'Devil is in the detail' warning as government moves to erase bedroom tax
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Finance, Housing
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations has welcomed a £12 million boost in additional funding to help people hit by the bedroom tax - but has warned that anything short of full repeal is likely to be fraught with risks for landlords and tenants.
Speaking after cabinet secretary John Swinney MSP announced the extra funding to the Scottish parliament, Dr Mary Taylor, chief executive of the SFHA, said: “We have been monitoring developments over recent weeks and cautiously welcome this announcement.
"The debate at Holyrood today highlighted the strength of opposition within the Scottish parliament to the unfairness of the bedroom tax. Today’s debate also demonstrates the collective will to do whatever is constitutionally possible to help those affected in Scotland by the UK coalition’s policy.
"We maintain that the cleanest and most effective means of remedying the ‘bedroom tax’ would be full repeal. However, given there is such a significant constitutional dimension to dealing with the ‘bedroom tax’ in Scotland it is also welcome and laudable that there has been cross-party collaboration in Scotland in arriving at this resolution.
Dr Taylor added: “Any solution has to be workable and constitutionally viable. Whilst we welcome the direction of travel indicated by the Cabinet Secretary’s statement today, we remain concerned about the detail of how this additional funding will be distributed and used.
"We urgently need to see that detail in order to understand better how the burden of the ‘bedroom tax’ will be removed from tenants’ shoulders. We remain concerned that an overly simplistic approach to mitigating this complex situation could result in failing to fully remedy the negative impacts of this iniquitous policy upon tenants and social landlords in Scotland.”