PRESS RELEASE. DATGANIAD I’R WASG.
Tuesday 26 February 2013. For immediate release.
PLAID JOINT DEBATE PUTS PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT TO ABOLISH BEDROOM TAX
TOXIC POLICY IS WRONG ‘BOTH IN PRINCIPLE AND IN PRACTICE’
A joint debate by Plaid Cymru, the SNP and the Green Party will be held in Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday) in which Members from all three parties will call upon the Government to abolish its unjust and unworkable housing under-occupancy penalty – commonly known as the “bedroom tax.”
Plaid Cymru’s Hywel Williams MP, who will lead for the party in the debate, will argue that this toxic policy is set to impact on some of the most vulnerable people in society – including pensioners, people will disabilities, separated families and families of service personnel – by penalising those who are in receipt of housing benefit while having one or more spare bedrooms in the household.
The Department for Work and Pensions’ own figures show that 63% of the 660,000 claimants affected by the bedroom tax or their partners are disabled.
Mr Williams has grave concerns over the mismatch between the available social housing stock and the needs of tenants, and the fact that this will disproportionately hit some parts of the UK such as rural Wales.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Williams said:
“There is growing public anger at the introduction of the bedroom tax. Plaid Cymru and the SNP are determined to put pressure on the Government to abolish this unjust and unworkable proposal.
“This is a politically-directed exercise to save money at the expense of some of society’s most vulnerable people, and one that will lead to a far more costly legacy in the long-term.
“It seeks to force 400,000 disabled people and their partners out of their homes and is wrong both in principle and in practice. The absence of flexibility in the housing market in rural and inner city areas means that people will be unable to move through no fault of their own.
“As with most cuts imposed by Westminster, Wales is set to suffer disproportionately due to our high number of housing benefit and DLA (Disability Living Allowance) recipients.
“Tomorrow’s debate will aim to wake the Coalition from its complacency and to hammer home the devastating impact its welfare reform proposals will have on families already facing choices between paying their bills and putting food on the table.
“This is a personal test for the Prime Minister and his alleged caring Conservatism. It is also a test for those Liberal Democrats who know this is wrong but have until now compromised their principles to stay in power.”
Elin Angharad Roberts
Swyddog y Wasg a Chyfathrebu / Press and Communications Officer
M: 07738 182 864