Friday, 06 March 2015

SNP promises 'greener Scotland' if housing benefit moved north

The Scottish National Party’s manifesto calls for housing benefit control to be moved to Scotland.

The manifesto, which was published Wednesday 13 April, wants Scotland to be able to determine its own rules on housing benefits with devolution of the legislative responsibility.

It promises a greener Scotland with energy efficient homes, as the party hope to regain power in the upcoming election.

The manifesto pledges to help housing associations take forward schemes with a new Warm Homes Fund, designed to improve renewable energy in homes and reduce energy costs for families.

Since taking office, the SNP claims that it has launched ‘a revival in house building’ with 3,300 homes funded by the Scottish Government. It promises to maintain this, with 5,000 new council homes in the next parliamentary term, creating an estimated 8,000 jobs.

Overall, its aim is to build over 6,000 new socially-rented houses each year, aided by the National Housing Trust to kickstart mothballed schemes.

It also explores new funding models for housing, including the development of a Scottish Housing Bond and accessing pension funds.

The manifesto also promises to make better use of existing housing stock which is currently lying empty by extending support for the Shelter Scotland Empty Homes scheme. It would also introduce a levy on long term empty houses.

In a move away from government plans in England, the SNP will guarantee to retain secured tenancies at affordable rents. It will also toughen up tenancy rules for tenants who commit anti-social behaviour, as we know this is a serious issue for people all over Scotland.

Finally, the party promises to provide enough specialist or adapted housing for older Scots and disabled people. It intends to publish a national strategy on housing for older people if re-elected on 5 May.

Readers' comments (28)

  • Chris Webb

    If it allows the Scots to prevent Rachman Landlords screwing the State for every £Million they can get out of it then it has got to be a good idea. For some reason the English want to give all of their taxpounds to parasites and scroungers through subsidies to private landlords - why should the rest of the country be forced to follow the madness.

    Is the Tory government too afraid of a non-tory one being successful and so make the electorate realise what a bunch on incompetents they have elected here. They need not worry, after all the English electorate have fallen for it year after year for generations whilst the likes of Norway has gone from Socialist strength to Socialist strength.

    Let Scotland show us all the way to go - free health care, free education, conserved environment, and affordable housing along with sustainable employment. Set the Scots free from the millstone that is Westminster.

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  • Melvin Bone

    Not sure how devolution of Housing Benefits would tie in with Universal Credits...

    I think Scotland is a millstone around Englands neck.

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  • McMadman

    Melvin - what a shame. Rather than the knee jerk reaction, perhaps England should be arguing for a more representative government for itself. Some of us up here might think that with billions of pounds of oil tax revenue flowing out of here over the last 35 years - way, way more than was ever returned in spending - we've propped up a bankrupt England.

    The way forward is genuine independence for the constituent countries, principalities and provinces of thes islands. Westmonster doesn't work - it's essentially an English parliament in all but name anyway seeing as what England votes for England gets and England imposes on the rest of these islands.

    I think there would be a far more mature relationship between the peoples under genuine independence rather than the pettyminded ignorance displayed by people like Melvin.

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  • Melvin Bone

    Have you got the figures on the oil revenue vs cost of Scotland?

    The last figures I saw gave the Scottish settlement as £22 Billion per year and the North Sea Revenue as £12 Billion per year...

    Anyhow as Scotland is not a sovereign state, it has no effective maritime boundaries anyway so no right to the oil...

    Good Luck.

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  • Oh just give them full indepedance already. They keep their owen revenue and pay their own bills, England does the same. Any trade between the two can be arranged the same as with other countries.

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  • Chris Webb

    Melvin - perhaps you could share with us how much from business rates, income tax, highways tax, VAT etc goes towards making up the Scottish Settlement.

    For instance, I understand Essex gets a sizeable wadge every year and they don't even have any oil income.

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  • Melvin Bone

    You are so good with figures PSR that I'll let you get the figures...

    Daft thing is that if Scotland was more devolved and then had an Icelandic like meltdown I know who would have to pick up the tab...

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  • Chris Webb

    Are those straws you are grasping at Melvin, or simply a strange way of accepting you may have been wrong.

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  • Melvin Bone

    I'm looking for facts not straws PSR.

    You mentioned 'business rates, income tax, highways tax, VAT etc' so I thought you'd have the facts'n'figures at hand.

    I'd think South East England contributes considerably more to the UK revenue wise than all of Scotland.

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  • Chris Webb

    I was pointing out to you that the funding awarded to Scotland was from exactly the same source as the funding doled out to each and every region. You are confusing your arguments - the traditional one is the per head comparison being unfair not the drastically reduced income from oil.

    Perhaps, whilst you are figure happy Melvin, you would wish to prove how much the South East contributes compared to other regions. Do remember though that the City is its own region, and do factor in the costs the City does not pay towards, such as the infrastructure that supports the commuter towns and ensures they arrive at work each day.

    Meanwhile, shall we have a sweepstake on how many days after the announcement of the Scottish Elections Melvin comes in with some hard and fast facts to support his stance!

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