Monday, 9 December 2013

Labour vote to stop cash for Bedroom Tax victims

The revelation that Labour MSPs voted to oppose providing additional funds for victims of Westminster’s Bedroom Tax has been branded as ‘shameless hypocrisy’ today.

The results of a vote in private taken by the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee during its budget scrutiny was today published by the Scottish Parliament, revealing that Labour members of the committee voted against transferring funds to help combat the Bedroom Tax.

Labour’s decision to oppose helping people affected by the Bedroom Tax comes after a recent House of Commons vote which could have seen the policy scrapped altogether was lost by just 26 votes, with 47 Labour MPs, including 10 representing Scottish constituencies failing to attend.

Despite opposition from Labour’s Margaret McDougall and Hanzala Malik, the committee gave its backing to the Scottish Government’s decision to transfer funds towards boosting Discretionary Housing payments by £20 million in order to help victims of the Bedroom Tax – the maximum legal support that can be given.

Commenting, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn who sits on the Welfare Reform Committee said:

“Simply put this is Labour trying to stop cash going to those affected by the Bedroom Tax.

“Labour have once again shown their shameless hypocrisy when it comes to helping people affected by the Bedroom Tax.

“Their inability to put aside political posturing and help victims of the Bedroom Tax is an utter disgrace. Coming so soon after their MPs failed to show up in a close vote to scrap the policy altogether, it shows that Labour simply does not regard helping people affected by the Bedroom Tax as a priority.

“Labour seems to regard this issue as a convenient political football when the fact is that it is having a devastating effect on tens of thousands of households across Scotland.

“The Bedroom Tax is a disgraceful policy that has no place in Scotland and the SNP has given a firm commitment to scrap it in the first year of an independent Scotland.

“A Yes vote next year is a vote to rid Scotland of the Bedroom Tax once and for all and ensure that such disastrous measures can never again be imposed on Scotland by Westminster politicians.”
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