MORE than 200 people have signed a petition calling for the so-called bedroom tax to be scrapped after a day of campaigning by Bolton West MP Julie Hilling.

Ms Hilling and her supporters collected 239 signatures as she campaigned in her constituency on “Cost of Cameron Day”.

The under-occupancy charge was introduced last April and means that people with a spare bedroom in their council or social housing home lose out on some of their housing benefit.

Since its introduction, thousands of Bolton residents have been affected with a campaign group, Bolton Against The Bedroom Tax, set up to fight the policy.

Ms Hilling said she plans to continue her campaign and collect more signatures, before presenting it in Parliament.

She said: “About 110,000 people in the North West have been forced to pay the bedroom tax, with the average claimant losing £728 per year.

“Chatting to residents, it’s clear they are suffering as a result of this mean and unfair policy.

“Vulnerable people in Bolton are already being squeezed financially, due to the cost of living crisis, and the number of food banks is increasing nationwide month by month.

“There are so many disabled residents here in Bolton West who have been forced to pay the bedroom tax. Spare rooms for disabled people are not a luxury, but a vital addition in allowing them to lead a normal life.”

Nationally the Labour Party has vowed that, if they win the next general election, they will scrap the charge.

In an interview with The Bolton News last week, Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith said the Government was committed to continuing the policy in a bid to find homes for the millions of people currently on a waiting list for social housing.