Sunday, 18 November 2012

Defend Your Home Against the Bedroom Tax - Mass Meeting

Defend Your Home Against the Bedroom Tax

From the 1st of April tenants of housing associations & social landlords will be hit by a possible 25% cut in their housing benefit if they under-occupy their home.

This means:

1 spare room will see a 14% reduction in housing benefit
2 spare rooms will see a 25% reduction in housing benefit[i]

660,000 tenants & their families will be affected nationwide.[ii] 12,000 tenants in Liverpool[iii] and 3,000 tenants in Knowsley[iv] will be hit by the Bedroom Tax. Additionally, 44,700 working age people and their families will see a 17.5% cut in Council Tax Support.[v]

This callous attack on working class people, both in and out of work, will purge thousands of —many longstanding— tenants, 300,000 of which are parents[vi], from their homes and neighbourhoods into low-rent ghettos —and all for what? To save £500 million? To tackle the housing ‘crisis’? Bullshit!

According to the Empty Homes Agency, there are 725,000[vii] empty homes —owned by large corporations, banks, offshore companies, local authorities, other government departments, and not by private individuals[viii] — in England: enough for 1.8m people! Yet, nearly 700,000 tenants, 2/3rds of which are disabled[ix], will be thrown into crisis by government ideology and landlord indifference.

What can we do about it?

We can fight!

In Ireland, a grassroots community-led campaign against a 100 Household & Water Tax has met fierce resistance from working class people.[x] The mass non-payment campaign has seen households working together & supporting each other when refusing to register or pay the tax. Statistics released by the No Household Tax Campaign show that 750,000 families (52%) have boycotted the tax.[xi]

Leeds Defend Council Housing[xii] offer this advice:

"It is going to be very difficult for the Council or a Housing Association to evict tenants who fall into arrears as a result of housing benefit cuts. You are likely to be judged to be unintentionally homeless and the Council will then have to re-house you. It is much cheaper to keep you in your home. So don’t panic, don’t move, just keep paying what you can afford."

We Can Organise!
We have until April 1st 2013 to organise against the Bedroom Tax, so we must act quickly. On the 24th of November Bootle Against Welfare Reforms are holding a demonstration to raise awareness about the Bedroom Tax, Council Tax cut and Benefit Cap which will displace 1000’s of people from their homes.

You can sign up to the Facebook event here:

On 12 January 2013 Liverpool Claimants Network is calling a mass meeting to organise resistance to the Bedroom Tax, and Welfare Cuts in general.

Facebook event here:

Venue & Time to be confirmed.

By working together and supporting each other we can defeat the Bedroom Tax.

Invite your friends, family & community, and network it.

[vi] (p11)

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