By Daniel Hunter

Commenting on news that the Labour Party will scrap the bedroom tax and shares for rights scheme if elected to power, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said that it is a cruel policy.

"The bedroom tax is a cruel policy that is hitting vulnerable people in desperate need of help," he said.

"Scrapping it will ease the fears of thousands of low-income families and disabled people worried about being forced out of homes they've lived in for decades. Councils would no longer have to waste valuable time and resources chasing them for mounting arrears.

"With one in three affected council house tenants already falling behind on their rent since the bedroom tax was introduced, it is doubtful whether it will save any money at all. Nonetheless covering the theoretical cost of scrapping it provides a great excuse to ditch the Chancellor's shares for rights scheme - a policy flop that has now turned into a £1billion tax dodge for venture capitalists and private equity sharks.

"With both Labour and the Liberal Democrats now committed to scrapping the barmy bedroom tax, the onus is now on the government to do the right thing and end the policy now."

Research published by the anti-cuts campaign group False Economy found that one in three council tenants across 114 local authorities that responded to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests have fallen behind on their rent since the introduction of the bedroom tax in Aril this year.

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