MORE than 100,000 grants have been paid out by the scheme used to mitigate the Tory government’s so-called bedroom tax in Scotland, according to figures in a new report.

Between April and September this year, councils made 100,635 awards via the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) scheme, totalling some £56.9 million in payments.

These included “a sizeable number of cases” in which people were affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy – which has been dubbed the “bedroom tax” by opponents – the Scottish Government report containing the figures said.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said that the amount of cash spent on this was “galling”.

She said making the payments was the “right thing to do”, with more than 70,000 households receiving help to stay in their homes as a result.

By the end of September this year, councils had spent 93% of the £60.9m of the total budgeted by the Scottish Government for DHPs in 2018-19.

Somerville commented: “These figures provide further evidence of the cost to Scottish ministers of protecting people from the very worst impacts of UK Government welfare reform.”

She added: “We are providing the necessary funding in this area because it’s the right thing to do, providing a lifeline for families and individuals already struggling to make ends meet.

“However, it is galling that we are spending so much on mitigating the worst effects of UK Government cuts and to support those on low incomes – £125m in total this year alone – which is £20m more than last year.

She added: “We would much rather be spending those resources lifting people properly out of poverty rather than simply helping them keep their heads above the water.”