20 May 2013 :
Under-occupancy Penalty (Wales)
6. Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): How many households in Wales have been affected by the under-occupancy penalty to date. 
The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Steve Webb): Our equality impact assessment estimates that around 40,000 claimants will be affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy in Wales. A formal evaluation of the policy will be carried out over a two-year period with initial findings available early next year.
Paul Flynn: BBC Wales reports that for every 70 victims of the bedroom tax, only one alternative unit of accommodation is available. That means that 69 out of every 70 will have no choice but to endure this tax, which is unfair, impractical and will further impoverish the already poor.
Steve Webb: The hon. Gentleman is right that we are asking social tenants to pay £2 a day towards a spare room—something that private tenants had to do under Labour’s local housing allowance scheme. Within Wales, a quarter of all social accommodation is one-bedroom properties. If we can deal with overcrowding and people on the waiting list in Wales, we will be doing the right thing by the people of Wales.
T2.  Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): For many, retirement is a welcome liberation from demeaning drudgery. For others, it is an unwelcome end to their useful lives, often leading to ill health. What are the Government doing to ensure more choice in the age of retirement?
Steve Webb: One of the measures we implemented early on, and of which I am proudest, was the abolition of forced retirement. The previous Government talked about it a lot, but we abolished it, so people can no longer be forced out of their jobs simply for turning 65. However, there is much more to do. We are working with employers’ groups on attitudes to older workers to encourage them to retain them and enable them to stay in the work force if they wish to do so.
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): Was the intervention by Israel helpful?
Mr Hague: I could of course give a long answer to that question, but I would be disobeying your request, Mr Speaker. I have always taken the position that all countries in the region are entitled to protect their national security. That applies to Israel as well and of course it is very important for those who have weapons in the region not to transfer them to Hezbollah or other groups that will misuse them in further conflicts.