Labour AMs renew calls to scrap the Bedroom Tax

Labour AMs have united to call for the Bedroom Tax to be scrapped, on the policy’s first anniversary.

AMs have signed a statement of opinion raised by the Group’s Chair, Ann Jones AM.

Ms Jones said: “The Bedroom Tax is one year old and the policy remains as ill-judged, spiteful and punitive as it was when it was introduced.

“40,000 people in Wales will be hit by this pernicious policy and two-thirds of them are disabled. We remain strongly opposed to this policy which will see more empty homes, more costly crisis interventions by councils to support those affected and more people homeless.

“Welsh Labour has always opposed this blatant and unwarranted attack on some of the most vulnerable in society. If the Tory-led UK Government refuses to listen to reason, the next UK Labour Government will scrap this dreadful policy and we welcome that pledge”.

The Bedroom Tax will restrict housing benefit to allow for one bedroom for each person or couple living as part of the household:

The cut is a fixed percentage of the Housing Benefit eligible rent. The Government has said that this will be set at 14% for one extra bedroom and 25% for two or more extra bedrooms.
The Government’s impact assessment shows that those affected with one spare room will lose an average of £14 a week. Housing association tenants are expected to lose £16 a week on average. Those with two ’spare’ rooms are expected to lose £25 a week.
For the vast majority of those affected, there is nowhere smaller to move to, hitting vulnerable people through no fault of their own. The average family will lose £720 a year.
The Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation has described the policy as “an unfair, ill-planned disaster that is hurting our poorest families.”