Disabled being hit hardest by the Bedroom Tax in Scotland

By agency reporter
November 17, 2013

Disabled and sick people in Scotland are being hit the hardest by Westminster’s cruel Bedroom Tax.

New figures published by Citizens Advice Scotland shows 80 per cent of the 82,000 in Scotland affected by the damaging tax are disabled.

CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch commented: “The first thing that is clear is that the majority of Scots affected are sick and disabled people who were already living on low incomes.

"So, like so many of the recent welfare reforms, this is a measure that is principally hitting the most vulnerable people in our society, making their difficult situations even worse.

“The Bedroom Tax in reality is having just the impact that many feared it would. It is causing huge distress and pain – principally with people who were already suffering severe hardship. Some people have come into the CAB with eviction notices, in great distress.”

Responding to the news, MSP Annabelle Ewing, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee, said: “These startling figures show the true picture of what is happening right now in Scotland to our most vulnerable because of a devastating decision made by a government we did not vote for.

“Many of these people have had their homes specially adapted but these are people’s homes we are talking about – we don't agree that people should lose their home because they've got a spare room.

“The last thing somebody needs when they are terminally ill is the threat of being evicted – and this is exactly what the UK’s Bedroom Tax is doing.

“These figures show that two thirds affected are disabled, a further one in 10 are caring for a disabled person and the majority are aged between 45 and 60, live alone and are too sick to work.

“These are the people we should be helping, not attacking. Unfortunately under this current constitutional arrangement that is the society we are living in – Tory-led Westminster is happy to pick on the poor and line the pockets of the rich.

"Only a Yes vote in next year’s referendum puts Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands, and will give us control over the social security system so that we can get rid of the discriminatory Bedroom Tax, and have a welfare state that reflects the views and votes of people in Scotland," claimed the SNP MSP.

Labour and the Greens also oppose the Bedroom Tax, but Labour MPs are facing huge criticism for agreeing to a pairing agreement on a recent Westminster vote, meaning that a quarter of their MPs did not turn up or vote.

* CAS statistics http://www.cas.org.uk/news/disabled-scots-bearing-brunt-bedroom-tax

* Petition calling for a Cumulative Impact Assessment of Welfare Reform: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43154


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