By Martin Kelly

The Labour party, if it wins the next UK General Election, might not scrap the controversial Bedroom tax according to a Labour MP.

Dame Anne Begg, who is the MP for Aberdeen South, conceded in a Radio interview that there was no guarantee that the Labour party would abolish the legislation even if the party wins the 2015 UK General election.

Speaking on Radio Scotland, when asked if her party would scrap the Bedroom tax, the Labour MP said: “With regard to what Labour will do in the next election – whether this is something that they will abolish – I would hope that they would certainly be looking at the housing benefit and if it’s one of the things that we can do and we can promise at the next election, I would certainly support that.”

The Labour MP was also asked to comment on revelations that several high profile Scottish Labour MPs, including Better Together head Alistair Darling and colleague Ian Davidson, failed to vote against the Bedroom Tax.  Dame Anne said she “could not remember the particular incident” but said it was the kind of “political shenanigans” that the SNP normally put out.

The question referred to revelations this weekend that Labour MP Alistair Darling and party colleague Ian Davidson who is Chair of the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee both failed to oppose the new legislation in the House of Commons.  However asked by a protestor at last weekend’s Bedroom Tax protest how he voted, Mr Davidson claimed he had voted No.

The exchange, which was captured on video, then became heated as the Labour MP angrily walked off, insisting that the member of the public had “got it wrong”.

However, official records appear to show that Mr Davidson, along with Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown, was absent at the vote which proposed the new legislation and was also absent at a subsequent amendment calling for the legislation to be scrapped.


The refusal to confirm Labour would scrap the controversial legislation comes despite the party north of the border asking the public to sign a petition calling for the Bedroom Tax to be scrapped.  The online petition ‘Say No to Bedroom Tax’ by the Edinburgh branch of the Labour party, has the support of several Scottish Labour MPs, MSPs and councillors.

The SNP has said that it will scrap the Bedroom tax should Scots vote Yes in the 2014 independence referendum.

It has also emerged that Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner has warned that the Bedroom Tax will breach young people’s human rights by plunging them into poverty and harming their social, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Tam Baillie said that the UK Government’s welfare reforms, would “heap misery on families already struggling on the breadline”.

Mr Baillie added: “The bedroom tax is in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The bedroom tax and other benefit changes will heap misery on families already struggling on the breadline.”

MEANWHILE, an online petition has been created calling on Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to back up a claim he made that he could live on £53 a week.

The Conservative Minister made the claim during a live question answer session on BBC Radio 4.

Asked by host John Humphries if he could live on the £53 a week in benefits drawn by one of the programme’s interviewees, the Work and Pensions Secretary said: “If I had to I would.”

Within hours of the interview an online petition had been raised calling for Mr Duncan Smith to back up his claim.

The petition, which at the time of writing had garnered almost 100,000 supporters, calls on the cabinet minister, “to live on this budget for at least one year.”

The petition adds: “This would help realise the conservative party’s current mantra that, ‘We are all in this together’ “


2013-04-02 08:15

Sounds like Labour are saying one thing in public but have different plans in private!
Old Smokey
2013-04-02 09:24

Just listening to ‘Call Kaye’ being hosted by Kirsty Wark
Kirsty invited her Guardian luvvie friend Michael White on , who then comes out with guff and then gets a complete pasting by Rosie Kane
2013-04-02 10:36

Yes and on the same programme just now David Torrance was given a free anti SNP hit …… clearly invited on as a Tory, fair enough, but as predicted he got the boot in, oh and not just against the SNP but all YES campaigners…..due to the opportunism re bedroom tax and cuts in general.

2013-04-02 09:26

Ed Balls has already told the unions what Labour plans are likely to be. Back in Sept 2012…

“Ed Balls this morning told TUC delegates a Labour government would not reverse the coalition’s public sector cuts and pay freeze.”…/…
2013-04-02 11:51

O/T I know but just had to share this classic comment from a blogger call Davy on Wings Over Scotland.

[i]And if in ‘Hollywood’ a ‘cross’ scares the shit out of a vampire it is nothing compared to what the truth does to a unionist,
2013-04-02 12:10

Excellent quote 🙂

2013-04-02 11:54

What would have been the reaction from Unionists if the coalition had imposed this ludricous charge on vulnerable households but only in Scotland ?.
Gordon Hay
2013-04-02 13:02

I predict (and I am not joking here) that there will be a “son of bedroom tax” which will decree that a single person living alone needs only the facilities of a bed-sit – one room, sofa bed and shared toilet and food-prep areas. If such a person, in receipt of housing benefit, has a home with a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom all to themselves they will be deemed to be getting an unnecessary rooms subsidy and have their benefit cut.

Also, I won’t be surprised if the 25% discount on council tax, water and sewerage charges, for single occupants is declared “unfair”, and is ended.
2013-04-02 13:28

I signed the IDS petition at around 3am UK time – I am 5 hours ahead at present – at which time it was around 113,000, it’s now 12.20 UK, and approaching 200,000, astonishing.
2013-04-02 13:39

Right now the BBC has opened a thread for discussion on its new boss, a once in a blue moon to comment openly on the BBC Don’t miss the chance.…/…
2013-04-02 16:18

is there any point?

Old Smokey
2013-04-02 17:56

Slightly O/T
I read somewhere that the amount of wealth that would come to Scotland following independence, would theorically be enough to take on the whole of the UK national debt and pay it of in 5 years. I cant remember where I read this. Is anyone else aware of this?
2013-04-02 21:57

I think it was on

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