Call to axe bedroom tax plans

Manor Residents Association organised a protest against the Bedroom Tax on the steps of the Civic Centre. Hartlepool MP Iain Wright addresses the rally.
Manor Residents Association organised a protest against the Bedroom Tax on the steps of the Civic Centre. Hartlepool MP Iain Wright addresses the rally.
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HARTLEPOOL’S MP has handed over a petition to the Government calling for the controversial bedroom tax to be axed.

Labour MP Iain Wright stood up in the House of Commons, in London, and presented the list of 1,000 names belonging to people in Hartlepool who are worried and outraged about Prime Minister David Cameron’s welfare reforms.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Wright said: “I rise to present a petition from my constituency, initiated by the Manor Residents’ Association and signed by more than 1,000 people from Hartlepool who are concerned about the Government’s welfare reform policy in general and the introduction of the bedroom tax in particular.”

He read out the petition, which states that those who signed it are in support of the Manor Residents’ Association, which has instigated the protest against the Government legislation in the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

They claim the bedroom tax is a further stealth tax on residents and families who are already struggling, it will have a major impact on the health and well being of those who are most vulnerable, and that “families will be no better off than they are currently”.

Mr Wright said: “The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to remove the bedroom tax on families.”

On Saturday, March 16, dozens of people turned out to protest against the Government’s controversial bedroom tax outside of the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, in Hartlepool.

The protest was organised by staff at Manor Residents’ Association, with manager Angie Wilcox, also a Labour councillor for the Manor House ward, saying: “People do feel extremely passionately about this, that has been made clear with the petition and now the protest.”

From April 1, more than 1,500 people in Hartlepool are set to be hit by the Government’s plans to tackle “under-occupancy”.

Social housing tenants in employment and those in receipt of housing benefit will have their benefits slashed by around £13 a week if they are deemed to have one spare bedroom or £22 for two bedrooms.