‘Labour’s plans would punish you just because you live in Wales’- Jenny Willott MP

April 2, 2013 3:59 PM

Labour's plans for regionalised benefits would have a disastrous effect on Wales, according to Jenny Willott MP, Assistant Whip in the Coalition Government.

In the latest edition of Inside Housing magazine, Liam Byrne MP, the Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, has argued that there is a strong case for there to be a regionalised housing benefit cap in different parts of the country. Speaking on the issue, Liam Byrne confirmed that Labour supported a housing benefit cap, but added that "we do know it has to be different in London than outside. We have had regionalised housing benefit since day one so it makes sense to have different benefit caps in different parts of the country".

Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central, commented:

"There is no other way to say this - Labour's plans would punish people just because they live in Wales.

"Labour's record on penalising those in Wales is nothing short of disgraceful. Let us never forget that it was the last Labour Government that introduced regional pay into the public sector. Now Labour is intent on introducing a regional benefits system, which would hit the poorest in Wales.

"The Welsh Labour Government seem to be in denial about the effect of Labour policy on Wales. They failed to stop the previous Labour Government introducing regional pay in the public sector and now they are putting their heads in the sand about regional benefits. The Shadow Secretary for Wales has been remarkably quiet on the issue - it's now time for him to clarify whether he supports his party's policy on this issue. If not, he should make a stand and say so.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats helped stop George Osborne's plans for extending regional pay and we have made clear that regional benefits will not happen on our watch. We are focusing on making sure that work pays. That is why from April over 100,000 of the lowest paid workers will no longer pay a single penny of income tax and over a million Welsh workers on low and middle incomes will receive a £600 income tax cut. Only the Welsh Liberal Democrats can be trusted to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling every person to get on in life."

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