Socialist Worker

Homeless hunger strikers take on Tory attacks on housing benefits

Issue No. 2315

Three men went on hunger strike and camped outside Camden Town Hall in north London for three days last week. They were protesting because housing benefit cuts had made them homeless.

Ali Shokrolahi and Abdul Rahim Dehbozourgi had been tenants of flats in Camden. In July their housing benefit was cut from £245 a week to £88 so they could no longer afford their rent.

Their case highlights the plight of many tenants who live in central London’s high rent areas who are being forced to give up their homes by the government’s attacks.

Ali is being treated for sclerosis of the liver and was on the liver transplant waiting list until he lost his home. He was taken to hospital after the third day of protest.

Without a home address Ali was told that he could not guarantee he could have somewhere suitable to recover from a transplant operation.

“They said it didn’t matter if I was in a street or in a hostel, because I wouldn’t have the conditions to recover at home.” said Ali. Camden council has now committed to finding the men alternative accommodation.


Council tax ‘reforms’ will cut benefits

Hundreds of thousands of people could lose their council tax benefits because of Tory “reforms”.

The Tories plan to slash funding for the benefit by 10 percent. They hope to divert anger over the attack to local councils by making them decide who is eligible for it and how much they will get.

Councils will have to keep paying the full benefit to pensioners and people who are “vulnerable”. But individual councils will decide who is vulnerable. And everyone else could lose all or some of their benefit.

The attacks will hit the poorest places the hardest. In areas with lots of council tax benefit claimants, councils will be pushed to cut the amount they get or take it away altogether.


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Tue 7 Aug 2012, 18:14 BST
Issue No. 2315
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