Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities Secretary, responding to news today that Ministers are expected to abolish council tax for “annexes” used by family members, said:

"This is a decidedly peculiar claim by Eric Pickles as occupied ‘granny flats’ have been exempt from council tax since 1997. It is therefore extremely unclear exactly which pensioners the Government expects to benefit from these changes, and the granny tax fiasco doesn't give us confidence that they will get this right. This cynical spinning shows that once again the Tory-led Government are over-claiming and under-delivering for our nation's pensioners.

"This seems to be nothing more than an attempt to deflect attention from their housing crisis. What we need is to get building and get the economy moving again. That's why Labour is proposing to build 25,000 new affordable homes and a temporary cut to the rate of VAT. "

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