Bedroom Tax Protest In Newcastle
2 October 2013, 07:42
A march is being held in Newcastle against the so-called 'Bedroom Tax'.
The protest has been organised to coincide with a full Newcastle City Council meeting at the Civic Centre.
A petition with thousands of signatures on, calling for the tax to be banned, will be handed in to the council.
The Labour Party have said they will scrap the bedroom tax if re-elected in two years.
In an open letter to the council, campaigners say:
"It seems to us that the council has two choices: either face up to hundreds of appeals with all its resource and political implications, or to do what it should have done in the first place, consider every individual case on its facts."
Speaking to Capital at the Labour Party Conference last week, Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah told us:
"Of the 6,000 people in Newcastle who are affected by the bedroom tax, a third are now in rental arrears because they can't afford to pay their rent.
For many people it's taking this extra £14 or £21 per week when they can't actually go anywhere - there's no smaller houses for them to move to.
Basically it's taking away their money to live on, their money for food or for heating.
The amount of fear, frustration and hopelessness that it's caused amongst people in Newcastle is really heart-wrenching.
For many people they're stuck in a place that they can't change, they can't change their home, so it looked like this was just going to be the way it would be forever.
Now they know that if Labour is elected in 2015 we will scrap this, this at least will give them some hope."