Hepburn dubs the 'Bedroom Tax' a "disgrace"
Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 21:19 GMT on Tuesday 26th February, 2013.
Picture is copyright of Scott Campbell/ Cumbernauld Media.
CUMBERNAULD residents will suffer when the UK Government’s under-occupancy charge, dubbed the ‘Bedroom Tax’, comes into force.
Local authority, North Lanarkshire Council has previously issued advice for local residents who will be affected by the new measure, as part of the UK Government’s Welfare Reform Programme.
Joining earlier criticisms by local activists, Councillors and residents, Jamie Hepburn SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth has hit out at the UK Government’s bedroom tax and has warned that veterans and the disabled will be the hardest hit by the coming changes to the welfare system.
Mr Hepburn has already been contacted by many constituents who are concerned about the crippling affects that the widespread changes to the welfare system and forthcoming bedroom tax will have on both themselves and their families.
The MSP is also concerned for veterans of the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area who will not only be affected by the UK Government’s cuts to military personnel but will also find it harder to adjust to successful civilian life with the imposition of the bedroom tax and other welfare changes.
Families of serving military personnel who have a bedroom which will at times be vacant due to the nature of the job which their loved one has undertaken, are facing a financial penalty from the Westminster Government if they do not take in a lodger or find a way in which to move to a smaller home.  This will clearly make life significantly harder for veterans and military personnel returning from warzones if they are unable to live with their families.
Commenting Mr Hepburn said: “It is an absolute disgrace that the UK Government think that not only is it right that the bedroom tax will target and further marginalise the disabled and most vulnerable members of our society but veterans and their families will also suffer the destructive effects of this punitive measure.
“People leaving the armed forces and returning to civilian life in their local communities such as Cumbernauld and Kilsyth deserve to be welcomed back and aided in every manner possible, not obstructed by an unjust financial burden levied against them and their families.
“As Deputy Convenor of the Welfare Reform Committee at the Scottish Parliament, I know that many charities, organisations and not least the Scottish Government is taking steps to try and counteract the effects of the UK Government’s welfare reforms on the most vulnerable members of our society and veterans.  It is now time for the UK Government to wake up and accept the affect that its policies are having not only on the people of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth but across Scotland as a whole, and take affirmative action.”
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