A FIFE grandmother has expressed her anger after learning of changes to be made to the residence allowance, reports FIONA PURNELL.
Christine Buist received a letter from Fife Council about cuts to the payment available to relatives who take on the responsibility of looking after a family member’s child.
Under the changes the allowance will be means tested and Mrs Buist says the payment her family receives will be reduced to zero.
She explained: “It’s a reduction in the costs we are given.
“I get almost £75 a week at the moment, but will get nothing.
“The first I’d heard of these cuts was when I received a letter from Fife Council.
“We have six months for them to assess people’s income and then they will bring this new policy in.
“It came in at the start of the month for new applicants.
“Their reason for doing it is the tight budget constraints.
“There was also a bonus payment for Christmas, birthdays and summer holidays, but that’s to be stopped.
“We looked after our grandchild before we got the money as we wanted to provide them with a loving, secure environment and social work prefer to keep them in the family if they can, but this is like we’re being penalised and the children are being punished.
“It might not seem like a big difference in payments, but it all adds up.
“The allowance provides extras for our granddaughter, such as going swimming and to gymnastics.
“I just don’t think it’s fair as it is the kids that will suffer as they will no longer be able to do those things as we won’t have that extra money.
“I know my family are not going to be the only ones affected by this and I feel something has to be done.”