Bin the Bedroom Tax – Protest at Lib-dems UK national conference
Story Credit: Grace Franklin/ Local Glasgow News
A major protest against the ‘bedroom tax’ will be held on Saturday 14 September in Glasgow to coincide with Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg speaking at his UK party’s conference in Glasgow.
In an announcement on Thursday 8 August 2013 at Gorbals Parish Church, combined groups of campaigners against the tax presented a united front to highlight the issue.
The Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations, the STUC, the Scottish Tenants Organisation, the No2 bedroom tax Campaign, and the Beat the Bedroom Tax group plan to march from Glasgow Green to the SECC where the political conference will be held.
Instituted as part of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and effective from 1 April this year, the tax applies to anyone receiving housing benefit. Their beneifit will be reduced by 14% for every ‘spare’ bedroom in their council or housing association house and by 25% if they have two or more ‘spare’ bedrooms.
The cut in benefit was roundly condemned by Scottish Liberal Democrats at their annual conference in Dundee earlier this year. Speakers criticised their own party ministers who are in Government for failing to stop the bedroom tax. They called for the tax to be deferred and the issue of under occupancy to be reconsidered. Said former Lib Dem MSP Robert Brown, who is now a councillor in South Lanarkshire: ‘We should send the clearest of messages to the Government, to Liberal Democrat ministers, that the policy is damaging and unfair.’
A recent survey showed that of more than 99,000 households affected in 38 councils across the UK, fewer than 4000 unoccupied one and two bedroomed council homes were available for them. Citizens Advice Bureaux have been overwhelmed with tenants anxious about losing benefits and being unable to move house.
Said a spokesman for one of the groups planning to march on Saturday 14 September in Glasgow: ‘The Forum of Housing Associations represents 80,000 tenants. It covers all Housing Associations in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, except the Glasgow Housing Association (GHA). This is quite a coup and we expect the march and rally on the day to be very big.’
For more information visit: http://binthebedroomtax.net/