woman on estate in Rochdale
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'Pay Peter to pay Paul' says Wales housing tenant

As a watchdog claims rent arrears are rising and debts mounting as welfare reforms hit home, a tenant claims she is struggling to make ends meet.

Leila Thomas, 53, has been a housing association tenant in Llantrisant for 15 years.

After her children left home, she had two spare bedrooms, which meant her housing benefit was cut. She said she is "paying Peter to pay Paul".

It comes as the auditor general for Wales says welfare system changes are having a greater impact than in England and Scotland.

Levels of rent debt rose by nearly a quarter in the first six months after the spare room subsidy ended and the benefit cap came in.

The UK government says the changes are "absolutely necessary".

Ryan Bourne, head of public policy for the Institute of Economic Affairs, said fairness for tax payers was important because they were paying.

They both spoke to BBC Radio Wales.

  • 08 Jan 2015