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Bedroom tax protest in Penzance

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: August 29, 2013

  • Protesters outside the council buildings in St Clare Street, Penzance, on Saturday night.

  • Lee Jose, far right, helped to organise the protest in Penzance.

Comments (4)

PROTESTERS gathered in Penzance on Saturday night to join in a nationwide campaign calling for an end to the bedroom tax.

The Penzance gathering of The Mass Sleepout, which was taking place across the UK, saw campaigners gather outside the council offices on St Clare Street to raise awareness of problems associated with the changes to welfare benefits, which were introduced earlier this year.

Around 35 people started the protest at 8pm, with some camping out overnight and others leaving in the early hours of the morning. A petition to end the Government's spare room subsidy was signed by more than 100 people.

One of the organisers, Lee Jose, said: "People are pulling together countrywide. It doesn't matter if it's 4 people or 4,000 that turned up, we made a bit of an impact.

"Everybody's done their little bit."

Campaigners claim that cuts to housing benefits are making people homeless.

Michelle Kent, from Penryn, travelled to Penzance to take part in the protest after being affected by changes to welfare benefits when they were first brought in.

She said: "There was a lovely atmosphere. The response we had was very good. People came from all over Cornwall to support the protest."

Mr Jose is planning to organise a similar protest in St Ives in the coming weeks to highlight the lack of housing available for local people.

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4 comments

  • emurfitt  |  August 30 2013, 10:33AM

    DipStick. You could go to the Amazon website and look for books on the Welfare State, poverty, working classes, living standards etc in the UK. A few have been written by academics and journalists in the last two or three years. There is also an Oxfam report on UK poverty. Points f), g) and h) were on the 'You and Yours' programme earlier this week. That's Radio 4 at noon. I recall the person interviewed was from the Citizens Advice Bureau (their organization is overwhelmed by desperate people). It was briefly mentioned in a Radio 4 news item a few days before that. The rest are based on my own experience and have appeared (sparingly) in the media. The impact on the people affected by the withdrawal of the Welfare State may be found by googling key terms. I don't think there is a great deal on it - the propaganda is all the other way. All of my points are spot on and shames us all for standing by and letting it happen. You go on and on about foreigners and the last Labour Government. I haven't said anything about these topics. Speaking for myself, I have never belonged to any political party and don't beat the drum for any political party. However, whilst not belonging to any denomination, I do live by Christian values (we are not all anti-women and anti-gay) and that means respecting the poor and vulnerable and working for a fair society. I don't know what your point is about the private rented sector. I can assure you that I have always lived in it, so I have a long experience of how urgently we need to reform it. In fact, if it were up to me, I would abolish the rented sector altogether - it's nothing but a gravy train for landlords. As a country we can't afford them and private tenants are sick of the squalor and exploitation and having to move every couple of years. I hope that answers your questions. It's worth bearing in mind that people closed their eyes and ears and minds to what was going on in 1930s Germany until it was too late. We are following the same pattern of events. Will I be bullied into 'belting up'? Absolutely never! I shall speak out with my last breath! And there is an 'ignore' button - switch off your computer!!

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  • DipStick  |  August 29 2013, 11:45PM

    @emurfitt: geez, you're at it again! Provide evidence for all those points of yours or just belt up. As I've said before, were you going on about the same points when the last LABOUR government brought in this rule but ONLY applied it to the private rented sector? Wonder why that was? Oh, maybe they thought they try some vote rigging. Nah, can't be that, it's the Labout party we're talking about. You know, the ones firmly behind the working people of this country, in fact they are so behind us that they kindly let in millions of foreigners so we could put our feet up whilst they did all the work. Oh, and took us to war in Irag and Afghanistan so we could all sleep easily at night. It was such a shame they they didn't think of all those poor Iraqis and Afghaniis that got killed. But it's OK, they wouldn't have voted Labour anyway ..... Bleddy hypocrites the lot. As for you, shame there's no 'ignore' button ... DS

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  • emurfitt  |  August 29 2013, 11:44AM

    Disabled people are being forced out of their, often adapted, homes with nowhere to go. Faced with either heavy and spiralling debt if they stay put, or homelessness if they leave, they are caught between a rock and a hard place. Add to this, their benefits are being taken away in a government effort to "force" them back to work even though - a) they may be unable to work b) there are no jobs for them to do c) where jobs do exist, employers make no provision for their special needs d) public transport does not cater for their special needs e) job centres are deliberately refusing to recognize disability legislation that would help people with disabilities engage with day-to-day life f) additional medical evidence to support benefit claims is being refused by GP surgeries g) some GP surgeries are charging up to £130 to provide medical evidence to help benefits claimants keep their benefits h) more people than ever before are having to appeal DWP decisions and they cannot get, or cannot afford, the evidence they need to win their appeal i) from last April, Council Tax is no longer based on ability to pay for the poorest people and so many have had a massive hike of hundreds of pounds in their Council Tax bill Society is sending a clear message to people with disabilities and who are poor or vulnerable in some way. It is a message of hate and rejection. The last time we saw anything like this was in 1930s Germany. I do not think the outside world really knows what is going on in the UK at the present time. We must all wake up to what is happening and shout NO with one voice.

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  • josdave  |  August 29 2013, 9:47AM

    So it's OK to spend millions poking our noses into another country's civil war but it's not OK to look after our own disadvantaged people. Ironically some of those affected are parents of soldiers who keep a spare room for when they come home.

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