Vulnerable residents protected from cuts
VULNERBALE residents in Renfrewshire will be protected from cuts to Council Tax benefit, it was annouched today (Thursday).
The UK Government will abolish the existing Council Tax Benefit in April next year and cut the successor budget by 10 per cent.
However, the Scottish Government and COSLA have now agreed to cover the £40 million cost of the cuts.
Renfewshire MSP and Local Government minister Derek Mackay said: "558,000 people in Scotland on the lowest incomes currently receive council tax benefit, including the unemployed, pensioners, those who cannot work because of disability, carers and people who receive tax credits. We will not allow them to be victims of UK cuts - we will work to protect them.
"Working closely together, the Scottish Government and councils will now cover the cost of the council tax benefit cut in 2013-14 to protect vulnerable individuals, a unique approach across Great Britain.
"The Scottish Government is looking after household budgets, with a council tax freeze, free prescriptions, concessionary travel, and our abolition of road tolls and tuition fees.
"It is right that we take action to protect the thousands of pensioners and families who would have been affected. Only through this decisive action by the Scottish Government and COSLA can vulnerable people in Scottish society be protected."
COSLA President, ouncillor Pat Watters added: "Scottish local government has a long and proud history of standing up for and protecting the most vulnerable in society.
"In taking this decisive action to cover the cost of council tax benefit, together with the Scottish Government, we will once again be protecting the most vulnerable in society. Can I be clear that we are talking here about the real victims of this particular cut and that is why Scottish local government firmly believes it is the right and proper thing to do and why we are willing to put in our share of the 40 million pounds needed to protect them from the reality of such a harsh cut."
This article appeared in The Gazette 19 Apr 12