UK Uncut protest at bedroom tax at Windrush Square today

Lambeth Save Our Services protest about the cuts in Brixton in March
Lambeth Save Our Services protest about the cuts in Brixton in March

Angry protestors will take to the streets of Brixton today in an action against the bedroom tax and housing policies under the coalition government.

Activists from the UK Uncut group, a grassroots movement arguing for alternatives to budget cuts, will meet at 11.30am at Windrush Square today to start their action. The protest is supported by the Lambeth Green Party and Lambeth Save Our Services.

With the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’ this financial year, the government is now charging council and housing association tenants who “under-occupy” their homes. It has calculated that one bedroom is enough for two children under 10, regardless of their gender, and that two siblings of the same sex should share a bedroom until age 16. If households have one “spare” bedroom under these rules they will lose 14% of their housing benefit. The bedroom tax will affect over 300 households in the Coldharbour Ward alone.

Andrew Child of Brixton Uncut said: “The bedroom tax is attempting to victimise people who more than any other group are likely to live in cramped, inadequate accommodation. It’s perverse. What next, a window tax?

“The fact is that no alternative local accommodation is being made available to those under threat of bedroom tax eviction.This is not just about protesting at this callous government. It’s also a call for action from Lambeth Council. Councils up and down the UK, from Dundee to Brighton, have said they will not allow Bedroom Tax evictions. Yet Lambeth fails to act. Instead it evicts people from cooperative housing, signs off on new housing developments without social housing provision and threatens to demolish model estates.”

In an interview with the Brixton Blog earlier this year, Lambeth Council leader Cllr Lib Peck said:  “We are determined to do everything within our power to alert Lambeth residents to the government’s benefit cuts and provide support and advice to local people on managing their finances and opportunities to find jobs and training.”A report from Labour-run Lambeth council on the benefits cuts also said: “Many families may no longer be able to afford their private rental housing…Obviously there is unlikely to be sufficient cheaper accommodation in Lambeth so families will be forced to move further afield.”

Brixton Uncut is also arguing for more social and affordable housing in the area, including getting developers to include genuinely affordable housing in their developments.



    • It is really odd how people working and paying a fair amount of tax, though less than the govenrment wants are seen as horrible people, yet it is ok for a fit and healthy person to spend their whole life living off benefits paid for by the tax payers, when they are quite capable of working.

      • No, not horrible. Just stupid. Why? Because they believe the rubbish they’re told by the Daily Mail and think all people claiming benefits are scroungers – they’re not, most are actually in work. And stupid because they’re happy with the super rich and corporations getting away with not paying their fair tax contributions.

      • If we stoppped taking 73% of family income in taxes they wouldnt need beneiftis, duhhhh .

    • There is only one comment that agrees with your views, you really have the majority on your side don’t ya —– NOT !

  2. I’m gonna vomit if I hear one more millionaire politicians shrieking about how it isn’t fair for taxpayers to be asked to pay for the cost of spare bedrooms, or housing benefit for the poor. (Mind you they don’t seem to care a damn about the rich and corporations getting off scot free from paying their fair due in taxes!) Instead, they prefer a situation where the poorest face debt by caps and cuts in housing benefit, being made homeless, forced to move miles elsewhere and general misery. I especially hate these rich bastards trying to use me as a tax payer to justify their policies which will make poor people even poorer. I don’t mind my taxes being used to alleviate poverty and help people when they’re in a mess or down on their luck. Ffs, that is what makes us civilized. And just consider this – while the poor are being hounded and scapegoated by rich Tories and their mates in the right wing press, how many £squillions of assets in London alone are out of reach of the taxman? All those properties in the west end registered to overseas owners, all those bonuses paid to the very crooked bankers who screwed up our economy in the first place. JesusHchristonabicycle!

    • ROFL, I assume you are joking. As long as people not disabled have food and a roof then they are not in povety and no one is taking that away from them. so , they have to move whoopie, i moved from liverpool to the other end of the countryt for a job am i now vunerable due to the rich bankers., no, i took responsibility for my life and moved to where the work was, this is normal.

      Your attitude is the problem with the UK you are determined to take away the ability and need for people to look after themselves there is nothing wrong with going short and having to share accomadation if you don’t like it then there is an incentive to get a job and build a life for yourself. If you are given all you need then certain personalities will milk it and never grow or take responsibility for their own future.

      Your ranting about tax avoiders and bankers is patheic, why is it awfull for a person to reduce legally their tax bill, but ok for people to live off the taxpayers without ever getting a job, or seriously looking for one ( this does happen I know loads of um). You are so bigotted try to see life from the perspective of others it might help you.

      • Here we go. another cheerleader and apologist for the rich not paying their fair share into society. Most people who claim benefits are actually in work – being paid poverty wages. But don’t let tiresome things like facts get in the way, will you?

