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Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said that housing benefit changes that have been introduced today are about "fairness".
In response to criticisms of the so-called 'bedroom tax', he said: "The reality is this is about getting our housing benefit back into order".
"This is about fairness. It's about fairness to those who pay vast sums of money in taxation to see that people living in subsidised accommodation who often don't use the bedrooms they've got, while others in overcrowded accommodation.... they can't get the accommodation they need.
"This is a nonsense problem that was created by the last government who didn't build enough housing and didn't manage the housing stock properly".
Around eighty thousand people in our region could have their benefits cut from today by an average of £13 a week because of welfare changes.
Families in council or housing association accommodation deemed to have too many bedrooms face having their benefits reduced - or moving house. Jon Hill reports.
New rules on housing benefit come into effect today as the Government begins the biggest shake-up in the history of the welfare system.
Daybreak's Sue Jameson reports:
Jan Campbell in Barnsley Town Centre protesting against bedroom tax
Protestors have held a demonstration in Barnsley today against the so called 'bedroom tax'. The policy comes into force next month and will cut benefits for social housing tenants who are considered to be living in homes too big for their needs.
The government says it is to make the system more fair but campaigners are worried it will leave them struggling to make ends meet.
A series of protests are taking place across the country today against plans to cut benefits for social housing tenants who are considered to be living in a house which is too big for their needs.
Under the Government plans, social housing tenants deemed to have a spare bedroom stand to have their housing benefit cut from next month.