AMs urge the Welsh government to support tenants hit by bedroom tax
- 06 Aug
AMs have said that the Welsh government should be providing more financial help to social housing tenants hit by the bedroom tax.
AMs wants Welsh ministers to follow the lead of the Scottish Government and provide more support to tenants hit by the bedroom tax, reports the BBC.
The Welsh government said it was providing help but could not "plug all the gaps" caused by austerity measures.
A report by the assembly’s public accounts committee has called on the Welsh government to take a more leading role in helping tenants, landlords, local authorities and Charites handling the impact of welfare reform.
Committee chairman Darren Millar said: "Regardless of whether changes to the welfare system are supported by Welsh public bodies or not, they still have a responsibility to adapt to those changes."
However, Labour AM Jenny Rathbone criticised the Tory AM for a "partisan" foreword which failed to "reinforce just how devastating the bedroom tax has been for tenants in Wales".
The report found that the Welsh government had estimated the cost of meeting tenants’ losses through benefit cuts at £22m a year and preferred spending money building smaller houses and supporting advice services. The Scottish government however spent £35m on discretionary housing payments.
Jocelyn Davies, a Plaid Cymru member of the committee, said the Welsh government should look again at the idea, asking: "Might it actually be more cost effective to make up the difference?"
Lib Dem AM Aled Roberts said: "I don't think it's the role of the Welsh government to subsidise UK policy. But we feel a proper examination should have been undertaken of the Scottish system."
A Welsh government spokesman said it would do what it could to protect people from the "devastating impact" of the UK government's welfare reforms, but claimed it would be "impossible to plug all the gaps caused by the sweeping and unnecessary austerity measures".
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