MP Swinson’s Bedroom Tax stance branded “shameful”
MILNGAVIE MSP Gil Paterson has launched an attack on MP Jo Swinson’s “shameful” defence of the Westminster ConDem coalition’s controversial ‘bedroom tax’.
Mr Paterson said the East Dunbartonshire MP’s support for the plan was a “complete disgrace”, saying that the plan would penalise the poorest in society.
He added that 80 per cent of the people affected in Scotland are disabled.
The changes mean a cut to the amount of housing benefit people will receive if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council house or housing association home.
Last week Mr Paterson joined a cross-party group of politicians and voluntary organisations in the Scottish Parliament to sign a letter calling for Chancellor George Osborne to ‘axe the tax’.
He said: “I find it completely shameful and incomprehensible that the MP for East Dunbartonshire has gone down the route of colluding with them and accepting that this evil tax will be introduced.
“This just highlights how far removed she has become from reality.
“It proves that the LibDems would do anything to hold on to power, regardless of the consequences. It’s a complete disgrace that Ms Swinson should support this cruel tax.
“It unashamedly targets the poorest and most vulnerable in society, including many disabled people who should be getting more support, not less.”
Ms Swinson defended her position, saying: “In East Dunbartonshire alone there are more than 4,000 households on the waiting list for social housing and at the current rate it will take more than 24 years to clear that list. At the same time more than 600 of our social homes are underoccupied.
“I understand that stopping subsiding spare rooms for council house tenants will be difficult, and that’s why the government has given councils millions of pounds of extra money to help with the difficult cases and protect vulnerable groups.
“Perhaps Gil Paterson should explain what exactly his SNP government is doing to help the housing crisis?
“Despite being given an additional £1.5billion by the UK government for Scottish capital investment since 2010 the SNP are not making the necessary investment in housing and infrastructure.
“For example they’ve spent just £20 million of the £353 million Infrastructure Investment Programme funds. We need action not words from the SNP.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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