Liberal Democrat leader hopefuls, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson, have slammed Manchester Council's proposed Homeless Tax in a scathing joint statement today (14/06/19).
The two MPs, who are in Manchester for a head-to-head leadership debate, described the policy as "grotesque” and said Labour should "hang their heads in shame".
The Homeless Tax went out to public consultation in February and was immediately criticised by the Lib Dem opposition as “social cleansing.”
Ahead of the 2019 local elections, the Lib Dems pledged to capitalise on any opportunity to scrap the Homeless Tax.
Today (14/06/19), Davey and Swinson backed Manchester Lib Dem Leader John Leech's campaign to scrap the Homeless Tax and unleashed a scathing double statement.
Sir Ed Davey MP said:
"People are rightly outraged at Labour's plans to punish the most vulnerable people in Manchester — the very people we should be protecting.
"Labour’s record on affordable housing in Manchester is abysmal. Between 2016-18 the Council failed to guarantee a single affordable home in a city centre development of more than 15,000 – not a single one.
"This Homeless Tax is just the latest in a string of cruel policies implemented by a council in desperate need of a larger Lib Dem opposition.
"As Labour hang their heads in shame, I stand with John Leech and Liberal Democrats across the city in calling for this to be immediately scrapped."
Jo Swinson MP said:
”This totally heartless approach to dealing with some of the most vulnerable people in society is barely believable.
”These people have suffered so much already and the Council should be thoroughly ashamed of hitting them with this Homeless Tax.
"We have a duty to care for, not punish, the most vulnerable in society and Labour needs to urgently think again.
”I am proud that Liberal Democrat Councillor John Leech is leading the resistance to this grotesque, inhumane policy."
Manchester Lib Dem leader John Leech welcomed the joint statement:
"I’m very grateful to Ed and Jo for backing our campaign and unequivocally opposing this dreadful policy.
"It’s great to see that, no matter who is elected leader of the party, they will be united against this awful proposal that does nothing except punish the most vulnerable in our society.
"Only the Liberal Democrats are standing up for Manchester’s most vulnerable and I’m delighted that Ed and Jo have reaffirmed that."