WALES has been hit harder by changes in housing benefit known as the bedroom tax than other parts of the UK.

A group of MPs said there is a shortage of one and two bedroom homes in Wales to re-house people hit by cuts to their benefit according to how many spare rooms they have.

A report from the Welsh Home Affairs Select Committee said if councils are struggling to find alternative smaller accommodation the UK Government should review the policy fast.

More than 9,000 people are thought to be affected by the bedroom tax in Gwent.

According to the report, the government's policy under-occupancy policy "affects proportionally more housing benefit claimants in Wales than elsewhere in Great Britain."

Committee chairman David Davies, the MP for Monmouth, said the policy’s aims were laudable but the committee was struck by the situation in Wales "where there seems to be a shortage of one and two bedroom accommodation for people who will be affected to move into to avoid under-occupancy. "

“The Government needs to ensure that this is workable," he said.

He added that some provision under the new Universal Credit system should be made for benefits to be paid directly to landlords.

The committee warned that Universal Credit, which would see housing benefit paid direct to the tenant, could see some unable to make their rent payments and falling into debt.

However the committee divided along party lines over a call for direct rent controls in the private sector in an effort to control housing benefit increases.

Tory members voted against the paragraph in the report.