Commenting on the news, Dr McLeod said:
“I warmly welcome the fact that the additional money made available by the Scottish Government will take Dumfries & Galloway’s Discretionary Housing Payments fund to a level where the Council expects to be able to fully recompense people who have suffered as a result of the Bedroom Tax, backdated to this April.
“This in itself proves that the Scottish Government really is doing everything within the powers it currently has to mitigate the worst affects of this vicious policy and working with Councils to do so.
“Of course, this will not in itself resolve the situation, since it only mitigates the impact of the policy this year. While the Scottish Government has already committed to funding Discretionary Housing Payments to the legal maximum next year, Westminster hasn’t made any commitment yet.
“And in the long run, however helpful it is to mitigate the impacts of the Bedroom Tax, Scotland’s Parliament is powerless to get rid of it. Scotland didn’t vote for the Bedroom Tax or the Westminster Government which has imposed it on us. A Yes vote in the independence referendum next September will ensure that Scotland has all of the powers to make these decisions for ourselves in the future.”
Notes to Editors: a briefing note from Dumfries & Galloway Council regarding Discretionary Housing Payments is attached.