Bedroom tax protest storm brewing for Freud at CIH conference
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
bedroom tax protest
Lord Freud is due to walk into a bedroom tax storm when he attends next week's Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) conference, protestors have warned.
The welfare reform minister, who is attending the Manchester conference on Thursday, will face tenants angry over the government's under-occupancy policy.
"To pay the bedroom tax would lead to malnutrition," said Mark Krantz, co-ordinator of Greater Manchester Against the Bedroom Tax, the group organising the protest against Freud.
Pat, a Southways Housing tenant who will be attending the protest, said: "I sold all my mum's jewellery to pay the bedroom tax. But now it's all gone. I am not paying anymore."
Another protestor, a grandmother from Bolton, said: "My son is serving in Afghanistan. The 'spare rooms' in my house are not spare. When he comes home he stays with me. My six grandchildren come over and stay. Why should I now pay extra to live in my own home?"
The protestors plan to picket Freud - who protestors have dubbed "the Lord of the bedroom tax" - from 9am outside the Manchester Conference Centre.
CIH chief executive Grainia Long said: “CIH knows that the bedroom tax is causing real difficulty and hardship for households across the UK. Many of our members are charged with implementing the policies, and are working directly with people affected. We are acutely aware of the implications of the reforms. That's why we have consistently made the case to government to make changes to its welfare reforms, and will continue to do so. I welcome the fact that Lord Freud is attending CIH Housing 2013. It is important that policy makers engage with, and listen to, the professionals tasked with implementing their reforms.
"I’m not surprised that individuals may wish to protest at Manchester Central – Housing 2013 is the biggest platform in the housing calendar, and of course people feel passionately about the issue. I’m confident that our conference will provide an ideal platform for landlords and tenants to debate the implications of welfare reform, but most importantly to debate the policy itself. Where there are tensions between landlords and tenants they are often caused by the design of the policy and the impact it has on people.”