A Lib Dem private members bill to water down the bedroom tax passed its first hurdle today after being backed by Labour and Lib Dem MPs. The bill was passed by a majority of 75 votes, with 306 in favour and 231 opposed.
The private members bill was put forward by Lib Dem MP Andrew George, who also opposed the original bedroom tax legislation. It would exempt disabled claimants who need a spare bedroom, or who have adapted homes, from paying the bedroom tax. It would also exempt claimants who had not been offered a suitable smaller home.
This is only the second time that the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have opposed each other in a vote. The previous occasion was in relation to constituency boundary changes, when the conservatives were also defeated.
The bill will now go on to committee stage, but there is still only a very slim chance of it being made law prior to a general election.
Immediately after the votes, Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley raised a point of order accusing the Lib Dems of being ‘devious and untrustworthy’ and claiming that ‘the coalition government has come to an end’.