Bury Green Party

Public Meeting on Thursday 13th June, Town Hall , Knowsley street, 7 pm

5 June 2013

The Green Party and Bury Greens are not just opposed in principle to the Conservative and Liberal Coalition government's " spare bedroom subsidy".  We are for a commitment on the part of social landlords to adopt a " no eviction" policy and a re-classification of properties with a 2nd or 3rd room which are  too small to fit a bed in or can only be used as storage space. 

Many in Bury will agree with us that this tax it is a most immoral, unjust and unfair tax.

With 10 cases on behalf of disabled people now being heard in the High Court, we also have reason to believe Duncan Smith's bill may be deemed to be illegal.

Furthermore, with some tenants forced to move out of their familiy homes to the private rented sector, this perverse measure which is aimed to cut £490m off the welfare budget may not even reduce the overall  Housing Benefit bill. It will, however, no doubt, make more profit for landlords in the unregulated private rented sector. 

Bury Greens fully support all the measures that Bury Council, Six Town Housing and local Housing Associations staff have put in place to minimise the hardship and deep anxieties the implementation of this perverse tax is already causing to hundreds of Bury tenants. 

However, a serious problem will remain with some who will fall into rent arrears due to cuts in their housing benefit of 14% or 25% when they cannot pay through no fault of their own and cannot downsize  due to the shortage of smaller accommodation in our borough. 

At the full Council meeting in April, Bury Greens called for a "No eviction" policy, following the lead from Green Councillors from Brighton and Hove Council. Such policy received unanimous support by Labour and Conservative Elected Members serving on the  Housing Committee on 8th May. 

" Strong " Labour Leader of Bury Council ( no cross-party committees for us in Bury ! ) Mike Connolly rejected our request. 

Bury Labour Party Councillors also rejected our call for a re-classification of properties. This legal and sensible measure has been adopted by Knowsley Housing Trust in Merseyside, Nottingham, Lancaster, North Lanarkshire and Leeds City Counci. Birmingham, York and Edinburgh are looking into it.

Re-classification has already resulted in exempting 837 tenants in Labour -run Leeds and 1,000 from Labour -led Nottingham City Council from paying the tax and 500 from Knowsley Housing Trust. 

Deputy leader of Leeds City Council Mr Gruen told the Independent newspaper on 29th May that " fair-minded councils cannot simply stand by and see such havoc " and added that newly exempt tenants in Leeds will be reimbursed any money that was deducted as a result of " under-occupancy" conditions. 

A Government spokeswoman is reported to have said that whilst her government had provided £150m to councils for a one-off discretionary housing payments to support vulnerable people, she conceded  :" Councils may choose to redefine some properties". 

 

Bury Greens will continue to oppose this vile piece of Conservative and Liberal Democrat legislation against the poorest in our communities.

We will keep the pressure on our labour-led council to adopt a "No eviction"  policy and a re-classification of the properties of "under-occupiers". 

 

Come and show your support to Bury CampaignAgainst the Bedroom Tax at the Public meeting on Thursday 13th June, Town Hall, Peel room. 7 pm.

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