‘Bedroom tax’ to hit one in five tenants

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ALMOST one in five council or housing association tenants in Scotland will lose out under the UK Government’s “bedroom tax”, Scottish ministers claimed today.

From April, people with a spare room will have their housing benefit cut in a move intended to tackle “under-occupancy” in social housing.

Scottish Government housing and welfare minister Margaret Burgess said in answer to a parliamentary answer, that 105,000 households are likely to be affected – 18 per cent of the entire social rented sector.

Of these, 83,000 will be “under-occupying” by one bedroom and the remaining 22,000 by two or more rooms.

Ms Burgess said families would lose up to £52 a month – or over £600 a year – and the total amount of housing benefit lost to Scots would be between £60 million and £65m a year.

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani, pictured, a member of Holyrood’s welfare reform committee, said: “I’m absolutely shocked at these figures. In most cases, people can’t just up sticks and move to a smaller property.

“Even in the unlikely scenario that there is a vacant property – people have places of work, they send their kids to the local school, they may live close to relatives – but the Tories expect them to just abandon all of this.”