Campaigners draw up battle plan to fight 'bedroom tax'
CAMPAIGNERS against the “bedroom tax” in Bolton have announced a battle plan of meetings and demonstrations to fight the controversial charge.
Bolton Against the Bedroom Tax is opposed to the government’s under-occupancy charge, which reduces housing benefit for people living in social housing considered too big for their needs.
The government says the move will “reintroduce fairness” into the system and free up larger properties for families currently languishing on waiting lists.
A meeting was held last night at the Loyals Lounge in Bolton Town Hall to organise a demonstration set to take place on September 14.
Another meeting is set to go ahead on Thursday at the British Council of Mosques in Vicarage Street, Deane, at 7.30pm and the group has said that everyone is welcome to attend. The demonstration will begin on the steps of the Town Hall in Victoria Square on September 14 at 1pm.
The group said it already has key figures confirmed to attend — including Bolton MPs David Crausby and Yasmin Qureshi — but are asking anyone affected by the under-occupancy charge to get involved in the demonstration, which will include a march and a rally.
One of the leading organisers, Linda Charnock, said: “What we want to achieve with these meetings and demon-strations is, of course, a raising of awareness.
“But it’s not just that, we will be giving people practical advice on who they can contact for support and how they can appeal — and we will be holding meetings in the future across many different areas of Bolton.
“The ultimate aim is to protest against this charge until it is abolished.”
Last month, a group of 30 protesters slept rough in the square next to Bolton’s Octagon theatre to raise awareness of the vulnerable and homeless.
Ms Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, said: “The ‘bedroom tax’ is hitting the poorest hardest.
“Hard-pressed families on the lowest incomes are being forced to cut back on essential spending on food, heating and other household bills.
“I’m supporting the demonstration in Bolton on September 14 in order to send a message to the government that they should scrap this terrible policy immediately.”
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