Protests against 'bedroom tax'

Campaigners against the Government's controversial changes to housing benefits - dubbed 'bedroom tax' - have taken to the streets across the UK in protest.

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Protesters urge government to axe 'bedroom tax'

Thousands of protesters today called for the Government to axe the changes to housing benefits, dubbed a "bedroom tax" by campaigners.

Organisers said some 12,000 to 13,000 activists had turned out to protest across the UK against the plans, which will see benefit cuts for people with a spare room.

The protest's national organiser, Dr Eoin Clarke, said:

It punishes the disabled, single parents, carers, the terminally ill, soldiers serving on the frontline and foster parents with more than one foster child.

It is not about left and right, it is about right and wrong.

David Cameron's Government have shown that they just haven't got a clue.

– Dr Eoin Clarke, National Organiser

The biggest marches took place in Liverpool and Manchester, with more expected in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff on March 30.

Labour: Lib Dems 'supporting Tory's unfair bedroom tax'

Shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran has said that the Liberal Democrats are helping to carry unpopular Tory policies, after party members criticised government ministers for failing to stop the so-called bedroom tax.

Labour MP Margaret Curran, the shadow Scottish secretary. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Ms Curran said in a statement: "Not a single delegate spoke in favour of the bedroom tax at the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference.

"But the Scottish Lib Dems around the cabinet table - Michael Moore and Danny Alexander - want to support the Tories and carry on with a policy that will punish some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

"100,000 tenants in Scotland will be hit by the bedroom tax, 40,000 face rent arrears and thousands could be made homeless. The bedroom tax is cruel and unfair and today's vote shows even the Lib Dems know that".

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Former Lib Dem MSP slams 'bedroom tax'

Liberal Democrats have criticised government ministers for failing to stop the so-called 'bedroom tax'.

Party members, gathered at the spring conference in Dundee, called on the coalition Government to defer the under-occupancy rules and reconsider its approach.

Former Lib Dem MSP Robert Brown led the criticism:

I hope that conference will send the clearest of messages to the Government, to Liberal Democrat ministers, that the policy is damaging and unfair.

  1. Wales

Welsh protest against 'bedroom tax'

Protesters outside City Hall in Cardiff Credit: Richard Morgan/ITV News

A protest is taking place in the centre of Cardiff against what has been dubbed the 'bedroom tax'. It is part of a nationwide campaign against the UK Government's benefit plans.

The tax will be split into two rates: If you have one extra room the charge is 14 per cent of your eligible rent, if you have two or more extra rooms it is 25 per cent of your eligible rent

  1. Central

'A callous and plunderous policy' say protesters

Around 100 people gathered in Nottingham today to protest against the government's 'bedroom tax' which it is claimed will affect thousands of households.

Dubbed by Labour as the 'bedroom tax', it will cut the amount of benefit people can get if they are considered to have a spare bedroom.

According to the Housing Federation, around 50,000 households could be affected in the East Midlands.

Today protests are being held in cities throughout the Midlands.

Protests staged across UK over 'bedroom tax'

Protests are taking place nationwide today against a new housing benefit, labelled by campaigners as "bedroom tax", that will cut benefits to people with a spare room.

Under the Government's welfare reforms, those deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home will have their benefit claims reduced by £40 to £80.

Protestors take part in a demonstration outside Croydon Town Hall in Surrey. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Protestors take part in a demonstration against the government's proposed housing benefits.. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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MS sufferer: I'll need to find an extra £100 a month

MS sufferer Alyson Fletcher has lived in her home in Dunstable for 47 years but she said she will need to find an extra £100 a month when the Government's so-called 'bedroom tax' is introduced.

Alyson Fletcher has lived in her home in Dunstable for 47 years Credit: Daybreak

Speaking to ITV's Daybreak she said if she had to move again and make modifications to her next home she would be looking at a cost of "around £17,000".

Taxpayers will 'resent' paying for spare rooms

Jonathan Isaby from the TaxPayers' Alliance said taxpayers would "resent" paying for spare rooms for those receiving housing benefits "when they can't have one themselves."

He said: "I'm not saying that there aren't people who do need those rooms but you can't have a blanket exemption for hundreds and thousands of people."

Campaigners against the Government's so-called 'bedroom tax' will take to the streets tomorrow in protest of the proposals.

'Bedroom tax': How does it work?

  • 'Bedroom tax' is a housing benefit reform, an 'under-occupation charge'
  • It will be introduced on 1st April everywhere except Northern Ireland
  • There are two rates: If you have one extra room the charge is 14 per cent of your eligible rent, if you have two or more extra rooms it is 25 per cent of your eligible rent

What does this mean?

  • The effect will be that 40,000 lose all their housing benefit and 620,000 lose an average of £15 a week
  • Almost two thirds of those affected will be disabled or have a disabled partner
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