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Public Works is UNISON Scotland's campaign for jobs, services, fair taxation and the Living Wage. This blog will provide news and analysis on the delivery of public services in Scotland. We welcome comments and if you would like to contribute to this blog, please contact Dave Watson d.watson@unison.co.uk. For other information on what's happening in UNISON Scotland please visit our website.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The real cost of the bedroom tax

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has published a report 'The Real Cost of the Bedroom Tax' that estimates a bill of almost £80m for Scottish Housing Associations and Co-operatives. 36,000 housing association tenants and 47,000 council tenants will be affected by the Bedroom Tax.

It breaks this down into tenancy management costs covering expenses such as the reallocation of homes as thousands of tenants look to downsize, unpaid rental income and legal costs which it says will amount to at least £55,264,800 over the first three years of the policy.

Communications such as advice provision, tenant surveys and newsletters were costed at £9,250,000. System changes such as staff training and updating policy, procedures and IT systems are expected to cost £14,592,800.

Maureen Watson, SFHA head of policy, said the extra cost has not been built into the business plans of its members. She said: "This will drive up rents for all tenants and increase the housing benefit bill for the UK Government.The SFHA is strongly opposed to the bedroom tax. We are continuing to make representations to the UK Government, seeking to have this unfair and incompetent policy repealed."

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