With regard to welfare cuts being double the predicted UK level, the bedroom tax will cost Scottish tenants £53 million a year and council finances will be put under further strain ("Welfare cuts double level UK predicted", The Herald, March 25).

Labour politicians are mistaken if they think a future UK Labour Government will repeal this legislation designed to solve a problem in London yet applied to Scotland by a UK Government and opposed by 90% of Scottish MPs at Westminster to no avail.

No-one in the UK Labour leadership said they would abolish the bedroom tax and Labour MP Helen Goodman, who sits on the party's National Policy Forum, said the bedroom tax should apply if people have been offered a smaller place to live and turned it down.

It is not surprising that Labour's biggest donor, the Unite trade union, has attacked Ed Miliband's decision to whip their Westminster MPs to abstain rather than vote against Tory/LibDem legislation to prevent jobseekers' entitlement to a minimum wage in job placement schemes.

Last week at Holyrood, Labour let down Scottish pensioners when they abstained rather than vote for legislation that is essential for the national Bus Concessionary Travel scheme to continue.

It is far more likely that a Scottish Parliament after independence would scrap the bedroom tax and protect other universal services long before an ambivalent Labour Party directed by Mr Miliband.

Calum Stewart,

Montague Street,


I welcome the news that SNP councils will defy Westminster and refuse to evict families from their homes when they fall into arrears due to this hated bedroom tax. People being forced further into debt is completely unacceptable.

This adds yet more fear and uncertainty into the lives of the most vulnerable and financially hard-pressed among us. Yet again the arguments for Scottish independence are made clear. Would an independent Scotland vote for a Government committed to such ruthless attacks?

A 72-year-old woman was among those who signed the petition on Saturday and she is not alone in being unaware that it doesn't affect pensioners. Her relief was clear, she had been living in the same house for over 40 years, the house was full of memories. If she had been 61 years old and lived there for 40 years she would be facing debt and eviction.

Paul Jordan,

Scottish Socialist Party,

Flat 2, 5 McNeill Street,


Since the creation of a Cabinet made up almost entirely of public school, Oxbridge millionaires I have taken to calling myself a socialist.

I am absolutely appalled at the treatment of the disabled, the sick and the generally marginalised, ie the non-productive economic units.

A society based solely on economic values is not worthy of the name, the Thatcherite doctrine "there is no such thing as society" finally being fulfilled with all its awful consequences.

No society can function properly, even economically, if it is not founded on principles encompassing fundamental human values.

John Milne,

9 Ardgowan Drive, Uddingston.

The intended reduction in housing benefit, which is associated with claimants living in properties with greater accommodation than they may require, is not a tax but a reduction in benefit in an attempt to restrict the burden of public expenditure and influence the limited housing stock.

Surely we taxpayers are entitled to see benefits being reviewed? It is legitimate to challenge this particular measure, but surely there is an obligation to describe it for what it is and to provide an alternative reduction in state commitments?

Even if all the new taxes and tax increases, as suggested by the socialists and their SNP brethren, were enacted, there would still be a £90 billion shortfall in state finances next year; during which public expenditure is to grow by 5%. May I emphasise, not cuts but more expenditure. The situation is untenable, but politically may not be capable of a solution.

John M Houston,

3 Douglas Avenue, Langbank.