YOUR AM WRITES: South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle

First published in Gwent news
Last updated
South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

IN JUST over a month thousands of people who live in Gwent and receive housing benefit will be worse off.

Changes to the system brought in by the UK coalition government will mean that those individuals or families who are judged to have too many bedrooms in their homes for their needs will have money taken off them.

Under the scheme, one bedroom is allowed for each adult couple and one for two children of the same sex under 16, two children aged under ten and any other child.

Anyone ‘under-occupying’ their home by one bedroom will see their benefit reduced by 14 per cent which, on a £90 weekly rent, would be £12.60 A WEEK. It rises to 25 per cent or £23.75 A WEEK if a tenant has two or more extra bedrooms.

This is a significant amount of money taken away from needy people each week.

The only alternative people have is to move out of the home they have lived in – perhaps all their lives – to a smaller property if they can find one suitable and in the right location for their needs.

Most of the people affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ are in employment and it will not just affect those in large houses.

Foster parents who keep a spare bedroom for children will be regarded as ‘under-occupying’.

And even parents of children in university who keep their rooms for them will be regarded as ‘under-occupying’.

I have huge sympathy for people affected as someone brought up in a council house in Caerphilly County Borough.

Plaid Cymru is pushing for the Welsh Government to develop an alternative social protection plan for Wales.

● I was disturbed to read that the future of Newport’s medieval ship is uncertain.

I know, as a former local authority leader, how difficult it is to juggle spending when things are tight, as they are now.

But we must recognise our history and protect it for future generations.

Newport council is the custodian of the city and needs to bear that in mind when deciding on the future of the medieval ship.

All towns or cities need something a bit different to act as a catalyst for attracting visitors. And the medieval ship is just that.

We cannot get to a situation where the painstaking restoration ends up being wasted.

The ship must remain in Newport and in public ownership.

Comments (8)

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9:58pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Sometimes says...

Dear Mr Whittle, the Welsh Assembly was brought about by the smallest of margins in the referendum, when will the next one be held so the people of wales can decide whether they still want it?

You need to get your priorities right, newport council is currently closing care homes and stopping services for the elderly, these people who have already paid their way need to be looked after more than some rotting wood.
Dear Mr Whittle, the Welsh Assembly was brought about by the smallest of margins in the referendum, when will the next one be held so the people of wales can decide whether they still want it? You need to get your priorities right, newport council is currently closing care homes and stopping services for the elderly, these people who have already paid their way need to be looked after more than some rotting wood. Sometimes
  • Score: 0

10:27pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Llanmartinangel says...

Dear Mr Whittle. What do you say to people with mortgages who have worked to buy a house and can no longer afford it? Should they have to move? Why should only people on benefit be allowed to keep their homes? Does anyone represent strivers any more?
Dear Mr Whittle. What do you say to people with mortgages who have worked to buy a house and can no longer afford it? Should they have to move? Why should only people on benefit be allowed to keep their homes? Does anyone represent strivers any more? Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 0

10:44pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Mwy Eira says...

Social housing is exactly that. It is to provide roofs over people's heads that 'need' help. A family with two adults cohabiting and two children of the same sex only need two bedrooms. More is a luxury that this country cannot afford. If a family is deemed to have an extra room then they must either bear the cost themselves and pay for the luxury of the extra space or rent the room out. Simple as. My parents didn't keep me a room after I went off to uni as they moved not long after I left for uni for a new job and they couldn't afford a property with the extra room. It is wonderful that things have moved on from the Victorian era of poor parents sharing a bedroom with their children but it is gone too far the other way. A re-look at those with disabilities is needed though.
Social housing is exactly that. It is to provide roofs over people's heads that 'need' help. A family with two adults cohabiting and two children of the same sex only need two bedrooms. More is a luxury that this country cannot afford. If a family is deemed to have an extra room then they must either bear the cost themselves and pay for the luxury of the extra space or rent the room out. Simple as. My parents didn't keep me a room after I went off to uni as they moved not long after I left for uni for a new job and they couldn't afford a property with the extra room. It is wonderful that things have moved on from the Victorian era of poor parents sharing a bedroom with their children but it is gone too far the other way. A re-look at those with disabilities is needed though. Mwy Eira
  • Score: 0

3:38am Wed 27 Feb 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

"Under the scheme, one bedroom is allowed for each adult couple and one for two children of the same sex under 16, two children aged under ten and any other child.

