£20m will be made available for Scottish tenants hit by the bedroom tax

  • Nicola Sturgeon, the deputy first minister has announced that an additional £20m will be made available for Scottish tenants who have been hit by the bedroom tax next year. Money Notes 2

    It was announced last month in the Scottish budget that £20m would be given to top up discretionary housing payments to help those struggling after cuts to housing benefit, and on Friday Ms Sturgeon announce that an additional £20m will be made available next year.

    "I promise that we will continue to do all we can to help. But only an independent Scottish Parliament will give us the powers we need to scrap the bedroom tax," she told delegates in Perth. "People in Scotland are paying a heavy price for Westminster decisions. We are doing the most we can with the powers we currently have to mitigate the worst impact of those decisions."

    Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: "[The announcement] means that local authorities can continue the lifeline they have offered to thousands of households across Scotland struggling to pay their rent as a direct result of the unfair and destructive bedroom tax. This move will buy struggling householders some time to save their home but the only long-term solution is for the UK government to banish the bedroom tax once and for all", reports Inside Housing.

    Andy Young, policy and membership manager at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, said: "We recognise the Scottish government's efforts to mitigate the worst impacts of welfare reform and any help for people facing the ‘bedroom tax' is welcome. Extra money will help some people for a short time, but it's not a long term solution. The only solution is to repeal this unfair and incompetent policy."

    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/386434

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