John and Jean Urquhart have called for there to be no evictions in the Highlands and Islands as a result of the Con-Dem ‘Bedroom Tax’.
The Independent MSPs have hit out at suggestions that those affected by the proposed welfare reform could simply move to smaller accommodation, citing a Highland Council document prepared for the region’s Liberal Democrat MPs, which showed an enormous shortfall in the supply of smaller properties.
In a letter to all the Local Authority political leaders and housing associations chiefs John and Jean called for there to be a clear no evictions policy for those affected by the ‘Bedroom Tax’ living in council or socially rented accommodation.
Commenting John said:
“The Tories, supported by their Liberal Democrat cheerleaders, have pushed through this ideologically motivated reform without any consideration of the potential impact.
“Many across the region are facing the intolerable stress of possible eviction from their homes as a result of these damaging reforms at a time when they are struggling enough to make ends meet as it is.
“There is simply not a sufficient stock of smaller accommodation available across the Highlands and with the ‘Bedroom Tax’ hitting in April there is a real need for councils to stand with their tenants to prevent a homelessness epidemic. Councils must ensure that no-one is evicted as a result.
“The UK Government has once again failed the people of the Highlands and Islands, pushing its reckless agenda with no consideration of the availability of suitable housing or the circumstances of those on housing benefit.
“Those living in remote and rural areas could be forced to move many miles away from their homes or work, without the support of their families and often with difficult transport links.
“The UK Government shows no signs of cancelling this attack on families across the region and so the councils must use their powers of discretion to ensure that nobody will face eviction as a result.”