By Claire West

Local authorities have now been allocated their share of a £20 million pot to help support Scottish households in the face of UK Government Welfare Reforms.

This additional funding has been allocated to local authorities to add to their Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) budget and will mitigate against the impact of the bedroom tax.

The money will top up the payments in each local authority to the maximum permitted under UK legislation and will bring the total funding available to £5.9 million for Glasgow, £3.5 million for Edinburgh and £2.4 million for Highland.

People on housing benefit who are in financial difficulty can apply to their local council for emergency funding towards their on-going housing costs, such as rent shortages. The extra funding will increase the total DHP budget in Scotland from £15 million to £35 million.

Minister for Housing and Welfare, Margaret Burgess said:

"We are determined to do everything we can to help mitigate welfare cuts, including the bedroom tax. And this funding will make a real difference to people across Scotland.

"We also recognise the huge financial pressures that have been placed upon authorities by welfare reform, this is why we have made available an additional £20 million to be distributed across every Local Authority.

"This is the maximum permitted under UK legislation and ensure that far more people can access the financial support they need.

"These unjust welfare policies show why we need the powers of independence to protect vulnerable people rather than simply trying to cushion the blows in Scotland.

"It would be far better to control benefits and welfare so unfair policies like the bedroom tax are not even considered, let alone implemented."