Thursday, 4 September 2014

Cambridge MP joins Parliamentary fight to make bedroom tax fairer

MP Julian Huppert will fight for changes to the controversial “bedroom tax” tomorrow (Friday, September 5) supporting a Liberal Democrat Bill which drives forward his call to make it fairer for families and the disabled.

The Private Members’ Bill would scrap the tax for homes which have been adapted for the disabled, where it is unreasonable for people to share a room and where people have not been offered an appropriate alternative.

“This is a huge step forward,” said Julian. “It offers peace of mind to disabled people for whom a spare room is crucial and will make sure that no one is stuck in a position where they are forced to pay but cannot move.

“I have been trying for some time to get the spare room subsidy measures improved while at the same time helping those families in Cambridge and around the country who are living in overcrowded conditions.

“It’s so important that we get the balance right. I often meet parents at my constituency surgeries describing how they are stuck in a flat which is too small without space for their children to play or study. They cannot understand why we pay more to house a healthy single person in a three-bedroom house than a family of four stuck in a one bedroom flat”

Julian has been pressing for these changes for a long time, and got a promise 18 months ago from Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith that no-one with a spare room in their home would have to pay the bedroom tax until they were offered a suitable alternative place to live.

IDS never delivered on that promise, however, and although Julian pushed him again in Parliament this week, Mr Duncan Smith dodged the issue.

The Affordable Homes Bill, tabled by the Lib Dem MP for St Ives, Andrew George, will receive its Second Reading in Parliament tomorrow.

Julian added: “The Bill is a vitally important piece of legislation. It corrects those parts of the spare room subsidy changes that the Tories got completely wrong and introduces important limitations. I will be there with my colleagues - and if we get support from other parties we will be able to get this passed.”

The Affordable Homes Bill gets its Second Reading in the House of Commons tomorrow (Friday, September 5) starting at 9.30am.

Julian’s question to IDS is at

The full text of the Bill is at