The minister in charge of the controversial 'spare room subsidy' welfare reform will not be in the Commons to defend it today.
Ed Miliband has revealed that Labour would scrap the coalition's controversial 'bedroom tax' if his party won the next General Election.
A disabled woman and her partner have written to a minister urging a rethink on plans to cut benefits for tenants deemed to have spare rooms
Ed Miliband has vowed to scrap the 'bedroom tax' if Labour win the next General Election to end "hardship and unfairness for so many families".
The Labour leader has detailed how the party would intend to pay for repealing the spare room subsidy, saying a "bigger priority was not tax cuts for hedge funds but to end the hardship of the 'bedroom tax'".
Ed Miliband is expected to tell the Labour party conference tomorrow that he plans to scrap the housing benefit change he calls the 'bedroom tax' by closing tax loopholes "for the privileged few."
Labour plan to repeal the spare room subsidy by:
- Reversing George Osborne's £150 million tax cut for hedge funds.
- Scrapping the Conservative party's "share for rights" scheme, which Labour claims has opened a tax loophole of up to £1 billion.
- Tackling tax scams in the construction industry, which Mr Miliband believes is costing £500 million in lost revenue.
Labour leader Ed Miliband will pledge to repeal the controversial housing benefit reform known as the spare room subsidy - or the 'bedroom tax' - if his party win the next General Election in 2015.
But what is the 'bedroom tax'?
- Those living in social housing who are deemed to have a spare bedroom have been asked to downsize or they will face a cut in their benefits.
- The 'bedroom tax' is believed to affect 660,000 tenants across the country.
- The coalition have made this change in a bid to save money and help deal with the housing shortage by encouraging those in larger homes to downsize.
Ed Miliband has said he will scrap the controversial housing benefit change known by its critics as the 'bedroom tax' if Labour win the next General Election.
The Labour leader is expected to tell his party conference in Brighton tomorrow that the spare room subsidy is "hated" and a "symbol of an out of touch, uncaring Tory government."
Ed Miliband is expected to call the housing benefit change nicknamed by critics as the 'bedroom tax' a "symbol of an out of touch, uncaring Tory government".
The bedroom tax – not what the Tories call the spare room subsidy – the bedroom tax: a symbol of an out of touch, uncaring Tory government that stands up for the privileged few – but never for you.
So we will scrap that tax. And what’s more I can tell you how.
We’ll scrap the bedroom tax by abolishing the shady schemes of tax loopholes for the privileged few which the Tories keep inventing.
Tax cuts for hedge funds, the billion pound black hole created with a scheme for workers to sell their rights for shares, and by tackling scams which cheat the taxpayer in construction.
Most Liberal Democrat supporters and more than one third of Tory backers want the Government to abandon the so-called "bedroom tax", according to latest research.
Overall opposition to the policy has risen by eight points to 59 per cent since it was introduced in April, the ComRes poll for the National Housing Federation (NHF) found.
In a survey of more than 2,000 adults, 79 per cent of Labour supporters said they wanted the policy scrapped, while 65 per cent of voters planning to support the Lib Dems in 2015 wanted it to be dropped.
Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne has said that as the government's emergency fund runs out even more people will be pushed in to debt over the 'bedroom tax'.
Mr Byrne said: "It is very early days and that's why these figures are so shocking because the policy has only been in place five months one in three people are in debt.
"Now what's going to happen over the next few months is that the government's emergency fund is going run out, people's personal resources are going to run out and so this figure is only going to get worse."
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson has defended the spare room subsidy, as the 'bedroom tax' is official known, saying that it is fairer to those on housing benefit.
The removal of the spare room subsidy is a necessary reform to return fairness to housing benefit. Even after the reform we pay over 80% of most claimants' housing benefit - but the taxpayer can no longer afford to pay for people to live in properties larger than they need. It is right that people contribute to these costs, just as private renters do.
– Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson
It is just wrong to suggest the early stages of the policy - as people start to adjust to the changes - represent long-term trends in any way whatsoever. We are carefully monitoring the policy nationally ensuring the extra funds given to councils to support vulnerable tenants are used well as these changes are introduced.
Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope, has said that the majority of those affected by the 'bedroom tax' are disabled who are 'falling in to debt to pay for essentials'.
The fact is that in 2013, disabled people are struggling to make ends meet.
Life costs more if you're disabled but living costs are spiralling, income is flat-lining, and many are getting into debt just to pay for essentials.
Disabled people are also facing huge cuts to support that they need just to do the basics, like getting up, getting dressed and getting out of the house.
The Government says time and time again that it is protecting benefits for disabled people but this simply isn't the case. We urgently need the Government to reconsider its approach to welfare.
TUC figures suggest one in three council tenants affect by the so-called bedroom tax have been tipped into rent arrears.
Since the reform was introduced in April, 50,000 households in 114 local council areas can no longer afford to pay for their accommodation - 31% of those affected, the False Economy group claimed.
The figures, obtained by the TUC-backed False Economy campaign using freedom of information requests, showed some parts of Britain suffering far more than others.
- Barrow: 75%
- Clackmannanshire: 67%
- Tamworth: 52%
- South Kesteven: 51%
- Rotherham: 50%