Thursday, 26 May 2016

Miliband urged to take a stance on bedroom tax policy

The Labour leader is being urged to take a stance on whether the party would scrap the bedroom tax if they came into power after a Scottish Labour shadow cabinet member said it would be abolished by the party.

The pressure on Ed Miliband comes after Jackie Baillie said on a BBC Scotland radio programme that Labour would abolish the tax, saying an announcement would be made ‘relatively soon’.

The SNP has said Mr Miliband should clarify what his party’s policy is.

Linda Fabiani, who sits on the Welfare Reform Committee and challenged Ms Baillie’s comments, said: ‘Labour is mired in confusion when it comes to the bedroom tax – it’s like the dance of the seven veils. There appears to be different policies and views from Labour spokespeople in different parts of the UK. Miliband needs to get a grip on this.’

Her comments came before two rallies in Glasgow against the changes to housing benefit, which took place over the weekend.

On the programme, Ms Bailie was asked: ‘Would a Westminster Labour government abolish the bedroom tax?’

She said: ‘We are very clear. Labour rejected this approach when it was put to them in government, for social landlords. We have campaigned for its abolition.

‘Yes we will abolish it. My understanding is that you can expect an announcement relatively soon.’

However, a UK Labour spokesman said the claims were against the party’s UK policy.

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