Tory ‘Bedroom Tax Two’ attacked by Scottish government and opposition parties*

Scottish Communities Minister Angela Constance.

Well, the Tories said they wouldn’t make any more cuts to sickness and disability benefits – they’re going to take the money from housing benefit instead.

The decision will hit not only tenants but landlords and the Scottish Government itself, which may be unable to build 50,000 new social housing units as a result, and will have to pay the costs associated with the expected increase in homelessness.

We have already seen the effect of cuts to Housing Benefit in areas where the failed-before-it-started Universal Credit has been trialled, like Great Yarmouth.

The Conservatives don’t care, of course.

Their only interest is in shrinking the state and handing huge tax rebates to their rich friends who don’t need the money.

Scotland’s government and opposition parties have attacked Whitehall plans for fresh welfare cuts dubbed ‘Bedroom Tax Two’ with one prominent figure the proposals “must be stopped”.

Scottish Government ministers expressed grave concerns over the impact of introducing for the first time caps on help for social housing costs, stating it was already spending £100million annually mitigating against welfare cuts.

Communities minister Angela Constance said plans to cut assistance to those aged under 35 and renting from council and housing association by up to one quarter would “only risk making matters worse for social tenants”.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley added: “The Department of Work and Pension proposals must be stopped and we need all parties in the Scottish Parliament to unite to make sure they do not go ahead as planned in 2019.”

Meanwhile, Scotland’s councils have warned the new cap on social housing benefits would have a major adverse effect on their finances amid predictions of spiralling arrears.

From early 2019, the DWP will only pay social tenants the so-called Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

But single tenants under 35 with no children will see their benefits limited to the ‘shared accommodation rate’ (SAR) which is much lower than the average for one-bedroom properties.

It means that a younger tenant in Glasgow who would normally be entitled to £92.06 under the current system, will receive £68.28 in housing benefit.

Source: SNP and Labour unite against Westminster ‘Bedroom Tax Two’ welfare cuts (From HeraldScotland)

*This has been reported as the SNP and Labour uniting to fight the new cut. In fact, it seems they have voiced their opposition separately. The effect is the same but it is important to make the distinction as Labour and the SNP are unlikely to work together on anything.

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7 thoughts on “Tory ‘Bedroom Tax Two’ attacked by Scottish government and opposition parties*

  1. Dez

    Maybe this will at last encourage the return of the public outrage and reaction to Maggot Thatchers Poll Tax debacle…… ie maybe a Poll Tax 2 street reactions

  2. David Woods

    Given that in Andover in Hampshire the only single bedroom properties built in the last 30 years have all been designated retirement homes, and the only other residential properties built being 3, 4, 5 and 6 bedroom houses, where building work around my area itself has been 3 yrs non stop and most the nearby villages are now ‘joined’ to Andover through new housing estates!

    The average rent for a room in a shared property in this area is £100; the rent for my 1 bedroom housing association flat is nearly £100, the only thing capping housing benefit that low will achieve is a large increase in young homeless!

    Test Valley is a very safe Tory seat!

  3. Paul

    Very sneaky and nasty. It won’t save much money, make anything fairer, and will convulse the lives of a significant minority of those affected hugely. Plus for the poorest people on benefits housing benefit and local housing allowances remain frozen until 2020, meaning that as rents rise the poorest tenants will have to contribute more and more money from other benefits, barely adequate to meet living expenses, to pay rents on top of reductions mentioned in this article.

    I hoped that this kind of targeted casual cruelty had ended when George Osborne’s political career came to an end but sadly am obviously wrong.

    So much for a change in direction under a new Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Looks more like “steady as she goes” towards the iceberg.

    Very concerning really.

Comments are closed.