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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Local MP & MSP Welcome Bedroom Tax Mitigation

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

With a majority of the Scottish Parliament endorsing additional funds to help combat the bedroom tax, Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson and Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford have said it showed Scotland should have the powers to scrap the Bedroom Tax.

Alongside targeting Westminster welfare cuts, the budget will continue the small business bonus scheme, protect free education, entitle primary one to three pupils to free school meals - saving at least £330 per eligible child; extend childcare provision to 600 hours for three and four year olds and for vulnerable two year olds - saving around £700 a year; and continue the Council Tax freeze that will have saved households £1,200 on average by the end of this Parliament in 2016.

Investment in infrastructure in Scotland will be supported to the tune of over £8 billion over the next two years, creating over 50,000 full time equivalent jobs.

As well as targeting Westminster’s welfare cuts, the budget continues the small business bonus, entitles primary one to three pupils to free school meals, extends childcare provision to 600 hours for three and four year olds and for vulnerable two year olds, and continues the Council Tax freeze, saving households £1200 on average by the end of this parliament.

The passage of the SNP Government’s budget in the Scottish Parliament last week will boost Scotland’s economy, help with the cost of living and deliver vital action to mitigate Westminster’s iniquitous bedroom tax.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“The purpose of this week’s budget was to boost our economy and support households with the rising cost of living.

“The money has been put in place to mitigate the bedroom tax and the only thing standing in the way of immediate action is Westminster. Given that the Scottish Parliament has backed this budget with a large majority, Westminster must not ignore our desire to rid Scotland of this unfair and iniquitous tax on some of the poorest in society.

“The Scottish Parliament has voted to put in place sufficient funding to pay the additional cost for every family affected. Of course far better than having to mitigate the deeply unfair bedroom tax would simply be to abolish it altogether. Only a Yes vote in September will give the Scottish Parliament that right and ensure that Scotland’s welfare system reflects the priorities of people in Scotland rather than the Westminster Treasury, which seeks to only further widen the gap between the rich and the poor.”

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson, who backed the Scottish Government’s budget, said:

“Delivering free school meals, extending childcare and protecting the Council Tax freeze will save hundreds of pounds for households across the North-east.

“That is vital action to help people during difficult times and will be warmly welcomed by people right across the county and across the country. What is also particularly welcome is that even more action is being taken to help people affected by Westminster’s bedroom tax.”

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