Christmas joy for 150 children

On Christmas Day around 150 children in Colchester will wake up in bedrooms which would have been empty if the Labour Party had got its way.

Instead of being in decent housing, these children (and their parents) would be spending Christmas living in over-crowded accommodation, units for homeless families or in bed and breakfast establishments.

That is the stark reality of Labour’s opposition to the removal of the “spare room subsidy” for those living in publicly-owned housing where they have one or more empty bedrooms.

And that is why I am angry at Labour falsely calling it a “bedroom tax”. It is not a tax!

If Labour got their way we would have taxpayers subsidising people to have spare bedrooms which their needs do not warrant – and children, like the 150 I have mentioned, not being housed in accommodation which their family needs require.

It is housing freed-up by tenants downsizing to accommodation more suitable for their needs that it has been possible for such housing to be made available for families with children.

There was a time when Labour would consider that a fair thing to do, and indeed during the period of the last Labour Government what they are now calling a “bedroom tax” was introduced by them for the private rented sector!

The Coalition Government has now done the same for the public rented sector……but, unlike Labour’s policy, we have provided exemptions for pensioners, those with disabilities and members of HM Armed Forces.

On Christmas Day there will be 150 children in Colchester who will be grateful that they now have better housing than if Labour’s policy had prevailed.

I am sure that taxpayers will also welcome the fact that their taxes are not being used to subsidise people to have empty bedrooms.