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Call For Stevenage Mp Stephen Mcpartland To Apologise After Furniture Village's Bedroom Tax Boast

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A furniture company which counts a Conservative MP among its directors has come under fire after bragging that its sale "should help towards the bedroom tax".

Furniture Village, which employs Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland as a non-executive director, made the claim in an advert that boasted a £270 saving.

Introduced by the Coalition Government in 2012, the bedroom tax penalises recipients of housing benefit who have spare rooms, docking their payments until they downsize.
The measure, which was branded the bedroom tax by its opponents, has come under fire for being disproportionately hard on the disabled.
Councillor Sharon Taylor, the Labour leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said 669 households in the town had been affected by the policy.
She said: "It's extremely bad taste. This company needs to know of the difficulties the bedroom tax has caused, particularly for disabled people and their carers.
"For those with very marginal levels of disposable income it has pushed them into a very difficult situation financially. So this is in the worst possible taste.
"What marketing person would give that the go-ahead? It's unthinkable to me. I'd like to sit some of these people down and have them listen to some of the stories I have heard.
"I hope Mr McPartland will apologise to anyone who has found this to have added to the difficulties they have had with what is already a serious financial issue."
Robin Parker, leader of the Stevenage branch of the Liberal Democrats, also panned the advert, saying it had used a "bad choice of words".
He said: "On this issue I think it was a bad choice of words and I understand the advert has now been withdrawn. That was the right decision."
A spokesman for Furniture Village said: "This advert is from a past campaign and will not be used again.
"It was one of a series of adverts that involved a play-on words around General Election topics and themes.
"Though no offence was ever intended, on reflection we accept that the wording in this advert was misjudged.
"As an independent, family-run business, we are proud to be both inclusive and nonpolitical, and, as a consequence of this issue, are thoroughly reviewing our advertising processes."
According to the most recent version of the Parliamentary Register of Members' Interests, from March 30, Mr McPartland receives £3,500 a month for his non-executive director role.
The Conservative MP was contacted for comment by the Mercury, but had not responded at the time of going to press.
If they were non political then why say it?

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