New figures released today show an explosion in rent arrears across Wales following the introduction of the Tory-led UK Government’s controversial Bedroom Tax.
A survey of twenty-two Housing Associations across Wales by Newport East MP Jessica Morden has revealed that many tenants who have previously kept up with rental payments have now fallen into arrears.
The Wales-wide survey conducted between July and October uncovered an average of 51% of these tenants falling into arrears since the widely criticised tax came into effect in April this year.
The extent of these arrears means that Housing Associations are already being hit with an additional £750,000 of rent arrears which on current trends is tipped to hit £1 million by the end of the year.
Labour MP for Newport East Jessica Morden said:
“These figures make for horrifying reading, and show that the Bedroom Tax is forcing people into a spiral of debt and arrears not only in my constituency of Newport East but across the country. This is not a local problem or a statistical one-off, it is a nationwide scandal.
“People across Wales are struggling with the cost of living crisis that the Tories’ failed economic policies have created. The people affected were just managing to keep their heads above water, now the Tory Bedroom Tax is pushing them over the edge.
“It beggars belief that this pernicious tax is responsible for plunging an average of over half of people with a previously good record of rent payment into arrears. In some areas, the figure is as high as 75%.
“This terrible tax will see homelessness soar, and weaken the financial ability of housing associations to reinvest in upgrading their houses and building new homes. Even worse, there will be a drop in the capital to build the smaller properties needed as a result of the Bedroom Tax.
“While Tories argue that those affected would be able to find the extra money, these figures starkly show just how out of touch they are.”