Sinn Féin Social Development Spokesperson, Alex Maskey MLA has welcomed comments by Lib/Dems President, Tim Farron, that his party is withdrawing support for the bedroom tax. Mr Farron said support is being withdrawn on the grounds that it is causing severe hardship for disabled people and "causes huge social problems and distorts the market".
Alex Maskey said:
“These comments from the Lib/Dems President reflect what Sinn Féin has been pointing out ever since this ill-conceived tax was first mooted.
“His comments follow a critical report by the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee published today. The Report stated that the bedroom tax "is having an impact especially on those living in adapted accommodation, or who need an extra room as a result of their disability and who are unlikely to be able to move house or enter work".
“Present housing benefit levels mean that tenants forced to move from social to private housing could only afford substandard accommodation at a time when private sector landlords are increasingly reluctant to rent to tenants on Housing Benefit.
“It’s time DUP Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland woke up to the reality that not only the bedroom tax but many more aspects of the Welfare Reform Bill which his Party is embracing will have devastating consequences for thousands of vulnerable people in our society.
“The DUP should listen to Tim Farron, read the Work and Pensions Committee Report and join the rest of us in opposing this Bill in its present form. Together we can force change!"