Scottish Labour must get serious about battling the bedroom tax, its own MSP has warned as £4.5 billion in welfare cuts loom beyond the border

Morning Star

 

Britain

MSP rallies Labour over bedroom tax 

Monday 25 March 2013 by Rory MacKinnon Morning Star Scotland reporter  

ElaineSmithMSP
ElaineSmithMSP

Scottish Labour must get serious about battling the bedroom tax, its own MSP has warned as £4.5 billion in welfare cuts loom beyond the border.

Coatbridge & Chryston MSP Elaine Smith issued an urgent plea today after SNP deputy Nicola Sturgeon revealed the bruising new estimate of coalition benefit cuts to Scotland’s households.

Ms Smith, who convenes Labour’s Campaign for Socialism faction, called on party leader Johann Lamont to publicly back the local councillors and activists who are fighting the controversial “bedroom tax.”

From April 1, those in council homes or renting from housing associations will lose up to 24 per cent of their benefit if their home is deemed to be “under-occupied,” with only one bedroom allowed for each couple or individual over 16.

More than 660,000 households stand to be affected, with each set to lose an average £728 a year – the equivalent of six weeks’ worth of payments.

In East Ayrshire and East Dunbartonshire – part of Ms Smith’s constituency – between 51 and 55 per cent of all social tenants will lose out.

SNP First Minister Alex Salmond pledged on Saturday that SNP-led councils would not evict tenants from council homes if the penalty left them unable to keep up with rent.

But Scottish Labour today had yet to make a similar vow.

Ms Smith said today it was

“hard to think of anything worse than being thrown out of your own home.

“The Labour Party at local level has to take a lead in opposing this and the Scottish government, if it is serious about its opposition to the tax, has a duty to help them,”

she said.

The Morning Star

Comments
  • Dave McEwan Hill March 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    But a large number of Labour elected members abstained on opposing this, some gave it qualified support and Gordon Brown said it should be “postponed”. Eh?
    Elaine Smith thinks we are all daft, saying one thing in England and something different quietly in Scotland
    Labour in Scotland is frightened to contradict anything the right wing English Labour Party suggests which is why Labour members in Scotland are walking away from Labour. Even allowing for trade union members Labour in Scotland has less than half the membership of the SNP (which has more members than Labour, Tory and LibDems put together)

  • John Lanigan March 27, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Absolutely right Dave! Even if Elaine Smith was sincere, the Labour party in Scotland would not go against their masters in England. So no chance of anything looking remotely like Labour taking a moral stance on the bedroom tax as they are morally bankrupt.
    Remember this is still the same Labour party that engages in illegal wars.
    If ever there was a reason needed to vote Yes for independence, the Labour party must be top of the list.

  • jack johnson (@jackjoh01219520) March 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Let the comming Peoples Assembly be the replacement for this deseased Labour Party,
    let it select candidates for local and national elections but most of all form ethical and
    moral policies that are people friendly.You can put my name on the list!

  • […] Scottish Labour must get serious about battling the bedroom tax, its own MSP has warned as £4.5 bil… Posted on March 26, 2013 […]

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