Responding to the vote National Housing Federation Chief Executive David Orr said:
‘The decision by MPs to reject the Lords’ Bedroom Tax compromise is a blow to thousands of families in social housing across the country, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.
‘That over 70 organisations, from disabled charities to mortgage lenders, came together in support of this change to the Welfare Reform Bill shows just how important this issue is. It is unjust to penalise people for under-occupying their homes when they have nowhere else to move to.
‘Given the level of opposition in the Lords to these proposals and their potential impact, it is totally wrong for the Government to shut down discussion by claiming financial privilege.
‘We will continue to campaign against these unfair proposals.
‘While we welcome the Government’s commitment to introduce a nine-month grace period for claimants hit by the overall benefit cap after losing their job, we remain concerned that this crude measure will lead to a rise in rent arrears, homelessness and child poverty’.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland said:
“This decision is grossly unfair and shows the UK Government is simply failing to listen to the voice of reason being put forward by housing professionals, social landlords, MSPs and individuals.
“Penalising low-income people for having an extra room assumes that there is a ready supply of smaller properties for them to move to. This is simply not the case. So the only consequence will be people stuck in homes with mounting rent arrears and a further descent into debt.
“Even at this late stage, we urge the UK Government to modify its proposals.”
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