The Affordable Housing Bill, a Labour-Liberal Democrat-sponsored Bill which would introduce much needed exemptions to the controversial policy of cutting benefits for tenants with spare rooms in their homes, passed its second reading (5 September 2014) by 306 votes to 231, but Sir Tony Baldry voted against it.
The Bill if it reached the statute books would exempt disabled people who need a spare bedroom from benefit cuts, along with those for whom smaller homes cannot be found.
Sean Woodcock said, “The Bedroom Tax is one of the most vile pieces of legislation produced by this out-of-touch government. Ministers and Tony Baldry repeatedly ignore the fact that these are not just houses; they are people’s homes.”
Sean Woodcock released statistics in December 2013 revealing that 721 households in Cherwell are losing an average of £950 a year as a result of the bedroom tax.
Banbury families are the hardest hit – Banbury, Ruscote (163 homes), Neithrop (70) and Grimsbury (57). The majority will lose 14 per cent of their benefit for having one surplus bedroom, but more than 100 residents believed to have two or more spare rooms will lose 25%.
At the news of progress for the Affordable Housing Bill, Sean Woodcock said, “The bedroom tax has proven such an indefensible piece of law that now we see one of the parties which introduced it trying to back-pedal. Yet Tony Baldry and the Tories are so out-of-touch that they continue to refuse to rescind it. Only a Labour Government in 2015 will once and for all remove this injustice.”