'Bedroom tax' marchers takes to the streets
CAMPAIGNERS chanted “axe the bedroom tax” at a protest against the controversial charge held in Bolton town centre.
Placards in protest against the “bedroom tax” were carried by those impacted by the legislation along with union members, politicians and residents at the demonstration.
People joined together in Victoria Square on Saturday afternoon in a bid to see the changes reversed.
People spoke about the impact the changes have had before marching around the town centre. Andrew Peacock, aged 48, from Little Lever, criticised the system.
He has a four-year-old child who stays at his home three days a week but he has been told he is only eligible for a one-bedroom home. Mr Peacock is also registered disabled.
He said: “Single parents are really impacted by the bedroom tax. It’s like we don’t already have it hard enough as it is without this Mickey Mouse tax. I didn’t cause this financial mess, it is nothing to do with disabled people so why do we have to pay for it?”
The changes dubbed the “bedroom tax” were introduced in April. Under the Government's welfare reform, social tenants deemed to have more bedrooms than they need have had their housingbenefit reduced since April, which will save about £500 million annually.
MP David Crausby, for Bolton North East, who was at the protest with fellow Bolton MPs Julie Hilling and Yasmin Qureshi, said: “The Government hit the most vulnerable with this bedroom tax and they should be deeply ashamed of themselves.
They are out of touch, it’s unfair and there’s no alternative for tenants who live in houses that are slightly too large.”
Cllr Noel Spencer, for Farnworth, added that the bedroom tax needed to be abolished and called it a “horrific legislation”.
Bolton Council leader, Cllr Cliff Morris, was also at the protest Kearsley resident Pat Raby, aged 53, said she was being “punished” because her children had grown up and moved away from the home she has lived in for 11 years.
She said she has spent money on the home and cannot find anywhere suitable to live as she needs an oxygen supply due to a health condition and would struggle to get up to a flat which was not on a ground floor.
Mark Krantz, co-ordinator of Greater Manchester Against the Bedroom Tax, said: “It’s the most evil, heartless, cruel thing that’s ever been introduced in this country.
“If anybody is threatened with eviction we will be there to protest. The antibedroom tax army will be there at the courts.”
Protesters were also signing petitions calling for the reforms to be scrapped.
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