cruel burden", saying it's "designed to hit the poorest".

The committee has called for the scheme to be suspended for claimants who cannot reasonably be offered alternative accommodation.

Chairperson and Labour MP Ian Davidson said: "This is an interim report because, while the impact of the bedroom tax cannot yet be fully quantified, it is already clear that it is a cruel burden being placed upon the shoulders of those least able to bear it."

Select committee urges 'bedroom tax' suspension

The Scottish Affairs Committee has called on the Government to suspend the "bedroom tax" penalty for claimants who cannot "reasonably" be offered alternative accommodation.

Houses
The changes to housing benefit were introduced in April 2013. Credit: PA

The MPs said the measure, which cuts housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have a spare room, was "a budget cut suffered by those in greatest need".

The interim report was opposed by Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs on the Labour-led committee, but they failed to prevent it being produced.

The committee said the report was designed to draw certain aspects of the scheme to the Government's attention, "notwithstanding our call for the tax to be abolished".

Introduced in April 2013, the changes mean those with an extra bedroom have a reduction of 14% to their eligible rent, and those with two or more extra bedrooms lose 25%.

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