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Bedroom tax: Scotland's local authorities dish out £15m in emergency housing payments

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Bedroom tax: Scotland's local authorities dish out £15m in emergency housing payments

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

Bedroom tax:Scotland's local authorities dish out 15m in emergency housing payments Bedroom tax:Scotland's local authorities dish out 15m in emergency housing payments

Local authorities in Scotland have handed out more than £15 million in emergency housing payments during the first eight months of the bedroom tax, according to figures published today.

The figures show 45,772 households received £15,365,860 in discretionary housing payments between April and November 2013, almost a fourfold increase compared to just under £4m in 2012/13.

DHPs are a reserved responsibility and come under the remit of the Department of Work and Pensions. DHPs are made by local authorities to housing benefit claimants who qualify for support.

The Scottish Government contributed an extra £20m to the DHP fund in 2013/14 to help ease pressure on families hit by the bedroom tax bringing the total DHP fund for Scotland to £35m, the maximum permitted under UK legislation.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have provided an extra £20 million in this financial year to help those affected by the bedroom tax.

“That money has enabled councils to top up their discretionary housing payments to the maximum amount that Westminster legislation allows – and help hard-pressed households across Scotland.

“We are also providing a further £20 million for next year so that we can continue this vital help.

“There is no doubt that people in Scotland are paying a heavy price for Westminster decisions. But these figures show that by working closely with our Local Authority partners we have been able to provide support for over 45,500 households in Scotland.

“And we will continue to do all we can to help. However, only an independent Scottish Parliament will give us the powers we need to scrap the bedroom tax.

“Scotland has a choice of two futures – one in which Scotland continues to pay the price of Westminster’s welfare reforms, or one in which we have the powers to design a welfare system that suits our needs.”

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