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Iain Duncan Smith not attending 'bedroom tax' debate

Work and Pensions secretary IDS has confirmed to Rachel Reeves that he won't take part in the planned Labour debate on the "bedroom tax" , ITV News understands.

Iain Duncan Smith is not attending tomorrow's commons debate on the so-called Bedroom Tax, ITV News understands. Credit: PA Wire

There are a number of demonstrations against the policy planned around Westminster to coincide with the debate.

Shadow secretary for work and pensions Rachel Reeves is calling for MPs to vote on a labour motion to repeal the policy.


Government review to understand 'bedroom tax' impact

The government are undertaking an independent review into the impact of the "bedroom tax" amid criticism from MPs and the public that a thorough impact assessment was not conducted before the sweeping benefit changes come into force.

Read: Tenants hit by 'bedroom tax' tell of financial misery

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the review, which was announced by Iain Duncan Smith in March, would help to understand the "impact" of what the government calls the spare room subsidy:

I have seen lots of widely different figures being cited about the impact of this policy - that is why we are commissioning independent research to exactly understand the impact of this.

I suspect it varies enormously between one part of the country and another, and one local authority and another. That is why we are trebling, as I say, the resources we are making available to local authorities.

Woman wins landmark 'bedroom tax' appeal

A disabled woman who is unable to share a bedroom with her husband has won a landmark appeal against the Government's so-called bedroom tax.

In what is believed to be the first successful case of its kind in England, a tribunal found that the local authority had "not taken into consideration her disabilities and her reasonable requirements".

The Government's so-called bedroom tax has been a controversial policy. Credit: PA Wire

The tenant, who has chosen to remain anonymous, suffers from various health conditions and had a stroke earlier this year, leaving her in a wheelchair and requiring a stairlift.

Along with her husband, the woman argued that due to her condition they required one bedroom each, but this was rejected by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council who said the couple were under-occupying their three bedroom house.

UN insists rapporteur broke no rules over 'bedroom tax'

Raquel Rolnik at a press conference in central London earlier this month. Credit: PA

The United Nations has insisted its special rapporteur did not break any rules on her controversial visit to Britain to study the coalition's so-called 'bedroom tax'.

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps had written to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon criticising Raquel Rolnik's interventions on the policy.

Jane Connors, an aide to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said Mr Ban had asked her to respond.

"Country visits are governed by rules and procedures set out in the code of conduct referred to above and the manual of operations adopted by special procedures," she said.

"Ms Rolnik's visit was planned and organised over many months in consultation with the Government in compliance with these rules and procedures."

Benn says Labour can afford to scrap bedroom tax

Hilary Benn said the cut to housing benefit for social tenants with spare rooms "undermines families" and "undermines communities". Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive

Shadow communities and local government secretary Hilary Benn has defended Labour against accusations it plans to spend more on welfare to end bedroom tax.

"We have identified how we are going to pay for this, but we have also taken other decisions to do with welfare that show we are going to be tough," Mr Benn told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"For example saying that we would not reverse the changes in child benefit going to people earning more than £50,000 a year, that we would not pay the winter fuel payment to the wealthiest pensioners," he said.

Mr Benn said Labour's "jobs guarantee (says to) someone who has been unemployed for more than two years 'we will guarantee you a job, but in return you will have to take it or lose your benefits'".


Tories: Miliband 'too weak' to keep to borrowing pledge

Treasury minister Sajid Javid said Ed Miliband is "too weak to deliver" on his promise of being disciplined on borrowing after the Labour leader vowed to scrap the 'bedroom tax' if his party win the next election.

Labour’s first policy commitment, after 3 years of waiting, is more spending on housing benefit, funded by a tax on pensions and more borrowing. That sums up Labour’s record in office and shows it’s still the same old Labour.

Despite promising ‘discipline’ on borrowing, Ed Miliband has shown he is too weak to deliver.

Nothing has changed – it’s the same old Labour. And hardworking people would pay the price through higher taxes and higher mortgage rates.

– Sajid Javid, Treasury Minister

Miliband: 'Bedroom tax' unfair for so many families

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'".

How Labour plan to fund scrapping 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.
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