Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) supports First Minister’s call for immediate and additional borrowing powers; housing benefit and council tax benefit should also be devolved in Scotland Bill
STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said;
“The First Minister is right to use his new mandate to seek further and more powerful borrowing powers to ensure that Scotland can invest in jobs and infrastructure in the coming years.
“However, rather than focussing so heavily on Corporation Tax, we would prefer to see Mr Salmond making the case for the inclusion of devolved powers over Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit in the Scotland Bill.
“The Council Tax is now a tax in crisis, with no party politically able to raise it to fund services. Its eventual reform seems inevitable but, as Mr Salmond knows to his cost, Scotland will be unable to change policy unless the UK monies currently associated with Council Tax benefit can be devolved to Scotland.
“Equally, Housing Benefit in Scotland could be fairer and better suited to Scotland’s tenure and general housing priorities if it were guided in Edinburgh.”
Notes: The UK Parliament is currently considering the Welfare Reform Bill which would also need provisions to reflect the devolution of Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit to Scotland
For further information contact Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100