Protestors gather at parliament to banish bedroom tax 'monster'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Communities, Housing, Local Government
Bedroom tax campaigners protesting outside court as landlord seeks mother's eviction
Protestors against the coalition's bedroom tax are congregating today at the Scottish parliament, as housing charity Shelter Scotland steps up its campaign against the widely-hated policy.
Supporters of the charity’s 'Banish the Bedroom Tax Monster' campaign – which calls on Scotland’s politicians in Westminster, Holyrood and in local authorities to do more to support households affected by the under-occupancy levy – will be campaigning outside parliament as finance secretary John Swinney prepares to announce the 2014-15 Scottish Budget.
According to Shelter Scotland, more can and should be done to help thousands more households affected by the UK government's bedroom tax and other welfare reforms.
The charity is calling for the Scottish government to help local authorities top up their discretionary housing payments (DHPs) by making an additional £20 million available to help up to 7,000 more affected households in Scotland.
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We continue to see the daily misery and hardship the bedroom tax inflicts on the lives of tens of thousands of families and individuals across Scotland.
“That is why we are urging all of Scotland’s politicians to act now to help banish the bedroom tax monster from thousands of homes in Scotland.
“The Scottish Budget presents the first opportunity to offer much-needed hope to those affected by the bedroom tax in Scotland and we call on John Swinney to start the ball rolling by committing £20 million extra funding.”
At current levels, Shelter Scotland’s analysis shows the DHP pot available to councils can help only one in every 18 of the 82,500 households affected by the bedroom tax. But if the Scottish government made £20m more available, councils would have the means to help one household in seven - at least an extra 7,000 households.
Shelter Scotland is calling on members of the public and Scottish politicians to get behind the campaign and support a six-point action plan for countering the effects of the bedroom tax.
The six-point plan includes calls for the UK government to introduce a new exemption from the bedroom tax for homeless people in temporary accommodation and for councils to support people who fall into rent arrears to move to cheaper accommodation.