'Bedroom Tax' is Government gone mad

AS PART of the Tory and Lib Dem's misguided welfare plans, in seven weeks time hundreds of thousands of Scots who live in housing association or council rented homes will be hit with a 'Bedroom Tax'.

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From April, any Glaswegian of working age living in social or council housing will see a substantial reduction in their housing benefit if they are judged by the Government to have a 'spare' room.

Under the new rules a single bedroom will be allocated for each adult couple; any single person over 16; two children of the same sex over 10; or two children under 10 of either sex.

If judged to have a 'spare' room, the Government will cut 14% of your housing benefit and if judged to have two spare rooms then you will have to make up a 25% difference.

That means people on already low incomes and the most vulnerable will have to squeeze their household budgets even more.

At a time of rising food and fuel costs for many this will simply not be possible.

As Labour Leader Ed Milliband said this week at Prime Minister's Questions: What about the parents of sons or daughters deployed overseas in the service of their country and who keep a spare room for them on their return from duty.

Or a parent who shares the care of their children and will either have to restrict access to their child or find the extra money for having a spare bedroom or two.

This is Government gone mad.

Many of those who cannot make up the shortfall will now be pushed into private housing at higher cost to themselves and greater cost to the Government.

These new rules have created a perfect storm forcing those who need help with their housing costs to pay more, through no fault of their own and with few options.

In our city alone, almost 8000 social housing tenants will be affected. That's 8000 of the most vulnerable households being made to pay the cost of Government failure.

But it is not just the UK Government which if failing Glasgow. For every £10 previously used to support the housing budget, Nicola Sturgeon and her Government has taken £4 away. That's an eyewatering cut of 40%.

And at the same time the SNP Government has also failed to support Scottish house building, so even if those affected wanted to downsize, there simply aren't the houses to accommodate them.

The SNP budget in the Scottish Parliament this week failed to reverse the cuts to college funding, failed to reverse the cuts in housing investment, failed to reverse the cuts in major transport projects.

The same week the SNP Government saw fit to announce when Independence Day would be - but before the people of Scotland have even cast a vote.

The arrogance and ignorance of the SNP to the real needs of the people of Scotland is shocking.

Local government

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