MP wants foster carers exempt from ‘bed tax’

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Midlothian Labour MP David Hamilton has called on the UK government to amend its “cruel” policy of failing to recognise the existence of foster children under the so-called bedroom tax.

He said cutting benefits for social housing tenants with a spare bedroom failed to exempt foster carers and even classed a room occupied by a child as empty.

He said: “Foster carers need to have a spare room; it’s a part of the requirements for them to look after a child.

“For the government not to recognise this is madness. It’s bad enough that foster carers aren’t exempt from this penalty between assignments.

“But the government is refusing to count a foster child even when that child is placed with the family.

“In my opinion, any room which is used to provide safe accommodation to a vulnerable child cannot be called ‘spare’.”