• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Swinney grapples with bedroom tax

TALKS are to continue between finance secretary Johns Swinney and his Labour counterpart Iain Gray on how to direct more money into the bedroom tax crisis, after the Budget Bill was given initial approval last night.

Labour conceded that the extra £20 million put in to Discretionary Housing Payment was capped, but Mr Gray insisted that "with a little imagination" other ways could be found to help tackle the crisis. "Where there's a will there's a way," he added.

He said: "While there have been challenges in setting this year's budget as a consequence of the macroeconomic failures of the UK Government, and the budget cuts they have imposed, this is also a budget that comes at a particularly exciting time for our nation when the eyes of the world will be on Scotland."

The Budget confirms plans for £59m to be spent over two years to provide more free childcare places, taking the total extra spend over that period to about £250m.

Funding of £55m over two years for free school meals for youngsters in primaries one to three is also set out in the Bill as part of a £114m package of help for young people.

It also proposes spending £68m in each of the next two years to mitigate welfare reforms introduced by Westminster, as well as £20m this year and next year to limit the impact of the so-called "bedroom tax".

LibDems voted for the Budget while saying it was "not perfect" but the Tories called it "weak" and refused to back it.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.