Scottish Government Draft Spending and Tax Plans 2019-20

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 12th December 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Pauline McNeill Pauline McNeill Labour

The discretionary housing payment budget is split into two parts, which are for bedroom tax mitigation and “other”, and that “other” budget has remained static for two years, at £10.9 million. The cabinet secretary will know that termination of tenancy due to rent arrears is a major driver of homelessness and that, in universal credit areas, the rate of such termination is two and a half times higher. In fact, there is a case to be made for universal credit now being the biggest driver of poverty. To enable local authorities to tackle that, Labour is calling on the Scottish Government to double the “other” part of the discretionary housing payment budget to £20 million. Will the cabinet secretary consider that if that was included in his budget, he would prevent more evictions due to rent arrears and would do a great deal to prevent homelessness?