The Finance Convenor of Dundee City Council, SNP Councillor Willie Sawers, has welcomed an agreement between the Scottish Government and COSLA that will protect over 20,000 council tax payers in Dundee from the UK Government’s ending of Council Tax Benefit.
News of the agreement follows anxiety that the UK Government’s abolition of Council Tax Benefit in April 2013 and 10% cuts to the successor budget will cause hardship for vulnerable and lower-paid people.
The Scottish Government and COSLA have now agreed to cover the £40 million cost of the cuts in 2013-14, with the Scottish Government providing £23 million and COSLA providing £17 million.
Welcoming the agreement, Councillor Sawers said: “Over 20,000 people in Dundee on the lowest incomes currently receive council tax benefit.
This includes the unemployed, pensioners, those who cannot work because of disability, carers and people who receive tax credits.
“It is great news that the Scottish Government and COSLA have agreed to step in and defend vulnerable people from Tory & Lib Dem Coalition cuts.
“Dundee City Council and the Scottish Government will work together to protect people from the cuts implemented in the UK Government’s Welfare Reform Act and establish a national schedule of reductions to council tax, so that anyone currently receiving council tax benefit will not have to pay more council tax in the next financial year.
“The Scottish Government is looking after household budgets, with a council tax freeze planned till 2016, free prescriptions, concessionary travel, and our abolition of road tolls and tuition fees.
“It is right that we should continue to take action to protect the thousands of pensioners and families who would have been affected by the UK Government’s actions. Only through this decisive action by the Scottish Government and COSLA can vulnerable people in Scottish society be protected.”