Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2013

Abolish the bedroom tax

Hull protest against the Bedroom tax, photo Lash

Hull protest against the Bedroom tax, photo Lash   (Click to enlarge)

As we go to press, a Labour motion calling for the bedroom tax to be abolished at once is being debated in parliament.

The bedroom tax penalises housing benefit claimants in social housing for having 'spare' rooms. It demands that two children under-16 of the same sex have to share a room. Two children under-ten of different sexes also have to share.

Many people hit by the bedroom tax have moved to more expensive private housing as a result. Few one-bedroom social homes are available.

However, if all Labour councils refused to implement the tax, with the national Labour Party promising to reimburse councils if it forms the next government, the tax would be defeated already.

Instead, as these reports show, Labour councils are among the most viscous in prosecuting for rent arrears.

We need no-cuts councillors. See Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition: We need councillors who refuse to implement cuts and

Sheffield's fake court summons

Sheffield's Labour-led city council called their first tenants to court for rent arrears due to the Bedroom Tax. Summonses were issued for possession (ie eviction) hearings to be held on 8 November.

Or so it seemed. In fact the council just wanted it to look that way.

Socialist Party member Tim had received a letter on court headed notepaper with a hearing on that date at 12.15pm.

Expecting that the council would have summonsed numerous tenants on the same day several of us turned up to support the tenants and protest.

But when we asked court staff about the times of the hearings we were told that there weren't any. No possession hearings listed that day.

Tim had lost his letter so we initially thought he'd got the date wrong. Two of us accompanied him to see the council to find the correct date of the possession hearing.

But they replied, 'Today. 12.15pm. Turn up at that time and there will be a council official to greet you and take you into court.

The staff at the court might not have got it listed'. This seemed odd; the court should know what is listed for that day.

Back at the court the mystery was solved. Reception had a list of people the council were to see that day. It wasn't a court hearing. Just a discussion to get an agreement to pay.

After Tim's own situation had been discussed the council officer was asked: "Don't you think holding these meetings here's rather intimidating?"

Her reply was that tenants who don't normally engage with the council do often turn up when it's held in court. In other words, it is intended to be intimidating!

Sharon Milsom

Leeds anti-eviction army

Over the last few weeks, Leeds anti-bedroom tax campaign, Hands Off Our Homes (HOOH), has helped tenants win two reprieves from possession orders being sought by the supposedly 'compassionate' Labour-led Leeds city council.

We have distributed leaflets and held public meetings explaining the need to fight this attack tooth and nail, and showing ways people can avoid being forced out of their homes, including applying for the inadequate Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) as well as challenging the council's decision.

We also supported people facing court because they are unable to pay the council tax benefit shortfall. Many of them face this as a double whammy with the bedroom tax.

HOOH has submitted a report to UN special rapporteur Raquel Rolnik based on case studies from people met during the campaign.

The report highlights how 50% of affected council tenants in Leeds are now in rent arrears due to the bedroom tax and how 75% of those affected in Leeds have one or more disabilities. So much for the council protecting the vulnerable!

Iain Dalton, Leeds Hands Off Our Homes activist

Leicester bailiff busters

Some of the bailiff busters in Leicester, photo by Leicester Socialist Party

Some of the bailiff busters in Leicester, photo by Leicester Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

On 5 November, protesters descended upon Braunstone estate in Leicester to demonstrate to the Labour council that they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder to oppose the despised bedroom tax.

The defiant protest, a joint initiative of Unite Community and the Leicestershire Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation, showed how people will mobilise in defence of their communities if the council continues down the eviction pathway.

By speaking to people door-to-door across the estate a phone-tree has been created and is being extended week-by-week.

This network of people willing to put their bodies between their community and bailiffs will then be mobilised at short-notice to peacefully resist any attempts at eviction by blockading threatened homes.

Over 1,000 signatures of Leicester residents have been collected, calling on the council to implement a non-eviction policy. The petition will be handed to the council in the coming weeks.

Michael Barker

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 13 November 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Government set back over Independent Living Fund

NHS crumbling in Con-Dem Britain

Benefit sanction figures expose Tory lies

Abolish the bedroom tax

Labour blocks living wage

Them & Us

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC: We need councillors who refuse to implement cuts

Socialist Party workplace news

BAE takes the axe to shipyards: Defend every job

Nationalise to defend the shipyards

Portsmouth BAE workers rally to defend all jobs

Probation officers plan more action

Tesco drivers fight on

Vote for Martin Powell-Davies

Blacklist Support Group demonstrates

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

US election campaigns: Socialists make history

Sri Lanka: spotlight on a blood-stained regime

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A small victory for democratic rights

Young workers say: Zero hours no way!

Socialism 2013 feedback

South African socialist speaks in South Wales

TUSC film showing - Riot from Wrong

Socialist Party reviews

Russell Brand - reasons to be cheerful

Play review: Sandpits Avenue/League of St George


Home   |   The Socialist 13 November 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Bedroom tax:

triangleThem & us

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleTories out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

triangleWhy I joined: "I am a Labour Party member and I recently decided to join the Socialist Party"

triangleCourt win against bedroom tax not enough


triangleNo fudge with the right wing

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: When Liverpool council defied the Tories

triangleIn Windsor none of us want to see homeless people on the street

triangleThreat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council


triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Organising tenants in the private rented sector

triangleCorbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

triangle2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil youth march for justice


Foreign Aid

Oxfam scandal: we need democratic aid and working class solidarity



Building support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections



What we saw: Tory-Blairite EU love-in



Rent doubles in a decade: cap rents, build council homes!


Public ownership

McDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands



We can win the fight for the NHS



NHS - build the fightback



Corbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war



Haringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council



90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes



Capita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house



Trump v NHS



NHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement



Capitalists fear for their system at Davos

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

February 2018

January 2018