George accuses Cameron of “abusing power” over his scuppering of anti bedroom tax Bill
West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, accused the Prime Minister of abusing the privilege of executive power and denying the will of the House of Commons today. He raised his point at Prime Minister’s Questions after the Tories announced that they refused to grant money for Mr George’s Affordable Homes Private Members’ Bill.
Mr George raised his question after the Prime Minister sought to blame the Liberal Democrats for the halting of the Conservatives Private Members’ Bill for an EU Referendum. Mr George’s Bill is first on the Private Members’ Bill list and should be given the support of the Government before the EU Referendum Bill (which is third). MPs suspect that the Conservatives are using the necessary money resolution as an excuse to scupper Mr George’s Bill which would effectively scrap the ‘Bedroom Tax’.
Mr George’s question and subsequent response from The Prime Minister, David Cameron, as follows:
Andrew George (St Ives) (LD):
“If the Prime Minister wants his European Union (Referendum) Bill to proceed, as he claims he does, all he needs to do is demonstrate a level of mature engagement on the granting of money resolutions. Is he proud of the fact that his party is abusing the privilege of Executive power and denying the clear will of this House by denying the money resolution for the Private Member’s Bill to protect the vulnerable and disabled from the bedroom tax?”
The Prime Minister:
“I am afraid the problem with my hon. Friend’s point is that his Bill is literally a Bill: it would cost more than a billion pounds for the British taxpayer. That is why it would not be right to give it a money resolution. But if he believed in democracy, he would recognise that the European Union (Referendum) Bill passed this House with a massive majority and went into the House of Lords. We should reintroduce it as a Government Bill—that is what ought to happen.”
Mr George described the Prime Minister’s remarks as preposterous. “This is a gross exaggeration. The Tory bedroom tax would save the Government about £350million per annum – and he’s claiming that a Bill to introduce some exemptions would cost more than three times that amount.
“They should hang their heads in shame.”