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Friday, 18 July 2014

Lib Dems’ bedroom tax u-turn is ‘too little, too late’

The Liberal Democrat's decision to question the fairness and effectiveness of the bedroom tax (under occupancy penalty) comes "too late for many poor and vulnerable people" says the Green Party, which has been wholly opposed to the Coalition’s destructive tax since it was first floated.

Writing in The Daily Mirror, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander argues that the government's benefits reforms were working but said that the Lib Dems wanted to see "fairer rules" applied to the bedroom tax, adding that "it's time to change our approach in this particular area." The Lib Dems voted for the 'bedroom tax' and the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has repeatedly defended the changes to Housing Benefit.

Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said: "That the Liberal Democrat leadership should have suddenly discovered the huge damage the bedroom tax is doing to vulnerable households is perhaps not surprising in light of the proximity to the General Election.

"But 'too little too late' is the phrase that comes to mind: Mr Clegg says he's now seen 'evidence' of the damage done by the bedroom tax, but there was clear evidence from the time of its proposal that it would hit the poor and disabled extremely hard, and that they would have no options to escape from it.

"The government of which Mr Clegg is a part has forced the poor and disadvantaged to pay for the fraud, mistakes and risk-taking of the bankers. I'm proud that the Green-run Brighton and Hove council has "no evictions as a result of the bedroom tax" policy, and that other Green councillors around the country have pushed for the same."

The latest General Election 2015 polling from IpsosMori has the Greens and Liberal Democrats neck-and-neck on 8%.