Scottish single families will be £4.5 million a year worse off due to Bedroom Tax


  By a Newsnet reporter 
Analysis has revealed an estimated 8,800 single parent families will be hit by the Bedroom Tax.
With an average weekly penalty of £10, this means a potential £4,576,000 penalty for single parents in Scotland every year.

Based on estimates from the Scottish Household Survey – 22% of the social housing tenants affected by the under occupation penalty will need to use over 10% of their residual income after housing benefit to meet the shortfall. 
The Scottish government analysis notes:  “This is a significant reduction for households on low income with limited scope to adjust spending so it seems likely that there will be significant numbers who will fall into arrears.” 
In total, around 244.000 council or housing association tenants in Scotland could be affected by the cut to Housing Benefit.  Single parents will be particularly badly hit.
The majority – around 57% – of those affected are estimated to have an under occupation penalty of between  £5 and £10 per week while a further 23% would have a penalty of between £10 and £15.  Some 3,000 social housing tenants, some 5% of those affected by the measure, are estimated to have a penalty of £20 per week or over.
Some 39% of council and housing association tenants in Scotland will be affected by the Bedroom Tax, however some parts of Scotland will be worse hit than others.  In East Dunbartonshire the percentage of affected tenants reaches 55%, while in East Ayrshire 51% of council and housing association tenants will be affected.
Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Glasgow, speaking at Choices, One Parent Families Scotland’s Doors Open Day in Glasgow today, said:
“Governments have a duty to make things better for our children – not worse.
“These figures show the startling reality facing thousands of single parent families across Scotland – either pay an unaffordable London levy or move.
“On the day that David Cameron visits Scotland to make the crazy case for wasting up to £100 billion on Trident weapons of mass destruction; these figures reveal the real price of Westminster government in Scotland.
“Many single parent families need an extra bedroom, but they now face the prospect of being squeezed into a much smaller property. Some are facing the decision whether to move their children from their settled homes, or have even less money in their pocket.
“Every parent wants the best for their children – and the SNP share this aspiration. We want to keep our children safe, and do all we can so they flourish in life.
“But the Westminster system does not share these values. Instead, the UK Government wants to take money from the most vulnerable in society and waste resources on nuclear weapons.
“The people of Scotland want a welfare system that provides fair and decent support for all, and protects the vulnerable in our society.
“The Bedroom Tax is yet another reason why we need to have full control over all decisions affecting Scotland.
“If we are able to join up our welfare and benefits policies with our housing strategy, as we will be with independence, we can produce policies which work for the most vulnerable in society – not against them.”