Commons Select Committee Press Release:
The Committee calls once more for a clear commitment from the Scottish Government that it will use its chosen method of mitigating the effects of the bedroom tax – Discretionary Housing Payments or DHPs – to mitigate all the financial impact of the bedroom tax, both past and present, on tenants in Scotland.
The Government confirmed in a letter to the Committee, from David Mundell MP, that Scottish Ministers will be allowed to set the statutory cap on DHPs in Scotland, allowing them to increase the amount paid through DHPs to cover all of the loss caused by the bedroom tax if they choose to. The Committee welcomes this, and the Scottish Government’s commitment to make additional funding available for mitigation.
The Committee says both Governments should expedite the necessary procedures which will enable the Scottish Government to lift the cap on DHPs in Scotland as quickly as possible.
Ian Davidson MP, Chair of the Committee, said:
“These decisions show that devolution works.
“We now urge the UK and the Scottish Governments to move quickly to enable the Scottish Government to lift the cap on DHPs in Scotland as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, the Scottish Government should make a clear commitment to provide sufficient funding to enable every Local Authority in Scotland to make DHP payments which will cover the full costs of the bedroom tax since it was introduced for all of those who have been affected by it.
“That means paying the bedroom tax for every Scottish tenant for the current financial year.
“But it also means giving Scotland’s councils enough money to write off bedroom tax arrears that accrued during the previous financial year and, crucially, to refund all additional rent that has been paid as a result of the bedroom tax. To fail to do this would be penalising those who scrimped and saved and did their best to make extra payments that they never should have had to make.”