Factcheck: Minister caught out wrongly denying that Wales is hardest hit by Bedroom Tax

9th October 2013

Labour has accused Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb of wrongly denying that Wales has been harder hit by the Bedroom Tax than anywhere else. 

In Welsh Questions in the House of Commons today, Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP responded to a question by Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Owen Smith.

The Minister denied that Wales had been harder hit, however the Department for Work and Pensions Impact Assessment for the policy shows that 46% of Welsh social tenants who receive housing benefit are affected, higher than any other region, and significantly higher than the Great Britain average of 31% (see notes).

Owen Smith MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Wales said:

“The complacent and inaccurate response of Stephen Crabb when challenged about the Bedroom Tax is typical of this out-of-touch Tory Government. He claims that Wales hasn’t been harder hit than the rest of Britain when his own Government’s impact assessment clearly shows this to be the case.

“This policy is devastating communities across Wales as people are forced to choose between paying their rent, putting food on the table or heating their homes. Rent arrears are spiralling yet there simply aren’t the smaller properties available for people to move to.

“Instead of defending the Bedroom Tax in the face of opposition across Wales, Stephen Crabb should be urging his boss David Cameron to follow Ed Miliband’s lead and pledge to scrap it immediately.”