A Tory Minister was set straight by angry bedroom tax victims yesterday. Wales Secretary, David Jones was challenged to meet a group affected by the callous tax who were waiting in the public gallery. Labour AM Mick Antinow shamed him into meeting the group of victims of the unfair tax.
He told the Tory minister how the bedroom tax had affected the lives of cerebral palsy sufferer Julie Livers and army veteran Chris Karuna.
Ms Livers has been robbed of £14 a week because she has refused to take in a lodger or move home, Mr Antinow explained in a speech that gripped the assembly.
He said: “The impact of the bedroom tax on Julie, already immobile and immune to the cold, is that she will cut down on heating rather than take a stranger into her house or move to another community.”
Mr Karuna suffers disabilities after being shot while serving in the army in Northern Ireland. Highlighting his case, the Labour AM said: “Your government is forcing him to move away from his family and writing off the cost of the expensive modification of his home.
“Mr Kauruna asked me to ask you: ‘Where is the justice in forcing me out?'”
Mr Antinow finished by inviting Mr Jones to meet the tenants to learn how “slashing a substantial slice off their meagre disposable income is not going to improve their quality of life.”
Mr Jones agreeing to meet Ms Livers, Mr Karuna and Mr Antinow in one of the assembly’s dining rooms.
After coming face to face with the Tory, Mr Karuna said that “by the time he left that room he was in no doubt why they need to repeal their callous tax.”
“He doesn’t have the first idea what it’s like for people affected by the bedroom tax,” he said.
Pat Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity Union said:
"It was good to see this Tory confronted by victims of their callous policy. It must be easy for them to support this when amongst their own but not so easy when the victims get in their faces."