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Suspend 'bedroom tax' call
A COUNCILLOR has called for a two-year suspension of the so-called “bedroom tax” for people unable to move to smaller homes.
Social tenants facing the under-occupancy charge for having spare bedrooms have complained of a lack of smaller homes to move to in order to avoid the tax.
John Clare, a Labour member of Durham County Council, said tenants should be exempt from the tax for two years where suitable alternative accommodation was not available.
The Aycliffe North and Middridge councillor said the tax was malicious in concept and a social catastrophe in implementation.
He called on officials to consult with interested parties and prepare a report for the council seeking authority to make a submission to the Secretary of State supporting his case.
Councillor Clare’s motion won cross-party support and was passed by a full Durham County Council meeting today (Wednesday, September 18), with Liberal Democrat David Freeman’s abstention the only dissent.
Conservative leader Richard Bell said the under-occupancy charge could not be fair or right if no alternative accommodation was available within the local vicinity.
Meanwhile, the council also passed a motion supporting the so-called Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions.
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