Despite Tory attempts to smear the visit of Raquel Rolnik, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, they have not been able to keep the human rights investigator from speaking out on the horrors of the Bedroom Tax.
During her visit to the UK last week, first revealed by the Salford Star (see here), she came to Salford, to visit Dave, a former council worker now suffering from an injury and living in a towerblock in Pendleton*. The visit was captured by Al Jazeera UK TV and has been posted on YouTube.
In the news item, Dave explains that "I could lose my flat after Christmas, I'll be on the street…what else can I do except live on the street? I can't afford another £14 a week."
Al Jazeera's reporter says that Dave has only `$7 a day' to live on and has to pay a quarter of his benefits back, while the UN's Raquel Rolnik talks about the impact of the Bedroom Tax, not only on the right to housing, but also on the right to food, health, education which are connected human rights.
Following her countrywide tour to take evidence, Raquel Rolnik was incredibly outspoken about the Bedroom Tax, telling journalists that "My immediate recommendation is that the Bedroom Tax is abolished...
"I was very shocked to hear how people really feel abused in their human rights by this decision and why – being so vulnerable – they should pay for the cost of the economic downturn, which was brought about by the financial crisis" she added "People in testimonies were crying, saying 'I have nowhere to go', 'I will commit suicide'."
Raquel Rolnik will report her findings to the Human Rights Council at its 25th session in March 2014 in Geneva.
Meanwhile, anyone who wishes to protest against the Bedroom Tax can go to the Bolton Against Bedroom Tax demo outside Bolton Town Hall, Victoria Square tomorrow, Saturday 14th September 1pm.
For further details see Bolton Against Bedroom Tax facebook page
* Al Jazeera states on its report that Pendleton is in `Manchester' but we'll let them off!