Rt Hon Danny Alexander MPHM Treasury
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Horse Guards Road
The Welsh Tenants Federation represents thousands of tenants and leaseholders in Wales. We have travelled the length and breadth of Wales to discuss these reforms with members and supporters. The bedroom tax is the most hurtful of the reforms to them, as these penalties are employed as a direct result of accepted allocation policies and practice. We have suggested our own response to the under-occupation issue see http://www.welshtenantsfed.org.uk/information/?did=62
As you know, the Lords voted for a second time to limit the impact of the bedroom tax. Peers backed a much more modest proposal to the one that came back to the Commons last time by way of compromise. Although we reject the proposal outright, the proposal presented by the peers seeks to protect certain vulnerable people from the bedroom tax including those with disabilities, war widows and people unable to work, and only if they turn down a suitable smaller flat.
This proposal represents a tiny fraction of the money lost yearly through administrative error in the benefit system. Yet, while the financial cost of the proposal is small, the social impact of ignoring it will be devastating.
The bedroom tax is now the last issue of disagreement between the Lords and the Commons and on Tuesday you have the opportunity to mitigate its worst impact. We know that many Liberal Democratshave spoken out against this. As their voice in the Treasury you have the power to protect the most vulnerable from the bedroom tax.