Hilary Benn MP

Working hard for Leeds Central

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The bedroom tax is unfair, immoral and undermines family life. Over 2,000 households in my constituency have been affected by it and they are all people on low incomes. Most of them want to stay in their family home – it’s what most people would do if they found themselves in this position – but even for those who want to downsize to a smaller property, there simply aren’t enough of them available. This is why the bedroom tax needs to be scrapped completely.

As you may have seen, we took the first step on the road to abolishing the bedroom tax on 5 September in the House of Commons. We won a crucial vote by 306 votes to 231 on the second reading of a Bill which would exempt from the bedroom tax people whose homes have been specially adapted and those not offered another property. Now that the Bill will go into committee, Labour will try and amend it to abolish the bedroom tax altogether. We have also made it clear that if Labour wins the next general election, the bedroom tax will go.
 
This result shows that David Cameron is losing his grip and that it is Labour that is providing leadership for a fairer country.  A big thank you to everyone who has been campaigning against the bedroom tax so far and for your support to us as Labour MPs as we voted for social justice.

The Bedroom Tax - a first step to abolition

The bedroom tax is unfair, immoral and undermines family life. Over 2,000 households in my constituency have been affected by it and they are all people on low incomes. Most...

New analysis shows that households living in the 10 most deprived local authorities in England will, as a result of council funding cuts, have faced a reduction in spending power per household 16 times greater than the 10 least deprived areas under the Tory-led Government.

In an open letter to Local Authority Leaders, Labour’s Shadow Local Government Secretary Hilary Benn MP has called on them to prepare for the devolution of resources and power with a Labour Government so that they can make a real difference.

In the letter, Hilary Benn writes:

“The Prime Minister and the Local Government Secretary say that tough times involve tough choices, but they have forgotten one very important principle. Tough times demand tough choices that are fair. And yet if we look at the way in which the Tory led Government has chosen to take most from those who have least – the most deprived local authorities – it is clear just how unfair and unjustifiable this is.

“David Cameron’s Government have made the wrong choices. They have ducked tough decisions and passed the hardest ones down to you, and they have failed to apply the basic principle of fairness. They had a choice, and they made the wrong one as far as communities up and down the country are concerned.”

David Cameron promised that those with the broadest shoulders would bear the greatest burden, but he broke his promise - Benn

New analysis shows that households living in the 10 most deprived local authorities in England will, as a result of council funding cuts, have faced a reduction in spending power...

Private_George_Ellison_2014.jpg

 

The grave of Private George Edwin Ellison in the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons, Belgium.

George Ellison was from Leeds and served throughout the First World War. Tragically, however, he was killed in Mons on the morning of the Armistice (11 November 1918) and it is said that he was the last British soldier to die in the conflict. In a twist of fate, he lies buried opposite the first British soldier to die on the Western Front, Private John Parr.

Mons was the site of the first British battle of the War which took place on 23 August 1914. I visited the cemetery 100 years to the day later to lay this wreath at George Ellison’s grave. The town was full of visitors from the UK: family members looking for where their loved ones fought and, in all too many cases, their last resting place; representatives of the regiments that saw action there; and Royal British Legion branches.

It was a very moving day. There was a service in the beautiful cemetery, which is magnificently looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. And as the sun went down, the Grand Place – bedecked with British and Belgian flags – hosted a concert by two Scottish pipe bands and the band of the Regimental Association in front of large crowds.

 

This is a copy of a post I have written for South Leeds Life.

George Edwin Ellison and the First World War

  The grave of Private George Edwin Ellison in the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons, Belgium. George Ellison was from Leeds and served throughout the First World War. Tragically,...


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