A number of Conservative MPs are preparing themselves for a rebellion against the hated ‘Bedroom Tax’, it has been reported.
David Cameron is facing a rebellion against the unpopular housing policy from his own MPs, the Sunday People reports.
Tory MPs say they were surprised by the reaction they received from voters on the doorstep in the run up to the last general election.
Daniel Kawczynski, Tory MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, says he will hold talks with colleagues on Monday to discuss fears that the ‘Bedroom Tax’ is at odds with the party’s new ‘One Nation’ philosophy and discuss future strategy.
He told the Sunday People: “I will be talking to colleagues with similar concerns when we’re back.
“This legislation is not pickled in aspic and anomalies are still being thrown up.”
Mr Kawczynski says he’s particularly concerned about the impact the ‘Bedroom Tax’ has on divorced and separated fathers, who may not be able to afford rent on a second bedroom.
Social housing tenants deemed to be occupying a home larger that their needs must contribute toward their rent through a reduction in housing benefit entitlement.
The weekly housing benefit deduction depends on the number of ‘spare’ rooms in a property – 14% for one spare bedroom and 24% for two or more.
Those affected can downsize to a smaller property to escape the ‘Bedroom Tax’, otherwise known as the ‘under-occupation charge’ or ‘spare room subsidy’, but a shortage in one and two bedroom social homes means that many have no choice but to stay put and pay up – whether they can afford to or not.
This is not the first time Mr Kawcznski has expressed concerns about the ‘Bedroom Tax’. In a letter to the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith MP, sent shortly after the general election, Mr Kawcznski writes:
“I believe the time has come to review this policy and for you to take on board feedback from constituencies as to what is going well and what needs to potentially be reviewed and amended.”
He warns that “several senior members of my association have expressed concern to me over some of the practical and logistical aspects of this legislation and its impact”.
David Cameron’s own speech writer, Clare Foges, says “it’s time to move on from the Bedroom Tax”.
She added: “It is not working as had been hoped and will remain a fly in the ‘One Nation’ ointment.”
And Tory MP Nigel Mills says he is concerned about those people who want to escape the tax but are unable to downsize.
“There just isn’t enough one-bedroom social housing for them to move into”, he said.
“They are stuck in a situation they can’t fix, even though many of them would like to.”