North Lanarkshire Council has paid out more than £3m in discretionary housing payments to tenants who are have struggled dealing with the bedroom tax last year.
The bedroom tax, or spare room subsidy, came into effect in 2013 after the UK Government legislated to introduce an additional charge to those who they deemed were under-occupying their property. That meant tenants who had one unused room could be charged an additional 14 percent of their rent and those who had two unused rooms 25 percent.
The council condemned the unfairness of the bedroom tax and fought a campaign to have it abolished, and from April 2014 additional funding was made available for discretionary housing payments to mitigate the effect of this tax.
Councillor Bob Burrows, convener of finance and customer services for North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The bedroom tax is unfair and puts ridiculous pressure on our tenants. We have led the fight against this and the £3.2million we have paid in discretionary housing payments is a huge boost to tenants across North Lanarkshire.
“It’s important that tenants seek the right advice if they are concerned about any aspect of their finances, including the bedroom tax, or the government’s other welfare reforms. We have helpful, trained staff available to assist. There is a range of information and advice on our website at www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/yourmoney. Alternatively, tenants can phone 01698 403170 or pop into their local First Stop Shop.”