We can’t win without Lib Dems says Dave Watts MP

St Helens Star: Dave Watts MP Dave Watts MP

AS your readers will be aware, the Labour Party has always opposed the introduction of the bedroom tax, which we believe to be unfair and which we are committed to repeal if we win the next election.

The Labour Party called the debate on the bedroom tax to set out our opposition and concerns about the effect it was having on many families.

We are unable to win a vote in the House without the support of the Lib Dems, which was never going to be forthcoming given the fact the bedroom tax was only introduced with their support in the first place.

I was away from the House on the day on Parliamentary business, but had already sought permission from the whips’ office weeks before and had arranged to be paired with a member from the Government parties.

I had arranged to be away from the House well before it was decided to hold the debate on the bedroom tax and once a pairing arrangement has been made, members are not allowed to vote even if they attend the debate.

We can never win a vote in the House without the support of Liberal Democrat MPs, due to the coalition’s overall majority.

Dave Watts

Labour MP for St Helens North

Comments (17)

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11:21am Thu 12 Dec 13

smith&weston says...

Searched all the Revenue Customs and Excise websites this morning and can find no mention of the introduction of a ' bedroom tax ". Is that possibly because such a tax does not exist. Now I understand that some adjustments have been made to the level of benefits payable to people based on the size and use of their properties.Completel
y different thing to a ' tax ".
Searched all the Revenue Customs and Excise websites this morning and can find no mention of the introduction of a ' bedroom tax ". Is that possibly because such a tax does not exist. Now I understand that some adjustments have been made to the level of benefits payable to people based on the size and use of their properties.Completel y different thing to a ' tax ". smith&weston

3:30pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Sankey says...

What the heck is this letter about ?

Bedroom tax and then telling us where he was and why he was not where he might have been.

Is there something missing from this letter or some code that has gone right over my head?
What the heck is this letter about ? Bedroom tax and then telling us where he was and why he was not where he might have been. Is there something missing from this letter or some code that has gone right over my head? Sankey

5:21pm Thu 12 Dec 13

jumperr says...

I understand the system of the pair vote,my comment his the lid dems would be in the equation if you had implemented policies both nationally and locally,instead of talk and no action,nothing has been proactive and look at what the outcome has been!.
I understand the system of the pair vote,my comment his the lid dems would be in the equation if you had implemented policies both nationally and locally,instead of talk and no action,nothing has been proactive and look at what the outcome has been!. jumperr

7:26pm Thu 12 Dec 13

jumperr says...

(Lib dems would not be in the equation )
(Lib dems would not be in the equation ) jumperr

10:34pm Thu 12 Dec 13

mikeperry109 says...

The man is a total embarrassment - the letter is clearly a response to another reader's letter which has just been published. The pairing system is an affront to democracy - it allows MPs to pursue other interests outside Parliament, usually involving making money! All MPs should be in the Commons for major debates and subsequent votes - and where was Woodward?
The man is a total embarrassment - the letter is clearly a response to another reader's letter which has just been published. The pairing system is an affront to democracy - it allows MPs to pursue other interests outside Parliament, usually involving making money! All MPs should be in the Commons for major debates and subsequent votes - and where was Woodward? mikeperry109

11:43pm Thu 12 Dec 13

anthonywilson says...

