MP rebels against ‘bedroom tax’ - to no avail

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Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid voted against the Coalition Government’s so-called ‘bedroom tax’ in the House of Commons on Wednesday - but proposals to cut housing benefit were still passed.

Plans to reduce housing benefit by an average of £14 a week for council and housing association tenants whose home has more bedrooms than their household size requires were backed by 260 votes to 206.

Mr Reid, who was joined in the rebels’ ranks by his LibDem colleague and fellow Highland MP Charles Kennedy, said: “I accept that the Government has to make cuts, but I am very concerned about the impact of this cut on rural communities like Argyll and Bute.

“Affected tenants will either have to move, in some cases many miles away or even from an island to the mainland, or see their income cut.

“For many tenants moving home will not be a realistic option, so many people on very low incomes will see that income cut by about £14 a week.

“That’s why I voted against the Government today.”

The new rules will come into effect on 1 April next year.