'Bedroom Tax' protest

A protest rally has taken place in Exeter against new rules which leave people claiming housing benefits facing deductions for spare rooms.

'Bedroom Tax' protests across the West Country

People in towns and cities across the West Country gave up part of their Easter weekend to protest against the so-called, "bedroom tax" which takes effect next week.

Under the Government rules, more than half a million social housing tenants, deemed to have a spare bedroom, will have their benefits cut.

Wesley Smith reports:

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'Bedroom tax' protests in Devon and Cornwall today

Many social housing tenants will be affected. Credit: PA

A group of people will be gathering at The Sundial in Plymouth this lunchtime to protest against the forthcoming 'bedroom tax'. Protests will also take place in Exeter and Truro.

Under the new rules about to be introduced, social housing tenants deemed to have too many bedrooms will see their housing benefit reduced.

'Bedroom tax' protest in Exeter

Protestors in Bedford Square listen to a speaker Credit: ITV Westcountry

Campaigners have been demonstrating against new rules which will see housing benefit cut for council tenants deemed to have spare bedrooms. The protest in Exeter was in opposition to changes which the Government calls the spare room subsidy. Labour has dubbed it the bedroom tax.

'Bedroom tax' protest in Exeter

A protest rally is due to take place in Exeter this afternoon against new rules which leave people claiming housing benefits facing deductions for spare rooms.

The so-called 'bedroom tax' means that from April, tenants face a 14 per cent reduction in benefits if they have one spare bedroom and a 25 per cent reduction if they have two.

The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, estimates that more than 800 households in Exeter will be affected by the rules. This afternoon's protest is due to take place at 1pm in Bedford Square. It's part of a nationwide day of action in 60 towns and cities.