Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/16669
Stop the cruel, ruthless bedroom tax!
On Sunday 12 May the Sunday People broke the tragic story of the suicide of a 53 year old woman, Stephanie Bottrill, who killed herself because of the bedroom tax.
In a letter to her son she explained what had pushed her over the edge: "Don't blame yourself for me ending my life. The only people to blame are the government."
Because of the Con-Dems' bedroom tax Stephanie was told she would lose £20 a week from her housing benefit.
Struggling to make ends meet, subsisting on tinned custard, it is reported that she told neighbours: "I can't afford to live anymore."
This is a tragedy made in Westminster by a government that wants to make working class people pay for the crisis of the bankers, the super-rich and the capitalist system they represent.
Her neighbour said: "There's no way Stephanie is going to be the last to die because of this bedroom tax.
"She's not going to be the only one" (for more about this horrific story, see Mirror article: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-suicide-grieving-son-1886058 )
Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party, said:
"The Socialist Party is utterly opposed to the bedroom tax and to all the government's austerity measures. We reject any attempt to make the working class pay for the crisis of the capitalist system.
"Labour has been attempting to present itself as opposing the bedroom tax but Ed Miliband could not bring himself to pledge that a future Labour government would repeal it. In Cardiff and Aberdeen councils Labour voted down motions against evictions.
"As well as dire misery for those affected, the bedroom tax has unleashed a fury - it is seen as totally unfair.
"What's more is that people all over the country are starting to organise themselves to stop it. The Socialist Party is part of this and is calling on councils to immediately refuse to evict and to refuse to implement the Tories' murderous policy.
"But we have no faith in any of the main political parties to make such a clear stand on the side of ordinary people - tied as they are to the 1% super-rich.
"The Socialist Party is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition which is calling for 'no cuts' candidates to stand in elections to give a voice to the millions who oppose the government's misery measures".
- No evictions of tenants who fall into rent arrears as a result of austerity cuts. Organise local campaigns to oppose the tax and defend our homes, and link them to existing anti-cuts groups. Build anti-eviction armies in every area to protect people's homes.
- Stand candidates against councillors who try to evict us. Build a new mass workers' party that draws together workers, young people and activists from workplaces and anti-cuts campaigns, to provide a fighting, political alternative to the pro-cuts parties.
- Cap rents and build homes. Invest in a major programme of council house building and refurbishment to provide affordable homes for all and decent jobs.
- End low pay! If workers are paid a genuinely living wage they would not need to claim housing benefit.
- Boardroom tax not bedroom tax. Make the rich pay for their crisis including nationalisation of the banking system, major corporations and utilities under democratic control with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need.
- Fight all the cuts. Trade unions must build for a 24-hour general strike as the next major step in the campaign against austerity.
- For a socialist alternative to cuts and capitalism with a democratic socialist plan of production based on the interests of the overwhelming majority of people - not the 1%.