Harriet Harman

Labour Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham

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Harriet Harman MP hails Equality Act court ruling against Bedroom Tax

Yesterday the Court of Appeal ruled that the Bedroom Tax, brought in by the Coalition Government, was unlawful and discriminatory. The Conservative Government are going to appeal to the Supreme Court but they should accept the court’s ruling and not put the families who took their cases to court through any more misery.  The Government should admit that their bedroom tax is unfair and unjust.

Harriet Harman MP said:

“This Conservative Government has been told by the Court of Appeal that the Bedroom tax is unlawful and discriminates against people with severe disabilities and victims of domestic violence.  But it is still intending to waste public money on taking an appeal to the Supreme Court.

While it is disappointing that Labour is not in government and able to abolish the bedroom tax it is important that our Equality Bill is there to protect the hardest hit families.

I remain strongly against the bedroom tax and will continue to vote against it and in support of exceptions for people who need an extra room. It’s wrong for the Government to impose financial hardship on low income families while giving tax cuts to millionaires.

3,233 families in Southwark, over 45,000 families in London and nearly half a million families across the country are being hit hard by the bedroom tax. In Southwark, tenants are paying over £1000 a year for a spare room in their homes. This is a considerable amount of money and especially for those on low incomes.  The Government has been trying to justify this discriminatory policy by saying that it will shorten waiting lists, but with council houses being bought quicker than they are being built this is just not right.

Southwark Council has done their best to protect local people, but cuts by the Government to council funding are bringing councils across the country to their knees. This ruling doesn’t end the bedroom tax for all, but it will be a welcome relief for some of Southwark’s most needy families.”

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