Thursday, 12 September 2013

Miss Rolnik & Tory Chair, Grant Shapps

The Conservative chairman has said that the UN special rapporteur on housing’s report urging the government to scrap the bedroom tax is an ‘absolute disgrace’.
Speaking on the Today programme yesterday morning, Grant Shapps said Raquel Rolnik, the ‘woman from Brazil’, clearly came with an agenda and he was going to take action about it today.  He said: ‘I think this report is an absolute disgrace and I’m going to write to the UN secretary general today to find out how this came about,’ he said.  Adding:  ‘How a woman from Brazil, which has 50 million people living in inadequate housing, has come over and failed to meet with any government ministers, with any officials from the Department for Work and Pensions or even refer to the policy by its correct name anywhere in the report at all.  To issue a press release this morning – two weeks after coming over when the full report is not due until the spring next year. She has clearly come with an agenda and has biased her own position.’

He also said Miss Rolnik was ‘absolutely not’ invited by the government and the only officials she had met during her visit were from the wrong department – the Communities and Local Government department rather than the DWP.

Miss Rolnik said on the programme that she had found the bedroom tax to be ‘a measure which appears to have been taken without the human component in mind’. She said she had received testimonies from hundreds of people affected and that she had met with ‘a lot’ of people during her trip including a lot of councils who she said were ‘dealing with major issues’ related to the tax.
‘My recommendation is that the government should suspend this policy in order to better assess and monitor its impact on human rights then eventually redesign it.’

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