Three major demonstrations on the first anniversary of the imposition of the disgraceful ‘bedroom tax’ will be staged by Unite, the country’s largest union, on Saturday (5 April).
Unite’s demonstrations will highlight the misery that the ‘tax’ has caused to over 600,000 families, increasing financial stress, debt and eviction of some of the most vulnerable within our communities.
The protests come in a week that hard evidence demonstrates its abject failure with only six per cent able to downsize in a desperate social housing market, and the cross-party House of Commons Work and Pensions committee confirming disabled people are suffering "severe financial hardship and distress” as a result of the ‘tax’.
To rub salt in the wounds of those affected, today the Liberal Democrats in an act of shameless hypocrisy announced their withdrawal of support for the tax that has caused “huge social problems”.
The protests are at:
Cardiff - outside Cardiff City Hall CF10 3ND at 13.00
Leeds - The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW at 12.00
London - One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, SW1X at 13.00. Speakers include columnist Owen Jones and John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington.
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The so-called ‘bedroom tax’ is obscene – it brought nothing, but hardship and suffering to the already vulnerable and should be scrapped immediately.
“Labour should call for an immediate vote in the House following the Lib Dems’ hypocritical, but welcome U-turn on a failed, sick policy and get this obscene tax repealed now.
“Unite is urging people to mobilise in large numbers for the demonstrations in Cardiff, Leeds and London – sending a deafening message to work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith that his policy is unwanted, unwarranted and ideologically bankrupt.
“The Scottish government has understood how unfair this hated tax is – and is in the process of mitigating its devastating effects.”
Cardiff - Unite regional community coordinator: Joanne Galazka on 07594 344 173
Leeds - Unite regional community coordinator: Joe Rollin on 07711 375 536
London - Unite regional community coordinator: Pilgrim Tucker on 07970 126 249
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.