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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Housing body calls on commission to get welfare sorted

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Bedroom tax "classic example" of Westminster getting it wrong

A leading housing body has told the first public session of the Smith Commission that the bedroom tax debacle was a classic example of Westminster getting it wrong for Scotland.

Mary Taylor, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ chief executive, said there had to be better mechanisms for managing the boundary between the two parliaments to ensure effective policy making.

In its submission to the commission, SFHA argued full powers over the social security system - excluding pensions - and of its financing are needed.

And it called on the commission to avoid cherry-picking elements of the social security system.

Taylor said: “There are many complex interactions between the different welfare benefits, policies and tax allowances that pay for them, too many to separate some out on their own; and we need the Scottish Parliament to be able to exercise full control over the system to make change which will improve the lives of people living in poverty."

Tackling poverty includes tackling fuel poverty, which is at shocking levels in remote and rural areas of Scotland said Taylor.

She added: “We know that our argument for devolution of these news powers to tackle poverty and inequality are echoed in the submissions of many other organisations and individuals and hope the Smith Commission will listen and be bold in its recommendations."