{jcomments on}Labour leader Ed Miliband has given a commitment to scrap the bedroom tax if elected. Meanwhile, shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne has called on the government to sack Atos because of the number of incorrect work capability assessments (WCAs), but offered no change to the system itself.

Miliband told the BBC that:

"We are serving notice that we will end the 'bedroom tax”.

Miliband depicted the tax as “wrong, iniquitous and was not working" and argued that two thirds of those affected are disabled.

Byrne made his comments about Atos when speaking to Labour activists at the party conference, before repeating them in his speech to conference today. However, he gave no undertaking to improve or scrap the WCA itself, an issue which many disabled claimants think is much more important than who actually administers the flawed assessment process.

In addition, Byrne also announced the establishment of a “Universal Credit Rescue Committee” to ‘save’ universal credit.

In a pitch aimed directly at disabled voters, Byrne told the party conference:

“Like most families in this country, I know that disability can affect anyone.

“Therefore it affects us all.

“Yet, today disabled people are threatened by hate crime, by Atos and by the Bedroom Tax.

“Today we deny disabled people peace of mind, a job, a home and care – and I tell you that is wrong.

“We need to change it.

“So we will change the law so hate crime against disabled people is treated like every other hate crime.

“And I say to David Cameron, Atos are a disgrace, you should sack them and sack them now.

“And yes Conference we say the Bedroom Tax should be axed and axed now and if David Cameron won’t drop this hated tax, then we will repeal it.”

Whether this is enough to persuade disabled claimants to turn out for Labour at the next election remains to be seen.


Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

Free PIP, ESA & UC Updates!

Delivered Fortnightly

Over 110,000 claimants and professionals subscribe to the UK's leading source of benefits news.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.