Natascha’s question on the Bedroom tax – 8 July 2013
Natascha Engel (North East Derbyshire, Labour)
May I give the Minister another chance to answer the question put by my hon. Friend Mrs Lewell-Buck and give him another example? Fifty-one per cent. of council tenants in my constituency are in rent arrears because they cannot afford to pay the bedroom tax. There are no smaller properties for them to move into, so what are they supposed to do?
Don Foster (Bath, Liberal Democrat)
Let me repeat to the hon. Lady the information we gave earlier: we have already provided £350 million in discretionary housing payments to local councils. [Interruption.] Hon. Members are saying from a sedentary position that it is all gone, but may I remind them that last year more than £11 million of discretionary housing payment was not used by local councils? They could use it more efficiently.