Labour lost the Housing Benefit Debate on Opposition Day

Before we all go into the debate on the rights or wrong of Bedroom Tax just pause for a moment and checkout this youtube to have a healthier debate then remind ourselves why we continue with the struggle:

Eyes        226         Nos 252

MPs are voting in the opposition day motion on Housing Benefits

Labour motion called on Government to end deductions to housing benefits and fund local authorities to better help people to move to suitable accommodation. (Motion defeated)

Eyes     253      Nos 226
The government amendment notes the substantial structure deflect of previous govt the need to bring expenditure on housing benefit under control and that reversal of the policy would cost half a billion pounds each year. (Government Admendedment won)  

#bedroomtaxWhen you look at the votes it means that Labour lost the vote by 26 and the battle continues. So the next time when a Conservative or LibDems comes knocking on your door seeking your vote remind them why you will not vote for them for details see Government Amendment to Housing Benefit. This is due to a pairing which means Parliamentary pairing means that MPs agree to have an opposite number, and that if one of the pair is in a Committee, constituency, abroad, or sick, or otherwise unable to vote then the other MP in the pair agrees not to go through the lobby and vote so as not to take advantage of the absence. In this way, a vote doesn’t depend on MPs actually being there.

Yes, Labour could have broken the agreement and all turned up last night, or at any other vote, to embarrass the Tories But it is a trick that will only work ONCE – for ever.

I mention this because the MPs “pairing” system seems to have wrong-footed a few commentators into thinking that last night’s Labour-generated vote on the Bedroom Tax was somehow let down by some MPs.

It wasn’t – pairing means that the vote went exactly the same way as it would if all MPs had been present.

Because an MP has to physically pass through the lobby to vote, some people may remember that in the past, the Tories have carried literally dying old men on stretchers through the lobby so their vote was counted!

So does this mean that Labour will ditch the real the Bedroom policy the answer is NO WAY and we will continue with the fight.

We were reminded again last night that the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ is the coalition’s most controversial (and unpopular?) ‘welfare reform’. From the Guardian:

“The Liberal Democrat president, Tim Farron, and one other Lib Dem MP joined Labour in voting against the bedroom tax in a Labour-inspired Commons debate on Tuesday that sparked rare passion including a claim by one Tory MP that feckless fathers should be chained and forced to work.

photo12234“The Labour motion calling for the abolition was defeated by 252 to 226, a substantial cut in the coalition majority. A handful of Lib Dem MPs abstained. The spare-room subsidy or bedroom tax cuts housing benefit for social housing tenants by 14% for those deemed to have an extra bedroom and 25% for claimants with two or more spare bedrooms.”

The Guardian report continues:

“A succession of Labour MPs produced personal stories of the impact of the bedroom tax drawn from their constituency surgeries. Steve Pound, said his brother was in danger of losing his home of 20 years even though his spare room was being used for a kidney dialysis unit.”

But it quotes Tory MP for Monmouth, David Davies, as saying: [Get hold of some of these feckless fathers, drag them off, put them in chains if necessary, make them work and make them pay back society for the cost of bringing up the children they chose to bring into this world.”

Hmm, some might argue that the bedroom tax prevents plenty of divorced dads from having their kids over to stay for the weekend.

gl123Many social tenants descended to parliament yesterday to lobby MPs to repeal the Bedroom Tax in Parliament many Labour MPs launched a blistering attack in the Commons debate but they themselves faces anger from lobbyists protesting from all sides of the three main political parties to fight evictions and attacks on benefits.

fuckthe polltaxCries of action not words greeted all the main three parties when they entered parliament. I can confirm that our number one enemy Work and pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was nowhere to be seen at the Westminster Village. Well no guesses where he was on a plane to Paris to attend a conference on the EU youth unemployment crisis.

Before my read any further please checkout this Youtube and this sums up the mood of the nation:

Whilst this taking place he left his bed partners to hold the fort for him so they can carry out his dirty work. In the meantime Ian Lavery MP chaired a meeting which the lobbyists were very passionate of their concerns about the dreaded bedroom tax.

If Labour wins the election in 2015, we promise to scrap the Bedroom Tax immediately. Until then, we need to work together to keep up the pressure on this government to repeal it.

Don’t let people forget that Tory and Lib Dem MPs did the wrong thing last night




2 responses to “Labour lost the Housing Benefit Debate on Opposition Day

  1. Not at all happy about this pairing system that allows MP’s to avoid important debates such as this. It undermines the whole point of debating an issue before voting. Parliamentary debates should be an opportunity for those speaking to change the minds of those who oppose their views. What is the point in the dozens of Labour MP’s making very valid and impassioned speeches in the House of Commons if large numbers of those that they wish to convert to their way of thinking are not present to hear them?

    There was much Labour criticism of Iain Duncan Smith not being present to be held to account, but now we find that his absence was probably condoned and agreed to in a pairing agreement with a Labour MP.

    How am I supposed to know if my absent LibDem MP was part of a pairing agreement and therefore effectively voting in favour of the bedroom tax, or whether he decided to stay away because he wished to abstain, or whether he just fancied a day off and was not bothered at all? How am I supposed to hold my MP to account if I do not know why he was not there to vote?

    Pairing is a convenient way for MP’S to dodge their responsibilities to the electorate and what those paired MP’s are effectively saying to the electorate is that they do not want to listen to any debate about the issue, because their mind is made up and no matter how forceful and right an argument is, they will refuse to listen to it.

    Is it any wonder, given this mindset of MP’s who agree to pair, that the electorate are so disillusioned with out political system and the attitudes of our MP’s?

  2. Pingback: Labour lost the Housing Benefit Debate on Oppos...

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