Torfaen one of worst hit in Wales by bedroom tax

Torfaen one of worst hit in Wales by bedroom tax

Cwmbran tenant Kevin Reeve is being forced out of his three befroomed house owing to the bedroom tax. He cared for his wheel chaired father until the end of last year before he passed away. Pictured is Kevin outside his home in Cwmbran. (4922948)

Cwmbran tenant Kevin Reeve is being forced out of his three befroomed house owing to the bedroom tax. He cared for his wheel chaired father until the end of last year before he passed away. Pictured is Kevin outside his home in Cwmbran. (4922964)

Cwmbran tenant Kevin Reeve is being forced out of his three befroomed house owing to the bedroom tax. He cared for his wheel chaired father until the end of last year before he passed away. Pictured is Kevin outside his home in Cwmbran. (4922919)

First published in News by

AROUND 1,700 housing benefit claimants in Torfaen are almost £700 worse off as a direct result of the controversial bedroom tax, according to a Welsh Government report.

It makes the borough among the areas worst affected by the tax in the country, according to the report which analysed the impact of UK welfare reforms in Wales.

People on housing benefit in Torfaen felt the full force of the reforms having lost £691 a year on average because of the levy launched last year.

Torfaen Cabinet member for community safety, Cllr David Daniels, said yesterday some of his constituents had to turn to food banks and even got into debt as a result of the introduction of the bedroom tax.

The Labour councillor said: “It’s clear that the welfare reforms have had a significant impact on vulnerable people in Torfaen.

“We’re seeing struggling families and individuals forced to cut back on everyday essentials such as food or energy just to make up the shortfall left by an ever-contracting welfare system.”

Croesyceiliog resident Kevin Reeve told the Argus he was being forced to move out of a rented house he has lived in with his family for about five decades.

Mr Reeve, 52, of Bryn Eglwys, Croesyceiliog, said : “I think it’s terrible. They penalise people who can’t afford to pay. That’s why I decided to move out.”

Torfaen’s biggest social landlord, Bron Afon, indicated that residents affected by the bedroom tax had found it difficult to downsize to due to the relative shortage of small properties.

Chief executive Duncan Forbes said: “It has been clear since the bedroom tax was introduced it has had little impact on the government’s aim to encourage people who are deemed to have a spare bedroom to move.

“In Torfaen, one issue is the number of one-bedroom homes which means it is very difficult for people to downsize due to so few of that size becoming available.”

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesman said: “The removal of the spare room subsidy is a necessary reform to restore fairness to the system and make better use of social housing stock.”

Comments (7)

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9:08pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Dave on his Soapbox says...

....if there's not enough small properties with less bedrooms......why not board up the window and doorway to the 'spare room'....this makes it un-useable....and no longer a room....but a larger void in the property....
....if there's not enough small properties with less bedrooms......why not board up the window and doorway to the 'spare room'....this makes it un-useable....and no longer a room....but a larger void in the property.... Dave on his Soapbox
  • Score: -5

7:55am Fri 29 Aug 14

Evil Flanker says...

What angers me is the effect this has on the ability of single fathers to have continued access to see their children.
What angers me is the effect this has on the ability of single fathers to have continued access to see their children. Evil Flanker
  • Score: -2

11:21am Fri 29 Aug 14

Magor says...

If Labour had not got the country in so much debt then we would not be facing all these cuts.It was Labour who gave the Banks a free hand,stole from private pensions and spent billions on wars.Cllr Daniels needs to look at the bigger picture.
If Labour had not got the country in so much debt then we would not be facing all these cuts.It was Labour who gave the Banks a free hand,stole from private pensions and spent billions on wars.Cllr Daniels needs to look at the bigger picture. Magor
  • Score: 4

11:33am Fri 29 Aug 14

varteg1 says...

Let me see some logic in this... If a person currently lives in a very small house, but is technically overcrowded, will the government give him extra benefit?
Let me see some logic in this... If a person currently lives in a very small house, but is technically overcrowded, will the government give him extra benefit? varteg1
  • Score: -2

11:46am Fri 29 Aug 14

varteg1 says...

Magor wrote:
If Labour had not got the country in so much debt then we would not be facing all these cuts.It was Labour who gave the Banks a free hand,stole from private pensions and spent billions on wars.Cllr Daniels needs to look at the bigger picture.
It was not Labour that gave the banks free hand, that was down to the previous government under Thatcher, she following her cross Pond buddy Reagan, deregulated the banking system effectively removing the controls set up after the stock market crash in the 20's.

Where labour failed was in not reversing her actions. just as they failed to regain the ownership of OUR property she sold off to her pals in the City.

Billions were lost to the taxpayer , so don't be so simplistic by attacking Labour, You have your vote, which I am sure you used to help put Labour in to opposition, your commentary is typically of the bullying school yard tactics of the right wing, kick a defeated enemy when he is down, it reinforces your feeling of self righteousness, but that said, your coalition have not done much to put things right has it, we are even deeper into debt, a doubled debt on that of labour, in only four years, a debt that was under some small degree of control as shown by the improving economy in 2010, and despite the much vaunted attack on immigration, today that also is getting worse.
If you start criticising Labour, expect a left wing reactive commentary.
[quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: If Labour had not got the country in so much debt then we would not be facing all these cuts.It was Labour who gave the Banks a free hand,stole from private pensions and spent billions on wars.Cllr Daniels needs to look at the bigger picture.[/p][/quote]It was not Labour that gave the banks free hand, that was down to the previous government under Thatcher, she following her cross Pond buddy Reagan, deregulated the banking system effectively removing the controls set up after the stock market crash in the 20's. Where labour failed was in not reversing her actions. just as they failed to regain the ownership of OUR property she sold off to her pals in the City. Billions were lost to the taxpayer , so don't be so simplistic by attacking Labour, You have your vote, which I am sure you used to help put Labour in to opposition, your commentary is typically of the bullying school yard tactics of the right wing, kick a defeated enemy when he is down, it reinforces your feeling of self righteousness, but that said, your coalition have not done much to put things right has it, we are even deeper into debt, a doubled debt on that of labour, in only four years, a debt that was under some small degree of control as shown by the improving economy in 2010, and despite the much vaunted attack on immigration, today that also is getting worse. If you start criticising Labour, expect a left wing reactive commentary. varteg1
  • Score: -1

1:01pm Fri 29 Aug 14

JanJenkins says...

Evil Flanker wrote:
What angers me is the effect this has on the ability of single fathers to have continued access to see their children.
My son has the same problem, especially when the SS decided his 10 yr old daughter and 8 yr old son are supposed to have to have separate bedrooms, (it hasn't happened,) He has them every weekend and all the school holidays, He already has to pay £160 a month shortfall in housing benefit for the one spare bedroom that they do have. in a two up two down.
[quote][p][bold]Evil Flanker[/bold] wrote: What angers me is the effect this has on the ability of single fathers to have continued access to see their children.[/p][/quote]My son has the same problem, especially when the SS decided his 10 yr old daughter and 8 yr old son are supposed to have to have separate bedrooms, (it hasn't happened,) He has them every weekend and all the school holidays, He already has to pay £160 a month shortfall in housing benefit for the one spare bedroom that they do have. in a two up two down. JanJenkins
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Jack Land says...

It's NOT a tax. It's a removal of benefit to which the claimant is not entitled.
It's NOT a tax. It's a removal of benefit to which the claimant is not entitled. Jack Land
  • Score: 1

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