Falkirk Council’s Labour / Tory Coalition have been challenged to “put their money where their mouth is” and fund a Bedroom Tax relief from the councils own underspend from last year, a figure of £4.4m.
Council spokesperson for Housing, Gerry Goldie was accused of seeking to deflect attention from his own party’s support for the Bedroom Tax by calling on the Scottish Government to fund the estimated £500,000 shortfall in income the council faces from a projected underspend in Holyrood of £179m, 0.6% of the government’s total budget.
However, there was embarrassment for the Labour / Tory Administration when it was pointed out that much of the underspend, including £1.2m additional grant to Falkirk Council had already been re-allocated.
Now the council’s SNP Group have turned the tables and demanded that Councillor Goldie use some of the £20m reserves including the £4.4m, a whopping 1.4% of the council’s budget carried forward from last year, to meet the £500,000 shortfall.
SNP Shadow Housing Spokesperson, Steven Carleschi went on to say,
“Mr Goldie has been caught out badly in his efforts to lay a smokescreen over Labour’ announcement that if they come to power in Westminster they will not only retain the unfair Bedroom Tax but will seek to spread the pain of further welfare cuts to pensioners.
You can only spend money once and with the Scottish Government re-allocating most of their underspend to such as new council housing (£44m additional investment, is time Mr Goldie matched the SNP commitment and stopped squirreling away money like a miser.
I can understand Mr Goldie’s fear as with his own party’s support for the Bedroom Tax the only way this heinous tax will be abolished is with a YES vote in next years independence referendum.”