Greater Manchester Federation Against The Bedroom Tax was launched on Tuesday 20th July with a meeting attended by 150+ people, a wide range of tenants and activists.
The bedroom tax is arguably this government’s fiercest attack on working class people and disabled people and unemployed since the Coalition has come into power.
This will affect 14,000 households in Manchester and 50,000 in Greater Manchester. The federation agreed to affiliate to the national No Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Campaign.
At its most basic this is a cut in Housing Benefit (for tenants of social landlords) of 14% of rent for those with 1 ‘extra’ bedroom and 25% of rent for those with 2 or more ‘spare’ bedrooms from April 2013.
Bedroom tax is already in place for those in private rented accommodation.
It applies to people in and out of work. One stated aim of the policy is to incentivise people to work; presumably by placing them in such poverty they are forced to take any job they can. It doesn’t apply to pensioners.
There is no provision for parents who have limited responsibility for children, such as visiting at weekends.
In a phone-in, Lord Freud, the author of the Bill, said to a father of 3 boys who visit him a weekends, that he should live in a 1 bedroom flat and the children share a sofa bed when they visit.
Between 66% – 72% of those affected have at least one member of the household who has a disability.
What to do now
Keep in touch with protests, updates and activities on www.nobedroomtax.co.uk
- Come to the public meeting: Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, 7pm Tuesday 19th March
- Attend rally against the Bedroom Tax at Piccadilly Gardens on Saturday 23rd March at 1.00pm
- Organise local tenants groups in your area
- Leaflet your local Social Housing areas
- Request Social Housing Landlords to reclassify their housing as ‘1 bedroom’.
- Write to MP’s and councillors with complaints.
- For further information see the website www.nobedroomtax.co.uk