UK Government advice “arrogant and insulting!”
Angus MacDonald MSP for Falkirk East (SNP) has hit out at the Westminster Government over the forthcoming “Bedroom Tax” which comes into force at the beginning of April.
The Scottish Government’s information centre has produced a document called Impact of Planned Housing Benefit Changes in Scotland. Mr MacDonald claims that this Tory/ Lib Dem Tax will see Falkirk District citizens suffer as 44% of those on benefits will be hit by the bedroom tax according to the figures in the report.
Mr MacDonald said
“The report confirms that almost half the tenants in Falkirk District who receive housing benefit and live in social rented housing will be affected by this unfair and punitive levy. That is 3,100 households (44%).”
Analysts say these tenants will be hit in their pockets by between £27 and £65 per week. A single person or couple in a two bedroom house will see benefit reduced by14% and if they have 2 spare rooms or more by 25%
Mr MacDonald continued:
“This will cause undue hardship to countless families across the district and the picture is probably much worse as private rentals are not included in these figures”.
“This is a scandal in itself and then we go onto discover that those with disabilities are to be among the hardest hit. There is something morally wrong when a Government preys on our most vulnerable people to repair the damage done to the UK economy by their failed austerity measures.”
“The Scottish Government is working hard to address the problem of the lack of social housing for people who are under-occupied to be able to move to. I have had constituents at my advice surgeries who are living alone in 3 bedroom properties because they have not been successful in bidding for smaller properties. At the moment there are not enough properties for everyone who will be affected to be able to move even if they wanted to.
“Thankfully the Scottish Government has taken steps to address the lack of social housing created by Thatcher’s policy of selling council housing and not replacing what was sold; and continued by Blair’s Government”.
“The SNP Government has reaffirmed it’s commitment to social housing and has allocated funds to build 30,000 affordable houses over the period of this Parliament”.
Mr MacDonald added:
“This is further evidence that Westminster is not working for Scotland. This punitive tax is a hammer to crack a nut for a problem which existed in a small area of the south east. Once this and other measures kick in, the people of Scotland will begin to experience first-hand the benefits that a Yes vote for Scottish Independence would bring as there can be certainty that no Government of an Independent Scotland would impose this on its people”.
“I had never seen such arrogance since the introduction of the Poll Tax. But that’s before I saw the London government’s advice to those who may find themselves in genuine hardship. Their top 5 tips include “Move or take in a lodger”. This is unhelpful, disrespectful and downright arrogant and demonstrates this government’s sheer contempt for the people of Scotland and Falkirk District in particular.”