The Bedroom Tax was introduced in April 2013 to public outrage to a blatantly unfair policy. Tenants and activists warned of the devastation that the bedroom tax would bring; The debt, evictions and mental torment that would hit some of the most vulnerable tenants in the UK. The anger was palpable and was initially expressed by two days of national protest, organised by local groups that had spontaneously been created prior to the introduction of the bedroom tax.
The No2BedroomTax Campaign organised the protest in Glasgow that took place on the 30th March 2013. We never had any experience in activism or in politics but we were driven by a rage against the forthcoming bedroom tax.
The month of March in 2013 is a blur of campaigning and speaking at public meetings to build for the mobilisation for the protest. We met some fantastic and not-so-fantastic people. Our learning curve was steep and our comfort zone was far, far away.
We arrived late on the day of the protest. When we finally arrived in Glasgow Green we were astounding when we say the massive crowd of people. The turnout was unbelievable. Depending on who you ask between 3,000 and 10,000 people were there on that day.
The march and rally in Glasgow 2013
To mark the 12 months since the implementation of the bedroom tax, we will again be organising a march and protest in Glasgow on the 29th March 2014. The route of the march will be identical to the march last year, starting at Glasgow Green at 12.30 and finishing at George Square.
This will be a real opportunity for people to show their anger against the Tory/LibDem Government in Westminster. An opportunity for ordinary people to send a clear message that the bedroom tax is not acceptable in a civilised country.
It is our hope that other groups in the whole of the UK joins us in another national day of protest against the bedroom tax.
For more info for the protest in Glasgow please click this link: CLICK HERE
No2BedroomTax's Alan Wyllie at the Public Petitions Committee
On Tuesday the 26th November the No2BedroomTax Campaign presented our petition to the Petitions Committee at the Scottish Parliament. Our petition is calling for the Scottish Government to fund the bedroom tax shortfall in Scotland.
The Bedroom Tax is costing Scotland approximately £53 million. This cost is through increased rents for the tenants affected and lost revenue to SRLs due to bedroom tax arrears. Scotland received around £13 million from Westminster via Discretionary Housing Payments and £20 million from the Scottish Government to help tenants affected by the bedroom tax. All in all, there is approximately £35 million in the system in Scotland to mitigate the effects of the bedroom tax. Our petition calls for the Scottish Government to fund the remaining shortfall.
The Petitions Committee listened to our arguments and decided to refer the No2BedroomTax's petition to the Welfare Reform Committee at the Scottish Parliament. This is a positive result and gives us the opportunity to present our case at a Committee that is already dealing with Welfare Reform.
It was a novel experience for me to present evidence at the Scottish Parliament, it is not something that I have ever done before. I believe that I said everything what I wanted to say but I have definitely learned a lot from this experience which, I hope, will put me in good stead for the Welfare Reform Committee.
We Will Be Heard
Another petition which is gathering support is the "Every Social Housing Tenancy Before 1/4/2013 To Be Made Exempt" petition which has been submitted by Jessica McCarnum and WeWillBeHeard org to the Parliament in London. This petition is calling for every tenant who has a Social Housing tenancy commencing before 1/4/2013 to be made exempt affected by Bedroom Tax.
The Conservatives go on and on about how the bedroom tax is about 'fairness' due to LHA in the private sector. But the actual implementation of LHA was completely different than the bedroom tax. For example, LHA was trialled in small areas, was independently assessed and reviewed before implementation and only affected new cases. There has been no trialling of the bedroom tax, no review or assessment and all tenant would be affected regardless of when their tenancy started
Please sign this petition which can be found here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/57616