The organisation which represents Wales' 22 local authorities, the Welsh Local Government Association, says councils here have long argued that the UK Government's reform of the housing benefit system will have a disproportionate impact in Wales.
The WLGA says:
- There are 250,000 people in Wales currently getting some form of housing benefit
- The under-occupancy penalty, commonly called the 'bedroom tax', came into force in April 2013 and affects approximately 40,000 tenants in Wales
- That is a higher proportion of households than any other region of the UK
– Councillor David Phillips, WLGA Spokesperson for Welfare Reform
My own council [Swansea], like many in Wales, has been overwhelmed with people seeking help and advice on the bedroom tax, and local councils in Wales have voiced considerable concern over the changes being made to the UK housing benefit system.
What is plainly obvious in most cases is that the bedroom tax reform places some of our most vulnerable residents under severe financial pressure, while offering them no viable way to change or improve their situation.
There are simply not enough smaller properties for people to move to. There remains an acute shortage of 1 and 2 bedroom homes in Wales.