Cumbernauld urged to attend Airdrie 'sleep-out' as Bedroom Tax battle continues

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 18:30 on 20 August 2013.
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26-06-2013 - By Scott Campbell (+44) 0774 296 870 - 'Austerity Uncovered', in Cumbernauld Town Centre; Picture shows STUC Deputy General Secretary, Dave Moxham with poster.
Action follows 'Austerity Uncovered' roadshow, by STUC. Picture: Cumbernauld Media.

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PEOPLE in Cumbernauld who are against the under-occupancy charge have been asked to support their local ‘sleep-out campaign’, this Saturday. 

Campaigners across the United Kingdom who are against the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ have arranged over sixty sleep-out events in UK towns and cities, to fight against the welfare change

The Mass Sleep Out campaign is an event to highlight the homelessness that will, according to campaigners, inevitably follow the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’, unless the UK Government abandons the changes to housing benefit and the discretionary housing payment.

Under the changed, a tenant assessed as having 1 extra bedroom they will be liable to pay 14% of their eligible rent – a 14% reduction in their housing benefit or local housing allowance, in other words. Otherwise, a tenant who is assessed as having 2 or more extra bedrooms will be liable to pay 25% of their eligible rent – a 25% reduction in their housing benefit or local housing allowance, in other words. Regardless, in both cases, the tenant will be expected to make up the difference themselves.

Anti-bedroom tax campaigners across Scotland have invited people to get involved, with those in Cumbernauld urged to attend the Airdrie event, which will take place this Saturday (24th August 2013), from 8pm, at Airdrie’s Centenary Park/ West End Park.

Meanwhile, organisers have unveiled arrangements for perhaps the most well-known ‘sleep-out’ location – the Wallace Monument, in Stirling.

Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire campaigners choose the Wallace Monument as the date of the protest coincides with the anniversary of the execution of William Wallace and related commemorative events on August 24th.

Winter will be upon us shortly and speaking to constituents of mine they are dreading it as increased electricity and gas bills coupled with the Bedroom Tax will push them over the top,” Alasdair MacPherson of Stirling Against the Bedroom Tax explained.  “We must continue our campaign to abolish this tax, which in typical Tory style is targeted at the most vulnerable people in our communities. 

“We wanted a venue that people all over the UK would recognize and what could be more recognisable in Stirling than the national Wallace Monument? William Wallace was himself was homeless as he was pursued by Edward 1's occupying army in the final years of his life, so we think there is a link between our sleep out's location and our modern day cause”

Michael McFadyen of Clacks Against the Tax added: “The Bedroom Tax has already started to bite, with some of the poorest families in Scotland now unable to pay their rents due the Government Bedroom Tax deduction, but unable to find the smaller houses David Cameron says they should move to. 

“Councils and Housing Associations have so far managed to hold off eviction actions, but as arrears grow every month, something has to give if mass homelessness is not to become a reality across central Scotland and beyond. This protest is about sending out a warning message and helping force a Government re-think”

Those wishing for more information on the Airdrie ‘sleep-out’ can visit the event’s Facebook page here:

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