I was delighted that yesterday Matt Rodda MP pledged his support to the campaign to scrap the bedroom tax. Matt joined Labour members, local councillors and local residents in calling on the new housing minister, the current Conservative MP for Reading West, Alok Sharma to scrap the bedroom tax.
The Labour Manifesto promises to scrap the Bedroom Tax. I wholeheartedly support that promise. Hundreds of people are affected in Reading and I think it is
unfair for the Government to penalise those in the lowest income bracket with yet another financial burden. The Bedroom Tax is divisive and plunges those in society who need the most help further and further into debt. Austerity is a real issue in Reading, and the Bedroom Tax makes an already dire situation worse. I would call upon Alok Sharma as both a Reading MP in the neighbouring constituency and also as the Housing Minister to reconsider the continued imposition of the Bedroom Tax.”
Notes for editors:
Within the Reading Borough, 336 people are directly charged the Bedroom Tax. 241
(two-thirds) of those charged are women, and many have dependent children.
The Bedroom Tax is a charge which decreases the overall Housing Benefit award
amount if a claimant occupies a Housing Association or Local Authority home which
is adjudicated to have one or more spare bedrooms. Decision-making on Bedroom
Tax makes no discretion for Housing Benefit claimants who have experienced
bereavement, are separated parents who need extra rooms for overnight staying
contact with children from their former marriage, are disabled couples or individuals
who need either separate rooms to sleep or need to allocate a room to an overnight