Angus MacDonald flags up housing benefit concerns at Housing & Social Care committee
Thursday, 11 November 2010 06:14
Speaking at Falkirk Council’s November Housing & Social Care Committee following SNP concerns that the ConDem London government’s plans to cut back housing benefit will have a detrimental effect on the homeless lists and housing waiting lists in Falkirk district as people accrue rent arrears in both the social rented and private rented sectors Grangemouth SNP Councillor and SNP candidate for Falkirk East Angus MacDonald said:
"It is clear we lost 8 years of potential new social house building between 1999 and 2007 while Labour and the LibDems were in power at Holyrood, however we are all agreed now that much more social housing is required.
"Presumably some thought has been given to the impact the changes by the ConDem coalition government to Housing Benefit will have on housing demand IN Falkirk district?
"For example there will be extra demands on both the social rented and private rented sectors thanks to housing benefit arrears that will accrue thanks to the new ConDem policy, which will no doubt have an impact on our waiting lists.
“These are the wrong cuts being made at the worst time, and will hit low-paid households the hardest.
“Tory and LibDem Ministers either do not care or do not understand the impact that these cuts will have on families in Falkirk district who will be left worse off at an already difficult time. There is no doubt that in some circumstances people will be made homeless as a result of these changes.
“The Tory/Lib Dem coalition have their priorities all wrong – they should be focusing on supporting recovery and job creation, instead of spending cuts which are too fast and too deep and will actually destroy employment.
“Yes, we must look at how best we can reform the benefits system, but such reforms must be undertaken with care and common sense.
“The Tory/Lib Dem assumption does appear to be that everybody on benefits is somehow cheating the system or work-shy – what the Con/Dem coalition should be working on most is creating real jobs.
“While the coalition cuts services and support, the SNP is the only party with a clear commitment to protect family incomes. By freezing the council tax, delivering the living wage to NHS and government employees and turning the unfair policies of successive Labour, Lib Dem and Tory Westminster administrations into a fair system for the people of Falkirk district.”