'Bedroom tax' exemptions Bill passes first hurdle

A Lib Dem-sponsored Bill which would introduce sweeping new exemptions to the so-called "bedroom tax" has cleared its first hurdle in the House of Commons despite opposition from Conservative MPs.

The Bill would introduce exemptions to the so-called "bedroom tax". Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

A second reading of Andrew George's Affordable Homes Bill will now happen after Labour helped the Bill gain a majority of 75 after a 306 to 231 vote.

Mr George said he had moved "moderate" measures to exclude social housing tenants from the policy until they receive a "reasonable offer" of alternative accommodation with the "correct number of bedrooms".

An exemption would also be given if a tenant needs an extra room for "genuine medical reasons" or if the property has undergone "substantial" adaptations to help them live there, the Lib Dem MP said.

A review of the Government's efforts to provide affordable housing would also be encouraged if the proposals come into law.