Anyone ‘under-occupying
their home..."

Hmm...for one thing this scheme is extremely ill thought out because there are instances where two children may be classed legally of the same 'biological' sex but are of different genders. Supposing, for instance, that one of those children is transgendered?

Moreover, isn't it ridiculously ironic that 'our' bloated, six-digit salary, nodding dog MPs - most of whom, themselves, have so notoriously been found out so recently for fiddling their expenses to enable them to own several luxurious homes - are so suddenly the very ones who take it upon themselves to so vigorously penalise some of the other-end poorest, already marginalised sectors of society for having the 'outrageous temerity' to dwell in properties that typically contain extra box-rooms of bedrooms literally no larger than a closet?!
"Under the scheme, one bedroom is allowed for each adult couple and one for two children of the same sex under 16, two children aged under ten and any other child. Anyone ‘under-occupying their home..." Hmm...for one thing this scheme is extremely ill thought out because there are instances where two children may be classed legally of the same 'biological' sex but are of different genders. Supposing, for instance, that one of those children is transgendered? Moreover, isn't it ridiculously ironic that 'our' bloated, six-digit salary, nodding dog MPs - most of whom, themselves, have so notoriously been found out so recently for fiddling their expenses to enable them to own several luxurious homes - are so suddenly the very ones who take it upon themselves to so vigorously penalise some of the other-end poorest, already marginalised sectors of society for having the 'outrageous temerity' to dwell in properties that typically contain extra box-rooms of bedrooms literally no larger than a closet?! Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 0

11:53am Wed 27 Feb 13

Cwmderi says...

Llanmartinangel wrote:
Dear Mr Whittle. What do you say to people with mortgages who have worked to buy a house and can no longer afford it? Should they have to move? Why should only people on benefit be allowed to keep their homes? Does anyone represent strivers any more?
Llanmartin(Angel????
)
It has already been explained that most of the families that would be penalised by this latest Con/Lib attack on the poorest in our society are actually working families but on low pay, So please try to refrain from repeating the right wing propagnda that all those who will be affected are unemplyed scroungers. when in fact the opposite is true.
Hard working low paid households are being hounded whilst the millionaire tax dodgers contiue to get away with their scams
"Strivers". Those striving hardest to make ends meet are those on low incomes
[quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: Dear Mr Whittle. What do you say to people with mortgages who have worked to buy a house and can no longer afford it? Should they have to move? Why should only people on benefit be allowed to keep their homes? Does anyone represent strivers any more?[/p][/quote]Llanmartin(Angel???? ) It has already been explained that most of the families that would be penalised by this latest Con/Lib attack on the poorest in our society are actually working families but on low pay, So please try to refrain from repeating the right wing propagnda that all those who will be affected are unemplyed scroungers. when in fact the opposite is true. Hard working low paid households are being hounded whilst the millionaire tax dodgers contiue to get away with their scams "Strivers". Those striving hardest to make ends meet are those on low incomes Cwmderi
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Wed 27 Feb 13

dragonlady1 says...

Mwy Eira wrote:
Social housing is exactly that. It is to provide roofs over people's heads that 'need' help. A family with two adults cohabiting and two children of the same sex only need two bedrooms. More is a luxury that this country cannot afford. If a family is deemed to have an extra room then they must either bear the cost themselves and pay for the luxury of the extra space or rent the room out. Simple as. My parents didn't keep me a room after I went off to uni as they moved not long after I left for uni for a new job and they couldn't afford a property with the extra room. It is wonderful that things have moved on from the Victorian era of poor parents sharing a bedroom with their children but it is gone too far the other way. A re-look at those with disabilities is needed though.
Can these people please tell us where the smaller houses are and who is going to help people downsize, it seems me as there is a catch 22, can't afford the 'bedroom tax' and can't afford to move.

There is also the other side what is the government going to do when the houses are no longer look after because people don't see the point when they have to move every few years.
[quote][p][bold]Mwy Eira[/bold] wrote: Social housing is exactly that. It is to provide roofs over people's heads that 'need' help. A family with two adults cohabiting and two children of the same sex only need two bedrooms. More is a luxury that this country cannot afford. If a family is deemed to have an extra room then they must either bear the cost themselves and pay for the luxury of the extra space or rent the room out. Simple as. My parents didn't keep me a room after I went off to uni as they moved not long after I left for uni for a new job and they couldn't afford a property with the extra room. It is wonderful that things have moved on from the Victorian era of poor parents sharing a bedroom with their children but it is gone too far the other way. A re-look at those with disabilities is needed though.[/p][/quote]Can these people please tell us where the smaller houses are and who is going to help people downsize, it seems me as there is a catch 22, can't afford the 'bedroom tax' and can't afford to move. There is also the other side what is the government going to do when the houses are no longer look after because people don't see the point when they have to move every few years. dragonlady1
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Llanmartinangel says...

