Bute MP in ‘bedroom tax’ funds plea

Alan Reid MP has called on the UK government to extend the funding given to rural councils to offset the 'bedroom tax' for a second year.
Alan Reid MP has called on the UK government to extend the funding given to rural councils to offset the 'bedroom tax' for a second year.

Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid has called for the extra money given to the area to offset the effects of the ‘bedroom tax’ to be continued for another year.

Speaking in the House of Commons this week, Mr Reid called on the Government to continue to give sparsely populated rural councils like Argyll and Bute extra money to pay the tax - otherwise known as the ‘spare room subsidy’ - on behalf of local tenants.

Steve Webb MP, the minister of state at the Department for Work and Pensions, replied: “I cannot commit the Government to a further £5 million — that is the amount allocated this year for remote rural areas — but I am aware that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury tends to be quite sensitive to the needs of remote Scottish constituencies.”

Speaking afterwards Alan Reid said: “I voted against the bedroom tax when it was introduced. I lobbied the Government for more money for sparsely populated councils like Argyll and Bute so that they could pay the bedroom tax on behalf of local tenants.

“The government gave Argyll and Bute an extra quarter of a million pounds this year. Argyll and Bute Council has enough money to pay the bedroom tax for every local housing association tenant this year. I will keep up the campaign to ensure that this money gets to local tenants and continues in the future.”