Since the 1000 strong demonstration on April 20th, the ‘Hands off our Homes’ campaign against the bedroom tax has been developing further. People have been getting in touch with the campaign from various areas across Leeds which we haven’t yet reached wanting to establish local groups in their area.
Iain Dalton, activist in Hands off our Homes
The campaign has been distributing model letters challenging their benefit decision to many of the residents affected by the bedroom tax, with some people being able to get the bedroom tax withdrawn altogether. Although this will only be the case for a small minority of people, the fact the council is taking a month to get back to people shows how unworkable the bedroom tax really is.
Realising this, the council is desperate to collect as much of the bedroom tax money as possible, hiring extra housing officers to chase the money and harass residents whilst doing so. Many people feel threatened by the consequences of potentially losing their home and are desperately paying, but this will be impossible in the long run as other bills mount up.
That is why we want to have vibrant Hands off our Homes anti-bedroom tax campaigns in every part of Leeds affected by that attack. To build solidarity amongst our communities so we don’t get picked off one-by-one, but we instead unite and beat this vicious attack together. This will be especially vital if the council decide to pursue those who can’t afford to pay through the courts.
In Armley, the local group is now organising some street meetings around several people who have recently got involved in the campaign. In Little London and Woodhouse, the campaign has been to lobby local councillors to oppose the bedroom tax, asking them to support a policy of no evictions for the council and preferably not to carry out the implementation of the bedroom tax as they are doing at present.
The group in Armley is preparing to do the same, ahead of a District Labour Party meeting where a motion moved through one of the union branches supporting the campaign will be heard. Every local group should be putting pressure on the Labour councillors in their area, voted for by people opposed to the governments cuts and austerity. If they fail to live up to it in relation to the bedroom tax, the anti-bedroom tax campaigns should prepare to stand candidates against them in the council elections in a years time.
For more info about the campaign, visit http://handsoffourhomes.org.uk/