Radio Sandwell Local News

Ed Miliband: Labour will axe the bedroom tax on day one in power

2015-05-01 10:06:14

Ed MilibandLabour leader Ed Miliband talking to apprentices during the election campaign

A Labour government will start abolishing the bedroom tax on its very first day, Ed Miliband has said.

Extra cash will immediately be sent to local councils to make up for the cuts in housing benefit which have hit almost half a million people.

It means that in practice, they will no longer be affected by the bedroom tax.

And laws to end it officially will be introduced as soon as possible.

The so-called bedroom tax involves cutting housing benefit for people in social housing who are considered to have more bedrooms than they need.

But Labour will immediately send money to councils to be added to a fund which provides help to people struggling to pay their housing costs, called the Discretionary Housing fund. Anyone affected by the bedroom tax will be able to apply to this fund and get the full costs of the tax offset.

It comes after Labour leader Miliband told the nation he would not do any type of deal with the SNP if there is a hung Parliament after the election on May 7.

And speaking on BBC Question Time's election special, he said he'd even turn down the chance to become Prime Minister if the only way to power was a deal with the SNP.

He said: "If it meant we weren't going to be in government, not doing a coalition, not having a deal, then so be it."

And he added: "I'm not going to have a Labour government if it means deals or coalitions with the Scottish National Party."

The Labour leader will take this message to every part of Great Britain on a whirlwind tour of England, Scotland and Wales.

He will visit Cardiff, Glasgow and Bristol as he steps up his campaigning in the final week of the general election campaign.

Mr Miliband will say: "We’re going to abolish the Bedroom Tax in every corner of the United Kingdom. This Bedroom Tax is indefensible. It's cruel and it doesn't even work."

And he will pledge: "We will legislate straight away to abolish the Bedroom Tax - in England, in Wales, in Scotland, right across our United Kingdom.

"We’ll get to work immediately to ensure that families no longer lose out. We’ll make new funds available to local authorities to offset the full costs of the tax for all families who currently pay it.

"So on day one of a Labour Government, we free families from the burden of the Bedroom Tax."

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