Bridget Phillipson Labour Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South
This week in Parliament, Labour has again voted against the government’s welfare proposals.
Seven million working families will lose out.
But at the same time, the richest in our society have been handed a tax cut.
We’ve also been calling on the government to think again about changes to Housing Benefit that could hit thousands of members of our Regular and Reserve Forces.
From April, tenants in social housing will see their benefit reduced if one bedroom is unoccupied for more than 13 weeks.
Many service families will be penalised because of their loved one’s determination to serve their country.
The government has given protection to students and the recently bereaved.
They must consider similar arrangements for members of our armed forces who are deployed or training away from home. Government ministers say they want to encourage more people to sign up as reservists.
But under these plans, reservists in particular could lose out as they don’t have access to service accommodation.
If you serve your country, you should be rewarded not penalised.
The government must urgently look again at these changes to make sure that service families and parents aren’t hit because of their loved one’s service.
This article was originally published by the Sunderland Echo on 23rd January 2013