Local Labour politicians have welcomed the news that the Scottish Government have pledged commit the full funds required to mitigate against the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’.
Scottish Labour MSPs has been pressurising the SNP Government to fully fund councils and registered social landlords so there would be no evictions due to arrears caused by the bedroom tax. There is currently legislation lodged with the Parliament to this effect. However, the SNP have now announced that they will fully fund the scheme. Individual allocations haven’t yet been announced by the Scottish Government, but Dumfries and Galloway Council are hopeful they will receive sufficient funds to continue the new Labour led administration’s policy of paying Discretionary Housing Benefit to every victim of the “bedroom tax” in the region for the full amount they have cut from their Housing Benefit by the UK Government.
Commenting on the announcement, Elaine Murray MSP said, “This u-turn on the bedroom tax is a victory for common sense but more importantly it is a victory for the 1,780 local households across Dumfries and Galloway who would have the burden of the bedroom tax removed. We have consistently urged the SNP, over more than a year, to support tenants and social landlords by providing the money to cancel out the bedroom tax in order to stop people building up rent arrears as a result and this u turn will ensure that now happens”
Russell Brown MP added, “This is good news for local people who have fallen victim to this awful policy. . The bedroom tax has been one of the biggest blights on thousands of people in our region who are having to choose between paying their rent or putting food on their families table. That’s why in the long-term, we need to scrap the bedroom tax and that is what Labour has pledged to do if we win the next General Election”.
Leader of the Labour Group on Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ronnie Nicholson said, “One of the first moves of the new Labour led council was to agree to pay discretionary housing payments to every victim of the bedroom tax for the full amount of the cut in housing benefit they face. This means that no one will be evicted as a result of the bedroom tax. We want to repeat this again this year and this announcement puts that a step closer. Hopefully, we will be told what Dumfries and Galloway’s allocation of funding will be and then we can get on with the job of re-assuring thethousands of people across our region who have been penalised through no fault of their own by this hated tax. By making these payments, there is no reason whatsoever why anyone should be evicted from their home as a specific result of the bedroom tax.”