York Green Party

Greens stand against bedroom tax 'social cleansing'

13 December 2013

York Green Party Councillors and members supported the "No Evictions" rally in York city centre yesterday. The protest came ahead of a full meeting of the City Council in which councillors were due to discuss the "No Evictions" petition, so far signed by over 1,000 York citizens.

The petition calls on the Council to pledge not to evict anyone unable to afford to remain in their homes following the recent cuts in housing benefits. The most controversial cut has become widely known - even referred to by Government ministers - as a "Bedroom Tax" as it is determined by the number of bedrooms designated as 'surplus to requirements' by the Government's formula, irrespective of need or the availability of suitable alternative housing.

City of York Council has not yet evicted anyone who has fallen behind on their rent due to the new formula, and like many Councils nationally has made efforts to help residents avoid the tax by redesignating smaller bedrooms. Campaigners, including York Green Party, would like to see the Council commit to a policy of not evicting benefit claimants hit by the cut.

Green Councillor Dave Taylor said "If it was black people or Jews they were moving out we’d call it ethnic cleansing. As it is they are removing poorer people from richer areas - it's social cleansing."

Disabled tenants - who frequently need more space for visiting carers, or storing mobility aids or medical equipment - have been disproportionately hit by the tax.

Green Councillors proposed a "No evictions" amendment to a Council motion condemning the Bedroom Tax back in July, but it was not supported by the ruling Labour administration.

If it was black people or Jews they were moving out we’d call it ethnic cleansing.”

“As it is they are removing poorer people from richer areas.

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