Whether the policy change is either termed "a spare room subsidy" or "bedroom tax" (which is simply mere semantics) a considerable number of people who are already managing on low household incomes have been drastically affected. It's also worth reflecting on the fact that many housing benefit recipients are actually in full time work . The so called spare rooms that are in many households within the social housing sector are sometimes needed due to a member of the family being disabled and needing extra space for storage of equipment, carers or other family members acting as carers staying over etc. A quick search on line will throw up hundreds of stories about people who have been deemed to have a spare room when in fact their personal circumstances requires that they need an additional room. In any event, there is simply not enough available housing for those people affected who want to downsize. The policy is a London centric policy which is completely badly thought out.
Housing Associations are also being hammered by the policy change at present with soaring rent arrears and locally Helena is not immune from this as I am led to believe that their income is currently down by approximately a third as a result.
It is extremely sad and disappointing when our MP's who are supposed to represent the interests of local constituents and businesses in such an important policy debate and vote are not in the House of Commons when it takes place. whatever the reasons.
Dennis Skinner MP rejects the use of the pairing system in which he can agree a mutual abstention with a Conservative MP, saying he won't cover for them whilst they "go swanning off to Ascot or to their boardrooms". I'd like to think that whatever Parliamentary Business Dave Watts was attending was important but was it so important to justify missing this important debate and vote? As I understand Shaun Woodward MP wasn't present at the vote either. Furthermore it is important to highlight the fact that the Coalition Government won the vote on the housing benefit/ bedroom tax issue by 26 votes yet 47 Labour MP's were not present in the Commons on the night of the vote. There are 57 Lib Dems elected as MP's and 31 supported the Government and 2 supported the Labour motion on the night of the "bedroom tax vote". If the 26 Labour MP's had turned up it would have been down to the Speaker having the casting vote. Of course I'm sure that if the Coalition had thought the vote was under threat more three line whips would have been in force with more Conservative MP's attending the debate and vote. A sad reflection on our representative democracy isn't it though that so many MP's of all parties miss crucial votes. be careful what you print Mr Watts, the public will check out out what you claim.
Whether the policy change is either termed "a spare room subsidy" or "bedroom tax" (which is simply mere semantics) a considerable number of people who are already managing on low household incomes have been drastically affected. It's also worth reflecting on the fact that many housing benefit recipients are actually in full time work . The so called spare rooms that are in many households within the social housing sector are sometimes needed due to a member of the family being disabled and needing extra space for storage of equipment, carers or other family members acting as carers staying over etc. A quick search on line will throw up hundreds of stories about people who have been deemed to have a spare room when in fact their personal circumstances requires that they need an additional room. In any event, there is simply not enough available housing for those people affected who want to downsize. The policy is a London centric policy which is completely badly thought out. Housing Associations are also being hammered by the policy change at present with soaring rent arrears and locally Helena is not immune from this as I am led to believe that their income is currently down by approximately a third as a result. It is extremely sad and disappointing when our MP's who are supposed to represent the interests of local constituents and businesses in such an important policy debate and vote are not in the House of Commons when it takes place. whatever the reasons. Dennis Skinner MP rejects the use of the pairing system in which he can agree a mutual abstention with a Conservative MP, saying he won't cover for them whilst they "go swanning off to Ascot or to their boardrooms". I'd like to think that whatever Parliamentary Business Dave Watts was attending was important but was it so important to justify missing this important debate and vote? As I understand Shaun Woodward MP wasn't present at the vote either. Furthermore it is important to highlight the fact that the Coalition Government won the vote on the housing benefit/ bedroom tax issue by 26 votes yet 47 Labour MP's were not present in the Commons on the night of the vote. There are 57 Lib Dems elected as MP's and 31 supported the Government and 2 supported the Labour motion on the night of the "bedroom tax vote". If the 26 Labour MP's had turned up it would have been down to the Speaker having the casting vote. Of course I'm sure that if the Coalition had thought the vote was under threat more three line whips would have been in force with more Conservative MP's attending the debate and vote. A sad reflection on our representative democracy isn't it though that so many MP's of all parties miss crucial votes. be careful what you print Mr Watts, the public will check out out what you claim. anthonywilson

10:40am Fri 13 Dec 13

Sankey says...

mikeperry109 wrote:
The man is a total embarrassment - the letter is clearly a response to another reader's letter which has just been published. The pairing system is an affront to democracy - it allows MPs to pursue other interests outside Parliament, usually involving making money! All MPs should be in the Commons for major debates and subsequent votes - and where was Woodward?
How did mr watts know the other readers letter was to be published ?

They were in the same edition of the star
[quote][p][bold]mikeperry109[/bold] wrote: The man is a total embarrassment - the letter is clearly a response to another reader's letter which has just been published. The pairing system is an affront to democracy - it allows MPs to pursue other interests outside Parliament, usually involving making money! All MPs should be in the Commons for major debates and subsequent votes - and where was Woodward?[/p][/quote]How did mr watts know the other readers letter was to be published ? They were in the same edition of the star Sankey

11:57am Fri 13 Dec 13

mikeperry109 says...