Cwmderi wrote:
Llanmartinangel wrote:
Dear Mr Whittle. What do you say to people with mortgages who have worked to buy a house and can no longer afford it? Should they have to move? Why should only people on benefit be allowed to keep their homes? Does anyone represent strivers any more?
Llanmartin(Angel????

)
It has already been explained that most of the families that would be penalised by this latest Con/Lib attack on the poorest in our society are actually working families but on low pay, So please try to refrain from repeating the right wing propagnda that all those who will be affected are unemplyed scroungers. when in fact the opposite is true.
Hard working low paid households are being hounded whilst the millionaire tax dodgers contiue to get away with their scams
"Strivers". Those striving hardest to make ends meet are those on low incomes
You didn't answer my question. If its desirable for people in social housing not to have to move why is it ok if they own the house?
[quote][p][bold]Cwmderi[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: Dear Mr Whittle. What do you say to people with mortgages who have worked to buy a house and can no longer afford it? Should they have to move? Why should only people on benefit be allowed to keep their homes? Does anyone represent strivers any more?[/p][/quote]Llanmartin(Angel???? ) It has already been explained that most of the families that would be penalised by this latest Con/Lib attack on the poorest in our society are actually working families but on low pay, So please try to refrain from repeating the right wing propagnda that all those who will be affected are unemplyed scroungers. when in fact the opposite is true. Hard working low paid households are being hounded whilst the millionaire tax dodgers contiue to get away with their scams "Strivers". Those striving hardest to make ends meet are those on low incomes[/p][/quote]You didn't answer my question. If its desirable for people in social housing not to have to move why is it ok if they own the house? Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Kevin67 says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
"Under the scheme, one bedroom is allowed for each adult couple and one for two children of the same sex under 16, two children aged under ten and any other child.

Anyone ‘under-occupying

� their home..."

Hmm...for one thing this scheme is extremely ill thought out because there are instances where two children may be classed legally of the same 'biological' sex but are of different genders. Supposing, for instance, that one of those children is transgendered?

Moreover, isn't it ridiculously ironic that 'our' bloated, six-digit salary, nodding dog MPs - most of whom, themselves, have so notoriously been found out so recently for fiddling their expenses to enable them to own several luxurious homes - are so suddenly the very ones who take it upon themselves to so vigorously penalise some of the other-end poorest, already marginalised sectors of society for having the 'outrageous temerity' to dwell in properties that typically contain extra box-rooms of bedrooms literally no larger than a closet?!
Katie Re-Registered - 'Hmm...for one thing this scheme is extremely ill thought out because there are instances where two children may be classed legally of the same 'biological' sex but are of different genders. Supposing, for instance, that one of those children is transgendered?'

One of the most ridiculous things I've heard in a long time.
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: "Under the scheme, one bedroom is allowed for each adult couple and one for two children of the same sex under 16, two children aged under ten and any other child. Anyone ‘under-occupying � � their home..." Hmm...for one thing this scheme is extremely ill thought out because there are instances where two children may be classed legally of the same 'biological' sex but are of different genders. Supposing, for instance, that one of those children is transgendered? Moreover, isn't it ridiculously ironic that 'our' bloated, six-digit salary, nodding dog MPs - most of whom, themselves, have so notoriously been found out so recently for fiddling their expenses to enable them to own several luxurious homes - are so suddenly the very ones who take it upon themselves to so vigorously penalise some of the other-end poorest, already marginalised sectors of society for having the 'outrageous temerity' to dwell in properties that typically contain extra box-rooms of bedrooms literally no larger than a closet?![/p][/quote]Katie Re-Registered - 'Hmm...for one thing this scheme is extremely ill thought out because there are instances where two children may be classed legally of the same 'biological' sex but are of different genders. Supposing, for instance, that one of those children is transgendered?' One of the most ridiculous things I've heard in a long time. Kevin67
  • Score: 0

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