Scottish anti-bedroom tax victory

This video says about itself:

British Uprising – “Axe the Bedroom Tax

17 July 2013

A motley band of lobbyists from Liverpool travel to Manchester to join protests against the Bedroom Tax outside a Housing Conference. Later, they present a petition to Sefton Council at Southport Town Hall against the tax and the evictions policy.

This is the first of a series following the drama, as people and groups unite to fight against Government “austerity” measures.

By Rory MacKinnon in Scotland:

Sturgeon vows to end bed tax eviction threat

Tuesday 4th Febuary 2014

Victory for tenants as arrears fund is boosted

Trade unions and community activists rejoiced yesterday as the Scottish government finally caved to public pressure over the hated bedroom tax.

SNP Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged to effectively abolish the sanctions for tenants and housing associations in Scotland, upping her government’s contribution to the pool of discretionary housing payments available for victims of the Con-Dem cuts.

The tax docks housing benefit payments by up to 25 per cent for those in council housing or renting from housing associations who are deemed to have a spare room.

Those households, with a median gross income of £209 a week, face eviction unless they can pay an average £728 a year in arrears – the equivalent of six weeks’ rent.

Everyone from charities to housing associations to a United Nations rapporteur-general have condemned the tax and noted the dearth of affordable one-bedroom homes.

Victims have described destitution and in many cases contemplated suicide.

Ms Sturgeon has previously ducked calls for blanket protection of tenants in Scotland, telling reporters last April that amending the Housing Scotland Act to ban evictions where renters had fallen into arrears under the policy would “create an anomalous situation.”

But she said yesterday she was now “more than willing” to boost her government’s contribution to the emergency fund from £20 million to £35m, bringing the total pool to around £50m a year – the projected cost of the policy to tenants in Scotland.

The announcement ends months of pleading from charities, unions, housing associations and grassroots groups, culminating in a petition presented to MSPs on Holyrood’s welfare reform committee last week.

The No 2 Bedroom Tax Campaign‘s Alan Wylie, who presented the petition, said he felt “great pride” to see elected representatives standing by Scotland’s tenants.

“It is a victory for activists, community groups, trade unions, the voluntary sector and every other organisation that joined the fight against the bedroom tax.

“But I think, more importantly, today was a victory for tenants.”

Cuts-crazed Tories have “no intention” of letting Scotland’s tenants escape the bedroom tax, housing campaigners said after a meeting with Conservative MSPs: here.

England: Tenants launched a fresh wave of appeals yesterday against the Tory bedroom tax after a judge issued a landmark ruling that redefines the legal definition of a bedroom: here.

A leading group of MPs will press the Scottish and Westminster governments on full refunds of bedroom tax for all tenants in Scotland and not just those in arrears: here.

A UN human rights committee report on UK social housing conditions has urged the ‘immediate suspension’ of the bedroom tax in the UK: here.


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11 thoughts on “Scottish anti-bedroom tax victory

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