`Axe, Axe the Bedroom Tax!!!' This was the message screamed out to Greater Manchester and beyond yesterday, as around five hundred people took to city centre Manchester streets to protest against the unfair ConDem Government tax on some of the most vulnerable people in society.
The march was led by a lady in a wheelchair carrying a placard that stated simply `Stop the Bedroom Tax'. As the march weaved its way past the St Peter's Square branch of Starbucks, a banner was paraded in front of its doors reading `Big Business Pay Your Taxes, So We Can Keep Our Homes', pointing out the hypocrisy of a Government that tries to blame the country's economic ills on those struggling for money, rather than those corporations avoiding paying their way.
At the rally in Piccadilly Gardens following the march, John Bowman, from the Unite Community Union - a new union that anyone can join – slated the Bedroom Tax but pointed out other linked `sickening' reforms which made a mockery of Government claims that it is trying to create spare rooms for people to move into…
"That is absolutely not the case" he said, using as an example the new `reform' that deducts benefits from people who have `non-dependents' living in their house.
"They're combining an under occupancy tax with an occupancy tax as well" explained Bowman "We need to stand against it and all the sickening reforms that are coming in now."
He added that in the budget, the ConDems had also announced a huge subsidy for people to buy new build houses…
"It's an extension of right to buy and also gives huge subsidies for landlords to buy properties, and then rent them off" he said, adding that the rise in social housing rents is "another disgrace"…
"It goes to show that they are taking away social housing…they see it as an aberration that people should pay rent at less than market prices, and they want to make sure that all housing in Britain is paid at market rent, increasingly unaffordable for those of us who are unemployed or low waged.
"We need to stand against it, which people have done today" he concluded "We now need to go back into our estates, which is something Unite is doing, building local meetings – if there isn't one organised, then organise one!"
Salford has a meeting organised…
BROUGHTON AGAINST THE BEDROOM TAX
6pm Monday 8th April
Humphrey Booth Learning Centre, Heath Avenue, Lower Broughton M7 1NY
Further details from firstname.lastname@example.org