MPs set to be told of 'bedroom tax' impact

SCOTTISH MPs are meeting housing officials and tenants in Castlemilk ­today to hear how the 'bedroom tax' is affecting them.

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The Scottish Affairs Committee, chaired by Glasgow South West MP, Ian Davidson, is holding an inquiry into housing benefit changes and will hear directly from local housing associations and welfare groups advising tenants.

The committee has published an interim report which calls on the UK Government to scrap the 'bedroom tax' and while minister consider the report it wants the 'tax' suspended for people where no alternative offer of accommodation can be made.

Mr Davidson said: "This tax is little more than a cut in ­public expenditure, designed to hit the poorest.

"We have produced an ­interim report because some glaring flaws are already ­apparent and notwithstanding our call for the tax to be abolished, we wish to draw these faults to the Government's attention while it is conducting a review.

"We intend to explore more fully, not only design flaws, but also what can and should be done by the Scottish Government, social landlords and others to mitigate its effects on the vulnerable in Scotland."

The committee was initially invited to the area by Cathcart SNP MSP, James Dornan, who said it was one of the biggest issues he is contacted about.

Mr Dornan said: "The 'bedroom tax' is affecting people right across Scotland and is causing real harm in our communities. I'm therefore delighted the Scottish Affairs Committee has accepted my invitation to Castlemilk to hear about the effects of the tax first hand.

"I have met lots of people from my constituency who are struggling with the unfair ­imposition of the bedroom tax. It's one of the main issues I have to deal with.

"It's right that the committee comes to hear first hand about how the tax is affecting people, after all it was a Westminster Government that imposed it and they are the only government that can repeal it.

"Hopefully the committee will take back the lessons from the meeting and help persuade the coalition government that the 'bedroom tax' should be scrapped now."

The committee will meet in the Jenniburn Centre in ­Tormusk Road, Castlemilk.

It will hear from Clair Malpas, Regeneration Manager, Cassiltoun Housing Association, Jean Devlin, Castlemilk anti bedroom tax campaign. Billy McFadyen, of Castlemilk Credit Union, Angus McIntosh, Solicitor, Castlemilk Law Centre and Maureen Smith, Solicitor, Castlemilk Law Centre will also appear.

The session will be in public for one hour before the panel is invited to meet in an informal session with the MPs.

Local government

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