      • This will come as a shock to you and blow your nonsensicle argument out of the Window. The average family in the UK pays 73% of their income in TAX’s , this is why they need benefit payouts , so anyway that tax can be cut it should be and people working will not need benefits. Cutting tax requires cuts in spending, and too much is paid to people in benefits as they get more income than people working, so this is a good place tio start.

  3. OMG! Quick, hold the goddam front page! Somebody call 10 Dowing Street! Jesus, call the Joeseph Rowntree Foundation, Oxfam, War On Want and Barnadoes, too. They gotta know about this right now. Tell them the incredibly important news that changes everything and must mean the rewriting of all the evidence and data we have about poverty in the UK – Robert McKensie PERSONALLY KNOWS somebody who gets too much benefit! What an utter, utter arse.

    • Whoa, the prat whinging about cuts in benefits that are being made by the government to try and reduce the taxes paid by people working in the UK. So that the people earning the money that pay the taxes that fund benefits can have moere in their pockets, has his head in a bucket and refuses to admit it is wrong to try and bleed tax payers in the UK. to fund excessive payouts to career unemployed who are quite able to work.

  4. John : You spout a lot of drivel. I personall know a lady geting the equivlient in benefits of a salary over £45,000 a year, this includes housing benefit and allowences for 5 kids, she have never worked, ever,she went straight from school to on the dole and then started having the kids and then couldn’t work and why would she want to.

    You can call me a liar, prejudiice all the other rubbish but what I am saying is 100% true. She lives in a nice 5 bed detached house.

    THERE IS NO POVERTY IN UK, We have a situation where people working are not able to afford the lifestyle of people on benefits and this needs to be sorted out and the bedroom tax is a start, if your life is being funded by the government then you lose the right to independence if you want freedom get a job and pay for your own life without expecting the tax payer to foot the bill.

    Don’t forget every penny paid in benefits is being taken off someone working, the more paid in benefits the more taxs on the workers, this needs to be rebalanced.

  5. These are people that so far have had it pretty good. Free or massively subsidised housing in an almost central area of Europe’s largest city. It’s a luxury, not welfare. The real unfair thing is that if anyone who is not part of the big welfare game comes to Brixton to live needs to pay between 1k and 1.3k to rent a modest sized 1-bedroom flat while there are people, who do not work, and get free homes. I am totally in favour of welfare state but within reasonable limits and without waste. If an area is too expensive for “poor people” then I think the most reasonable thing is to move out. I do not understand what the fuss is all about. I do not live in Chelsea because I do not want to pay / cannot afford to pay the amount of money required to rent there. Simple, right? Following the same reasoning, if you cannot afford to live in Brixton/Clapham etc. nobody forces you to stay, just move out somewhere cheaper. That’s what everybody does. If you cannot afford anywhere, then fine, the government will give you free/subsidised accommodation. I understand it is difficult to move from an area where you have been living for so long etc, but hey, there are people forced to move country to work/live. And please, this crisis is not all about banks and greed, this would have happened anyway, the financial crisis just accelerated the pace.

  6. Heres an idea, why don’t ther supporters of stopping the subsidy cut (stopping the bedroom tax)make available 20% of their salaries to pay to the people who would be affected by the cut in subsidy – once you communicate out, I am sure the people affected won’t waste any time contactin you.

    After all it is unfair for people who are working to fund bigger accomodation for people not working than they can afford themselves – if you guys donate the money, it might be considered fair because you want to, rather than foisting this burden onto working people who are taxed at a stupid level and cannot afford it.

  7. This is not a tax, it is a cut – my neigbour (living in a three bed coundil house on her own) has now taken a lodger, thereby helping to house someone and she wont be worse off.

    • You have clearly swallowed hook line and sinker the government’s dishonest rhetoric about the bedroom tax. Cameron says the bedroom tax will save £480m. But that’ll come from already low-earning families refusing to move. For those that do move, where will they go? The answer is mostly into private rentals and greedy landlords with far higher rents – to be payed for by, er, housing benefit. Oh wait! The whole idea is stupid, the government wants us blaming our neighbours – and you’ve risen to the bait.

      • it is you that has been taken in, or you that is trying to take people in, with your ridiculous arguments. If someone moves into a smaller private rental, it won’t be “greedy” landlords that benefit, it will be (usually) a small buy to letter making a living or providing for their own future with hard earned money. In this area, the social housing rent is far more than that of private rental (thats the way socialists like it, so they can trap people in poverty) – it s absurd to state that the housing benefit for a one bed flat will be more than the three or four bed houses that many single people currently occupy (I know several people who have two or three spare rooms in social housing). Some of them moved in when their original social housing was being done up on the understanding that they would move back, but when the landlord said they could move back they said no! What pushes the price of rental up is people I know who have (in some cases six) children and who take up all the housing in an area that people working can’t afford – if they didn’t get housing benefit for this housing the “greedy” landlords would have to put the rent down, or section the housing into smaller units or let to mulltiple tenants. People working often live in shared housing whether they are buying or renting whereas, many people not working have the luxury of living in larger accomodation paid for by their working counterpart.

