No ifs! No buts!!
Amend Section 16 NOW!
Black Triangle VIEW:
The Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is failing the people of Scotland if she thinks that going to a meeting in London to complain about the injustice of the Bedroom Tax is a sufficient response from our government at Holyrood.
It is abundantly clear to everyone that such meetings are futile.
She should have saved us the train fare.
As Ed Miliband made clear at PMQs on Wednesday, the funds that have been provided to mitigate this tax for disabled people are utterly inadequate:
“Let me ask the Prime Minister another question, because he did not answer the one about the bedroom tax.
“He talked earlier about the hardship fund. Let us look at the facts about the fund.
“Some £25 million of it has been allocated specifically to help disabled people hit by the bedroom tax, but how much do his own figures show he is taking from disabled people? The answer is £306 million. Will he admit that the vast majority of disabled people hit by his bedroom tax will get no help from his hardship fund?”
“…..I think what that means is that there was nothing in the briefing on the question I asked.
“Let me just make it clear, because the Prime Minister obviously does not understand it. His own impact assessment—he might like to read it, by the way—states that 420,000 disabled people will be hit by the bedroom tax by an average of £700 a year.
“That is £306 million.
“The money in the hardship fund allocated to disabled people is just £25 million. It is basic arithmetic.
“Will he admit that the vast majority of disabled people will get no help from the hardship fund and will be hit by his bedroom tax?”
The Daily Record reports below that Nicola Sturgeon has complained that, despite having a similar number of people affected by under-occupancy measures, Scotland will receive just £10 million in discretionary housing payments in 2013-14 while London will receive £56 million.
It’s a red herring. It entirely fails to address the fundamental problem. It aquiesces in the ConDem agenda for debate on their own terms instead of ours.
It’s a cynical ploy.
Sadly, it appears that the Scottish Government is playing politics with disabled people’s lives.
The Scottish Government already POSSESSES THE POWER to protect the people of Scotland from this policy and it damn well knows it! It is able to implement this petition:
‘Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend Section 16 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 to prevent social landlords from using rent arrears caused by under occupation housing benefit deductions in eviction actions, and instead requiring such under occupation arrears to be pursued as an ordinary debt.’
At a stroke, Scotland’s people would be protected from eviction arising from rent arrears accrued from non-payment of the Bedroom Tax demand/portion of their rent.
Neither do we believe that only disabled people should be exempted and we reject any attempt to divide those who are affected into disabled and able, working or unemployed.
Everyone must be protected from this rancid and barbarous attempt to make the poorest people in our society pay for the Banksters’ debts!
If the SNP believe that they can get away with hoodwinking us into believing that they are powerless to affect the situation and that it is all Westminster’s fault they have got another thing coming!
Do they expect to gather support and momentum for an independent Scotland in the run up to next year’s referendum by pulling cynical political PR stunts such as the one below?
Any failure of the Scottish Government not to amend Section 16 will be rightly treated as a betrayal of Scotland’s disabled and poorest citizens.
Think again, Nicola!
‘Nicola Sturgeon lodges Scottish Government objections to ‘misguided’ bedroom tax with Westminster’
THE Deputy First Minister argued against the cut to benefits for under-occupancy, branding them “deeply worrying”.
THE Scottish Government’s opposition to the so-called bedroom tax has been set out to the UK Government by the Deputy First Minister.
Nicola Sturgeon put forward the Government’s objections at a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (Domestic) in London.
The UK coalition plans to cut housing benefit for people in socially rented homes with spare rooms.
The committee provides ministers from the four administrations of the UK an opportunity to discuss policy issues.
At the meeting, Ms Sturgeon argued against the imposition of the cut to benefits for under-occupancy and highlighted the differences in funding awarded to help deal with the effects of housing benefit changes.
Latest figures show that despite having a similar number of people affected by under-occupancy measures, Scotland will receive £10 million in discretionary housing payments in 2013-14 while London will receive £56 million, she said.
The Deputy First Minister also called for disabled people and those living in both temporary accommodation and supported accommodation, such as Women’s Aid refuges, should be exempted if the UK Government goes ahead with the policy.
Speaking after the meeting, which was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Ms Sturgeon said:
“Our view on the bedroom tax is clear: it is a misguided policy that must be withdrawn. This meeting was a good opportunity to make that point abundantly clear, although there remains little indication that the UK Government is prepared to change course.
“That is deeply worrying, in particular as there is a discrepancy in the funding made available to help those affected by the bedroom tax and wider housing benefit changes.
“It just does not seem fair that London should receive £56 million, while Scotland, with a similar number of people set to lose out from the bedroom tax, should receive just £10 million.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said people living in temporary and supported accommodation are exempt from housing benefit reductions for under-occupancy.
“Councils in Scotland have been given an extra £10 million this year so that they can help their vulnerable tenants,” the spokesman said.
“However, with many thousands on housing waiting lists in Scotland, we need to end the spare-room subsidy and ensure a better use of social housing.”