UN investigator calls for abolition of bedroom tax

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A UNITED Nations special investigator has told the UK Government it should scrap the bedroom tax after she visited Edinburgh and other cities to hear how the policy is affecting vulnerable people.

Raquel Rolnik, a former urban planning minister from Brazil, said Britain’s previously good record on housing was being eroded by a failure to provide enough affordable social housing and the impact of welfare changes.

After speaking to dozens of council house tenants over the past fortnight, she said she was disturbed by how the policy was affecting “the most vulnerable, the most fragile, the people who are on the fringes of coping with everyday life”. She said: “I was very shocked to hear how people really feel abused in their human rights by this decision and why, being so vulnerable, they should pay for the cost of the economic downturn, which was brought about by the financial crisis.”

Ms Rolnik added: “My immediate recommendation is that the bedroom tax is abolished.”

A spokesman for the National Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation said: “We have said all along it was a breach of human rights and now the UN has confirmed this.”

The Government described the findings as “surprising”.