As their lies and deceit become more exposed Labour are mounting a challenge to the snp's duplicitous stance on the bedroom tax. People are becoming more aware that Salmond and the snp want the bedroom tax to harm as many Scots as possible. Their twisted logic sees that as advantage to their narrow separatist agenda. Put simply and crudely they believe that that will allow them to blame the English for the pain being suffered by Scots. and that is why they have chosen to do nothing to help those Scots caught up in this iniquitous Tory charge on the poor.
Scottish Labour has called for concerted action by the Scottish Government to help protect Scotland's social housing tenants from the impact of the coalition government's Bedroom Tax. Scottish Labour is bringing forward a package of measures which will offer
assistance to all social tenants now, without having to wait until after a general election or until 2016.
Scottish Labour has previously supported the Govan Law Centre petition which called on the SNP Government to amend housing legislation to protect social tenants from eviction. As the SNP has resisted the petition, Scottish Labour is now bringing the proposal forward as a members' bill.
As an integral part of the package of support required, Scottish Labour has also asked the SNP Government to provide additional funds to local government and housing associations to help plug the financial gap which is growing by the day as a result of increasing rent arrears. Both offers made by Scottish Labour to work together with the Government to find a consistent approach across Scotland for all social tenants have so far been refused by the SNP.
Labour's Jackie Baillie said:"With the impact of the Bedroom Tax becoming more apparentand every day, it is right that we bring forward a package of measures which will ensure that no tenant who is genuinely unable to pay the Bedroom Tax, loses their home. "With the SNP refusing to act for all of Scotland, I have decided to bring forward a Member's Bill with the assistance of Govan Law Centre, which will ensure that any social tenant who is genuinely unable to pay the Bedroom Tax will not be evicted."The Bill will help ensure that our most vulnerable are protected. It is for times like these that the Scottish Parliament was created and the Bedroom Tax is the perfect example of just how Parliament could act now to make a real difference to tenants across Scotland."This is bigger than party politics and bigger than constitutional arguments. Scots are looking to us for leadership on this issue. It is not too late for the SNP Government to work with parties who want to see action on the bedroom tax. They have the
Labour's Ian Gray said "The financial impact of the Bedroom Tax on Scottish tenants is £50 million. That is less than 0.18% of the Scottish Government budget, a fraction of last year's underspend. But the wider impact is huge. 80,000 households are affected, many with children, many of them including someone with a disability. There are no smaller houses for them to move to. Meanwhile councils and housing associations face the prospect of soaring rent arrears, threatening cuts to other council services and undermining Housing Associations ability to borrow and build."Yes, this is the Coalition government's fault but apportioning blame is not enough. Scots want politicians to work together to protect our poorest and most vulnerable."We can, and we must, act by working together to find the resources to protect councils, housing associations and above all, tenants."
Labour's Mark MacMillan; leader of COSLA and Renfrewshire Council said:"Despite the rhetoric, we know that councils of all political hues are facing growing financial pressures and our tenants and housing association tenants are growing increasingly concerned about what lies ahead as their rent arrears mount. "We've seen SNP councils threaten evictions to tenants who are falling behind as a result of the Bedroom Tax. It simply isn't good enough for individual councils to be left to try to plug the financial gap on their own. Housing associations can't simply be left on their own to try to cope with the financial impact of the loss of rental income."Scottish Labour councils commit that no tenants who fully engages with their local authority to minimise their debts and who make every effort to pay their rent will be evicted. This joint approach is needed as all of our requests for SNP Government action, made both individually and through COSLA, have fallen on deaf ears."So with this commitment from Scottish Labour councils and from Scottish Labour in Holyrood to bring forward the money and the legislation needed to ameliorate the impact of this much-reviled Bedroom Tax, there is a comprehensive approach to ensure action is taken now to help our poorest and most vulnerable. Scotland deserves nothing less.