Around 800 students and members of the public gathered in Leeds city centre yesterday to march against the so-called ‘Bedroom Tax’.
Under new government rules, those receiving housing benefit will see these payments limited if they are deemed to have ‘spare’ rooms which aren’t being sufficiently occupied.
The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that 660,000 people living in social housing will lose an average of £728 per year as a result of the change. Housing charities are warning that the result will be higher levels of rent arrears, and greater homelessness.
Speaking to this paper, Leeds student Eleanor Broadbent explained why she was there:
“I think it’s important that students are part of the movement against the bedroom tax and we stand in solidarity with people who are going to be affected by this ideological cut on poor people. Today shows that lots of different people are coming together against the tax and that they’re not going to stand for it because this is [a] completely illogical attack on poor people from the government.”
Student Emma Zebrowska added: “I think the government should focus on their own friends from Eton instead of waging this ideological war on the poor. I think that the bedroom tax is just another way to divide our society – instead of focusing our hate on bankers, we blame the poor.”
Images: Leo Garbutt