Reports and Campaigns
Reports and campaigns:
Wales: Stop the Bedroom Tax evictions!
Socialist Party Wales reporters
A vulnerable family became the first people evicted in Wales as a result of the bedroom tax. Mandy Williams, who suffers with depression, and her 17-year-old daughter, Sky were thrown out of their council home by bailiffs on 23 July after accumulating rent arrears.
Neighbours, anti-cuts activists and Socialist Party members turned out to defend the property. Police arrested party member Steffan Bateman to get into the property. He was later released without charge.
Until March, Mandy worked as a cleaner at the Welsh Assembly in Cathays Park for contractor Kier. Her mother died just before Christmas 2014, which impacted on her mental health and led to her having to take time off work. Kier 'let her go'.
Ross Saunders, Secretary of Cardiff Against The Cuts and Socialist Party member, said: "This is a disgrace. While Assembly Members get a massive pay rise their own cleaners get treated like dirt by both their employer and Cardiff's Labour-run council, which has always claimed to be against the bedroom tax. Cardiff Council needs to withdraw this eviction notice, and the Assembly must urgently take the 'Scottish road' and abolish the Bedroom Tax for all tenants."
But rather than taking the Scottish road the council instead decided to do the Tories' dirty work and sent bailiffs and police to make a family homeless. Labour has shown, once again, not to be a party that defends working class people.
With a re-elected Tory government, the anti-bedroom tax movement needs to reorganise and begin a mass campaign to scrap the bedroom tax in Wales. We can't wait another five years while vulnerable people are put in these situations.
Millionaire Tory welfare minister Iain Duncan Smith introduced the hated bedroom tax, which became law in April 2013. Social housing tenants have had their housing benefit cut for having a 'spare bedroom' - an average of £16 a week from the income of 500,000 of Britain's poorest households.
The Tories say this is to make tenants downsize to free up more social housing. However, council house sell-offs mean that insufficient smaller properties are available, causing tenants to build up rent arrears and face legal action by councils.