Banish the Bedroom Tax Monster, urges MSP

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A campaign against the controversial bedroom tax has been backed by MSP Elaine Smith.

The Coatbridge and Chryston MSP is supporting Shelter’s campaign to ‘Banish the Bedroom Tax Monster’

It’s asking politicians at every level – the UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament and local government - to join with tenants and social landlords and play their part in addressing the problems being experienced as a result of the under-occupation penalty.

Around 82,500 tenants in Scotland are affected by the tax and COSLA estimate that around 40 per cent will fall into arrears as a result.

Ms Smith joined Shelter in their campaign outside the Scottish Parliament and supported their six point action plan. The points aim to mitigate the worst impacts of the bedroom tax and include better access to free independent advice, easier access to discretionary housing payments and plans to build more social housing.

Ms Smith said: “There is no doubt that the so-called bedroom tax is one of the most vile policies to come from this Tory-Liberal Coalition.

“I support Shelter’s campaign as they recognise that vulnerable people affected by this tax need support from across the spectrum.

“The Scottish Government has the power to mitigate the effects of this tax and earlier in the year I wrote to the relevant minister asking for protection to be given to those facing eviction through bedroom tax arrears.

“Only last week, my Scottish Labour colleague Jackie Baillie announced she would introduce a bill to the parliament to make it illegal to evict people from their homes in Scotland on the basis of bedroom tax arrears.

“Although the SNP Government has not said they will support this bill as yet I hope the parliament can come together and do what is right for the victims of this tax.”

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