Opposition Day — Housing Benefit — Deductions for Those Deemed to Have Excess Bedrooms — 12 Nov 2013 at 18:51
The majority of MPs voted to support the Government's action against the inequality of allowing social tenants to receive Housing Benefit for excess bedrooms while private tenants do not receive payments in respect of extra rooms. The action being referred to isn't mentioned in the amendment being voted on but is a reduction in housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms.
MPs voted on an amendment proposed in the name of Prime Minister David Cameron MP (Witney, Conservative) and moved by Steve Webb MP (The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions; Thornbury and Yate, Liberal Democrat). The amendment deleted all the operative text from an opposition amendment which had previously been rejected, replacing the motion with:
- This House
- notes the substantial structural deficit which was inherited from the previous Government and the need to get the nation’s finances back into shape;
- further notes the need to bring expenditure on housing benefit under control;
- "further notes'' that the proposed reversal of this policy would cost the Exchequer around half a billion pounds a year;
- regrets any exaggeration and misrepresentation of the effects of the policy;
- recognises the inequality of allowing social tenants to receive benefit for a spare bedroom whilst denying this opportunity to private tenants;
- supports the Government’s action to deal with this unfairness whilst protecting vulnerable groups such as pensioners and providing substantial funding through Discretionary Housing Payments to local authorities to support other tenants who would otherwise be adversely affected;
- further notes the Government’s continuing commitment to monitor the effects of the policy and the use of Discretionary Housing Payments; and
- welcomes the potential beneficial impact of this policy on those living in overcrowded accommodation and the 2.1 million families on waiting lists.’”
An assessment of the impact of introducing size criteria for working-age Housing Benefit claimants living in the social rented sector states: "The exchequer and taxpayers benefit as a result of benefit reductions to individuals"; but concludes this is balanced by potential higher costs to local authorities, and costs to individual claimants.
-  Steve Webb (Thornbury and Yate, Liberal Democrat), House of Commons, 12 November 2013
-  Impact Assessment of introducing size criteria for working-age Housing Benefit claimants living in the social rented sector
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||221 (+1 tell)||0||0||72.8%|
|Lab||0||206 (+2 tell)||0||80.6%|
|LDem||32 (+1 tell)||2||0||62.5%|
|Tim Farron||Westmorland and Lonsdale||LDem (front bench)||no|
|Andrew George||St Ives||LDem (front bench)||no|