Island pensioners ‘short-changed’ says MSP

WESTERN ISLES MSP Alasdair Allan today (Monday, April 16th) condemned the UK Government’s cut in council tax benefit which will hit half a million Scots, including over 200,000 pensioners.

Dr Allan said the so-called ‘granny tax’ would affect many pensioners in the Western Isles and elsewhere and was further evidence of a Chancellor out of touch with ordinary people’s lives.

Alasdair Allan commented: “The UK Government is abolishing council tax benefit but has not transferred the full value of this benefit to Scotland’s Government to compensate.

“The consequence of this is that the amount available for families in Scotland previously in receipt of council tax benefit will be cut by 10%. This is effectively a £40 million cut.”

He continued: “This could see many pensioner couples across Scotland lose nearly £100 in benefit. There is a running theme here which is that the Chancellor appears willing to go to great lengths to cut income tax for Britain’s millionaires, yet he shows little understanding of the struggle which many people in the country have to pay their bills.

“The Scottish Government has held back money to make some effort to help those affected by the UK Government cuts but the Chancellor has to explain why he has short-changed Scotland’s pensioners in such a mean spirited way.”