Up to 80,000 people could be affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ across Yorkshire and Humberside, as Leeds gears up for a week of events designed to highlight the opposition to ‘the tax’.
Unite, the country’s largest union, said its community activists - in conjunction with the group Hands off our homes - would be demonstrating in Leeds on Saturday (20 April) against the hated ‘bedroom tax’ which came into force on 1 April.
The National Housing Federation - the umbrella organisation for housing associations - estimates that 80,000 people across Yorkshire and Humberside could be affected and Unite reckons that the figure for Leeds is up to 30,000.
Some 660,000 people across the UK could be hit because of ‘the tax’, whose architect is the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith.
An estimated 1,000 protesters from across Yorkshire will be meeting at noon outside Leeds Art Gallery, Victoria Gardens, LS1 3AA for the demonstration which will also involve bands and circus performers. They will then march on a wheelchair friendly route around the city, returning to the art gallery.
Unite community co-ordinatior for Yorkshire Joe Rollin said: “We will be driving home the message that we want a ‘no eviction’ policy implemented by Leeds city council and other local authorities in Yorkshire.”
Commenting on Leeds, Joe Rollin said: “There are 7,500 council homes and 1,500 social housing units - and we estimate that between 25,000 and 30,000 people could be affected. However, this figure constantly changes, as family situations change and people fall in and out of work.”
Music: Tuesday 16 April, 20:00-22:00 - street music workshop.Heart Centre, Headingley. All budding percussionists and brass players invited to come to form up a band for Saturday’s demo.
Banner making: Thursday 18 April, from 19:00 at Wharf Chambers, Wharf Street, LS2 7EQ - drink for bedrooms. A fundraising and banner-making session for the demo on Saturday. Free entry.
Unite has launched a new website called ‘Our Welfare Works’ which sets the record straight on welfare, blowing apart the myths that have been used by the government to promote its savage attack on the welfare state.
For more information please contact Joe Rollin Unite Community Coordinator on 07711 375 536 or via email
and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Stop the Bedroom Tax Demo Facebook Page
Leeds Unite Community Facebook Page
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.