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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

MPs support bill to make changes to the bedroom tax

MPs have voted in favour of a private members bill to make changes that would exempt tenants from the bedroom tax if they have not received a reasonable offer of alternative accommodation. 

After a 4 hour debate, Labour and the Liberal Democrat MPs came together and voted by 306 votes to 231 in favour of the bill during its second reading in the House of Commons today. The bill will now be given more time to be considered in detail by a public bill committee of MPs.

Liberal Democrat backbencher Andrew George who brought the bill, explained why he was seeking the amendment.

‘It is quite clear that if we are to ensure that…the vulnerable are properly protected, the rules should be changed so that existing tenants are not penalised when they cannot move into smaller accommodation because this is not available in their locality.

‘Where downsizing would mean they can’t stay within the local community and as a result of that move would lose social ties, jobs and where there children would have to change school, it is important and reasonable that we address that issue.’

If it passes, the bill would mean people who cannot find a smaller home would be exempt from the tax. An exemption would also apply if a tenant needs an extra room for medical reasons or if the property has undergone substantial adaptations to help them live there.

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Welfare Reform

This article was written on 5 September 2014. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.