Sankey wrote:
mikeperry109 wrote:
The man is a total embarrassment - the letter is clearly a response to another reader's letter which has just been published. The pairing system is an affront to democracy - it allows MPs to pursue other interests outside Parliament, usually involving making money! All MPs should be in the Commons for major debates and subsequent votes - and where was Woodward?
How did mr watts know the other readers letter was to be published ?

They were in the same edition of the star
You tell me, Sankey - could it be a case of forewarned is forearmed?
[quote][p][bold]Sankey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mikeperry109[/bold] wrote: The man is a total embarrassment - the letter is clearly a response to another reader's letter which has just been published. The pairing system is an affront to democracy - it allows MPs to pursue other interests outside Parliament, usually involving making money! All MPs should be in the Commons for major debates and subsequent votes - and where was Woodward?[/p][/quote]How did mr watts know the other readers letter was to be published ? They were in the same edition of the star[/p][/quote]You tell me, Sankey - could it be a case of forewarned is forearmed? mikeperry109

12:00pm Fri 13 Dec 13

mikeperry109 says...

anthonywilson wrote:
Whether the policy change is either termed "a spare room subsidy" or "bedroom tax" (which is simply mere semantics) a considerable number of people who are already managing on low household incomes have been drastically affected. It's also worth reflecting on the fact that many housing benefit recipients are actually in full time work . The so called spare rooms that are in many households within the social housing sector are sometimes needed due to a member of the family being disabled and needing extra space for storage of equipment, carers or other family members acting as carers staying over etc. A quick search on line will throw up hundreds of stories about people who have been deemed to have a spare room when in fact their personal circumstances requires that they need an additional room. In any event, there is simply not enough available housing for those people affected who want to downsize. The policy is a London centric policy which is completely badly thought out.
Housing Associations are also being hammered by the policy change at present with soaring rent arrears and locally Helena is not immune from this as I am led to believe that their income is currently down by approximately a third as a result.
It is extremely sad and disappointing when our MP's who are supposed to represent the interests of local constituents and businesses in such an important policy debate and vote are not in the House of Commons when it takes place. whatever the reasons.
Dennis Skinner MP rejects the use of the pairing system in which he can agree a mutual abstention with a Conservative MP, saying he won't cover for them whilst they "go swanning off to Ascot or to their boardrooms". I'd like to think that whatever Parliamentary Business Dave Watts was attending was important but was it so important to justify missing this important debate and vote? As I understand Shaun Woodward MP wasn't present at the vote either. Furthermore it is important to highlight the fact that the Coalition Government won the vote on the housing benefit/ bedroom tax issue by 26 votes yet 47 Labour MP's were not present in the Commons on the night of the vote. There are 57 Lib Dems elected as MP's and 31 supported the Government and 2 supported the Labour motion on the night of the "bedroom tax vote". If the 26 Labour MP's had turned up it would have been down to the Speaker having the casting vote. Of course I'm sure that if the Coalition had thought the vote was under threat more three line whips would have been in force with more Conservative MP's attending the debate and vote. A sad reflection on our representative democracy isn't it though that so many MP's of all parties miss crucial votes. be careful what you print Mr Watts, the public will check out out what you claim.
Quite right, Anthony - Skinner has always held to this principle. I wonder how many other Labour MPs follow his example?
[quote][p][bold]anthonywilson[/bold] wrote: Whether the policy change is either termed "a spare room subsidy" or "bedroom tax" (which is simply mere semantics) a considerable number of people who are already managing on low household incomes have been drastically affected. It's also worth reflecting on the fact that many housing benefit recipients are actually in full time work . The so called spare rooms that are in many households within the social housing sector are sometimes needed due to a member of the family being disabled and needing extra space for storage of equipment, carers or other family members acting as carers staying over etc. A quick search on line will throw up hundreds of stories about people who have been deemed to have a spare room when in fact their personal circumstances requires that they need an additional room. In any event, there is simply not enough available housing for those people affected who want to downsize. The policy is a London centric policy which is completely badly thought out. Housing Associations are also being hammered by the policy change at present with soaring rent arrears and locally Helena is not immune from this as I am led to believe that their income is currently down by approximately a third as a result. It is extremely sad and disappointing when our MP's who are supposed to represent the interests of local constituents and businesses in such an important policy debate and vote are not in the House of Commons when it takes place. whatever the reasons. Dennis Skinner MP rejects the use of the pairing system in which he can agree a mutual abstention with a Conservative MP, saying he won't cover for them whilst they "go swanning off to Ascot or to their boardrooms". I'd like to think that whatever Parliamentary Business Dave Watts was attending was important but was it so important to justify missing this important debate and vote? As I understand Shaun Woodward MP wasn't present at the vote either. Furthermore it is important to highlight the fact that the Coalition Government won the vote on the housing benefit/ bedroom tax issue by 26 votes yet 47 Labour MP's were not present in the Commons on the night of the vote. There are 57 Lib Dems elected as MP's and 31 supported the Government and 2 supported the Labour motion on the night of the "bedroom tax vote". If the 26 Labour MP's had turned up it would have been down to the Speaker having the casting vote. Of course I'm sure that if the Coalition had thought the vote was under threat more three line whips would have been in force with more Conservative MP's attending the debate and vote. A sad reflection on our representative democracy isn't it though that so many MP's of all parties miss crucial votes. be careful what you print Mr Watts, the public will check out out what you claim.[/p][/quote]Quite right, Anthony - Skinner has always held to this principle. I wonder how many other Labour MPs follow his example? mikeperry109

