“The Tory Government – aided and abetted by their Lib Dem poodles – have set about dismantling the welfare system in this country, punishing our most vulnerable” ~ SNP

“The Tory Government – aided and abetted by their Lib Dem poodles – have set about dismantling the welfare system in this country, punishing our most vulnerable. They know only the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

“But of course with the full powers of any normal nation, the people of Scotland could be making all of the decisions about our welfare system – not just fixing the mess left behind by a Tory Government they didn’t vote for.”

~ Margaret Burgess MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee

Paper highlights Scotlands fair approach to Council Tax Benefit, Thu, 31/05/2012 – 14:42 

SNP MSP Margaret Burgess has today welcomed a report from a leading anti-poverty group which highlights Scotland’s fair approach to Council Tax benefit.

The report Reforming Council Tax Benefit, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, notes the adverse effects of the UK Government’s decision to devolve Council Tax Benefit to local authorities in England, and to the Scottish and Welsh Governments, coupled with a 10% cut in the budget.

Last month the Scottish Government announced that it had reached an agreement with COSLA to fill the £40m gap left by the UK Government’s cut, in order that the service could be maintained.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation report notes that this 10% cut would in fact have had a disproportionate effect on working age claimants:

“Unless councils find additional money from elsewhere, a requirement to protect pensioners in England will imply a 19 per cent cut in support for working-age claimants, on average.

“Those local authorities where pensioners account for an above-average share of CTB expenditure would need to make larger percentage cuts to support for working-age claimants: for one in ten English local authorities, it would be more than 25 per cent.”

Ms Burgess, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee said:

“This report shows that the SNP Government and COSLA are absolutely right to step in and protect this vital policy. It’s clear that the 10% cut in funding would have much more severe consequences for certain income groups – the very people we need to be protecting during tough financial times.

“The Tory Government – aided and abetted by their Lib Dem poodles – have set about dismantling the welfare system in this country, punishing our most vulnerable. They know only the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

“Working together, the SNP Government and COSLA have shown their determination to put Scotland on a different course.

“But of course with the full powers of any normal nation, the people of Scotland could be making all of the decisions about our welfare system – not just fixing the mess left behind by a Tory Government they didn’t vote for.”

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report can be accessed here:

http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/council-tax-reform-summary.pdf

SNP Media Centre

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