Edinburgh council was one of the first to adopt a no evictions policy. But it has now begun policing tenants’ lifestyles to work out who is most worthy of its limited funds.
People applying for Discretionary housing payments (DHP) to cope with the bedroom tax are being told to give details of their spending, to make sure they are not buying “luxuries”.
Councillor Cammy Day said it was “a horrible position to be in, having to make a judgement on people’s lifestyles.”
This is lining up with the worst of Tory scapegoating. The reality of life for people hit by benefit cuts is anything but luxury and Sky TV.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Scotland last week issued an emergency guide to surviving with absolutely no money, through charities and food banks.
“We see people every day who haven’t eaten, can’t afford to feed or heat themselves and are at risk of homelessness,” said CAB Scotland boss Margaret Lynch.
“In the past, the benefits system was a safety net for such people. With the government’s welfare reforms, that safety net is no longer there.”