Socialist Worker

Bedroom tax campaign celebrates in Scotland - and prepares for new battles

by Gary Maclachlan
Issue No. 2390

Marching in Glasgow against the bedroom tax

Marching in Glasgow against the bedroom tax (Pic: Gary Maclachlan)

Over 100 people crammed into the Glasgow Unison union’s office last Sunday for the Scottish Anti Bedroom Tax Federation’s national committee. 

Banners from affiliated campaigns across Scotland decorated the room. It followed the news that the bedroom tax in Scotland is to be fully mitigated. 

Campaigners hailed the victory as a result of pressure put on the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party. 

We forced them to finally take action, effectively killing the bedroom tax in Scotland. 

A wake was held and an impromptu demonstration marched in the pouring rain behind a coffin for the dead bedroom tax. 

Chants of “We axed the bedroom tax” echoed through the streets.

Many fantastic contributions from local campaigns helped to formulate the demands of the federation in the coming months. 

These were that: 

  • Tenants should receive a full refund for money lost on the bedroom tax 
  • No more means testing of the Discretionary Housing Payment
  • An end to legal proceedings against tenants in rent arrears 
  • Action now to reimburse those who should have been exempt due to the pre-1996 loophole
  • To call on councils and social landlords to launch a campaign to explain how tenants can claim the mitigation

The meeting agreed to build for a demonstration at the Tory party conference in Glasgow on 15 March.

It also agreed to give complete solidarity to the Scotland United against Racism and Fascism demonstration on 22 March.

We will build a family fun day on 5 April in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in England and Wales protesting against the bedroom tax. 

It was noted with regret that the No2bedroomtax campaign has yet to agree on a united protest with us on 29 March. We hope this will change. 

Special thanks were made to the unions, notably Glasgow Unison, for their continued support and funding of our campaign. 

It was a delight to see all the smiling faces at the meeting.

Yet it was understood we must remain vigilant and ensure no tenant is evicted from their home over bedroom tax arrears. 

We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder against the Tory attacks on the poor and disabled. 

A day of protests against the bedroom tax will take placea cross Britain on Saturday 5 April

Join the protests against Atos

Protests against Atos Healthcare were set to take place across Britain on Wednesday of next week.

Atos carries out humiliating and unreliable Work Capability Assessments for the government, to find out if disabled benefit claimants are “fit for work”.

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