Welfare changes slammed by MP

ANGUS MP Mike Weir has slammed Westminster’s welfare changes for failing to protect the most disadvantaged people in the constituency.

The National Housing Federation has estimated 1,398 households in Angus will be hit by the ‘bedroom tax’, in addition to many who will be affected by a cap in benefits.

Mike Weir MP said: “The Welfare Reform wrongly results in the poorest and most disadvantaged in our society facing the brunt of the Tory/Lib Dem austerity agenda.

“The ‘bedroom tax’ policy is inherently unfair. People on the lowest incomes are paying the price for structural problems affecting the supply of affordable housing. The bedroom tax is also unworkable - instead of addressing the underlying problems, it undermines the ability of social landlords to invest in the kind of affordable housing that is so badly needed.

“New figures show the ‘bedroom tax’ could cost Scots council and housing association tenants £53 million a year, and according to a new report by MPs, lead to more people being in arrears and a rise in homelessness.

“This policy will be imposed on Scotland, despite the fact over 90 percent of Scottish MPs voted against it.

“Locally the plain truth is that there is an insufficient supply of one bedroom properties and anyone moved out of council accommodation would almost certainly have to go into the private sector, which generally change higher rents. Rather than saving money the Bedroom Tax will end up costing even more than the current system.

“Angus Council have taken a strong and principled stance against evictions of those who are genuinely unable to pay their full rent because of the operation of the bedroom tax.”