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Wednesday 26 June 2013

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'Bedroom tax' protesters lobby Newham's councillors outside Town Hall

Newham Recorder, Monday, June 24, 2013
Newham Recorder 24/6/13

Newham Recorder 24/6/13

Campaigners marched on the Town Hall last week to urge councillors not to evict people hit by government housing cuts.

Around a dozen protesters from newly-formed No Bedroom Tax in Newham (NBTN) loudly lobbied cabinet members as they made their way to a meeting on Thursday to get them to refuse to enforce the policy.

Cllr Richard Crawford, executive member for community affairs, was targeted as he walked up the steps of the building on Barking Road, East Ham, by megaphones and chants of "can't pay, won't pay, no evictions".

He turned to the assembled campaigners with his palms upturned and told them: "It's an appalling situation we have been put into by this government."

The spare room subsidy - or the 'bedroom tax' as it is sometimes known - is the coalition government's cut to housing benefit for claimants deemed to be in over-occupied homes.

The placard-waving protesters, organised by the Socialist Party and the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), gathered to persuade the all-Labour council to either decide not to evict over 3,100 households in the borough estimated to be affected by the benefit changes or to re-classify rooms so they do not count as bedrooms.

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