On the 5th of April 2014, around 500 people gathered outside Leeds Art gallery to join the protest against the bedroom tax organised by Leeds Hands off our Homes. If you’re unaware of what the bedroom tax is, it’s a cut to housing benefit should they have any spare rooms in their home, regardless of the reason. This is negatively impacted on many people on benefits who need a spare room for medical or other reasons.
Max Cussons, Leeds Socialist Party
We marched through Leeds to the city centre and then back to the art gallery, with various signs and chants. We had a great response from people in Leeds that day, cheering on our opposition to the bedroom tax and its ills. Back at the art gallery, we had various speakers including Joe Rollins from Unite Community and Ben Mayor from Leeds Met Socialist Students making great points about why the bedroom tax should go and highlighting the harm it’s caused.
Some of the things that stuck out to me were that the most vulnerable people were paying for it, they can’t afford heating because of it, it leads people to poverty and even death. The bedroom tax makes people suffer for having a ‘spare’ room, yet many politicians are giving themselves a much more luxurious life, with no consequence. As one of the speakers said “Hopefully we won’t have to be here next year, but if we have to be, we will be”.