Housing Benefit

IN the current economic climate, is it any surprise the largest section of the population facing increasing poverty are those who are already in work?

Just when you think it can't get any worse, last week the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) published a report which said that low income families and disabled people would be hit hardest by the UK governments plans to cut housing benefit.

The housing organisation says that the cut could result in significant financial losses to tenants on low incomes living in housing association and co-operative properties.

As well as cuts to the benefit, under the plans tenants will be expected to contribute towards rent if they are living in accommodation which is deemed to be larger than they need.

This could see some households losing up to £65 per month making it impossible for cashed strapped families to get through the week.

Inevitably, rent arrears will go up.

And when the SNP government have cut the housing grants and borrowing from the banks is becoming increasingly more expensive, it puts a question mark on ambitious plans to modernise and build new houses in the area.

More worryingly, the changes will have a disproportionate impact on households containing a disabled person.

Many disabled people, who often require an extra bedroom for carers, will be unable to move and will receive less housing benefit.

When times are tough, it's the job of governments to make the lives of hardworking people and the

more vulnerable members of society easier and not to make it worse.