SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod welcomed a key vote in the Scottish Parliament which she says removes the last hurdle to lifting the cap on Discretionary Housing Payments and will now allow for the full mitigation of the Bedroom Tax.
The Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee passed the subordinate legislation necessary to allow the Scottish Government to do more to support victims of Westminster’s Bedroom Tax.
After extensive campaigning, the Westminster Government earlier this year finally agreed to lift the cap on Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) that had put a limit on the support that local authorities could provide and today’s vote is the final step in enabling increased DHPs.
The Scottish Government has previously provided funds for Scotland’s local authorities to make Discretionary Housing Payments at the maximum legal limit and set additional money aside that would enable the full impact of the Bedroom Tax to be mitigated if the cap on DHPs was lifted.
Aileen said: “Yesterday’s vote was a significant one for everyone who has been affected by the Bedroom Tax in Scotland and a victory for all of us who have campaigned against it.
“For far too long the Westminster Government stood in the way of our efforts to help people affected by the Bedroom Tax in Scotland. Yesterday’s vote removed the final hurdle to lifting the cap on Discretionary Housing Payments.
“Where the Scottish Government has previously been restricted in the amount of support it can provide to victims of the Bedroom Tax, those limits have now been removed. It means that more support can now be provided for households hit by Westminster’s hated Bedroom Tax.
“The Bedroom Tax was imposed on Scotland despite a majority of Scottish MPs opposing it – a situation that only underlines why Scotland needs to be able to make our own choices when it comes to welfare.”