WE call on the Westminster Government to repeal the iniquitous bedroom tax.

This unjustified benefit cut will result in increased homelessness with serious impacts for thousands of vulnerable households and their local communities. A report by Sheffield Hallam University for the Scottish Parliament's Welfare Reform Committee highlights that 80,000 households in Scotland are affected by the bedroom tax, with the average loss per household being £620 a year. These cuts will cost more than the savings claimed by the UK Government because of the costs associated with increased homelessness.

The Government position that its policy aims to rectify paying a "spare room subsidy" is nonsensical, as there are not enough smaller homes to accommodate all of the tenants affected. It is astonishing that the Coalition Government can introduce such a callous measure aimed at either forcing people out of their home, or further impoverishing many of our poorest households should they remain in their current accommodation because they are unable to find an alternative.

We therefore call on everyone within Scotland, including all political parties, to commit to campaigning with us in a united effort to get rid of the bedroom tax. We also demand that political parties introduce a policy to repeal the bedroom tax if elected. It is only through a united stance by all fair-minded people in Scotland that this iniquitous measure, which is clearly designed to punish the most vulnerable in our society, can be repealed and consigned to the dustbin of history.

Jim Harvey,

Director, Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations,11 Queens Crescent, Glasgow, and representatives of 35 housing associations and other organisations.