A poll of 30 councils by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) has found that there are 82,500 households affected by the bedroom tax and all but one of these local authorities have seen an increase in rent arrears since its introduction.
The report warns of dire consequences of the policy. Requests for Discretionary Housing Payments have soared, but only 44% of applicants have received this financial help with it being restricted in many cases to only the most vulnerable tenants.
Cosla President, David O’Neill called for an urgent reconsideration of the policy from the UK Government and said that he would reiterate this yet again at a meeting with Lord Freud later this month. Lord Freud, UK Government Welfare Minister, came under fire from campaigners again last week when he said that there was no evidence that the rise in foodbank use had anything to do with benefit cuts, despite a dramatic increase since this time last year. His words appeared to imply that their rise was fuelled by greed rather than need and that people are attracted to such places because the food is free making demand “infinite”