Shropshire’s Liberal Democrats have backed a Party vote to scrap the bedroom tax. At the Party Conference in Glasgow delegates voted overwhelmingly their opposition to this ‘very damaging’ tax.
Cllr Bob Welch, Chair of Ludlow Liberal Democrats, said, ’’I am pleased that the Party has come out so strongly against this poorly conceived tax. Especially in rural areas, such as ours, there is a severe shortage of social housing, so there is little or no smaller accommodation into which to transfer. The Liberal Democrat alternative is to invest in social housing and to raise the tax thresholds further to help the least well off with their housing costs.”
Dr Charles West, Chair of Shrewsbury Liberal Democrats, said, ’’This policy was ill-thought out and hastily applied; this became quite clear from the outset when a whole raft of exemptions was rapidly announced. “Emergency funds’’ were given to councils to help reduce the impact – but the Tax should go. The Labour Party bears a heavy responsibility since it was they who introduced the idea in the first place, applying it to tenants of private landlords.’’
Cllr Heather Kidd, a nationally recognised authority on Housing matters, asserted that the fundamental need is for the building of more social housing, of all types and sizes.
“There is no future in trying to shunt people around when there is for most of them no alternative. Steve Webb [the LD Minister in DWP] is a listening minister. When he visited Shropshire in April the strength of feeling as very clear, he had already managed to have exemptions put in place, as Charles says. I am sure that he will take seriously the Party’s message that when we are in a position to do so, we will repeal it.”
Pictured in Aston-on-Clun in April from left: Cllr Nigel Hartin (Clun), Cllr Heather Kidd (Chirbury & Worthen), Steve Webb MP, Cllr Charlotte Barnes (Bishop’s Castle),