Question to the First Minister: Housing Benefit Cuts
Mark Drakeford: Pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi’i wneud o’r camau a gymerir gan awdurdodau lleol yng Nghymru i liniaru ar effaith toriadau mewn budd-daliadau tai hanfodol.
[What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the actions being taken by local authorities in Wales to mitigate the impact of cuts in essential housing benefits.]
Carwyn Jones: We have contacted all local authorities to ascertain what has been undertaken to assess the impacts of welfare reform. Of the 16 that have responded so far, five have undertaken bespoke impact assessments. Clearly, there needs to be a more proactive response from other local authorities in Wales in order to ensure that the most vulnerable people that they have are placed in the best position possible.
Mark Drakeford: The iniquities of the coalition’s policy in relation to housing benefit cuts have been well rehearsed in this Chamber. Will you join me in commending the efforts of Cardiff and other Labour councillors elsewhere in Wales to deploy every flexibility that they are able to assemble so that, for example, foster parents are not forced to give up their vital work for the lack of a bedroom, grandparents are not forced to give up the care of grandchildren that means that parents are able to go to work, and families that are working hard with their local authority or housing association to find affordable accommodation are not forced into smaller and more expensive private sector accommodation because of the dogmatic actions of an inflexible and ideologically-driven administration in London?
Carwyn Jones:The Member makes his points very strongly, and I can only reiterate what he has said. I was struck last week by the delegation that the Prime Minister received from his constituency chairs on the issue of gay marriage. I was struck by the fact that they said that they could not reconcile themselves to gay marriage because of their moral values. Where are their moral values when it comes to taking money away from the most vulnerable? I do not want to hear about moral values from Conservatives; they have got their moral values wrong, and I find it absolutely sickening that there are families that will suffer, grandparents who will suffer, foster carers who will suffer, and young people who will suffer as a result of their warped moral values. We need no lectures from them on that point.