No bedroom tax evictions, TUC leaders demand
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government
Bedroom tax campaigners protesting outside court as landlord seeks mother's eviction
TUC leaders in Manchester have urged the city council not to evict any tenants who fall into arrears as a result of the bedroom tax.
Annette Wright, president of Manchester Trades Council, and secretary Richard Lighten met Manchester City Council's deputy leader, Jim Battle, to discuss the government's controversial under-occupancy policy and press for a commitment to not evict struggling tenants.
The Trades Council says it will now step up its campaign against evictions. Trade unionists are also asking Manchester councillors who sit on the boards of social housing organisations to "resist the government's attack on the poor and support the 'no evictions' position".
Annette Wright said: “We had a frank and useful meeting with Jim Battle. I hope we can continue to have a constructive dialogue with the city council about the issues affecting people in Manchester.
“We were pleased to hear that plans were in place to engage with tenants and assist those in debt and that the council has secured a commitment from all its social housing providers that they will do the same.
“However, we still think the council should publicly state that it will not evict people for bedroom tax arrears. A statement like this would give reassurance to people in a very vulnerable position, caused not by the council but by the government.”
Richard Lighten added: “They will be further impacted by the harsh new benefits cap. It is a worrying time for Manchester residents and the city council should speak out and give an assurance that there will be no evictions.
"It would send a message to the Tories that their unfair tax won't be implemented and would give confidence to campaigners up and down the country to come out and protest against the tax.”