Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has welcomed as “a victory for fairness” today’s House of Commons vote in favour of a Liberal Democrat bill to expand exemptions to the spare room subsidy provisions included in the housing benefit bill.
MPs backed the Affordable Homes Bill, introduced by Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George at second reading by 306 votes to 231.
The bill aims to afford exemptions to those who cannot find a smaller home as well as disabled people who need a spare boardroom or who have adapted homes.
It will be another step to strengthen protections to those affected by the spare room subsidy, following on from Liberal Democrat-led moves earlier in the year to lift the cap from Discretionary Housing Payments in Scotland, which is allowing the abolition of the measure in Scotland. Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie led calls to the Scottish Government to work with the UK Government to deliver change to the policy.
Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie said:
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have always been clear that we should actively seek to address any unintended consequences of this legislation. This Liberal Democrat-led initiative is a significant and welcome step forward in our efforts to build the fairer society we all wish to see, and votes from MPs across the United Kingdom are ensuring progress towards a fair outcome in all parts of the UK.
"It is a victory for fairness. It shows that Liberal Democrat efforts to keep this policy under constant review can deliver meaningful change to those affected by any unintended consequences."