COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT CUTS COULD HIT HALF A MILLION SCOTS
556,000 people on fixed and low incomes receive council tax benefit including 213,000 pensioners.
The UK Government is abolishing council tax benefit and in transferring funding to Scotland is slashing the budget by 10% creating a £40m hole.
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has criticised the UK Government’s attack on pensioners and less well-off families struggling to recover from the recession.
Mr MacDonald said:
“First they slash welfare for people on disabilities, hit households with cuts to tax credits and then change the tax arrangements for pensioners with the granny tax – now we know that over 15,000 people across Falkirk District are face being hit by UK cuts to council tax benefit.
“This could see pensioner couples lose nearly £100 in benefit. Pensioners appear to be paying the price of UK Coalition cuts.
“And they are trying to take more money from those who are unemployed or single parents at a time when the job market is struggling to recover. Where are people supposed to make the extra money to pay the UK Government when it’s economic policies are leaving people without jobs.
“I welcome the decision to finally transfer council tax benefit to Scotland but to slash the budget on the way is utterly unacceptable. At the same time as UK changes to housing benefit are having a real impact on low income families this is a step too far.
“The Scottish Government said in the budget that it had held back money to help those affected by the impact of UK Government cuts and I know they are looking at how to support those hit by the UK’s council tax cut.
“We support our pensioners and low earners, that’s why the SNP has frozen the council tax freeze for the last 5 years and will do so right up to 2016."