Letters to the editor

editorial image

From our issue of March 20, 2013

Bedroom tax impact

Sir, – Hundreds of people on a low income in Lanarkshire face the prospect of a “bedroom tax” in April at the same time that people earning over £1m/year are due to get a tax cut of almost £100,000 per annum.

The new rules say that people only need one bedroom for each of the following: a couple, a person who is not a child, two children of the same sex, two children who are under 10, any other child and a carer providing overnight care. If you have an extra bedroom under these rules you will lose 14 per cent of your housing benefit (25 per cent if you have two extra bedrooms).

Nationally 660,000 people will be affected. The Government says people will be able to move to smaller properties but councils and housing associations say there are not enough. So a couple with two children aged eight and four who live in a three bedroom flat face a 14 per cent cut in their housing benefit because the rules say they are “under occupying”. To avoid the penalty, they are forced to move to a privately rented two bedroom flat. They lose their security of tenure because, with private tenancies, their new landlord can evict them without a reason after just six months. Their private rent for a two bedroom flat is higher than their old rent for a three bedroom property and the housing benefit bill to the taxpayer goes up.

This isn’t just bad social policy – it does not make economic sense. – Yours etc.,

JOHN MOONEY

Branch Secretary

UNISON North Lanarkshire

Plea over dog mess

Sir, – In relation to your article “Dishing the Dirt” in the Cumbernauld News dated March 13, 2013, I would like to say that I welcome the action taken but would like to see this extended to the wider Blackwood area.

I walk from Blackwood to Croy railway station every morning between 5.30am and 6.30am and see many people out walking their dogs along the Blackwood Loop Road at this time. Unfortunately several owners do not make any attempt to pick up the dog foul leaving the paths and grass verges littered with it.

Obviously there are owners who clean up but this problem should be enforced to hit the other owners in their pockets with fixed penalties

It is a disgusting habit - if they have a dog they should take the responsibility and clean up after them. – Yours etc.,

DONALD MACDONALD

65 Seafield Crescent

Blackwood

Cumbernauld G68 9NX