Rachel Reeves

Member of Parliament for Leeds West

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Rachel's Pledge to Scrap Bedroom Tax


Rachel reaffirmed her commitment this week to scrap the Bedroom Tax as soon as Labour come to power. She is pictured here signing a bill that would annul the Tory tax that has brought misery to 660,000 people, two thirds of whom are disabled.

New research from the BBC shows that a mere 6% of affected tenants have been rehoused since the introduction of the tax, making a mockery of Tory Minister Esther McVey’s claim that the government is ‘on track’. The chronic shortage of one and two bedroom social houses means that there is simply nowhere for people to move.

They have no option but to stay put and stump up an extra £720 a year for their ‘spare bedroom’. Far from helping to cut the benefits bill, however, these payments lock extra costs into the system by forcing tenants into arrears. Twenty eight per cent of affected tenants have fallen into arrears for the first time in the last twelve months.

More arrears mean more evictions and because Councils and Housing Authorities pick up the tab, they end up with less money to spend on affordable houses. If there are fewer houses, fewer tenants can move and more people fall into arrears, are evicted and so on. So, the Bedroom Tax compounds the very problem it was designed to solve.

The Bedroom Tax is not only cruel and inhumane, it is also illogical. If this government won’t scrap it, a future Labour Government will. 

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