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06/08/13 10:30

Bedroom tax help

Housing Minister helps secure funding for rural Scotland.

Scotland’s rural communities have been allocated £3.5 million to help with changes to housing benefit, it has been confirmed.

The funding from Department of Work and Pensions follows Housing Minister Margaret Burgess meeting with lead UK Government advisor Lord Freud last week.

Speaking from her summer tour visits to Orkney and Shetland, Ms Burgess said:

“I have made clear that the bedroom tax will not bring any benefits to Scotland and will, in fact, hit our poorest hardest.

“When I met with Lord Freud last week I pushed again for Scotland to get a fair share of the additional funding for those affected by the changes to housing benefit, including the £5 million set aside for those in remote areas. Scotland has now been allocated £3.5 million of this money.

“While this funding will help, it demonstrates the key point that Scotland is disproportionately disadvantaged by these plans.

“I have also made clear to Lord Freud that local authority owned supported accommodation, such as women’s refuges, must be exempted from the bedroom tax.

“Families are anxious about the changes, which I believe do not reflect compassion and fairness, the core values of the Scottish people. This government will continue to press home the message that UK must do more to protect poor and vulnerable people.

“Today I have seen first-hand the work underway to help those most in need in Orkney and Shetland to protect people as much as possible from these reforms. However, only Independence will provide the Scottish Parliament with affect control over welfare matters. Being in charge of our own welfare system will mean fairer policies that protect the vulnerable and benefit the Scottish people.”

Notes to editors

Our estimates show that the Bedroom Tax will affect 82,500 households in Scotland and around 80 per cent contain an adult with a disability. Due to the under-occupancy penalty, we estimate that 15,500 of households affected are families with children.

Funding breakdown is as follows:

Local Authority

Rural additional amount

Eilean Siar

£66,930

Highland

£734,995

Argyll and Bute

£252,313

Shetland Islands

£46,748

Orkney Islands

£37,071

Dumfries and Galloway

£488,177

Scottish Borders

£322,067

Perth and Kinross

£361,018

Aberdeenshire

£412,173

Moray

£180,923

Stirling

£272,576

Angus

£274,401

Total

£3,449,392

Local authorities will also share just under £1 million of transition funding.