SNP MSP Colin Beattie has welcomed Scottish Government intervention to protect Midlothian residents from Tory welfare cuts.
New figures show that 1,385 Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) were made to those on low incomes in Midlothian between April and September this year. In East Lothian, 1,170 DHP were made within this time frame as well.
The total award value spent in Midlothian in this period was £939,052 and £743,764 in East Lothian - with an average award value of £678 and £636 respectively.
The Scottish Government’s DHP scheme is an extra payment to help with housing costs, including cuts to the local housing allowance and covering in full the impact of the bedroom tax.
Colin blasted the Tories’ continued defence of the bedroom tax.
The MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh said:
“The bedroom tax was and remains an attack on those on the lowest incomes.
“The Scottish Government spends millions every year shielding Scots from UK Government welfare policy. That our devolved Government should have to protect its citizens from the cruelty of the UK state is unacceptable and unsustainable.
“The SNP has been mitigating the worst impacts of Tory austerity, but we would not be in this position if Scotland had full control over its own affairs.
“We can build something better. Social security should be about compassion and dignity but the Tories have shamelessly presided over a callous and calculated dismantling of the welfare system.
“The two child cap, the rape clause, the benefits freeze, in work poverty, record food bank demand and rising child poverty – this is the legacy of the Tories in Government.
“And now, their reckless pursuit of Brexit threatens to push yet more people into poverty – with analysis showing that a no deal Brexit would drive 130,000 Scots into poverty.
“We must escape Brexit, escape the Tories and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands. Only a vote for the SNP can do that.”