Pensioners in tax ‘injustice’

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More than 800 North Lanarkshire pensioners are said to be facing increased bills totalling nearly £750,000 because of changes to welfare.

Finance convener Councillor Bob Burrows says hundreds of younger claimants are also having to pay more towards their council tax – and says things can only get worse.

He said: “The most vulnerable and needy people in our communities are being hammered by recent changes to welfare reform and its impact on the council tax reduction scheme (CTRS).

“It is unlikely that the DWP will radically alter the welfare system to right this injustice, as it is part of their austerity programme, nor that the Scottish Government will be persuaded to alter its position on the council tax freeze.”

He added: “The most pragmatic solution is for the Scottish Government to use the powers devolved to it to change the award basis for CTRS to ensure that more assistance is targeted to those who are being adversely affected by the current intransigence. ”