Bedroom tax protestors outside Wirral court as appeal tribunals take place

Wirral Globe: Protestors outside Wirral County Court this morning. Picture: Paul Heaps Protestors outside Wirral County Court this morning. Picture: Paul Heaps

CAMPAIGNERS against the so-called 'bedroom tax' gathered outside Wirral County Court this morning as appeal hearing tribunals took place inside the building.

In total, 3,797 households in the borough have seen their benefit reduced because of the under-occupancy charge – which sees up to 25% cut from claimants' cash if they have one or more spare bedrooms.

Tribunal appeals have been taking place against the decision to make particular tenants subject to the bedroom tax.

Campaigners from Wirral Green Party and South Wirral Campaign against the Bedroom Tax were outside the building to show their support.

One protestor, who asked not to be named, told the Globe: "We are not personally against paying it, but it would be good if the Prime Minister David Cameron paid it, so he could see what life was like for people who are suffering because they cannot afford to, but have to pay this awful tax.

"It's discriminating against people who are on benefits and not working."

Figures released last month showed that 3,700 Wirral housing benefit claimants had been affected by the charge.

The borough was described as the second worst affected area in Merseyside by its impact. 

Figures released by the National Housing Federation showed one-in-84 claimants across the borough were now an average of £749 a year worse off because of the cut to housing benefit, which was introduced in April.

The Government responded by saying it had made more than £190m available this year to councils in order to help claimants adjust to the reform.

Wirral council has allocated £100,000 into improving advice for people caught up in the benefits shake-up, with further proposals being considered.

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