GOVERNMENT MINISTERS SHOULD FACE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ‘SPARE ROOM’ PENALTY – GEORGE

The Liberal Democrat MP for the West Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, will today describe the Government’s “bedroom tax” policy as “immoral” and will (again) vote against the Government in the Commons. He has consistently opposed and voted against the Government’s so called “spare room subsidy”.

Mr George said, “If Government Ministers are so confident that this is the right policy then they should come down to meet some of my constituents who are affected by it and look them in the eye as they attempt to justify it.

“I fully understand that in a Coalition Government Liberal Democrat Ministers are expected to hold their noses as they back a Tory policy. But let it be said, the Liberal Democrats should reverse this policy at the first opportunity.

“The spare room penalty/bedroom tax victimises the most marginalised in our communities, it undermines family life, it penalises the hard working low paid for being prepared to stomach low paid work, it masks the excessive cost and disruption caused to those disabled people who have to move from expensively adapted homes and is Dickensian in its social divisiveness.

“I hope that those Ministers who live in multiple spare room mansions and who strenuously oppose the Liberal Democrat “Mansion Tax” will be prepared to look the victims of this policy in the eye. Even where those affected are prepared to move to up root themselves from a long standing family home to a smaller property they tell me they can’t find anything within 20 – 30 miles. So to escape the bedroom tax they would have to move many miles from their community, their work place, local school, family and social networks, church etc. and re-establish themselves in a place which they may consider to be completely alien. Or of course they could choose a property in the private sector and cost the taxpayer more!

“If the policy isn’t based on class prejudice it is based on indifference to the most vulnerable families in our communities.”