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Full report: Demolition sparks housing protest in Carlisle

A protest has taken place in Carlisle against the demolition of several one bedroom flats in the city.

A group of residents say there are not enough properties of this size for all the people that need them.

They are worried that there's a growing demand for smaller flats because of the Government's so-called bedroom tax, which charges people in public housing who have unused bedrooms.

Andy Burn reports:


House demolitions "nothing about housing" says campaigner

"This is basically another instrument by the government to take money off the poorest and most vulnerable to finance tax giveaways to the millionaires and big business corporation tax cuts.

"It's nothing about housing. If it was really about rehousing people and using the social housing stock, why would they knock down 16 post-war-built single bedroom flats?

"This is the proof that it is nothing about housing."

– Brent Kennedy, Spokesperson, Axe the bedroom tax

Riverside Homes: "We have a large number of one bedroom properties"

"Riverside in Carlisle manages 6,000 homes. Within the district over 1600 are one bedroom which means Riverside is responsible for managing 85% of the one bedroom properties in Carlisle.

"Not only do we have a large number of one bedroom properties in our stock but also extensive knowledge on demand and management of one bedroom properties.

"We currently have over 30 one bedroom properties which are empty and in the process of being advertised for re-let or have been allocated."

– Spokesperson, Riverside Homes

Bedroom tax protest in Carlisle

A group of Riverside Housing Association tenants from Carlisle are staging a protest against the proposed Bedroom Tax.

Residents on the Botcherby housing estate are angry after 16 single-bedroom flats were demolished, despite 400 people signing a petition to save them.

A national survey says that single room flats are unavailable for 96 percent of those affected.

Demonstration one of 50 across the UK

The protest will be held on Saturday in Carlisle and will be the second in the city as part of a national campaign against benefit cuts.

Around 100 people attended the last Carlisle event earlier this month.

Under the proposals, which are due to be brought in as part of the Government's wider welfare reforms, people with unoccupied bedrooms face having to move to smaller properties or having their benefit payments cut.

The protest will be held at the Old Town Hall from 1pm.


Full Report: Fears over the 'bedroom tax' as the Budget is announced

The Chancellor is under pressure to rethink changes to benefits in tomorrow's budget.

Thousands of people have been protesting against the so called 'Bedroom Tax', which is due to come in next month.

The tax will mean that tenants with a spare room will have their housing benefits cut.

Our reporter Kathryn Samson met one man from Annan who fears that he will be made homeless as a result of the new changes.

You can watch her full report below.

Protests across the UK

Opponents of the Government's changes to housing benefit say that there will be up to 57 protests across the UK.

The demonstrations are timed to happen at 1pm today including in the centre of Carlisle and Whitehaven.

The Government has defended its changes to the welfare system saying that the changes will help cut the £23bn annual bill for housing benefit, free up more living space for overcrowded families, and encourage people to get jobs.

But housing charities are warning that the result will be higher levels of rent arrears, and greater homelessness.

The Labour Party has dubbed the changes a "bedroom tax" but the Government insists that it is wrong to call it a tax.

They say it is a cut on a "spare room subsidy".

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