Hain demands further changes to the Government’s ‘brutal’ Housing Benefit reforms

Peter Hain has called upon Iain Duncan Smith to further reconsider the planned Housing Benefit reforms due to take effect next month.

The MP for Neath has reacted strongly to the announcement from the Department of Work and Pensions that parents of armed service personnel no longer stand to be penalised by the Government’s ‘Bedroom Tax’ whilst their children defend our country abroad.

According to the ministerial statement issued by the Secretary of Work and Pensions yesterday, the amendment will apply to those living in both social and private rented housing.

Furthermore, those who have registered to become foster carers or have fostered a child within the past twelve months will now also be made exempt.

Mr Hain comments, ‘That the Government ever even considered penalising those who help make such a positive contribution to our society is an utter disgrace. Although this u-turn is a step in the right direction, the ‘Bedroom Tax’ remains a matter of deep concern for many of my most vulnerable constituents, including those with disabilities or on a low-income.’

Latest figures show that approximately 1256 people in Neath will lose out due to the Bedroom Tax- many of whom will already be facing further hardship, confronted with severe cuts to their benefits and welfare against a backdrop of a flat-lining economy.

Mr Hain continues, ‘I only hope that this turnaround by Iain Duncan Smith indicates that he is at last waking up to the misery and distress that his ill thought-out scheme is causing people throughout our communities.’