Labour will not repeal the bedroom tax shadow DWP Byrne tells Geordies

Liam Byrne at Jarrow Shopping Centre
Liam Byrne at Jarrow Shopping Centre


Newcastle Chronicle

By  17 May 2013

Labour cannot promise to repeal the bedroom tax, its shadow benefits minister has told a Newcastle audience.

Liam Byrne was in Tyneside to set out Labour’s plans to create jobs if it forms the next government.

But despite repeated criticism of the coalition’s bedroom tax, the shadow minister refused to say he would definitely axe the policy.

The Government’s bedroom tax sees families lose a slice of their housing benefit if they have one or more spare rooms.

Speaking after seeing a memorial to the Jarrow Crusaders, he said: “We are not going to make promises we can’t keep.

“I believe very strongly that this is a tax that will cost more than it saves. I know I have to prove that beyond reasonable doubt and that is the research that I am doing now to gather evidence from across the country.

“We hear of houses lying empty because people can’t afford the tax that would hit them if they moved in, so obviously it does not make sense.”

Locally Labour councillors have said they have heard anecdotal claims that families are reluctantly preparing to give up their home because there is no sign a Labour Government in 2015 would reverse the measure.

Asked about these claims, Mr Byrne said: “We have to work through our position as fast as we can, but no one will forgive us for making promises we can’t keep.

“Ed Miliband has been dead clear about that. We can’t make the same mistake as the Lib Dems who promised not to raise tuition fees and reneged on that within ten minutes of getting into office.

“We think this tax should go, it is a bad, immoral tax but we know that before we make a promise to reverse it we have to prove we can pay for that.”

Newcastle Chronicle

Yes Scotland 


  • bobchewie May 18, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Liam Byrne an Using Duncan Smith wannabe

    • Fil Bastad May 18, 2013 at 6:06 am

      “Bobchewie is a government-designed computer system, originally designated BOBC43W01, created by a man named Stephen Falken in 1983 – at the forefront of artificial intelligence technology”.

  • Philip Laidlaw May 18, 2013 at 5:57 am

    So, you’re going along with the Tories, as per usual. Try growing a spine.

  • james jamieson May 18, 2013 at 6:08 am

    cant trust the torys lib/dems now labour the independence vote for scotland cant come quick enough

  • Trevor May 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Of course the neoliberal “Labour” Party won’t abolish this hated tax; they despise the working-class poor just as virulently as the Tories.

    As a Geordie myself, I’ve had more than enough of Labour’s duplicity, i.e. taking a vaguely left-wing stance up north to bolster their core vote, while showing their true colours down south by waxing lyrical about the supposed “wonders” of capitalist society to so-called Middle England. Their councillors are two-faced c**nts, telling worried constituents how concerned the party is over the hardship welfare reforms are causing, thus giving the false impression they intend to reverse these policies once in power when they have absolutely no intention of doing so.

    They are just as much the enemy of the poor as the Tories.

    • John Lanigan May 18, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      I couldn’t agree more Trevor. Unfortunately, at the moment it looks like England will vote in Labour at the next election, in the mistaken belief that they will be better than the Tories in terms of supporting the working class. What a laugh!
      Scotland at least has a different set up. New Labour were well and truly kicked out of Scotland at the last election and we now have the chance to vote for Independence in 2014.
      It’s a pity that England and Wales don’t have the same opportunities!

  • steve davies May 18, 2013 at 10:36 am

    He looks like a Tory , he talks like a Tory, he acts like a Tory……Good God he is a bloody Tory. Oh when will this revolution come then we can all scream , Liberty….Equality…..Fraternity !

    • Mary Jackson May 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Steve you ask when will the revolution come,? Not untill people turn off the TV from watching football, the X-factor and all the other rubbish that’s on TV these days and take to the Streets, and I can see no sign of that happing anytime soon,

      • John Lanigan May 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

        Well said Mary. Revolutions just don’t happen without people.

  • Boadacia! May 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

    When is a duck not a duck? When it’s a swan! But I bet they taste the same.

  • kelpiemare May 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Liam Byrne….the Blairight IDS. Time, Ed, to get shot o the banker and work for the majority of the country, y’know, the unemployed, the sick, the disabled, the vulnerable, the dying. After all, Ed, that’s the reasons the Unions fund Labour.

    Now, like education, let’s get back to basics. Punish those guilty of causing this recession x 3ish, the bankers and dealers, don’t sell off the banks UNTIL theyve paid us back all monies we fished out to get their ares out of the fires THEY created.

    Oh, and Ed? Don’t forget….taxes. To be paid when due by EVERY one due them. Then hammer the avoiders, the evaders, the dodgers.

  • Chris G May 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

    No Plans to replacing it by sorting out Corporations Tax avoidance Then , Or The Banks Sitting on mega amounts of Money they robbed from the People

  • Chris G May 18, 2013 at 11:43 am


  • Landless Peasant May 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    So I take it they will build thousands of single-occupancy dwellings instead then? No? Or perhaps they will significantly increase Unemployment Benefit so that I can afford to pay my Bedroom Tax AND still afford to eat? No? erm…what then Mr. Byrne?

  • karin May 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I honestly wonder if I can vote Labour at the next election. My main desire has been to kick the Tories out, but if Labour are not going to commit to a civilised manifesto, then what? I want to vote Plaid Cymru, but it would be a wasted vote round where I live.

