Labour claim is 'hot air' say bedroom tax couple
A DULAIS Valley couple who were hit by the bedroom tax have called Labour's election pledge to scrap the controversial benefit change "hot air".
John Harris is the full-time carer for his wife Tina, who has a range of disabilities after she suffered a stroke 11 years ago.
Mr Harris sleeps in the spare room of their bungalow in Seven Sisters and earlier this year were faced with the prospect of finding an extra £42 a month after the changes were introduced.
The policy, brought in in April, see families deemed to have too many bedrooms according to specific criteria, space receive a reduced housing benefit payment.
Mr Harris said he was wary of any pre election promises made by any of the parties.
"At the moment we will reserve judgement on it because it could be a lot of hot air," Mr Harris said.
"When there is an election in 20 months time, it means nothing, all sorts of things can happen by then.
"Look at the Conservatives before the last election, they made promises which they didn't follow up on.
"Look at how many families have been affected by the bedroom tax in Wales."
Labour leader Ed Miliband's pledge to scrap the policy has been welcomed by Meanwhile Swansea East MP Sian James.
Mr Harris added that while he and his wife were eventually recipients of discretionary housing benefit from Neath Port Talbot Council to help them with the change, they were already concerned about applying again for it next year.
"We were one of the lucky ones, we applied for discretionary housing benefit — for this year we are okay," he said.
"But we will have to apply again in March for next year and that is a real worry. "My wife has just spent three weeks in Morriston Hospital, they found she was suffering with chest abscesses.
He added: "It (the reform) causes panic for people."