Fight to Cut the Cuts

On February 26, a campaign was held in front of Council House at Birmingham protesting against the Cuts. The campaign started from 11 am by the activists blockading all entrances to prevent councilors from entering the budget meeting. At 2 pm, Council Budget meeting was held.

From a statement on the Save Birmingham website:

“We are taking this action because austerity is economically backward and is not helping the economy. Furthermore, these cuts to Birmingham are highly undemocratic and against the will of most people living in the city – who didn’t vote for this.

The £101 m of cuts to be voted on today in Birmingham include a cut of £32.7 million to the Adults and Communities budget, £23.8 million to Children Young People and Families, and £28.3 million to Leisure Services. High on the hit list are: Voluntary Sector Funding (£4.4 m), Children Centres (£3 m), Children Residential Care Homes (£1.6 m), Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (£1.4 m), Home to School Transport (£1 m), Youth Service (£0.47 m) and reduced subsidy for the Meals Service (£0.4 m).

We must now fight these cuts on the ground service by service. Victories can be won! Campaigners across Birmingham have overturned cuts with well-organised campaigns.”

Outside Council House the representatives of the campaign placed few books, leaflets of upcoming protest, and banners. The public approached to them to share their problems and views towards various cuts.

A rally began at 5 pm outside the Council House with demonstration. It began with the speech by one of the campaigner about the cuts which was followed by many others. In the beginning; around 40 people were present which increased as the rally proceeded by shouting:

“DON’T VOTE FOR THE CUTS” 

Charlie Hayes, one among the campaign expressed his views on Bedroom tax. He considers Bedroom tax as an attack on working people. The below link is an audio on his opinion towards Bedroom Tax:


 
A retired teacher named Lynn Gregory was one of the protester giving her full support in the campaign. She expresses her views on Bedroom tax:

“It is incredible to know that people should be penalized for having spare rooms. In some situation such as foster children who live in a place are being taxed and foster families are losing money because their children being foster.”

She mentions about disabled people who were given disability living allowance in order to live independently which is also been cut. The campaign also supports the disabled people. The government needs to change the policies by keeping in mind the public difficulties.

Video: Stuart Richardson of the Trade Union Council speech at protest

Stuart Richardson, treasurer for the Trade Union Council, gave a speech this week at the protest outside of Birmingham’s Council House voicing his opposition to the proposed welfare cuts.

He spoke about the “disastrous” effects the cuts would cause across Birmingham and those in it. He describes the Bedroom Tax as

“a program of starvation, that is saying that people should live on, at worst, £49 a week, that’s virtually impossible to feed yourself on and buy any clothes on that scale of money but that is what’s being proposed.”

 

Video: Interview with protester at this weeks demonstration

This week protesters turned out in their masses at Birmingham’s Council Hall to voice their disdain with cuts, including the bedroom tax, that the government are putting through.

One of the groups that were involved in the demonstration was the Socialist Workers Party. Andrew Howard from the party was on hand voicing his outrage at the Bedroom Tax,

“They’re making working people pay for the crisis…as I understand from the Bedroom Tax that it is actually going to cost more money to implement than they’re actually going to save.”

The government aims to put more effort into housing

John Pierce, the campaigns officer at National Housing Federation recently discussed how ‘yes to homes’ believes that the answer to the housing crisis is

“Not to force families out of homes, where they have lived for years…but to build more affordable decent homes quickly”

The housing associations are currently working towards helping people budget their money for rent or into seeing they swap into another property. However, The Bedroom Tax will be affecting more families than expected as John Pierce admits that council housing will also be at risk.

The person responsible for getting more homes built is the government. In their Housing strategy published in November 2011, David Cameron and Nick Clegg stated: “One of the most important things each generation can do for the next is to build high quality homes that will stand the test of time.” They said that the Government plans to “get Britain building again.”

So far though there has been little action upon these words, what Britain needs is a bigger effort from businesses, local authorities and from the government.

For more information on how we can build more homes and fix the housing crisis, right click here:

Or for more on how The Bedroom Tax might affect local communities read the link below:

“Bedroom Tax not feasible for the poor, disabled and the unemployed”, says campaigner

Opposing the Bedroom Tax, Birmingham Against The Cuts will hold a protest meet on February 26 at the Victoria Square. Mr Tom, representing the group Birmingham Against The Cuts, says Bedroom Tax will make housing unaffordable for many in the city.

Bedroom Tax will have negative consequences for many people and has increased the risk of homelessness. Many of the bedrooms classed as spare are in fact used, such as those being slept in by foster children, those used by visiting children of separated parents or those used in a variety of ways by disabled people, who form two-thirds of those affected by the charge,”

Birmingham Against The Cuts was formed in 2010 to campaign against government cuts. The group was formed by a number of left wing political bodies, trade unions and individuals who oppose cuts and austerity and work together to change government policy.

When asked about the benefits of revenue that would be received from Bedroom Tax,he says:

“There are not enough smaller properties for people to move, and so they will be forced into the private sector which is more expensive, causing housing benefit bill to rise, not fall.

“Some people will go into arrears being unable to pay. This loss of revenue to councils and housing associations will mean fewer affordable homes being built in the future, putting further pressure on the housing benefit bill. Others will go short on food or not heat homes in order to pay their rent.”

Birmingham Against The Cuts has been campaigning to stop welfare reforms and benefits. They also support the people affected by the tax and protects them from eviction.

According to Tom, The Bedroom Tax will only benefit the people living in private rental sector.

He says:

“The government has rejected a mansion tax on houses over £2m in value but tax the poorest, and council tax is capped so the wealthiest pay proportionately far less than those in an average house. Any tax should focus on those who can most afford it.”