    • John Lanigan May 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      If you doubt them don’t vote for them. My opinion is that voting for Labour is certainly a wasted vote as they will not do anything, and I mean anything, for the working class.
      I really feel sorry for the folk in England as they have no real alternatives to vote for at the next election. At least in Scotland we have a different set up (we kicked Labour out at the last election) and now have the opportunity to vote for Independence in 2014.

    • Landless Peasant May 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      I’ll be voting for either Green or Respect, but not Labour as they are no longer Socialists and they support Benefit sanctions and useless enforced back-to-work schemes.

  • Chris G May 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    How Many Anti Union Laws Did they Repeal !!! Labour will do Nothing . Why does the TUC give them millions of Workers money when Labour are now Puppets, of Big Finance ! and Right Wing Tory ism.

    • John Lanigan May 19, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      I agree Chris. Union members need to opt out of the political fund as their money is going to a party that looks down their noses on the working class. Have you seen how much the Unions pay their General Secretaries? some of them have over 100k with salary and expenses. LOL!!
      Labour are pocketing plenty from their Union support.
      Unions are as corrupt as the politicians. People need to take over their unions if they want real representation.
      Unions, like Liebour will do nothing for the working class until it is run by the working class.

  • paul May 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Except he didn’t say anything of the sort, did he?
    As disillusioned as I am with Labour while plastic tories like Fox are infesting it, I don’t think misleading sensationalist headlines like this help our cause whatsoever. Let’s leave that sort of sh*t to the right wing tory press, eh?

    • John Lanigan May 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Sounds like your not disillusioned enough Paul.

  • paul May 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Ooops, I meant Byrne, not Fox obviously!

  • Alan Dean May 18, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    LABOUR – Out-torying the Tory’s !!

  • murphy May 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    What the hell was this all about then on 25th of April from Ed Miliband in Worcester, reported as promising to scrap the bedroom tax if Labour get in?

    • John Lanigan May 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      No truth from Liebour then!

    • anthony k May 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      labour wont repeal the bedroom tax because it was there own idea in 2008. check the Respect web site and george galloway will tell you all you want to know about labours underhand tactics. i have voted labour all my life, but no more. they wont get in power with my vote

  • Landless Peasant May 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Liam Byrne promises “full employment” yet declines to explain how that can even be possible. Unless, of course, he means they’re going to bring back Clause IV ? Thought not.

  • Thomas May 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Labour is right wing, and the proper left wing parties are tiny and won’t win any seats.

    • John Lanigan May 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      They won’t win if you don’t vote for them.

      • Thomas May 20, 2013 at 10:59 pm

        As long as most people think they won’t win, they won’t vote for them.

  • pat trimble May 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I can’t tell you how I feel reading that labou r are not going to axe the bedroom tax! I have only ever voted labour as did my parents. But that is it,I haven’t got a clue who will help us now,or who the hell to vote for?but I know I won’t be voting for labour.

    • anthony k May 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      you could not do any worse by voting for george galloway and his respect party, at least he tells it as it is.he had them squirming on dimblebeys question time. i think thats why he hasn/t been invited back.

  • duncan a. smith May 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    The Tories are without a shadow of a doubt THE most toxic party in Scotland, with the Lib-Dumbs following a close second after giving Ca-moron power, but now it seems that Blue Labour are doing their level best to become every bit as hated. Keir Hardie and Ramsay Macdonald (a man from up these parts) must be spinning in their graves at what has happened to their party and the socialist ideals they held dear. Now it seems that we are left with one choice. If independence is the only way to throw off the shackles of Westminster, so be it….

    • John Lanigan May 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Independence will be a good start, but we need a radical independence, and that means Socialist. Get involved in shaping the future.

  • George May 18, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Whoever gets in it’s the poor and working class who suffer,I’m fed up with Labour,or I should give them their new Labour label,according to Peter Mandleson,remember him,Labour actively sought workers from abroad in 2004.
    There’s not much difference between Labour and the Conservatives,the only reason that Blair was not in the Conservatives is that they wouldn’t have him.

  • Barry. May 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    personally i couldn’t care any more about all the broken promises Labour and the Tory’s have been giving for many years I’M VOTING Ukip! the Tory’s and Labour dote deserve a second chances for a long, long time!

    • jed goodright May 19, 2013 at 6:39 am

      and you think UKIP is the answer?????
      what fucking question were you asked???
      they are the nazi’s in disguise – no they’re not, they are the nazis!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Paul Higgins May 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    But Milliband has said he would?

    “He took at a swipe at David Cameron, insisting the so-called bedroom tax was “totally and utterly the wrong thing for the country” and pledged to scrap it if his party came to office”

  • Pink Parrot May 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Don’t know what Byrne is doing in the Labour party. He’s a natural LibCon if ever there was one. Get out of the party and give your job to someone with a sense of social justice!

    • John Lanigan May 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      No one in Liebour has a sense of social justice the whole party couldn’t give a toss. They are all career politicians and until you are able to vote for people who are not in it for the money you will be voting for politicians not politics.

  • Annos May 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    “All in it Together: How Government Is Handing Ownership of our Schools and Hospitals to Banks”

    • John Lanigan May 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      The capitalist state politicians are all in it together at the peoples expense.

  • […] We’d like to say this: Nice work Eddie, but what on earth has taken you so long? This policy was decried by many before it was even enforced, with tens of thousands people protesting, petitioning and marching against it. It was a poorly thought out, unjustifiable and cruel measure brought in by out of touch millionaires. However, it was a gift to you – the easiest of open goals, the chance to score support and credibility by committing your party to abolishing it. And what did you do? Nothing. Heck, up until this now you have waffled on the issue, as has Liam Bryne… […]

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