Scottish Councils say Welfare Reforms will Damage Communities
- 25 Mar
Scottish councils say that the changes to the welfare system will negatively impact local communities.
The reforms are expected to cause long term damage to communities and strain local government services, and the councils say the bedroom tax scheme is ill-thought out.
The president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) says the councils will struggle to pick up the pieces from the damage the welfare changes will cause to communities.
The cuts that they are expecting to face from the introduction of bedroom tax will put a big strain on local services, and president David O'Neill says it will be very difficult for Scottish councils to control the damage to communities.
He says the system has not been well thought out by the government:
Make no mistake here - no blame whatsoever can be put at the door of Scotland's Councils for either introducing these measures or for the devastating impact that this legislation is about to have on our communities.
Our role in this is to manage the consequences in the way that does the least possible damage to our communities and that will be a very, very difficult task.
The UK Government is transferring cost and responsibility for the needs of people on benefit on to local government.
A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said the bedroom tax is designed to bring fairness to the system, as there are many people waiting for social housing in Scotland.
The UK government responded with:
We are giving councils £150m this year so that they can help vulnerable tenants.
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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful. I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9. In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd