Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Do we trust Labour on the Bedroom tax?

I have some real problems with the notion of the Bedroom tax. I, like Charles Kennedy and others, feel that it needs to be really heavily scrutinised if it is to be brought in and that there need to be some very clear exemptions to this.

I also have a bit of a problem with moving people out of their homes to make space. After all, your council or social house is your home and you are basically being evicted to a smaller unit against your will because the state is telling you too. However there is a problem with Overcrowding in social housing which means ultimately I don't know how I feel about this and it needs more thought that I currently don't have time to allocate due to a very busy personal/family life!

Many readers will know that I am deeply cynical of Opposition politics.

Although, I am deeply disappointed that MPs from my party whole heartedly voted for this (except Tim Farron who voted against and several others who abstained) I am also curious about Labour's position.

The Government passed with 252 votes yesterday against 222 Labour, Libdem and other party members. A full list can be viewed here.

There is a lot of crowing on Social media this morning about how only Labour can defeat this bill in 2015 and Rachel Reeves MP stated yesterday that;

 Let me be very clear: if I am Secretary of State in 2015, the first thing I will do is reverse this unfair and pernicious tax.

The interesting thing is though that the Government won with 252 votes against 222 mix of MPs. The Labour party number some 257 MPs. Had they turned up in force and voted they would have won the vote without the other parties support but in fact 47 Labour MPs failed to turn up. So where were they?

If, the Labour Party really wanted this killed off now they could/would have done it.

The cynic in me would argue that Labour actually are happy to leave this policy to go through kicking up a stink at every step (but not actually killing it off) to be the party of opposition and gain votes in 2015 then once in they can get rid of it and claim ultimate victory on the subject at the end of a long standing campaign.

As a party lacking policies excepting being whole heartedly against the Government's every suggestion (even ones that agreed with previous Labour moves) or grand standing on things like freezing energy bills (which is causing energy bill hikes now and is considered wholly unworkable by experts) it gives them a policy.

I don't know, maybe I am too cynical for my own good but my overall question is...

Where were the 47 MPs who didn't turn up to vote down this policy they so dispise and is wholly unpopular?

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