        Like someone said above – why don’t you volunteer to pay more of your money to keep people in housing which is too big for them if you are so in favour of it – when I was on low wages in the eighties and had to give up my property because the labour coundil put up council tax by 100% just to create mayhem and they scuppered the poll tax which would have meant I could live in my tiny flat, but you were the type of person calling all the shots then too – it wouldn’t surprise me if you scupper this, but in the end YOU will be the downfall of this country.

      • You are going to have to do better than come up with vague, anecdotal evidence and crass clichés about socialists wanting to trap people in poverty if you want to be convincing.

        We all know what pushes rents up – a lack of affordable housing. And we all know what caused that – Thatcher selling off social housing and successive governments of whatever stripe failing to replace the stock.

        The answer is simple enough: we need to initiate a massive programme of house building so there are affordable houses to buy and rent. If that means all of us having to pool resources and pay higher taxes then yes, count me in.

        The alternative is to go on with austerity and punishing the poor for a mess they didn’t cause.

    • You can call it what you want, avoid the words ‘bedroom’ and ‘tax’ if it makes you feel better.

      What you can’t change however is what this policy is.

      It is an attack on the poorest people among us. The poorest are going to lose between £500 and £1,000. Their crime? Being poor!

      They did not cause the deficit or wreck our economy, that was caused by reckless, greedy super rich bankers and successive governments who let them do it.

      And who can escape the irony that on the same day the bedroom tax – sorry, ‘subsidy’ – is being introduced, millionaires will benefit from a tax cut that will be worth £1,000 – not over the year as a whole, but every single week.

      Trebles all round!

      • they are not poor, if they can “loose” between £500 and £1000 they are not poor – are you talking about the people I know on benefits who have flat screen tv’s, go on holidays, kids wear designer gear, gamble, go out for nights out, schools provide meals etc. while their working relatives struggle to reach the same standard of living working hard all week so that their “poor” non working (benefit claiming) relatives laze around, or have active lives as they choose – you know they are not poor unless they just can’t manage their money – I have been on benefits – while on them I saved, had disposable income, had a good lifestyle – you know its the truth – unless you are a do gooder who has been taken in by the poeple in whose interest you are posting and who are running rings round you

      • Are you being deliberately naïve? If the poorest people in Britain do not live mostly in what is left of the social housing stock then pray tell where do they live? Rising homelessness, waiting lists and house prices continue to afflict the London housing market – and the poorest are the ones who are hurting the most as a result. And capricious, idiotic policies like the bedroom tax are guaranteed to compound their suffering and not solve that problem.

        The fact you try to peddle that old myth about these people not being really poor – they just don’t manage their money properly, merely demonstrates your prejudice. We need to the truth about poverty in this country and counter these convenient myths that people like you spread about the poor. The truth is that poverty is an injustice crying out for correction and cannot be explained away as the problem of individual families.

  8. This has to be the most unfair tax ever introduced, shame on this government, for treating the poor and the sick so disgracefully! Its unfair, unjust, and should be scrapped! Good luck, in putting them to shame!

      • It is a cowardly attack on the poor that this Tory led government, supported by their apologists like you, are inflicting to punish them for the stupidity of greedy rich bankers who wrecked our economy.

  9. We’ve got to fight this ourselves, it’s now a DIY job. The politicians are useless time-serving creeps who have their snouts in too many troughs, it’s up to the people – keep fighting or nothing will change. Write to your M.P’s for a right to have an abstention on any voting paper to let them know that you are not indifferent but that there is just no-one to represent you!!!!! GOOD LUCK

    • these people are quite capable of representing themselves, that is why they have ended up in luxury housing which exceeds their requirements. In my area, were private householders who pay their own rent live in nice terraced housing, the social terraced housing has been knocked down and replaced with luxury detatched and semi detached housing – one girl is in a three bed house because she “needs to be near her mother”, because her mother is agraphobic and can’t work – ahhhhhh – funnily she manages to walk her dogs every day and do on the side jobs and her husband has a mobility car for her, but she can’t work – ahhhhhh – none of the family works but they get all this for nothing. Now, if you supported changes that made this uneccessary, the bona fide inept people who need assistance could rest assured that they would get it. But while you try to undermine any sensible changes, you are making things worse for those who need help in the end. This is not an isolated case either, so don’t try that one.

    • I do agree with a “none of the above” campaign however your MP won’t be interested for selfish reasons. I have tried writing to the electoral commision noting that ballot papers don’t get spoiled because people don’t know how to vote but that they are spoiled deliberately because people want to vote but there is no one to vote for!

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