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DWP: Reforms are 'necessary' to restore fairness

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.

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.

– Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson

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Protesters call for an end to 'bedroom tax'

The spare room subsidy was introduced one year ago. Credit: PA

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.

Resident speaks of outrage at 'bedroom tax' confusion

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.

Thousands may be exempt from paying 'bedroom tax'

Anyone who has been in their home since before 1996 does not have to pay the subsidy. Credit: PA

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.

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80% of people falling behind on rent payments

It's thought the tax has left 800 homes sitting empty. Credit: PA

Nearly 80 per cent of people receiving housing benefit are falling behind their rent payments and 800 homes are sitting empty because of the controversial under occupancy rate.

The figures released by Community Housing Cymru show only 3% of people affected by the tax have been able to downsize.

The housing group are blaming the figures on a lack of one and two bedroom affordable housing in Wales.

The UK Government has previously said the removal of the spare room subsidy is needed to return fairness to housing benefit.

DWP: Removal of bedroom tax is a 'necessary reform'

Protesters are due to march in Cardiff today against the so-called 'bedroom tax'.

The Department of Work and Pensions say the removal of the bedroom tax is a "necessary reform" and that it has made money available to help local authorities in Wales "support vulnerable people".

The removal of the spare room subsidy is a necessary reform to return fairness to housing benefit. Even after the reform we pay over 80% of most claimants' housing benefit - but the taxpayer can no longer afford to pay for people to live in properties larger than they need. It is right that people contribute to these costs, just as private renters do.

To help with the transition we have made £6.2m available to Welsh councils to support vulnerable people, with an additional £880,000 available to help those in rural parts of Wales.

– Department for Work and Pensions Spokesperson
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