12:03pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Sankey says...

Forewarned indeed but by whom ?
Forewarned indeed but by whom ? Sankey

12:06pm Fri 13 Dec 13

mikeperry109 says...

Sankey wrote:
Forewarned indeed but by whom ?
Sankey, I could not possibly comment!
[quote][p][bold]Sankey[/bold] wrote: Forewarned indeed but by whom ?[/p][/quote]Sankey, I could not possibly comment! mikeperry109

12:58pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Sankey says...

Its all done by magic Mike.
Its all done by magic Mike. Sankey

9:36am Sat 14 Dec 13

jumperr says...

What would be a better letter to the paper rather than it was "now't to do with me " would be to encourage the local party to practice what they preach,just look at the complaints that are posted and they cover the same problems yr in yr out and whatever gets done. zilch!
What would be a better letter to the paper rather than it was "now't to do with me " would be to encourage the local party to practice what they preach,just look at the complaints that are posted and they cover the same problems yr in yr out and whatever gets done. zilch! jumperr

5:17pm Sun 15 Dec 13

jumperr says...

Had the west park rose leaflet delivered very uplifting piece,get in touch with anything we want .
Had the west park rose leaflet delivered very uplifting piece,get in touch with anything we want . jumperr

10:11pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Les Teeling says...

the labour party could not even get their facts right when trying to oppose the bedroom tax In the debate they stated that it was affecting 660,000 people when in fact it is having a disastrous effect on 660,000 FAMILIES and it summed up their total ignorance of the plight of those who are struggling to come to terms with appalling arrears that they are mounting up and which Housing Associations have stated are unworkable given that there is a lack of the right kind of homes available to enable those who need to move so that they can comply with this legislation
the labour party could not even get their facts right when trying to oppose the bedroom tax In the debate they stated that it was affecting 660,000 people when in fact it is having a disastrous effect on 660,000 FAMILIES and it summed up their total ignorance of the plight of those who are struggling to come to terms with appalling arrears that they are mounting up and which Housing Associations have stated are unworkable given that there is a lack of the right kind of homes available to enable those who need to move so that they can comply with this legislation Les Teeling

1:53pm Thu 19 Dec 13

jumperr says...

It amazes me how no party with a working majority can have the power to form a coalition .
It amazes me how no party with a working majority can have the power to form a coalition . jumperr

3:18pm Thu 19 Dec 13

jumperr says...

If one of our MPs is finishing surely it would be better to go now so has the replacement can put their ideas in place?
If one of our MPs is finishing surely it would be better to go now so has the replacement can put their ideas in place? jumperr

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