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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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'Bedroom Tax' to Cost Scots £53 million a Year

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

SNP Spokesperson for Work and Pensions Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP has written to Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson MP expressing her concern following the release of new figures which show the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’ will cost Scots up to £53m a year. Jo Swinson MP was one of only 4 Scottish MPs to vote in favour of the bedroom tax at Westminster despite her constituency of East Dunbartonshire having the highest proportion of under-occupancy in Scotland.

Commenting, Dr Whiteford MP said:

“It is astounding Jo Swinson MP backed the Tories rather than looking out for some of her most disadvantaged constituents.

“The new figures show that the under-occupancy penalty could cost Scots council and housing association tenants £53m a year. East Dunbartonshire has the highest proportion of under-occupancy in Scotland- where 56% of working age tenants are on housing benefit.

“By voting for the ‘bedroom tax’ Jo Swinson MP has failed to acknowledge the underlying shortage in affordable housing in Scotland and the backdrop of changing demographics. What makes the Government’s under-occupancy rules fundamentally unworkable is the mismatch between available social housing stock and the needs of tenants and prospective tenants.

“As long as decisions about welfare are made in Westminster, Scotland will continue to have unfair and damaging policies forced on it by governments that we didn’t vote for. That is why Scotland needs to have the powers of independence, so that we can make decisions in and for Scotland."

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