The UK Government's plans for dealing with the impact of the so-called 'bedroom tax' are "not based on any rational assessment of need", according to a report out this morning. MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have been looking at what ministers say is the ending of a 'spare room subsidy'.
The discretionary payments could help people who lose benefits as a result of the rule change if they cannot move to a smaller house, for example if their home is adapted to help cope with a disability. In Wales, the former Housing Minister, Huw Lewis, wanted control of the payments devolved.
Mr Lewis also promised a fund of £750,000 to mitigate the impact of welfare reform in Wales. He was speaking on the day of the cabinet reshuffle, when Carl Sargeant became the new Housing Minister. The extra money was welcomed by Community Housing Cymru, which represents social landlords.
Community Housing Cymru is calling for 8,000 affordable houses to be built by 2015. The charity, which represents not-for-profit housing associations in Wales, wants the 6,500 target set by the Labour-Plaid Cymru One Wales coalition government last year to be increased.
Group Chief Executive, Nick Bennett, said: "We believe the sector has produced around 2,000 new additional houses this year but we will be falling off a cliff unless we can sustain investment over the next three years...We need a new target and additional resources going forward."