A Welsh housing association responsible for more than 6,000 homes has been criticised for offering a free chocolate egg to tenants who've struggled to make rent payments following changes to their benefits.
You've been sharing your views on this story:
– Sian Jones via email
I would have found this absolutely insulting and patronising considering the 60p cost involved.The costs of meetings to decide this, the logistics of buying, packing and delivering these not to mention wages of those involved must have far outweighed the costs of the egg; I am sure the tenants would have preferred all that money to have been offered as a small discount off future rent - that would have been my choice!
– Tracy on Twitter
Well they do say chocolate makes everything better!! A cream egg definitely makes up for having to pay a tax!
– Anna Gearyon on Twitter
Tenants affected by 'Bedroom Tax' offered a Creme Egg? Not sure this counts as adequate compensation!
A housing association which offered a free Creme Egg to tenants affected by the so-called 'bedroom tax' has defended its offer.
– Valleys to Coast Housing Association
The letter of thanks and small gesture of the Crème Egg is an important recognition to those tenants who have struggled to find additional rent due to the UK government imposed bedroom tax policy. The initiative was supported by tenants on our Welfare Reform working group.
We always need to engage and keep the debate alive and the invitation to attend one of our regular walk-in sessions in Bridgend and pick up a free Crème Egg over Easter was a way of reminding tenants that even during the school holidays staff are available to help with financial advice.
Tenants who have been affected by the so-called 'bedroom tax' have been offered a 60p Creme Egg by their Housing Association as a reward for keeping up with rent payments.
Housing association Valleys to Coast (V2C), based in Bridgend, sent a letter to tenants to thank them for payments.
The letter, signed by Head of Neighbourhoods Nigel Draper, said: "The Bedroom Tax was introduced just over one year ago and Valleys to Coast Housing would like to thank you for your efforts to pay this shortfall.
"As well as thanking you by letter we would also like to offer you as a small thank you by offering a free Crème Egg should you call into the office during the month of April."
Following a protest march in Cardiff calling for an end to the so-called 'bedroom tax', the Department of Work and Pensions say the reforms are 'necessary' in order to restore fairness to the system and make a better use of social housing.
– Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson
Our reforms are necessary to restore fairness to the system and make a better use of social housing.
We are saving the taxpayer £1m a day, but we have given councils £345m since reforms came in last year to support vulnerable groups.
The removal of the spare room subsidy means we still pay the majority of most claimants' rent. But the taxpayer no longer covers the costs of extra bedrooms, so we can free up bigger homes for people forced to live in cramped, overcrowded accommodation.
Protesters are marching through Cardiff as part of a UK-wide day of action calling for an end to the so-called 'bedroom tax'.
Campaign group, Cardiff & South Wales Against the Bedroom Tax will be joined by AMs and MPs as well as members of the clergy on the rally through the city centre.
They say the policy, which was introduced a year ago, is breaking up families and dividing communities.
The Department of Work and Pensions say the removal of the spare room subsidy restores fairness and saves the taxpayer money.
There are warnings tonight that the so-called 'bedroom tax' is causing chaos and confusion, as thousands of people who thought they were liable to pay it are discovering they're not.
Under the rules, anyone who has been in their home since 1996 or before - and has continually claimed housing benefit - does NOT have to pay.
One Cardiff resident told ITV News she was 'outraged' at having to watch people in her community downsize when they didn't have to, as well as the fact that she might now be owed money herself.
The Department for Work and Pensions says it is looking at the issue carefully and will act as necessary.
It is estimated that 5,000 people in Wales who are paying a spare room subsidy could - and should - have been exempt.
Under the rule, anyone who has been in their home since before 1996 and has continually claimed housing benefit does not have to pay the subsidy.
A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions say they are looking at the issue carefully and will take any necessary action.
Nearly 80% of people receiving housing benefit in Wales are falling behind with their rent payments. Figures from Community Housing Cymru show that there aren't enough suitable homes available so that people can downsize. Alexandra Lodge reports.