Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Demonstrations will take place in 52 towns and cities tomorrow

16,000 plan to protest against bedroom tax

More than 16,000 people are expected to protest against the government’s controversial ‘bedroom tax’ across the UK tomorrow.

Demonstrations are planned to kick off simultaneously at 1.00pm in 54 UK towns and cities on Saturday as social tenants take to the streets to express their opposition to deductions to their housing benefits as a result of the under-occupation penalty, popularly known as the bedroom tax.

Under the policy, which comes into effect on 1 April, social tenants of working age who receive housing benefit will have their payments cut if they have one or more spare bedrooms.

Think tank and campaign group Labour Left, which is calling for the policy to be scrapped and has used social media to coordinate the protests, said 16,000 people had said they would attend - and if they brought their families and friends they hoped another 9,000 people would turn out.

On Wednesday, around 7,500 members of Facebook had said they would attend the protests on Saturday with an additional 3,200 people having said they would attend protests in London and Glasgow on 30 March.

One of the largest protests is expected to be in Liverpool, which hosted the first protest of around 300 people two weeks ago and, as of Wednesday, had 1,300 people marked as ‘attending’ on Facebook. Turnouts of between 300 and 1,000 people are also expected in Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Durham and Hull.

Iain Sim, chief executive of Coast & Country in Redcar and Cleveland, said the 10,500-home association ‘fully backed’ the protests, adding its tenants would be ‘heavily involved’.

Dr Eoin Clarke, editor at Labour Left said: ‘We see this as a grassroots thing. We expect around 80 per cent of the protesters to be women.’

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