Bolton campaigners welcome UN woman's call to scrap 'bedroom tax'
BOLTON “bedroom tax” campaigners have welcomed a recommendation from a UN special rapporteur to scrap the controversial scheme.
Raquel Rolnik called for it to be abolished immediately after she met with campaigners, including those from Bolton, in Manchester.
A professor of architecture and an urban planner based in Brazil, Ms Rolnik’s role is to investigate housing issues for the UN.
She said: “The right to housing is not about a roof anywhere, at any cost, without any social ties.
“Housing deprivation is worsening in the UK. Increasingly, people appear to be facing difficulties accessing adequate, affordable, well-located and secure housing.
“I would suggest that the so-called bedroom tax be suspended immediately and be fully re-evaluated in the light of the evidence of its impact on the right to adequate housing and general well-being of many vulnerable individuals.”
Under the Government's welfare reform, social tenants deemed to have more bedrooms than they need have had their housing benefit reduced since April, which will save about £500 million annually.
Bolton campaigner Linda Charnock highlighted the cases of local residents who she said have been impacted by the under-occupancy charge.
She said: “It is clear that the bedroom tax is an attack on our human rights, as people are now having to use food banks, and have fallen in to debt, falling behind with household costs because of it.”
Fellow campaigner, Tess Simpson, added: “We want to thank Raquel Rolnik for listening and taking the time and effort to listen to everyone’s testimonials.
“Our group has campaigned extremely hard to overturn this governments policy and we will continue to do so until this unfair and unjust “tax” which effects the most vulnerable people in our country is abolished.”
Bolton Against Bedroom Tax has called a demonstration against the bedroom tax on Saturday, 1 at 1pm, outside Bolton Town Hall.
MPs David Crausby and Yasmin Qureshi will speak, as well as a number of activists from the campaign including Trade Unionists and tenants who are directly affected by the bedroom tax.
Anti-bedroom tax campaigners are planning another protest in Bolton.
Prostesters plan to gather outside Bolton Town Hall at 1pm tomorrow before marching along Deansgate, Bradshawgate, Great Moor Street and Newport Street.
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