CNB report: ‘Bedroom Tax’ Protest in Oxford


‘Axe the Tax’ Cry Cornmarket Protestors

Approximately 20 people gathered at the Carfax Tower on Saturday to show their discontent with the new Bedroom Tax, and to ask Oxford Council to take action protecting their constituents as other councils already have done.

The tax was introduced on the 1 April 2013, and will mean a cut to the amount of benefit people receive if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home.

One Protestor, Chris, said that ‘whilst the term Class War isn’t very fashionable any more, I think this is what it looks like’.

The ‘bedroom tax’ has been described by critics as a policy that has ‘no logic’ as it affects many people with disabilities living in specially designed accommodation, as well as separated parents who have a ‘spare bedroom’ which their children use when they visit. 

The Protester’s were moved on from the original planned protest in Bonn Square to the Carfax Tower position in order to make room for celebrations regarding ‘Oxford’s Civiv Roles and Links’ with its twin town, Bonn.

Holding aloft an airbed in which David Cameron and George Osborne’s faces could be seen poking out from under a pink duvet, they marched down the New Road, making way politely for a bus coming in the other direction. The mood was cheerful, with Protester’s talking with passers-by and each other and no Police in sight.

Whilst the measure sounds fair on paper, one Grandmother in the East Midlands left a suicide note blaming the Government who had made it impossible for her to live.

Stephanie Bottrill’s children had left home, but she was both distraught at the idea of leaving the home and area where she had raised two children as a single mother, and told neighbours she was struggling to cope financially.

 A second Year E&M Student said ‘I can see why the policy makes sense on paper’. ‘But it ignores actual people. The government don’t want to scare away the City with a Robin Hood Tax, so they’ve gone and shifted it onto ordinary people. Its cowardly’.

However a History undergraduate from Christchurch felt that ‘to be fair, if you don’t use an extra bedroom, someone on the waiting list probably could’.



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