Speaking at a meeting of the Highland Council's Resources Committee today, Tain councillor and Holyrood hopeful Jamie Stone called for the UK Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to come to the Highlands to see for himself the damage being caused by the Bedroom Tax and other benefits reforms.

"The author of our misfortunes, the man who is stripping benefits off some of the most needy, and the brains behind the Bedroom Tax, is sitting in a London office - and he is Iain Duncan Smith" said Mr Stone.


"Councillors have heard me speak in the past of a constituent of mine who is hit by the Bedroom Tax. She has MS and the local housing association built a specially adapted house for her - including an extra small room in case her mother or her carer has to stay over when her condition is particularly bad - and yet she is hit by the Bedroom Tax.


"For personal family reasons I myself know all about disability issues. I also know about support groups of people in the same situations for reasons of disability - and I also know about the fear and anxiety these people suffer from as we see benefits reform and the deep uncertainty as to whether these people will receive the same level of financial support a month or a year from now.


"This extra anxiety for our vulnerable is straightforward cruel. And that is why we as the Highland Council should make our representations to Scottish and UK ministers - including Iain Duncan Smith himself. If he does agree to come north, then I shall make a point of introducing him to the constituent I have mentioned.


Responding to Councillor Stone, Highland Council Leader Margaret Davidson agreed to seek meetings with Ministers, including Iain Duncan Smith "If he has his job for much longer" as she wryly put it. This being a reference to his disagreement with the Prime Minister regarding Britain's continued membership of the EU.



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