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Abrahams hits out over ‘bedroom tax’

Reporter: Alex Carey
Date online: 29 January 2016

MP Debbie Abrahams says the “discriminatory” bedroom tax left 3,000 people fighting for 50 properties in Oldham.

The Oldham East and Saddleworth Labour MP, who is shadow minister for disabled people, appeared on TV in connection with the family of a severely disabled Welsh teenager, which had won an appeal court ruling that the so-called “bedroom tax” discriminates against them.

The tax, officially the spare room subsidy, means people living in social housing considered to have one or more unused bedrooms receive reduced housing benefit.

The aim was to cut the housing benefit bill and encourage families to find a home of an appropriate size.

But campaigners say there aren’t enough smaller homes to cope with demand, and often a room isn’t spare, but simply not occupied full time.

Mrs Abrahams said: “It affects people already in homes, not new tenants. In Oldham there were 50 properties for about 3,000 people to move into. It was a ridiculous situation.”

On Tuesday, the appeal court ruled that Paul and Sue Rutherford, who look after a 15-year-old grandson, Warren, had “suffered discrimination”.

Warren has a rare genetic disorder that means he can’t walk, talk or feed himself. The family lives in a three-bedroom bungalow adapted for his care. The couple live in one room, Warren in another and a third is used by carers who stay overnight, and to store equipment.

Mrs Abrahams said: “Around a third of the 770,000 affected homes are occupied by disabled people. This is a discriminatory piece of legislation affecting the most vulnerable people.”

The DWP said it would appeal against the ruling, while Labour has reiterated its call for the “bedroom tax” to be abolished.

Comments

Always criticism never a solution, other than to throw more of other peoples money at it!
It was once said that Socialism only works until you run out of other peoples money, and that's exactly what Labour did last time they were in power.
So Debbie, instead of simply criticising other people cleaning up your mess how about telling us what should be cut in order to finance this spending?
My money is on the overseas aid budget, but I'm sure you'd find a way to call it 'racist'!

Another cheap shot from Ms Abrahams. How about asking why there is a shortage of cash and available properties. The answers are 1. Labour spent all our money and 2. Their open door policy has let in 5,000,000 new people during their term in parliament. Throw an illegal war and illegal regime change into the mix to increase the number of immigrants and we have the problems that we are facing today.

I'm not saying the Tories are any better but Labours hypocrisy is limitless.

If ever something evidenced the unsympathetic if not downright callous indifference of this Tory government, then it is the iniquitous bedroom tax.

When will this woman realise there is no such thing as the bedroom tax. Tax is something you pay on earnings, not benefits !!!!

I know Mrs Abrahams is in favour of repealing the so called bedroom tax, but wouldnt that be discriminatory to people with disabilities who rent in the private sector.
If you feel you might want to bring this to her attention, dont bother she will ignore you

Its a pity Mrs Abrahams did not complain as loudly when the Labour brought in this legislation, the Tory party have only extended it to those in social housing, some people would say this is only fair.
As for the Warren Rutherford case this family have been covered by the special fund from the government to local councils specifically for cases like Warrens.
The grandfather admitted as much on TV they had not had to pay the so called bedroom Tax,

Perhaps Mrs Abrahams could explain why she still supports uncontrolled mass immigration whilst at the same time pretending to be concerned about the housing shortage.
Her Labour Party opened the doors to millions of migrants without any thought to what the consequences to working class communities might be. They didn't have the foresight to see that migrants would need somewhere to live and would compete with locals for scarce housing. This is yet another problem of the Labour Party's making.

Great Debbie now can you tell us how many council homes were built in the 12 years of labour power answer none if the bedroom tax is such a blight then this labour council should cover the costs for those people after all they are labour voters in a labour town

of course she is right.its a tax not a spare room subsidy that is laughable in as much that because a room is empty some of the time its taxable. what difference does it make if a room isnt used it doesnt cost anyone any more than if it is used. i dont use my garden all the time but i wouldnt like to be taxed for it.abolish it and pay for it by paying less in overseas aid

lakeman, what you say simply isn't true!
A room which is empty could & should be used to give someone a home. It costs more because the second person has to be housed elsewhere. It wouldn't have been an issue if Labour hadn't allowed so many people into the country, but now there simply isn't enough housing for the population. Spare rooms are needed to put a roof over peoples heads and that is what the legislation is intended to encourage.

The whole fiasco could have been avoided by 'bedroom tax' not being activated until you have been offered two rehousing options that suit you more.

This would mean that where there was nothing suitable to be offered, you would not be paying the 'tax' and where there was suitable smaller accommodation people would be if you refused to take one of the offered properties.

It was intended to help free up some of the bigger family homes for families.

 

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