Bolton 'bedroom tax' campaigners take their fight to United Nations
BOLTON campaigners fighting the so-called “bedroom tax” will be meeting a representative of the United Nations to plead their case this weekend.
Raquel Rolnik, the United Nations special rapporteur on adequate housing, will be attending a meeting in Manchester on Saturday, which will include representatives of campaign group Bolton against the Bedroom tax.
A professor of architecture and an urban planner based in Brazil, Ms Rolnik’s role is to investigate housing issues for the UN.
Bolton campaigner Linda Charnock will be highlighting the cases of local residents who she said have been impacted by the under-occupancy charge, which deducts housing benefit from social housing tenants if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom.
Mrs Charnock said: “There are a few people from Bolton going and we’ll be telling her the stories of people who’ve been affected.”
Ms Rolnik is touring several cities in the UK following an invitation from the Government and will present a report on her findings to the Human Rights Council in Geneva next March.
She said: “The UK has voiced its commitment to human rights on repeated occasions, and this mission will give me an opportunity to assess in-depth to what extend adequate housing, as one central aspect of the right to an adequate standard of living, is at the core of this commitment.”
The majority of Bolton’s Conservative group recently backed a motion at full council to scrap the under-occupancy charge, marking a major break from party policy.
Martin McMulkin, secretary of Bolton TUC, said: “It is very good news that someone from the United Nations is looking at the impact of the bedroom tax. Even local Conservatives are beginning to call for their government to axe it.”
The meeting is at the Friends’ Meeting House in Mount Street at 3pm.
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