Labour issue challenge to opposition parties

Besi Besemar March 7, 2013

The Labour and Cooperative Group on Brighton and Hove City Council are calling on all city Councillors to back Labour’s campaign against the government’s bedroom tax.

The Bedroom Tax will hit over 1000 households across the city, and Labour claim, two thirds of them are home to someone with a disability at exactly the same time as the government gives a massive £100,000 tax cut to 13,000 millionaires.

Councillor Gill Mitchell has today called on Conservative and Green Party Councillors to sign up to Labour’s campaign to oppose this draconian measure that could see people being made homeless.

Cllr Gill Mitchell
Cllr Gill Mitchell

Councillor Mitchell said:

“I sincerely hope Conservative and Green Party Councillors support Labour’s call for David Cameron to think again on his unfair Bedroom Tax.

“Two thirds of the households hit in Brighton and Hove are home to someone with a disability, and families of soldiers serving our country who will have to find extra money for their son or daughter’s bedroom, and foster families helping children in need of a home.

“This isn’t about tough choices; it’s about the wrong choices.

“And at exactly the same time as the Bedroom Tax comes into effect David Cameron is giving thousands of millionaires a tax cut of £100,000 a year.“

Cllr Geoffrey Theobald
Cllr Geoffrey Theobald

Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the Conservative group, responded:

“If the Labour Party think that this is a tax then their grasp of basic economics is even worse than I thought and demonstrates why their Government got us into this mess in the first place. These changes to housing benefit rules for social housing tenants are designed to help tackle the serious problems of overcrowding that exist in this and many other towns and cities across the country. There are many people in private rented accommodation who aren’t on housing benefit and who cannot afford extra bedrooms. So it is right in principle that incentives are put in place to encourage social housing tenants who are ‘underoccupying’ to downsize. The Work & Pensions Secretary has recently stated that he will ensure that disabled people are not adversely affected by the proposals so I think this is another case of scaremongering by the Labour Party”.

The Greens were not forthcoming with a response.