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Bedroom tax victims ambush Wales Secretary

ANGRY bedroom tax victims confronted Wales Secretary David Jones during the Tory’s visit to the Welsh Assembly yesterday. 

Mr Jones boasted about how the Con-Dem government was “delivering for Wales” as he kicked off a debate on the Queen’s speech. 

But his rhetoric was thrown off course by Labour AM Mick Antoniw, who challenged him to meet a group of affected tenants waiting in the public gallery. 

He told the Tory minister how the bedroom tax had affected the lives of cerebral palsy sufferer Julie Livers and army veteran Chris Caruana.

Ms Livers has been robbed of £14 a week because she has refused to take in a lodger or move home, Mr Antoniw 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.”

The Star revealed on the first anniversary of the bedroom tax in April how Mr Caruana suffers disabilities after being shot while serving in the army in Northern Ireland. 

Turning to 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 Caruana asked me to ask you: ‘Where is the justice in forcing me out?'”

Mr Antoniw 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.”

The fiery exchange ended with Mr Jones agreeing to meet Ms Livers, Mr Caruana and Mr Antoniw in one of the assembly’s dining rooms. 

After coming face to face with the Tory, Mr Caruana 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. 

Mr Antoniw later reported on Twitter that Mr Caruana walked out of the meeting with Mr Jones after the minister asked him who he votes for.


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