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Anti-bedroom tax rallies planned on first anniversary

Protesters to target Leeds, London and Cardiff with demos

Determined campaigners against the hated bedroom tax announced plans yesterday for major national demonstrations to mark its first anniversary this week.

Leeds, London and Cardiff will be targeted for protests supported by union Unite on Saturday.

The demonstrations will highlight the misery the tax has caused hundreds and thousands of families, increasing financial stress, debt and eviction among some of Britain’s most vulnerable people.

The tax punishes people living in social housing who are deemed to have more room than they need.

Victims are told to move to a smaller home or face financial penalties.

A recent report revealed that only six per cent of the 600,000 had found a smaller home to move to.

The cross-party House of Commons work and pensions committee stated that disabled people are suffering “severe financial hardship and distress” as a result of the tax.

Liberal Democrat MPs whose support enabled the Tory-led coalition government to impose the tax have belatedly decided they are against it.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said the tax was “obscene” and called on Labour to seek a Commons vote on it.

“Unite is urging people to mobilise in large numbers for the demonstrations in Cardiff, Leeds and London — sending a deafening message to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith that his policy is unwanted, unwarranted and ideologically bankrupt.

Join the protests: outside Cardiff City Hall at 1pm, in the Headrow, Leeds at 12 noon and One Hyde Park, London 1pm, with speakers Owen Jones and John McDonnell MP.

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