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Bedroom tax 'saves Scottish taxpayers £42 million'

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Bedroom tax 'saves Scottish taxpayers £42 million'

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Bill Payments, Housing

Bedroom tax 'saves Scottish taxpayers 42 million' Bedroom tax 'saves Scottish taxpayers 42 million'

The bedroom tax has saved Scottish taxpayers £42 million, the government claimed today as it celebrated the first anniversary of the controversial policy.

Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions show nearly 72,000 people in Scotland had their housing benefit cut in November 2013.

The government claims the bedroom tax was essential because housing benefit spending grew by 50% in just 10 years to reach almost £1.8 billion in Scotland alone.

Today's figures also show that 25,000 people north of the border are still living in overcrowded accommodation.

The DWP said: "The removal of the spare room subsidy is a vital reform that ensures the taxpayer no longer pays for people's spare bedrooms.

"Tenants are taking action in a number of ways, which may include moving and using home swap services to finding work or increasing earnings."

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, said: "It was absolutely necessary that we fixed the broken system which just a year ago allowed the taxpayer to cover the £1 million daily cost of spare rooms in social housing.

"We have taken action to help the hundreds of thousands of people living in cramped, overcrowded accommodation and to control the spiralling housing benefit bill, as part of the government's long-term economic plan.

"Our reforms ensure we can sustain a strong welfare safety net, and we are providing an extra £165 million next year to support the most vulnerable claimants."

Scottish Conservative welfare reform spokesman Alex Johnstone said: "This is a much-needed bonus for the taxpayer."

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