Talk about getting egg on one’s face. Adam Aspinall for The Daily Mirror writes: “Tenants hit by the hated Bedroom Tax have been offered a 60p Cadbury’s CREME EGG to soften the blow.
Housing association Valleys to Coast in Bridgend has written to tenants offering the gesture – which has been branded “bizarre and obscene” – to thank those struggling with financial hardship for their “efforts to pay this shortfall”.
In the letter, dated Tuesday, April 22, V2C’s head of neighbourhoods, Nigel Draper, also states: “As well as thanking you by letter, we would also like to offer you as a small thank you a free Creme Egg should you call into the office during the month of April.”
V2C tenant Kay Harris, from Bettws, near Bridgend, said the offer was “insulting”.
She pointed out that many of V2C’s tenants live in Bettws – around six miles away from V2C’s customer service centre on Nolton Street in Bridgend town centre – and that it would cost those wishing to claim their egg £6.40 for a return bus ticket.
Mrs Harris, who is also a member of campaign group Bridgend Against The Bedroom Tax, said: “People are suffering in Bettws.
“They can’t afford to live – let alone pay the Bedroom Tax.
“The Government are walking all over vulnerable people and a 60p Cadburys Creme egg ain’t going to help them out.
“Our landlord should be helping, not insulting us! How out of touch are they?”
But Mr Draper defended the letter.
He said: “The letter of thanks and small gesture of the Creme Egg is an important recognition to those tenants who have struggled to find additional rent due to the UK government-imposed Bedroom Tax policy.
“During the past 12 months we have worked closely with our tenants to combat the worst effects of the Bedroom Tax.
“V2C staff have supported over 200 successful applications for Discretionary Housing Payment and more than £35,000 has been raised to help families in Bridgend to meet the Bedroom Tax.
“We always need to engage and keep the debate alive, and the invitation to attend one of our regular walk-in sessions in Bridgend and pick up a free Creme Egg over Easter was a way of reminding tenants that even during the school holidays staff are available to help with financial advice.”
Jamie Insole, from Cardiff & South Wales Against the Bedroom Tax, to which Bridgend Against The Bedroom Tax is attached, said: “”It is rare that one encounters anything so simultaneously bizarre and obscene.
“We realise that social landlords are struggling to weather the effects of this broken Tory policy.
“However, with some people being forced below the UN poverty line, it is tenants who are truly suffering.”
“Solidarity between tenants and social landlords would be better expressed by real measures designed to assist tenants beat the tax.
“Derisory incentives offered in the form of cheap sweets will not cut the mustard.””(http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-victims-offered-60p-3452657)