Petition against the ‘bedroom tax’ – please help us collect signatures

Download a copy here: petition

Please find attached a petition on the ‘bedroom tax’ to Swindon Borough Council. It calls on them to press the government for the repeal of the ‘bedroom tax’ and to make a public commitment that they will NOTevict tenants thrown into financial difficulties by the legislation. Dundee and Brighton Councils have already made such a commitment.

We have to collect 1,500 signatures to trigger a debate at a Council meeting, at which the originators of the petition get the right to speak.

As the petition points out, when the ‘bedroom tax’ comes into operation in April so too will a tax cut for the rich (those earning £150,000 and above). We have also learned recently that couples who earn up to £300,000 will have their child care subsidised to the tune of £1,200 a year. As it happens that is roughly the amount that some tenants (with 2 ‘spare’ rooms) will have to pay towards their rent as a result of a cut in their housing benefit. This is the reality of the coalition government’s policy– taking money from the poor to give to the rich.

At the recent Public Forum of the Cabinet meeting I gave the example of a tenant on Job Seekers Allowance of £71 a week who will have to pay £27 a week towards their rent and Council Tax (Swindon Council decided that everybody would have to pay at least 20% CT whatever their circumstances). How are people supposed to live on less than £50 a week?

Even if a tenant wants to ‘downsize’ to avoid having to cover the cost of their HB cut, if the Council cannot offer them an alternative home, they still have to pay.

A copy of the petition is attached. I would be grateful if you could print it off and collect some signatures for us. There is an address on there to return them to us.

Please circulate this email as widely as possible.